2011 MAC Blogger Roundtable, week 5
This week’s MAC Blogger Roundtable is hosted by…me! I am king of the roundtable, BOW DOWN BEFORE ME! MWAHAHA!!!
As king, I subjected my…er…subjects to a six-question inquisition. The following blogs paid fealty:
1. What team and what player has been the biggest upside (better than expected) surprise so far? What team and what player has been the biggest disappointment so far?
The Chip Report: The Ball State Cardinals have been very impressive. Keith Wenning seems to be the best player on the field no matter who they’ve played. With a win against Indiana and utter domination against Army, the MAC West suddenly seems packed with contenders.
As far a disappointing team and player, I have to go with our own CMU Chippewas and Ryan Radcliff. The end of last season, CMU faithfuls had renewed confidence in the direction of the football program and Ryan Radcliff was starting to come around in Head Coach, Dan Enos’ scheme. This season, Radcliff appears to have taken a step backwards. There is still time to right this ship but the clock is ticking…
I’m a pretty big Ball State hater, but I’ve got to agree that they look good. I had a feeling that Pete Lembo was going to turn out to be a good hire, but I didn’t think it would happen this quickly.
2. Evaluate your team’s performance, relative to your pre-season expectations?
Let’s Go Rockets: Toledo has had a rocky start to the season. Expectations were that we could clear the first 4 games with a 2-2 record, possibly 3-1 if the planets were aligned correctly. After taking care of UNH to start the season, things became much more difficult. UT played OSU to the wire, which was both energizing to the cause and emotionally draining, at the same time. The guys regrouped to face Boise State — and while we hung close in the first half, we fell behind after that. Coming off those two loses, the team was drained and down a few players to injury, but it was time to regroup and face Syracuse. We all know how the Syracuse game went — so we don’t need to rehash that.
No, let’s watch the video again:
3. What is one key thing you’ll be watching for over the next four games?
Temple Football Forever: To see if Ohio, Temple, Northern Illinois or Toledo is capable of separating from the rest of the pack.
4. Although the PAC-12 seems to have put the breaks to the whole affair for now, how do you see conference realignment affecting the MAC?
Bull Run: The bigger story is Pitt moving to the ACC. That puts a formidable little roadblock up against Temple evern being considered in that conference. If Villinova gets their act together and brings football up that shuts out the Big East. Temple is starting to look like a ong term MAC members.
In the West NIU might have been looked at by someone if their hoops program was not a smoking crater.
I don’t think the MAC gets touched unless Nova sits on the fence or announces they wont go up. Then Temple might get a football only call up. There is a serious question around this. If the Big East might lose AQ status (really if West Virginia or Cincinnati leave it’ could be gone) would Temple pay the rumored two million dollar buyout for a Big East football only invite?
The other scenario is the remaining Big East football schools breaking away. Then Temple will get called in for both hoops and because the new football conference lacks a PA presence. UMass might get called over for the same reason.
5. If you could pick two (at least somewhat realistic) teams to join the MAC for football as a result of conference realignment or advancement from a lower division, what teams would you pick?
Falcon Blog: The most logical one would be Western Kentucky but as I recall, they already turned the MAC down once. With no idea about I-AA teams that want to move up, let’s figure Austin Peay and Dayton. If you want to add a new media market, how about Fordham, Duquesne, Towson, or Richmond.
If the Big Formerly-XII collapses, I can imagine Iowa State falling to the MAC. Otherwise, any pick-ups will probably be programs moving up from FCS or even Division II (e.g. Dayton, Grand Valley State, Youngstown State).
6. Rank ’em.
After I cast my votes, we have the following ranking:
4. Northern Illinois
5. Western Michigan
6. Bowling Green
7. Ball State
9. Central Michigan
T-11. Kent State
13. Akron (consensus)
Temple was nearly a consensus #1 pick, with only The Chip Report putting them second (behind Ohio). Most put Toledo second, Ohio third, and Northern Illinois fourth. After that, it’s a big jumble, with every team being placed in at least three different spots. The only thing we all agree on is that Akron is at the bottom.