2011 MAC Blogger Roundtable, week 10
This week’s MAC Blogger Roundtable is hosted by the Toledo football blog, Let’s Go Rockets
1. As we enter the final month of the regular season for most teams, what piece has been missing from your respective team? Can adjustments be made in the remaining schedule to fix it?
I’m getting tired of saying it, but…offense. Seriously, 18 points per games against FBS teams won’t get you much above .500 even with a good defense.
Also, and here I’m speaking of what is rather than what should be, an offense gets fans excited and puts butts in seats in a way that defense usually doesn’t. It’s unfortunate, but most people would rather watch a team that averages 35 points per game while allowing 30 than a team that averages 20 points per game while allowing 10, even though the latter is probably the better team. EMU needs fan excitement, and to get it, EMU needs more offense.
2. How do you feel about the new uniforms in college football this season? Seems like teams are rolling out throwbacks and unveiling special uniforms for certain games. Should the MAC hop on board with this trend?
Some of them are nice — I liked the fauxback uniforms Michigan wore against Notre Dame and the much-maligned Maryland uniforms featuring the coat of arms — and some are not so nice — both uniforms in the Michigan-Michigan State game were awful. I also liked the special helmet Miami wore for the GoDaddy.com Bowl last year.
3. If you were creating an ideal MAC team using the offensive, defensive, special teams, and coaching portions of current MAC teams, list the components of your powerhouse combination.
Northern Illinois has the best offense in the conference, averaging 41.2 points per game, though Toledo is a close second; I’d be happy to have either of those offenses. Defensively no one is even close to Temple; the Owls are averaging 10.0 points per game allowed, while the #2 team, Ohio, allows more than twice that. I’d take Western Michigan’s kickoff team, who get a touchback a league-leading 38% of the time. Then I’d take Central Michigan’s placekicker, David Harman, who’s 23 of 23 on PATs and 12 of 14 on field goals. For punting, I’d just as soon stick with EMU’s Jay Karutz and the punt coverage unit. For kickoff and punt returns I’d be happy with Eric Page or, given how he performed last night, Tommylee Lewis.
4. What one player on your team has the best chance of making an NFL roster?
For 2012, it’s probably Bridger Buche. In 2007 he played in six games and started once as a true freshman tight end. In 2008 he moved to right tackle and started all 12 games. After sitting out 2009 with a hip injury, he started all 12 games in 2010 at left tackle, and this year he’s on pace to start 10 regular season games (he missed two with a leg injury) at right guard. If you haven’t noticed, EMU has a pretty good running game this year, and Buche, as the only senior on the offensive line (not just starters) has a lot to do with that. There’s a reason the Eagles like to run to the right side!
For 2013, EMU will be graduating two three-year offensive line starters (Korey Neal and Corey Watman) and a four-year starter (center Andrew Sorgatz, who just might get to 50 starts before he’s done). On the defensive side in 2013, watch for weakside linebacker Justin Cudworth.
5. Rank ‘em
1. Toledo. Tuesday night notwithstanding, the Rockets are the best in the MAC
2. Northern Illinois
7. Western Michigan
8. Ball State
9. Bowling Green
10. Central Michigan
12. Kent State
13. Akron. The Zips are back at the bottom by virtue of Kent State’s win.