MAC blogger roundtable: Week 2

22:20 Cholis Back 0 Comments

It's not even one-tenth into the Mid-American Conference season and, so far, all indicatons are that this is going to be a very good year.
Last year, New Hampshire beat Ball State on the road.
This year, Toledo hammered New Hampshire, 58-22, at home and Ball State beat rival Indiana.

Last year, Temple and Villanova were tooth and nail until the final seconds.
This year, Temple built a 42-0 lead and won, 42-7.
Eastern Michigan won and Western Michigan played well at The Big House.
Ohio scored 44 points with a win in New Mexico.
Miami played Missouri tough.
If this trend continues, that can be only good for MAC fans.
This week, it was my turn to host the MAC Blogger Roundtable.
What follows is five questions and we'll pick the responses of Bull Run's Tim Riordan (because he answered first) here, followed by the other MAC bloggers' responses listed below.

My questions, followed by Tim's answers and then followed by links to the answers from the other MAC bloggers. It's the middle of the night Friday morning, so I'm posting the responses I've received to this point while watching the all-night coverage of the disastrous flooding in Eastern Pennsylvania on the local tube.
TFF: 9-1 against the spread
TFF was 9-1 against the spread in Week 1 and 8-2 straight up.
Our only loss against the spread was Missouri's 17-6 win over Miami (we had Missouri cover the 17). We also picked the Ball State upset of Indiana against the spread, but not straight up.
We realize we set a high standard, but we're going after it in Week 2.
Our picks:
Temple 38, Akron 7 _ Owls easily cover the 14 despite the fact that Akron doesn't wear Villanova across the chests.
Western Michigan 43, Nicholls State 12 (no line, so no comment).
Ohio 44, Gardner-Webb 7 _ Gardner-Freakin'-Webb beat Arkon by a point last year. It will find out that Ohio is not Akron fast (NL).
Bowling Green 35, Morgan State 7 (no line).
Ball State 21, University of South Florida 20 (in a ballsy move, I'm going for an upset of the minus 23 line and a straight up win for the David Lettermans).
Lousiania Lafeyette 24, Kent State 20 _ even though KSU is a 6 1/2-point favorite in this oone, I'm going with LL both straight up and against the spread.
Ohio State 23, Toledo 17 _ The spread of 22 in this game is way too high. Easier money was never made.
Buffalo 31, Stony Brook 0 (NL) _ Stony Brook? Stony Brook? Are you serious, Buffalo?
Northern Illinois 21, Kansas 7 _ The class of the MAC so far handles a middle-of-the-road BCS team and covers the 7.
Season record: 8-2
Against the spread: 9-1

1) What was the most surprising result of the week and why?

BSU Beating Indiana:

I feel a bit dirty for calling out a Ball State game as the highlight but there it is. A win over an instate Big-10 Member something a lot of MAC teams would sell their mother for. Even if it is only Indiana!

I still think the cards may be in Bottom half of the west at but it shows how good the west is this season. This was a great emotional win for the program and could move them towards a 6+ win season. Ball State ran the ball down the Hosiers throats a lot of MAC teams will ahve to take notice of that.

2) What was the most expected result of the week and why?

NIU Beating up on Army:

The six point spread Vegas was giving to that game shows how ridiculously out of touch people are when it comes to the Huskies and the Mid American conference in general. NIU Returns so much talent but all people unfamiliar with the program see is the loss of Spann.

He may have been a big loss but last years Offensive player of the year had an amazing a line that could propel even an old fat guy like me to 3 or more yards per carry. There is real reason to think that the Huskies can give Wisconsin a run for the money this season, maybe they won't have enough to close it but it should be one heck of a game.

3) Are you satisfied with the quality of reception and reliability of the current MAC online TV access of its games?

No! ESPN3 is not television coverage no matter how you brand it. I'm fine with it being used and the exposure on the weekends when everyone's plate is full but when the mid week games roll around having them on the Tres is a slap in the face. Somehow we went from weeknight games on national TV to "Boy I hope we are on ESPN3 this week"

The announcers also tend to act like they drew the short straw. During the UB game the announcers were awful, they could have hired a fan from each school and gotten more things right. Factual errors, calling players the wrong name, and the overuse of old football sayings to cover up blatant ignorance.

4) Does Week 1 indicate that this is going to be the best year overall in the MAC in the last few or is that too soon?

I think so, no team gave away a game they should have won and the teams that did lose all made a decent showing for themselves. This is the first year in a long time with no inexplicable week one losses. No close calls, and no upsets by an FCS team.

This may be the best year since before Temple joined the conference. I expect Temple and Northern Illinois to flirt with the top 25 at some point this year. Toledo and OU have an outside shot if they run the table in conference.

5) Rank 'em, FIRST to worst:

# Team Change Comment

1 NIU - Many had this as a "Close" Game (Don't ask me why). NIU should have fewer doubters this week after destroying the Black Knights

2 Toledo - Great showing by Toledo, UNH is a decent program and the Rockets punished them all game long. The score was far less lopsided then the game.

3 Temple 2 Nova is no longer one of the best teams in the FCS, but the Owls looked great and have a coach who knows how to use Pierce to set up the pass.

4 Ohio - Solid win over a team they should have beaten. The fact it's on the road and at a pretty good elevation has them hold their spot

5 Miami -2 They have a huge number of very real chances to beat a ranked team but made too many mistakes in the first half. Still they walk away with a D that held Missouri to just 17 points.

6 WMU - A missed FG nad a red zone pick in the first half ended what was an impressive showing

7 BSU 3 IU is a low quality AQ team but they are an AQ Team

8 BGSU 1 Nice win but Idaho's starting lineup belongs in a MASH unit right now

9 CMU -2 Yes they played a very good FCS team but they still should have played better on offense.

10 Kent -2 Not so much because they lost but because BSU and Bowling Green looked good. Kent played Alabama about as tight as any MAC school would.

11 EMU - Looked a bit hairy for EMU but they got it together and took down a lesser foe.

12 Buffalo - Definitely signs of life but still too much sloppy play. Dropped passes and a bad pick kept UB from really pushing the Panthers late.

13 Akron - Given some of the folks out at OSU I thought they would at least score a field goal

Around the league (we've only gotten a total of four responses, so we'll add more by later Friday):
Bowling Green:
Bowling Green
Eastern Michigan:
Eastern Michigan