Dave Clawson approves this Phil Steele preseason All-MAC list.
This is the part of the year where I look at stuff that happened the last two weeks and try to play catch-up. Last Friday Phil Steele announced his all-conference teams, and the MAC was one of the first conferences he knocked out of the way, because he's either nice or saved the bigger conferences for last.
He goes four teams deep, and in a surprising twist, Bowling Green had the most first-teamers with five. This pleases me and it's less surprising when you remember that BGSU is returning the most starters of anybody in the MAC (19, 10 on defense), and is ranked top-five nationally in this nebulous category.
But who had the most points using my cheatsheet method? Spoiler: Not Bowling Green.
Well, Bowling Green cannot officially sneak up on anyone. Not with a suddenly veteran team, at least. Between them and OHIO, the MAC East may not be the stronger division thanks to Akron and UMass, they've got a couple big contenders to re-claim the MAC crown in Detroit.
• I'm surprised at how low Toledo scored here, although give them a few games and you'll see some new names mentioned among the conference's best. That just shows how many starters — and good ones — they truly lost.
• I don't know what to read into any of this, but Ball State led the MAC with most second-team picks with five. Miami topped the MAC with five third-teamers and both Kent State and BG produced five men on the fourth team.
• It may be premature to call Jamill Smith the next Eric Page but he did make the team three times as a WR/KR/PR.
• Excellent to see Eastern Michigan get substantially more recognition for the strength of their team after getting marginally jobbed in the 2011 awards.
• Another cool thing: NIU linebacker Devon Butler, who recovered after that horrific drive-by shooting, might be able to return to form as Steele named him fourth team.
• Welcome to the club, UMass! Based on this, your best is better than Akron's best.