It’s getting on that time of year when the MAC will hand out their post season honors. One of those honors of course being MAC Coach of the year.
Nobody ever agrees on how fo dole out this award.
Sometimes it goes to a coach who’s team was expected to struggle, but despite expectations they excel. So look at Miami, picked to be the worst and ended up in the middle of the pack.
Other people post you give it to the coach of the best team, which this year is undoubtedly Buffalo. The Bulls not only have the best record in the conference but are 4-0 against the next three teams in the conference.
So how do you give out the COY award?
For me the answer is somewhere in the middle. A team picked to finish strong should not be punished for getting through a seasons struggles, and a team picked to play poorly should not get extra consideration for exceeding expectations.
How did you finish? what kind of team have you built? Did you exceed expectation? what obstacles did you overcome?
Well let’s answer that for Buffalo...
1 - UB Was the best team in the conference
They played the hardest schedule in the conference, and ended the year with the best conference record and the best overall record.
The had a week or two where they seemed to struggle a bit, but on balance they
2 - UB Exceeded Expectations
Contrary to popular belief, Buffalo was not picked to win the conference, or the MAC tournament. Western Michigan was the flavor of the month. So the Bulls exceeded the expectations placed on them.
Miami also exceeded expectations, and EMU ran up strong late in the season but let’s not pretend that the week before the season started “Everybody knew” that UB was going to win the regular season title.
3 - The Bulls had to overcome a lot of adversity
The Bulls are a talented lot, but let’s not pretend that they have been “a unit” all year long.
- First there was making up for big personnel losses. Oats had to deal with the loss of Quate, Raheem, Blake, Willie and DK. That’s a b
- Ikenna was hurt in the preseason and unavailable until we played Syracuse.
- Dontay got hurt early in the season and was out until until mid season MACtion.
- Brock was hurt in Cayman Islands.
- Wes Clark didn’t play until Cuse because of NCAA transfer rules
In fact things were so thin in November and December that UB brought in the football teams third string quarterback, Dominic Johnson. He was a provided a practice body and put in a few minutes here and there.
4 - Nate Oats built this team
One of the dumbest arguments you’ll hear against Nate Oats is that the Bulls are the most talented team in the conference. So, they say, Oats should not get credit.
But let’s be real. If UB is the most talented team it’s because Oats has spend the past five years building this team. He did not inherit the talent, he did not simply JUCO his way up. He has been bold in his recruiting and shrewd in filling gaps on the roster.
So give it to the man
So come on voters... Give Nate Oats the credit he deserves.