Let it not be forgotten that Brian Wagner had an outstanding career as a MAC linebacker. He redshirted in 2008, then led the MAC in solo tackles his freshman and sophomore seasons; then this year he led in total tackles. The Akron linebacker never had much help around him, though, as his teams went 5-31 during his Zips career. He also studied under three different defensive coordinators in his time. That's not easy, and I hope he at least had fun playing FBS football.
But that's all over now. As a redshirt senior he has one more season of eligibility and since Wagner has already received his undergrad diploma, he's going to use the fifth-year grad student transfer option and try to play for a contender in one year: he's going to Arizona and play for, who can frankly get all the defensive help he'll need.
There was no reason he couldn't stay at Akron, except that he clearly didn't want to. He had his time, and with one more coaching change, even though it's veteran coach Chuck Amato as defensive coordinator, he may as well change scenes altogether. Akron's not going to be a contender next year; Terry Bowden could spin Auburn refuse into gold, but I'm not sure how many kangaroo carcasses he'll be able to salvage into filet mignons in 2012.
If all I knew about MAC football was being on the wrong side of blowouts, I'd transfer away from that too. I wouldn't wish five years of that program on anybody. He did his time. He will be remembered as a sunny ray of sunshine in a dark gloomy period of several puzzling losses, one of them to Gardner-Webb.
I guess a linebacker can only take so much before he tries something different.