MAC is Beautiful

Like every other sane young boy in Northeast Ohio I loved Ohio State football. Ohio State’s 2006 and 2007 season captured my pre-adolescent mind and gave me a passion for all thing Buckeyes only exceeded by trips to the ballpark. Then things changed. In 2008 I was confused. The Utah Utes went undefeated beating teams like #4 Alabama, #11 TCU and #14 BYU while Florida beat 4 top 15 teams but lost a game. I just could not understand why there wasn’t a playoff to determine who the best team in college football was. I couldn’t understand why #11 TCU went up against #9 Boise State who also went undefeated had to play in the Poinsetta Bowl while 2 teams with 6 regular season wins between them got to play in the prestigious Orange Bowl. It just didn’t make sense to me. 2009 confirmed my observations when 5 teams finished the year undefeated but Cincinnati, TCU and Boise State get any  chance for the top prize.

2010 was the final straw for me. TCU went undefeated but Oregon went to the national championship game with one loss. Plus my beloved Ohio State was going though Tattoogate one of the stupidest scandals in my lifetime. Both these issues pissed me off more than ever before but my beliefs were confirmed when the book “Death to the BCS” came out. This book informed me of all the crap that goes behind scenes and how a 16 team playoff is possible and profitable. Because of this book I boycotted college football for 2 years. (It wasn’t that hard because Ohio State was barely recognizable at the time.) Then my senior year of high school the NCAA finally decided to implement a four team playoff so I decided to call off my boycott. This was also the year I decided on going to college at Bowling Green State University.

Bowling Green and MAC football really changed my life. High school really sucked for me but once I got to BGSU I had the opportunity volunteer in a Division I Athletic Department.

The one complaint I always hear about the MAC is that its not good football and that the players aren’t nearly as good. While the talent level is very different from the SEC or PAC12 it cannot be denied that the MAC puts out world class talent. Just look at the past  two NFL drafts, Eric FIsher was the first overall pick in 2013 while Khalil Mack was the 5th pick last year. In fact you can make a pretty good NFL team using only MAC players. Even now I enjoy watching great talents around the MAC now like Jarvion Franklin, Roger Lewis, and Thomas Rawls.

So as midweek #MACtion comes to ESPN2 the general public will now have a chance to watch these teams in action. Please give these games a chance, especially if you love upsets, high scoring games, and great running backs. I’ll be giving a quick preview for all mid week MACtion games. And if you need more #MACtion checkout Hustle Belt, I write there as well every once in awhile.

Tuesday on ESPN2: BGSU at Akron. The best match of the week. The winner of this game controls their destiny in the MAC East. BGSU has been bipolar this year on offense and defense but when everything is clicking there is no MAC team that can stop them. The Zips were at one point considered the best team in the MAC but then they lose QB Kyle Pohl to a concussion which led to bad losses to Ball State and Ohio. Luckily for them Pohl is coming back this week.

Prediction: BGSU 31 AKR 21

Players to watch: Roger Lewis BGSU WR: The best receiver in the MAC is a true freshman. The kid has amazing deep ball ability but has been shut down recently due to poor QB play and extra attention. But remember his name, he could easily be taken in the first half of the draft in a couple years.

Cody Grice: AKR DT- Midseason All-MAC selection also doubles as a goal line back.

Tuesday on ESPNU: Toledo at Kent State Here we have a classic case of the worst team hosting the best team. Not much to see unless you love blowouts.

Prediction: Toledo 49 Kent 0

Players to Watch: Junior Sylvestre UT LB- He’s just an athletic tackling freak. Will  be in the NFL next year.

Anthony Melchiori, Kent St P- Of course kent has a great punter.

Wednesday on ESPN 2. NIU vs Ball ST- The great Huskies have fallen quite far after winning 27 straight home games. It’s no lock that they will even win the brutal MAC West. Ball State has caught on fire since they put in new QB Jake Milas in. This is a game that can solidifies the Cardinals as contenders. I’m expecting an epic.

Prediction: Ball State 28 NIU 27

Players to Watch: Jahwan Edwards RB Ball State- One of the many good MAC running backs. Has become a boss during the Cardinals winning streak.

Drew Hare QB NIU- Had huge shoes to fill from Jordan Lynch. Some games he looks spectacular, other games he looks like garbage.

Wednesday on ESPNU: Buffalo at Ohio- Buffalo is a wreck with an interim coach. There one bright spot is there running game highlighted by Anthone Taylor and their stellar O-Line. OU is a balanced team that has some injury troubles. But the fact that they are at home and have a reputable coach make them the favorites.

Prediction: OU 31 UB 17

Players to watch: Adam Redden UB DB- One of the best DBs on one of the best secondaries.

Now that you know a bit more about the teams, now is a great time to watch some #MACtion.

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