Thus the debut of a different version of the MAC Blogger Roundtable, where I answer question on here rather than some stranger's site every week. But I do get the privilege of asking the questions next week for the second time this season. Anyways, this weeks host is OverThePylon, a Ball State blog that holds no punches. This week we discuss Freddie Barnes' video game stats, midseason grades, bottomfeeders & bowl games.
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?
Let's just review Freddie's stats so far this season. He's leading the nation in receptions, averaging a ridiculous 12.4 per game. The next guy is not even close. Add in the fact that he's leading the nation in receiving averaging 126 ypg. First of all, I think that watch lists are dumb and don't allow for a guy like Freddie to get the recognition that he deserves. And just looking at some of the other players up there in the stats, a guy like Dezmon Briscoe of Kansas, Golden Tate of Notre Dame, Eric Decker of Minnesota or Jordan Shipley of Texas would be more probable because of name recognition alone.
Another criticism people would put his production on would be the system that he is in. Some people even think that a ridiculous number of catches doesn't make you any better than a guy with more yardage and a lesser number of grabs. Also, I don't think that the MAC league office has anything to do with promoting players, the majority of it falls on the specific school. BGSU put up a great website right away after he was tearing up the statsheet. Promoting players is nice, but you can only do it so much because what about the other players on the team? You want to keep it as much of a team thing as you can.
You want national recognition? Outperform mid-major golden child Dan LeFevour next week at home!
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?
Which team do you want to talk about? The one that beats Purdue & WMU or the one that loses miserably to Idaho and Toledo? I'd either give this team a C or an inconclusive. I still can't believe we know so little about this team 6 games into the season.
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?
I'll take Ball State just for the hell of it. They're bad, but EMU is just worse. But if the Cards don't win this one, they're not going to win any more games this season by just looking at the schedule.
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 think there will be some extra spots for MAC teams this year. Just a hunch, I guess. Toledo/NIU/WMU are all bunched up together in the West and at least one of those teams is going to be disappointed by the end of the season. In the East, you still can't tell who's good and who's not yet, but time will tell. I'm thinking 2 bids from the West for sure and one from the East. And then another team gets thrown in there from who knows where.
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?
The Illini are in the toilet with no signs of crawling out of it anytime soon. Iowa is good, but nobody talks about them. Ohio State is a disappointment and overrated at this point. Under-performing would be those dadgum SEC refs. Texas-Bama for the championship.
6.) MAC Power Poll 1-13
4. Bowling Green
9. Kent State
10. Ball State
12. Miami OH
Weird rankings, considering that we just lost to Toledo. I just don't think that they are that great of a team, certainly not better than any of the teams in front of them. We were just on the road and played down to them. At this point, I'm going to place NIU ahead of a team we beat soundly in WMU ahead of a team they beat soundly. The highly rated MAC East teams haven't done much and should fall apart anytime now.