Well, another week down in College Football, and for the first time in our series, we start to see some familiar teams. Follow along as Bryan and I figure out who's coming to the B1G, and head on over to Hustle Belt find a not-so-surprising relegation to the MAC. Good times were had by all.
Bryan: Hey Jesse, good to see the nuclear bomb that is Michigan hasn't destroyed all of the B1G yet. We're now a few weeks into conference play, which thankfully for both of us means NO MORE EMBARRASSING NON CONFERENCE LOSSES! Now that Purdue is actually winning games, the B1G can pretend it's actually sort of good again, and the MAC is close to returning to weeknight MACtion. Isn't October wonderful?
Jesse: Ah yes, the time where we can stay up until past midnight watching insane football that isn't necessarily west of the Rocky Mountains. I'm totally okay with this scenario. Oh, and Purdue... Let's just say that their appearance this early in the article is probably a little prescient for what may happen next, but before we go down that path too far, let's talk a little bit about the MAC.
For a long time, I have believed the MAC to be some crazy conference with wide open play that gives us one or two really good teams. It seems like this year, the conference is less worried about giving us one or two really good teams, and more concerned with just being insane all the time. Really, what I'm trying to say here is HOW ABOUT THAT UMASS COLLAPSE? Or, maybe I'm saying that it was nice of you all to let Miami get a win.
Bryan: The MAC is Sean T.'s favorite conference for a reason: PURE INSANITY. You're right, normally the MAC plays this real high-octane style of sloppy football, with one or two teams separating themselves from the pack. This year? EVERYONE SUCKS!
Toledo seemed like one of those two great teams, but it only beat WMU because MAC kickers suck. NIU has only one loss, sure, but it struggled mightily with Kent State this past weekend. Even Kent State could put a whooping on Kent State, so that's just ugly for the Huskies. BGSU's defense is gross. Like every time I think about it I need to down a bottle of Pepto. Then there's UMass, which honestly might be the most entertaining team to ever pick up the pigskin. For an 0-6 team, the Minutemen sure know how to put on a show, but until we can change the game clock to 59 minutes or less, UMass is going to keep UMassing.
So if you're wondering who I'll promote this week, I honestly have no freaking clue. I sent y'all Akron a week ago, and the Zips did perform well, but Miami man. Miami. It's so tempting to send y'all the frat boys of the MAC. But I have a feeling the heads in Oxford would swell to the point of bursting if I did that, so for the second straight week, y'all get Zippy.
Jesse: Well hey, we enjoyed the Kangaroo, so it'll stick. I will say that our fearless leader over at OTE might have jumped for joy at Miami, but we'll have to let them get a little more than a one point win over the likes of the Minutemen who seem to, like you said, suck at the last minute.
Since we were more or less introduced to our friends from Akron last week, let's dive into how they did and why they managed to be the first team to get the nod twice this year. Is it their dashing good looks or have they actually done something on the football field?
Bryan: does beating EMU by 25 points count as "doing something on the football field"? No, well damn. I'd say that the only reason Akron is the promoted team this week, honestly, is because of the fact that it actually dominated its game.
The defense wasn't at its best ever, but when you're pulling guys out long before the final whistle, some yards (276 to be exact) will be given up. Kyle Pohl had one of his good days, and looked like one of the better quarterbacks in the MAC, and as long as the Zips stick with Conor Hundley at running back, they should be able to move the ball on the ground as well. They have explosive weapons on offense, and we've already discussed how nasty that defense is. For a team that basically recruits exclusively through walk-ons and transfers, Akron has the goods to be competitive, and most importantly, the team is improving week in and week out.
Jesse: Really, that's all you can hope for. So here's how I see it after last week. I'm pretty sure we believed that Akron could beat Purdue and Illinois and I'm not changing that stance. Depending on just how good they are offensively, I think they could hang with Indiana depending which Indiana team shows up. Oh, and while Michigan would literally have more athleticism at every single position, I wouldn't exactly put money on the Wolverines. At minimum, I wouldn't put money on Hoke knowing what to do with a Kangaroo staring him down from the other sideline.
That means Akron is suddenly 9-10 range with the chance of a few upsets and moving into that mushy middle of the Big Ten. I'd easily be talked into them over Northwestern at home, and maybe they'd be able to compete with that Iowa/Minnesota/Wisconsin/Nebraska tier on the right day. So, that's really not a bad day at the office. It would take being perfect, but the fact that we're talking the possibility has got to mean good things for the Zips.
Bryan: Terry Bowden dad'gum approves that message.