There is still another weekend of games for our various ex-MAC coaches, but I am calling today's installment the final in this season's MACtracking - Jerry Kill and Turner Gill's seasons have been over since they started, Butchie's Boys have slid far enough that they may not play again after Saturday, and even Miami has put a cork in it - on purpose - which is our lead story this week.
The U announced this week that they are placing themselves on a bowl-game ban this year in an attempt to soften the potential NCAA infraction-related sanctions they eventually receive. We have no way of knowing yet whether that will actually be effective, but I would like to think that proactivity of any kind would be rewarded in some way.
Saturday was a low scoring affair that earned them now-meaningless bowl eligibility, and I do mean low-scoring; after South Florida kicked a field goal with 13:48 left in the first half to tie the score at 3-3, zero points were scored until Miami's game-winning field goal as time expired. At least Al has some defensive talent to build with
This mean's that Friday's afternoon game at home against Boston College will be the 'Canes de facto bowl game - not like they really needed help taking down Boston College though. This young team will mostly return next year, save for the equally amazing and frustrating Jacory Harris under center, so they should be a legitimate contender in the ACC. You know, unless they get crushed by sanctions.Cincinnati has seen their season slip into disappointment in recent weeks. Losing Zac Collaros to injury has hurt the offense immensely, though perhaps so does having a backup named Munchie. The Bearcats managed to score only three points against Rutgers this past Saturday and put themselves in a situation where they could very easily win out, finish 9-3 and not be the Big East champs by virtue of that Rutgers loss.
Minnesota's season was a train wreck throughout, from a loss to New Mexico State that they tried to put some lipstick on, all the way through to this Saturday's hum-drum loss to Northwestern. This team is young, which I understand, but they should still be able to beat teams like the Aggies or South Dakota State. They have one game left against Illinois that will likely be their 10th loss, but it's honestly a miracle they won any games, since they played our RedHawks back before the offense started clicking and pulled a win against Iowa out of their collective derrieres.
Saving the worst for last, here's our buddy Turner. After flirting with the idea of winning briefly, the Jayhawks were right back to the usual this past weekend with a 61-7 loss against Texas A&M. In their second offensive drive of the game, Kansas had third-and-ten from their own 46; then Jordan Webb was sacked for a loss of 11, and the fourth down punt was snapped through the end zone for a safety. They opened the fourth quarter with a drive that started on A&M's 20 yard line and went no gain, no gain, sack, no gain. Need I say more? The defense has been equally putrid, surrendering 40+ points eight times and 60+ points four times in 11 games. I get that they're young, but I'm not sure how good it is that they are losing so few players to graduation. Good luck not getting destroyed by Mizzou, boys.
Now that I'm giving up a week early on writing about these schmoes, I shall switch to a weekly women's basketball round-up. I know you are all excited!