2011 MAC Blogger Roundtable, week 3
This week’s MAC Blogger Roundtable is hosted by The Chip Report. I’ll be hosting the roundtable in a couple weeks, so if you have any questions for other MAC bloggers, share them in the comments.
1) This week featured some out of conference games in which MAC schools had some strong showings but were unable to finish. Do these close calls do it for you or do these teams need to complete the upset to earn conference respect?
Well, if by conference respect you mean respect within the conference, close calls are usually enough, since that’s usually the best we get. But if you mean respect for the conference, the verdict is in and the answer is a resounding “NO”.
2) What senior is really standing out as a pro prospect?
I’m not a good judge of who is likely to succeed in the NFL, but to me, the number one senior in the MAC is Chandler Harnish. Four numbers tell the story: 56, 64, 65, 75. Those are Harnish’s completion percentages as a freshman, sophomore, junior, and so far this year. In addition to his seven touchdown passes this year, he’s also carried the ball 22 times for 150 yards (6.8 yards per carry) and four rushing touchdowns. Altogether he’s account for 11 touchdowns, 5.5 per game, which leads the nation. Only Robert Griffin of Baylor (5 touchdowns with one game played, and that against TCU) is close; Tyler Bray of Tennessee is third with “just” 4 touchdowns per game.
3) With CMU traveling to Kalamazoo to take on the Broncos this weekend I thought it fitting to ask, which MAC rivalry is most heated and why?
In Football Feuds: The Greatest College Football Rivalries, five criteria are identified: historical impact, traditions, pageantry, continuity, and competitiveness. In the MAC, the clear winner is the Peace Pipe, also known as the “Battle of I-75”, between Toledo and Bowling Green. In fact, Football Feuds identified this as the #25 football rivalry in all of college football. Bowling Green coach Doyt Perry, for whom the stadium is named, called it “the most important game on our schedule”.
An important thing was the proximity of campuses. We probably had more kids from Toledo than anywhere else, at least when I was coach. Some of these kids played with or against some of the Toledo players while in high school. So there was no real problem in getting the kids up for the game.
4) Which bottom feeder from last season has looked most improved?
Well, let’s start by first identifying the “bottom feeders” in 2010. Five teams managed only one or two FBS wins last year: Akron, Bowling Green, Buffalo, Central Michigan, and Eastern Michigan. I think Akron, Buffalo, and Central Michigan will again finish near the bottom of the MAC. Eastern Michigan and Bowling Green will both show substantial improvement, but since Bowling Green has already demonstrated more, I’ll go with the Falcons.
5) List your MAC power rankings
Toledo and Northern Illinois both lost games that they would have won if they’d played closer to their potential. That said, I’ll take a 5-point loss at Ohio State over a 3-point loss to Kansas any day, and the only change from last week is that I’ve switched the Rockets and the Huskies.
I don’t put much stock in power rankings. It can be a fun game to play, but MAC play is starting, and it will only take a couple weeks to really sort things out.
1. Toledo (1-1; lost at Ohio State 27-22)
2. Northern Illinois (1-1; lost at Kansas 45-42)
3. Miami (0-1; bye week)
4. Ohio (2-0; defeated Gardner-Webb 30-3)
5. Western Michigan (1-1; defeated Nicholls 38-7)
6. Temple (2-0; defeated Akron 41-3)
7. Bowling Green (2-0; defeated Morgan State 58-13)
8. Eastern Michigan (2-0; defeated Alabama State 14-7)
9. Ball State (1-1; lost at South Florida 37-7)
10. Central Michigan (1-1; lost at Kentucky 27-13)
11. Buffalo (1-1; defeated Stony Brook 35-7)
12. Kent State (0-2; lost to Louisiana-Lafayette 20-12)
13. Akron (0-2; lost to Temple 41-3)