Monday, September 19, 2011

MAC Blogger Roundtable: Week 4

This week's host of the MAC Blogger Roundtable's questions and answers  are below:

Here's something I wonder a lot. Everyone knows about home court advantage in basketball. Over the past 5 years, in MAC conference games, 66% of the men's hoops games have been won by the home team. In football, the number is normally in the mid 50s, or pretty even. People still talk about home field advantage? What do you think? How big is it?
Depends. It was a pretty big deal for Temple last week vs. Penn State. Over the last 30 years or so, Temple's games in Philadelphia seemed like home games for the Nittany Lions. Due to a number of factors, like increased ticket prices and Temple's resurgence, PSU did not travel as well this time and Temple had a representative crowd. Game drew 57K, of which 32K or so were estimated as Temple fans. Looked good on ESPN national TV to see a see of Cherry on both sides of the field. Despite that homefield advantage, Temple could not close the deal on PSU. I have a feeling, though, both teams will win at least eight games this year.

The MAC has started to run advertisements in games touting the conference's integrity, saying that the league is "showing the way." What do you think of this approach? Playing on a great thing in our conference, or asking for trouble?
Money talks, integrity walks. I think the league is probably better off not talking about that now.
The MAC has been working pretty hard to step up its digital game of late, with a mobile app and more video content. What grade do you give the MAC for its online presence and why?
I don't watch too much online video so I have to bow out of this question.
So far, the MAC has only 1 win over BCS opposition and a handful of FBS wins, but a few close calls in big games. How satisfied are you with the MAC"s out of conference performance?
No. You've got to close the deal to change perceptions. Temple should have closed the deal vs. PSU. Northern Illinois should have closed the deal at Kansas. Toledo should have closed the deal vs. Ohio State. Temple's got one more chance before conference play to do it and that's at Maryland.
Rank ;em.




Northern Illinois

Bowling Green

Western Michigan


Ball State


Eastern Michigan



Week 4 Predictions:
After a hot start for Temple Football Forever, last week was a pretty bad week. We went 5-4 straight up and 4-5 against the spread. We picked Temple to beat Penn State, which was a loss straight up but a point-spread win. We picked Ball State to beat Buffalo, which was a straight-up win but a point-spread loss. (BSU was favored by 4 1/2 and only beat Buffalo by 28-25.) Week pretty much went like that across the board.
Here's this week's picks (home teams are underlined):
UPSET SPECIAL _ Toledo 24, Syracuse 14. 'Cuse "only" beat Rhode Island, 21-14. How is 'Cuse a 2 1/2-point favorite? Rockets win and cover.
UPSET SPECIAL No. 2 _ Ohio 26, Rutgers 20. RU is a five-point favorite. Ohio is the better-coached team by far.
Penn State 44, Eastern Michigan 7 _ PSU easily covers the 29-point spread and their fans exhale.
Maryland 24, Temple 13 _ It's hard to bounce back psychologically from spilling your guts out on the field and just missing out on a program-defining win against Penn State. I don't see Temple playing as hard and I just don't like the spread offense with Temple's current personnel. Unless Bernard Pierce carries the ball 45 times this game, the Owls come up short of the 10-point spread here. This is one game where I hope I'm wrong but I don't like the quarterback mismatch here and that's the most important position on the field.
UPSET SPECIAL No. 3 _ Bowling Green 24, Miami (Ohio) 20 _ The  six-point underdog Falcons rebound from a heartbreaking one-point loss to Wyoming.
Army 31, Ball State 24 _ Army, a 3 1/2-point favorite, rides the momentum of a win over Northwestern to cover.
UConn 31, Buffalo 17 _ Huskies show the Bulls that they are not to be confused with Stony Brook and easily cover the 10-point spread.
Season straight up: 19-8
Season against the spread: 16-7