Week 4 MAC Football Overview: Hello, Big East

Oct 1, 2011; East Hartford, CT, USA; Western Michigan Broncos quarterback Alex Carder (14) is tackled in the second quarter against Connecticut Huskies defensive tackle Kendall Reyes (99) at Rentschler Field. Mandatory Credit: David Butler II-US PRESSWIRE

We have a set of 10 games on Saturday, all of varying challenges and interest levels. Let's get right down to them.

This could go well, given how much VPI is terrified of another loss. And I didn't notice this about BGSU this year, but in all three games so far, neither team has hit the 30-point mark. What the heck kind of MAC team is this? Something must give this week.

Our man Rovitz has been dutifully all over this matchup. Iowa's trouble of scoring points has been well-documented. CMU's is documented closer to home, so I think this one gives Iowa a bit of momentum heading into Big Ten play. I am not ready to count the Chippewas out, especially since it's just been two games, and who knows what they tinkered with during the bye week, but it'd make a great statement if they did well against the Hawkeyes to say "um, we're not the worst team in the MAC West." Possibly a bold statement indeed.

First this, first that. It's been a season of firsts for UMass. Their first FBS game. Their first FBS home game. Their first FBS points. Their first kicked points. Now we're at the point where they're playing their first MAC game. UMass could be a land mine for the RedHawks if all those injuries start to add up. Nick Harwell is confirmed to be out, Austin Brown might be out as well and if the team can't run worth a kick, maybe the Minutemen hang around with enough luck. But odds are the "first MAC win" milestone for Charley Molnar happens at a later date.

Never forget. I'm sure UConn hasn't. And no, they haven't.

It's not the same WMU team, unfortunately. It's much younger and while capable under Alex Carder's control, I think UConn is going to be surprised at how much more they can cover their receivers. But they're also going to see an improved defense.

I for one am cool with Big East teams coming to MAC stadiums more often. With the way we're expanding (eastward) and the way they're adding teams (anyone they can get), I can see a certain bond forming between the two conferences. The Big Ten is always going to be our bigger brother, but the Big East can be our cool hippie cousin who keeps visiting you, looking for a fix.

Hope I'm not speaking out of turn, but the OHIO Bobcats are going to finish the non-conference at 4-0. Then the dilemma begins: what do we really want to happen, as a conference? Do we want to see this team finish 12-0, win the MAC Championship, and break into a BCS bowl? From a MAC perspective, totally and absolutely — that's a good payout. But you know that as much as it'd help the MAC, the teams would rather beat the Bobcats for their own stupid selfish reasons, such as wanting a MAC Championship of their own. Greedy "teams."

Anyone else feel terribly sad for EMU? They didn't even suffer anything except a sharp regression in football ability, based on the first three games of the year. Now it's Michigan State's turn to see if they can drop 50 points on them, and 50 points seems about right. We're right back to the 2010 levels of self-deprecation for the Eagles, and I hate to see this happen so quickly. Maybe they can gut out a 34-16 loss or something more manageable. Right now the team just seems to be biding its time for 2013 so that it's easier to replace Alex Gillett.

Last year it was a wild 45-42 Jayhawks win. The NIU defense hadn't quite figured out how to stop people. Then that changed. Fast forward to 2012 and ... what's that? Army scored 40 points on the Huskies? Never mind then. But knowing what we've finally confirmed about Jordan Lynch's ability — it's gone from what he can do to what he's doing — we can see this one going into the 40s for one or both. Maybe. Possibly. Still waiting for Kansas to learn how to score. But maybe seeing that black and red defense in front them again will trigger muscle memory.

This one didn't go so well last year. And it, too, was following a tight win over Indiana. It's becoming clear that BSU is a better team than it was a year ago, and USF has had a decent FCS win, a close call at Nevada and a letdown against Rutgers. Going on the road yet again for the Bulls might be a daunting task because this Cardinals team is becoming a dangerous MAC West x-factor with some exciting playmakers. This game could turn Pete Lembo from a coach spinning grit into gold to a coach who's actually pretty darn good at coaching offense.

I talked about this one with my new UT social media friends and it doesn't make a whole bunch of sense for UT to have Bowling Green as their home opener then Coastal Carolina as their second one. The reasoning was: BG is always a good draw and the home opener is always a good draw, but overlapping the two hurts attendance. Sure.

We don't know a lot about Coastal Carolina other than their old coach likes dogs. We're pretty sure we know what a Chanticleer is. No, it is NOT the thing that hangs off the ceiling of your dining room.

And I am now going to look for Austin Dantin on the punt block team every. Damn. Time.

I look for an upset and laugh. This game was made the for the purposes — at least in my eyes — of loading up the photo database with pictures of Akron football players and maybe a picture of an exasperated Terry Bowden. It's a nice challenge for the Zips offensively, to see if they can score 20 or 30 points against a decent SEC team.

For giggles, I looked up Bowden's record against Tennessee. With all that success at Auburn, he had to have owned th— no? Just 0-2 in his career? And his team never even played at Neyland? OK then.

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