1.) As we begin to actually move to conference play, what have you learned about your team through their non-conference schedule? More importantly, in what ways would you like to see your non-conference schedule improve or change in future years?
Buffalo continues to be a team with top level talent at the certain positions but lacks in depth and breath that a school needs to be frequently successful in the MAC. It doesn't help that at times our coaches seem determined to put a square peg in a round hole the players Buffalo could use to win are sometimes not used in the way they could be most effective.
So We'll continue to see UB run at the center of the line for a yard or two, when they are far better running off the left side of the line. We will see one mediocre bubble screen after another because the staff thinks at some point it will work.Then for fun we will only rush three and play our corners way off the line.
2.) Let's chat for a minute about conference rivals. Allegedly we all have them, and we all hate them. What have you learned about your rivals and do they worry you for your team's success this year and beyond?
We have no rival and I am close to giving up on finding one in the MAC's current configuration. UB is really the odd man out in the conference for several reasons.
The first is that everyone, even EMU, has near total success over UB Football (Eagles lead the Ontario Sandwich Trophy count 2-0). It's hard to be a rival when you have not had success going both ways in a series. Maybe our 2008 win over Ball State and their ownership of UB post Turner Gill could materialize something but we don't play the Cards often enough.
The second and third reasons are geography and tradition. The nearest schools to UB are Akron, Kent, and EMU. All of those schools have long held rivalries with in state foes. Is Akron ever going to have someone as much as they hate Kent? I don't think so, but if they ever do it will likely be another Ohio School.
If UB had not been a dumpster fire over the past four seasons maybe we could have developed something with Ohio but as it stands most MAC games are no more considered rivalry games than the affair we have coming up against UConn this weekend.
I like that Ball State and NIU have started to really engage in a trophy game. It's a purely manufactured affair but both squads are good enough teams that the quest for the bronze stalk has started to take root, at least thats what some NIU fans have told me..
I'd like UB to pick up the powder horn against UMass but we invested in hating Temple and look what that got us.
3.) In terms of coaching, the only consistent thing for the MAC is the instability in the coaching ranks. Who do you feel is most likely to move up to greener pastures after this season? More importantly which coach has their office locks changed and their personal effects mailed home at the end of the season?
I think we can all agree Ron English is due to be locked out of his Ypsi suit but ironically he is 2-0 against Jeff Quinn and the Buffalo coach just got a sweet contract extension until 2018. Other coaches who should be polishing their resumes would be Don Treadwell and Dan Enos. Miami and CMU fans may have had enough of their current regimes.
So who is poached from the MAC this year? Lembo has to be on somebody's list. He stopped an all out free fall started by Stan Parrish seemingly moments after setting foot on campus. There was no "rebuilding" under Lembo, BSU went from a door mat to a respectable 500 record in year one, and then won nine games in year two. He is young and has not had a losing season since his first at Elon in 2006.
Maybe a very outside shot Matt Campbell goes as well but other than that I would be surprised to see any MAC coach get picked off this year. The other good looking coaches are either too new at their post (NIU), too old to start over (Ohio), or have had mixed results (Bowling Green).
4.) Rank 'em. Worst to first.
- Ball State
- Bowling Green