The MAC has certainly evolved over the past decade. The introduction of MACtion has been huge. Yes for us Canadians, unless you have one of the college football specialty packs, you’re shit out of luck to watch these weekday night games in November. But man, for those that can watch them, it is great knowing that for that month, between college football, the NFL, and the CFL, almost every day has football to watch. It’s fantastic.
What also helps the MAC is that, for most seasons in the past decade, there is usually one team that is really good and is ranked (if not two). Northern Illinois has held that mantle for the better part of a few years and even got to appear in a couple of BCS bowls (much to the chagrin of an angry Kirk Herbstreit). To be honest, you almost have to rank the MAC above the Sun Belt AND Conference USA in terms of the conference pecking order, especially since they always have three or four fairly good teams that could be ranked in the low end of the AP rankings at any time.
Alright here we go with the conference predictions, followed by airing of grievances.
- So the MAC East is a big batch of mediocrity it seems. Not even Bowling Green, which had seemed to rise above the ashes (so to speak) will probably break out again this season. 7-5 overall record to win a division? Geez.
- Then again, the MAC East should be exciting near the end of the season. It could be down to as little as two teams or as high as five teams going into the last two or three weeks to get the chance to go to the MAC Championship in beautiful downtown Detroit. And watch out for Akron. I have them as just bowl-eligible but if they are somehow near the top with four weeks to go, look out. They have one of the easiest four-game conference stretches to end a season in FBS history.
- Toledo and Northern Illinois, again, are the class of the MAC (ho hum). Their game on November 7th will definitely decide the MAC West unless some other team in that division steps up (kind of like what WMU did last year, rowing that fucking boat until they couldn’t row no more).
- So how many times will Eastern Michigan have a reported attendance of over 10,000 when they obviously have way less than that in the stands? They have six home games this year so I will be nice and say four. I can actually see them drawing decent crowds for when Army comes in (service academy has to draw decent crowds no?) and WMU (Battle for Directional Michigan).
- So no UMass next season. I could honestly see them making a run at bowl-eligibility this season, just to fuck with the heads of the heads of the MAC. Not that it matters. One season does not make a team great and the MAC is right to let the Minutemen go. Maybe they can go to the Sun Belt because screw geography in the FBS.
- Now I see there is a call from a faculty senate chair at Akron for the Zips to drop the football program down at least one level (FCS) or eliminate it altogether. Then again, when you look at how the program has been in the past 20 years, it’s pretty bad. Very few programs (only EMU, Idaho, and New Mexico State come to mind) have been this bad for this long. To finish last in attendance considering they have a newer stadium (opened in 2009) is ridiculous. I hope they don’t drop a level but it beats eliminating the program and 5,000 fans is OK at the FCS level, not at the FBS level.
We are about a quarter of the way through (27% to be exact) the predictions. Next up is the conference that seems to have become the Cadillac of the Group of Five, the Mountain West. You know, that conference that no one here can watch unless you have one of the specialty packs or the CBS Sports Network (which Bell dropped)?