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MAC Blogger Roundtable: Saddle up!

One of the new sites is in the big chair today..
One of the new sites is in the big chair today..

This season the roundtable includes

Over The Pylon - Ball State
Maroon Musket - UMass
Saddle Up, Fight On - Western Michigan
The Chip Report - Central Michigan
Eagle Totem - Eastern Michigan
Red and Black Attack - Northern Illinois
Bull Run - Buffalo
Hustle Belt - The Conference
Let's Go Rockets - Toledo
Falcon Blog - Bowling Green

This week the table is run by "Saddle Up, Fight On".

1. There have been heated discussions about WMU fan's attendance at football games lately. What is the perception of attendance at your school? Do you feel that winning solves all problems, or is there another major piece to the puzzle?

Attendance is awful. By MAC standards Buffalo is not the worst, or even the second worst but we are in the bottom tier. And as the Quinn era rolls along and the losses keep piling up it's not getting any better.

Buffalo has unique challenges in that it has a professional Football team sitting close enough for the Bulls to use the field house on a regular basis. Most MAC teams sit in NFL markets but few share a city.

Winning a few games, or even being a winning team for a year or two is not going to help. UB needs a consistent winning culture and they need to maintain it. Buffalo fans will suffer a losing season here or there but out of every five years Buffalo would have to have three or so winning seasons.

That means the answer to our attendance woes is at least three years away.

2. The top 4 teams in the MAC are now a combined 27-3 with both Ball State and Bowling Green just 1 win away from bowl eligibility as well. Is this the year that the MAC gets 6 teams in bowls? Who gets in and goes where?

With all the team ineligibles I suspect this that six bowls is possible. There will be three slots left open by Ohio, Penn State, and North Carolina.

In the MAC Kent, NIU, Toledo, and Ohio are all pretty much Locks at this point. Bowling Green and Ball State should make it and then there is WMU, Miami, and CMU.

Two of the three could make it.

WMU has 3 wins and games against Buffalo, CMU, and EMU. Even if they lose to Northern Illinois they have a decent track to six wins.

Miami is also sitting on three wins with five left to play. Among those five are Buffalo and CMU which should be wins. They will be playing the Cards in their last game of these season and Ball State should have their sixth wins by the. So *if* Miami can come out, at home, and win against BSU that gets them to six.

Central has the hardest road of the three. They have two wins now and should beat Akron, UMass, and EMU. That means if they can steal one from WMU or Miami that gets them to six, but it likely prevents whoever they beat from making their six.

This season six wins should get you a bowl. Especially because the MAC has been so top heavy this year that a six win MAC team has probably played a better schedule than a six win Belt, Conference DOA, or MWC team.

3. We have reached the half-way point in the conference schedule. There seems to be quite a chasm between the haves and have nots. How do you see the rest of the season going for the teams, particularly your team?

After Toledo Buffalo will have faced Georgia, 2 Big East teams, NIU, Ohio, Kent, and Toledo. It's fair to say the "hard part" of our schedule is over. With Branden Oliver slated to come back soon we should be able to own the ground again. Buffalo can, perhaps should, win three more games this season.

But just as easily as UB can win two of their last three they can lose them all. In 2010 UB strolled into Akron and provided the Zips with their only win of the season.

4. If you want to see the MAC sponsor one sport (NCAA, Olympic, or fun), what would it be and why?

Hockey Hockey Hockey! You would have to make provisions to allow Miami, WMU, and Bowling Green to stay where they are. I doubt any of them wants to be a part of a new start up league and they have the clout to stop MAC hockey from happening should their cushy positions be challenged.

but the rest of the conference could benefit from games against them out of conference. The MAC is the Great Lakes and the Great lakes is Hockey country.

But I suppose, if you want look at cost effectiveness, you can look at lacrosse.