What We Now Know
The first night of MAC football is in. What have we learned? Actually, not too much that we didn't know or suspect.
First, we now know (as opposed to suspect) that Toledo is back with a vengence. They played from behind all night before scoring a TD and 2-pointer late in the fourth to tie the game at 23. You do not want to tangle with the Rockets in OT. They are absolutely deadly. They went into the third OT in what appeared on gametracker to be a scintillating OT with big plays all around. Both teams scored TDs in the first two OTs, and then Iowa State got one to lead off the third--with the deuce on top. UT then scored, but could not covert the two and lost. Clint Cochran was 39-49 for 370 yards and 3 Tds/1 Int. Not too much question about QB succession, eh? The NIU-UT battle will be a good one this year. Either team could run the table, and they are clearly the best teams in the MAC.
Watched part of Boston College against Central. Central made a nice comeback, and appears to have a couple decent run/pass QBs. I like Brian Kelly, but between the goofy fourth down call in the first half that gave BC a TD, and that weird formation on the final drive that led to the game ending interception, I think he really took his team out of a position to win the game with unneeded trickery. Having said that, CMU will be a tough out, especially at home.
Update: Mgoblog's Brian Cook wrote on The Fanhouse at AOL about this. Key line:
Don't get me wrong: this is a wonderful development for college football. Central Michigan is competitive for the first time in years because they hired a man marginally less sane than Charles Manson. Brian Kelly, we salute you!
Ball State held serve against EMU at home, in an expected outcome. Also watched part of this. Don't think BSU was especially strong, and EMU was about what you would expect.
Northwestern went to Oxford and got a win. Again, I think this was expected. It will take Miami some time to gel, and Northwestern had a lot of emotion to work with--not to mention probably being the better team.
Minnesota went to Kent and drilled the Flashes 44-0. No reason for any optimism there for the Flashes.
Finally, we learned that Buffalo and Temple both suck. They played four quarters at 3-3, before Buffalo won in OT. Most of the game was completely scoreless. Not pretty. BG should cruise to victories over both these teams.