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Belt Loops: The MAC isn't a secret anymore

Belt Loops, our link post, is back!

Assorted Mid-American Conference news from around the internet.

φ #MACtion isn't a secret anymore — Though we love the MAC, it's fair to admit it's been a well kept secret to most around the nation. That's started to change in past seasons, especially with the explosion of week night #MACtion. After a breakout season in 2012 that saw the Northern Illinois Huskies crash the BCS Ball, 2013 looks like it might be the season the MAC finally bursts through into national prominence. Get ready 'Merica.

φ UMass turns to Clam Bake in recruiting wars — Recruiting is hard work, and UMass head coach Charley Molnar is well aware. Looking to stand out with potential recruits, Molnar decided to go "New England" on them by holding the first annual UMass Clam Bake. It appears to have worked as the Minutemen landed six verbals after the event.

φ UMass football is very, very young — We all know that UMass is new to the MAC and FBS, but it turns out the vast majority of its team is new to college as well. The Minutemen are the third youngest team in the FBS. All of this adds up to one thing: UMass could progress much quicker than expected.

φ P.J. Fleck has an interesting conversation with Grantland's Holly Anderson — P.J. Fleck is young. P.J. Fleck is talented. P.J. Fleck is also kind of strange, like make up your own language you call "Bronconese" strange. He's moved up the coaching ranks quickly, made some enemies, and caught a lot of attention, but he's also determined on paving his own path. Seems to be working so far.

φ College football coaches are getting younger, and the MAC is leading the way — Long noted for its ability to produce phenomenal young coaching talent, the MAC has often been a conference of coaching trends. But now a new trend in college football is appearing: Very young coaches. The MAC coaching ranks are the youngest in the FBS, with eight of the conference's coaches 45 or younger, and two under 35. Somehow, this is being tied to back to Ohio State, though in reality it's a product of conferences like the B1G poaching the MAC coaching ranks.

φ Khalil Mack 2014 NFL Draft scouting report — Mocking The Draft's Dan Kadar (a MAC alumnus himself) takes a look at Buffalo defensive stud Khalil Mack. Despite Mack's impressive statistics, and aggressive play on the field, it appears he will have to prove his draft worthiness all season, and may even need an impressive performance in the Senior Bowl to move out of the middle rounds. Kadar notes, not unlike one Eric Fisher a year ago.

Send any news tips or neat tweets to @HustleBelt or FanShot them. You're also welcome to write a FanPost if you have a cool opinion on something that affects the MAC.