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MAC blogger pre-season poll

August 12, 2010

I was recently asked to participate in a pre-season poll of MAC bloggers. Altogether 12 bloggers participated, nine representing individual MAC schools and three for the conference as a whole. All the participating bloggers are permanently listed and linked on the sidebar of this site, but for simplicity’s sake they are:

Blog (Listed alphabetically) Focus
Bull Run Buffalo
Eastern Michigan Eagles Eastern Michigan
Falcon Blog Bowling Green
Fire Up Chips Central Michigan
Hustle Belt MAC
Lets go Rockets Toledo
Over The Pylon Ball State
Rasor on the Zips Akron
Red and Black Attack Northern Illinois
Temple Football Forever Temple
The MAC Daily MAC
VanDelay MAC

And without any further ado, the MAC blogger pre-season poll results:

MAC East Pts Div Conf Bowl High Low
Temple 97 10 8 11 1st 2nd
Ohio 89 2 1 9 1st 3rd
Kent 64 0 0 4 2nd 7th
BG 55 0 0 1 3rd 5th
BUF 44 0 0 0 2nd 6th
Akron 11 0 0 0 5th 7th
Miami 10 0 0 0 5th 7th
MAC West Pts Div Conf Bowl High Low
NIU 95 9 3 12 1st 2nd
TOL 73 2 0 4 1st 5th
CMU 62 0 0 3 2nd 4th
WMU 58 1 0 3 1st 5th
BSU 29 0 0 1 2nd 6th
EMU 2 0 0 0 5th 6th

(Full data, along with more analysis is available from Bull Run.)

While this is moderately interesting in and of itself, I think the most information comes from comparing the blogger poll results to the print journalist poll results.

East Blog Poll East Media Day West Blog Poll West Media Day
1 Temple(10) 97 1 Temple(17) 137 1 NIU (9) 95 1 NIU (15) 115
2 Ohio(2) 89 2 Ohio(3) 116 2 Toledo (2) 73 2 CMU(3) 83
3 Kent 64 3 Kent 94 3 CMU 62 3 WMU (2) 77
4 BGSU 55 4 BGSU 74 4 WMU (1) 58 4 Toledo 75
5 Buffalo 44 5 Miami 53 5 Ball State 29 5 Ball State 50
6 Akron 11 6 Buffalo 48 6 EMU 2 6 EMU 20
7 Miami 10 7 Akron 38

I notice three key differences here.

In the East Division, print journalists are expecting Miami to improve significantly from last year’s 1-11 (1-7 MAC) season–5th place in the East will probably require a 3-5 conference record, and it’s hard to imagine them winning 3 MAC games without also beating Colorado State for at least a 4-8 record–while bloggers are expecting Miami to remain at the bottom of the East. In the West, bloggers and print journalists agreed (though not unanimously) that Northern Illinois will be the cream of the crop, but print journalists expect the rest of the division to finish in about the same order as last year, while bloggers picked Toledo to improve to a second-place finish. The third difference is that none of the bloggers in the poll expect Central Michigan to win the West, while 3 print journalists expect that despite losing their coach to Cincinnati and their quarterback to the NFL the Chippewas will still manage to win the division.

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6 Comments leave one →
  1. August 13, 2010 2:04 pm

    Question: How many MAC teams will win games over “big” conference teams this season? Any calls on which ones?

    • August 16, 2010 9:44 am

      Well, as I take a look at MAC matches versus BCS automatic qualifier conferences (big six), a few stand out as pitting a strong MAC team against a weak BCS program. Northern Illinois will have several very real chances to do this, for the season opener September 2 at Iowa State and then back-to-back weeks against Illinois on September 18, and against Minnesota on September 25; I doubt the Huskies will win all three (I’d have higher hopes if they weren’t all on the road) but I’d be pretty surprised if they didn’t pull off at least one of them. Bowling Green could add to RichRod’s pain at Michigan, though I think that’s unlikely; the Wolverines lost to a 3-9 Toledo team two years ago, but Michigan is (somewhat) better now. Speaking of Toledo, they host Arizona to open the season, which could be interesting, and Toledo at Purdue is another possibility; I doubt the Rockets would be able to manage a win on the blue turf at Boise State, but with a bit of luck that might be the only thing standing between them and a 4-0 non-conference record.

      • August 16, 2010 9:47 am

        If EMU were any good we could also add their games at Virginia and at Vanderbilt to that list; the Eagles might surprise me but I don’t think they’re up to that challenge yet.

    • August 16, 2010 11:25 am

      You hit the same ones I saw, namely Northern Illinois and Illinois and anything involving Michigan…I’m not buying they are as improved as the common wisdom seems to believe.

      • August 17, 2010 11:29 am

        Yeah, I think Michigan winds up somewhere in the 5 to 7 win range. Four or five of their games are probably well out of reach (@ND, Iowa, @Penn State, maybe Wisconsin, @Ohio State). I say maybe Wisconsin just because it’s in Ann Arbor, and you can never tell. Connecticut and Michigan State would be in that category if they were road games, but in the Big House the Wolverines probably have even odds or better. Purdue, Indiana, Illinois, Bowling Green, and Massachusetts should be wins for Michigan, but I can certainly imagine one or more of those going the other way. Overall, Michigan might be a little better than last year, but they have a much tougher non-conference schedule: UMass replaces Delaware State, Bowling Green replaces Eastern Michigan, Connecticut replaces Western Michigan, and they travel to South Bend to face ND.

  2. 22 inch car rims permalink
    August 16, 2010 9:36 pm

    wats up man hows it going

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