Wednesday, October 26, 2011

MAC Blogger Roundtable: Week 9

Graphic by Bull Run's Tim Riordan

If you were wondering why my post "Shallow Hal" remained up on the screen for a few days, it's because I'm just coming out of a 72-hour Chester Stewart-induced stupor.
On Saturday night, I just sat at the computer staring at the screen for 27 minutes (yeah, I checked the computer clock) after Temple's 13-10 loss to Bowling Green.
This was me after watching Chester  Stewart
take a sack on the game's final play Saturday.
I felt like the late Jack Buck.
I kept repeating to myself .... I ... can't ... believe ... what ... I ... just ... saw.
The perfect metaphor for the day was Stewart taking a sack on the game's final play. I went back and watched that play three times. It was obvious that he knew the guy was coming at him. He had only one choice: Throw the ball downfield and hope Rod Streater comes down with a miracle catch. Taking a sack wasn't an option.
Instead, he took a sack and the clock ran out.
Why did he take a sack?
Just another chapter in a book on situational unawareness that Chester could write about his four years at Temple.
I've been jarred back into reality by this week's deadline: MAC Blogger Roundtable, Week 9.
This week, it's our good internet friend (as opposed to real friend), Tim Riordan of the great Buffalo blog: Bull Run. You should take a look at his site. It's a beautiful thing. If I had only one-tenth of the html skills as Tim and my real friend, Dave Gerson, I'd be a happy man.
This week's questions:

1) Parity, a good thing or a bad thing. Outside of Toledo at the top and Akron, Kent, Miami, and Buffalo at the bottom every team has looked about equal. Is this a good thing for the conference or would it be better to have just four very prominent teams.
TFF: I'm a big fan of the NFL, so I love parity. Heck, I loved it when the Giants beat the unbeaten Patriots. That said, I'd love to see Temple go unbeaten just once before I pass on to the great unknown. I think it's a good thing for the conference, but a bad thing for my imaginary wallet (I don't have money to bet) since I've been taking a beating predicting MAC games.
2) Coaches Hot Seat. The Following MAC coaches are showing up on the ever popular coaches hot seat list. Pick one and tell us why is it or is not fair to have them there (disclaimer Clawson is on the list but I can't imagine why so I am leaving him off)

(12) Rob Ianello, Akron
(13) Jeff Quinn, Buffalo
(15) Dan Enos, Central Michigan

TFF: Enos doesn't deserve to be there. Central Michigan has done some good things.

3) Best new hire. Of the four(?) new coaches in the conference who, at this point, seems to be the best hire.

TFF: Steve Addazio. I love the guy. I love the way he competes. I love the staff he's put together. I love what he's done despite the fact that Golden's Achilles Heel was his inability to recruit a quarterback. I will go from loving him to liking him if he loses to Ohio. If he loses to Ohio and Miami, I will go from liking him to tolerating him. If he loses to Ohio, Miami and Army, I will go from tolerating him to loathing him.

4) Ron English is flying high and the EMU *EAGLES* might be going to their first Bowl if they take care of Business. Surely their Coach is going to start getting some looks from other programs (if you can win at EMU right!). Is Turner Gill's experience in Kansas a cautionary tale to schools who look for that one new up and coming coach? How many years of winning should a mid-major coach put forth before a big time program drops millions on them.
TFF: I would think a three-year sample is better than a one-year wonder. I think that's the way most BCS programs will approach it going forward. The fact that Ron English recruited Ryan Brumfield shows me he has a keen eye for talent.
5) We all know the MAC does not necessarily award Bowls to the best teams. In MAC contracted bowls the bowl committees, not the conferee, get to pick their representative. Assume the MAC is going to get four Bowls but there are five bowl eligible teams. Make a case for your team, or a team you think is likely to be that 5th wheel.
TFF: I think Temple's case was solidified by a 38-7 win at Maryland that could have EASILY been 45-0. Addazio took three knees on the Maryland 1 to end the game after putting his third-team defense in on the prior series, allowing Maryland to score. Addazio has been Mr. Nice Guy, maybe to his detriment. He's had three backup quarterbacks play in shutout wins without any of them throwing the ball. One of those guys is going to have to throw the ball soon.
6) It's looking more and more like either (a) Temple won't be going to the Big East or (b) there won't be a big east football space to even invite Temple. Is the MAC, even with UMass and Temple, a stable football conference for the next year or two?
TFF: I think the MAC is stable, with or without Temple or UMass. I don't think UMass is going anywhere.
7) Rank'em
Western Michigan

Northern Illinois
Eastern Michigan
Bowling Green
Central Michigan
Ball State
Kent State