Tuesday, September 14, 2010

MAC Blogger Roundtable: Week 3

Graphic by Tim Riordan, Buffalo blogger
"We would like to get him the ball. ... Hopefully we'll be able to get him in the game and get him going a little bit."
_Al Golden
on Bernard Pierce vs. UConn

MAC blogger questions this week. My answers are Golden, as in Al.

1. For the season, excluding intraconference matches, MAC teams are
0-10 against Football Bowl Subdivision opponents. Which MAC team will
be the first to record an out-of-conference win against any FBS team?
Temple against UConn. All indications are Al Golden will get Bernard Pierce on the field, something he hasn't done nearly enough of in the first two games. Temple had a pedestrian running back named Jason Harper get 134 yards behind a suspect offensive line in 2007 at UConn. Pierce is not pedestrian. When he's in there for a whole game, Temple's offensive production triples. Temple's last two games vs. UConn (a 22-17 win that was a loss) and a 13-9 OT loss. I'm concerned about quarterback Chester Stewart, though. I was expecting another Adam DiMichele this year. Instead, I've gotten another Tink Murphy. He needs to elevate his game and keep more drives alive.

2. Three teams -- Akron, EMU, and Bowling Green -- remain winless; when will each team record a win? Temple is undefeated; when will they take their first loss?
Bowling Green will win first. Clausen is a very good coach who almost knocked off Troy. Not easy. Temple's first loss will be at Penn State. I think. The Owls have shown some chinks in the armor (bad game coaching, poor personnel packages, poor offensive scheme) that have alarmed me.

3. Although teams have only played two games, that is nearly 17% of the season. How has your team's performance so far compared to your
preseason expectations? What key factors will you be watching over the
next two weeks?
Below my expectations. I expected a 35-14 win over Nova and a 27-17 win over CMU. Nova is better than James Madison, which knocked off Virginia Tech, so that win looks a lot better for Temple now. Had Pierce played more than a half, maybe I would have gotten my 27-17 win over EMU.
4. This Saturday, Central Michigan visits EMU. The last time they
played in Ypsilanti (2008), a school-record 26,188 fans turned out to see the teams run 174 plays, combining for 1,171 total yards of
offense, 15 touchdowns, and 108 points. How many people will show up
at Rynearson Stadium this Saturday, and how many yards of offense and
points scored will they see?
8,000, six thousand of them CMU fans. 28 points. 21-7, CMU. 300 yards total offense.

TFF's rankings (first to worst, because I can't count backward):
1. Temple

2. CMU


4. Northern Illinois

5. Miami

6. Kent State

7. Toledo

8. Buffalo.

9. Western Michigan

10. Ball State

11. Bowling Green

12. Eastern Michigan

13. Akron