1.)Tyler Sheehan and Freddie Barnes are simply lighting up the stat sheet, the record book, and the scoreboard. Is it a slap in the face that Barnes isn't being mentioned for some major postseason hardware? If you were the MAC commissioner, what sort of things would you do to ensure our student athletes get the national attention they deserve?
You know, I've gotten so used to the MAC not getting any recognition for things that go on that I hardly even notice anymore. We're just not at the grown up table, and when Freddie Barnes makes all those catches, it is just viewed as some kind of non-BCS freak show that could never happen in a major conference. When Heisman campaigns are run by MAC schools, the just aren't taking seriously on a national level, and look kind of cute to the major schools. My general belief is that we can't control what other people think, and they don't take MAC football seriously. It is a very tough comparison anyway--most BCS schools pay their head coach as much as entire MAC staffs make. What I like is when we win our bowl games and pick up some BCS upsets. Won't change the opinions around the NCAA, but we know when we are competing. 2.) We've reached midseason, so take a moment and talk about how your team has either lived up to expectations or ridiculously underperformed. What sort of grade would you give your beloved program if you were asked to sort of give them a midsemester progress report?
I would give our program a B. We are 3-4 which is more or less where we would be expected to be, looking at our schedule. The team has won a very close game and lost a couple close games, and seems to be improving. I'm happy with the general direction of the program under Coach Clawson. 3.) This weekend’s Pillow Fight features winless Ball State venturing to winless Eastern Michigan. Who loses this game? Do you see them winning any other game this year, or is the loser virtually guaranteed 0-12?
Boy, this is a tough one. I think EMU will win the game, but it is a close call. BSU was really hurt by the injury to Kelly Page, who has been playing better until his injury. If Ball State loses, they could easily lose out, but anything could always happen. 4.) There are 4 teams right now with above a .500 overall record, and a whole host of teams either right at .500 or a game under. The odds of most of these teams getting Bowl eligible is fairly good, which means the odds of someone getting snubbed is equally high. Which team do you see getting snubbed and being left home for the Holidays? What are your thoughts on the current Bowl structure, the tie-ins, or the MAC affiliations?
I would expect CMU, Temple (Temple!), OU, UT and NIU to make bowl games. WMU has an outside shot, but it will be tough. As for my general thoughts on the bowl structure, I love bowl season. The games are generally interesting and compelling. Yes, there probably are too many games. But if there were fewer games, there would be less for me to watch. I think all of us can remember when the MAC had one bowl game, and were clinging on to that. In fact, there was a time in the 70s when there was no bowl affiliation. The explosion has been good for the MAC. I like the Little Caesar's Bowl for its geography and the GMAC bowl for having a true bowl experience. The other ones are fine. Most of all, it would be nice for the conference to win one or two of them. 5.) In terms of general college football and away from the MAC... we're halfway through the season. What team's have surprised you the most for overperforming? Underperforming? Which two teams do you foresee playing for the giant crystal football?
I'm surprised at the season Cincinnati is having, confirming the idea that Brian Kelly can coach. I thought they might be down a little. Houston and Miami have also been surprises. Lots of teams are underperforming, starting with the Buckeyes, OK, and Mississippi.
I predict that Florida will play Iowa for the big crystal football. 6.) MAC Power Poll 1-13