MAC Bloggers Roundtable: Eagle Totem

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Time for the MAC Blogger round table. This week Eagle Totem, Your source for all things Eastern Michigan, is hosting the table.

Here are My Answers, watch the other MAC blags for theirs. Carter from Eagle Totem should have his summary up later this week.

Eagle Totem: Eastern Michigan

Falcon Blog: Bowling Green

Let's Go Rockets: Toledo

Temple Football Forever: Temple

The Chip Report: Central Michigan

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?

I'm going to go with Brandon Oliver, and by extension the offensive line. Everyone expected Khalil Mack to be dominant on the defense so there is no surprise there. But Oliver has more than 400 yards through four games and it has made a world of difference for our offense. (not that you would know by looking at last weeks scoreboard).

The biggest disappointment has to be Chazz Anderson. He has played well but I think we were all expecting him to play better than well. He has not been the difference maker in any game yet, unless you count the endzone pick as a 'difference maker'.

2. Evaluate your team's performance, relative to your pre-season expectations?

The BSU loss is the only 'suprise'. I had that pegged as a tossup this summer but thought that UB might pull the upset. UB is, sadly, right where I thought they would be. They are 1-3 and staring at the meat of their schedule. Maybe Miami has flipped to a winnable game but even then, on the road? UB could hit Akron and EMU with a record of just 1-8.

3. What is one key thing you'll be watching for over the next four games?

The offense has to make the big plays and the defense has to continue improving against the run. Anderson needs to lead the team beyond the 20 yard line. Back during the 2008 season there was always a sense that when you get it withing the 20 you were going to score a touchdown.

The debacle this weekend proved that no matter how well our defense plays, and holding UConn to 17 points is respectable, the key to winning is our offense not squandering redzone opportunities.

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?

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?

I don't think anyone comes on from the FBS because of realignment. If the independents get squeezed in the new world they can go Big East. If the Big12 explodes its remnants might swing the Big East or the Mountain West or, with OU, OSU, Texas Tech, KU, and KSU They could start a new conference.

So from down below?

As a school from the East I'd love to see Deleware and StonyBrook. If StonyBrook cant get their facilities up to pat than maybe JMU. But the next two invites must be all sports!

6. Rank 'em.

# Team Change Comment
1 Temple +1 Best win of the year for the MAC. Temple is really a 4th down away from being undefeated
2 Toledo -1 These almost game have to be killing Toledo. It' will be interesting to see what happens in MAC play
3 Ohio 0 Tough loss to Rutgers. The loss is not as bad as the fact they were beaten so soundly. Rutgers is a team that OU should have been able to run with.
4 NIU - No advancement for beating Cal Poly. Though I am starting to wonder if NIU is everything that they were advertised to be this season or not.
5 BGSU +2 Behind the Calwfense Bowling Green is 3-1. They only have two give'me games left so that extra point last week could cost them a bowl
6 Ball State +1 Any doubters? Anyone? Army is not the Bowl team they were last season but BSU has definitely turned a corner
7 WMU -1 Nice hard fought game against Illinois but WMU is bumped to make room for Bowling Green and Ball State
8 Miami -3 The Hawks free fall continues. With so many returning starters there is little excuse for play this bad.
9 CMU - Speaking of free fall. Sure you can blame the Quality of opponent but that offense could not have beat an egg
10 Buffalo - Speaking of awful offenses. How do you get into the red-zone three times and come away with just three points
11 Kent - While its nice to seem them get of the schnide there is still the matter of the fact it was against an FCS team.
12 EMU - What can you say, it's EMU vs Penn State, everyone expected a blood bath and the Nittny Lions delivered
13 Akron - Well they beat their FCS opponent this week, and beat them soundly.
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