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Debating The MAC Power Rankings

Fitz and I talk about our ballots. We probably shouldn't have, but we think we're funny.

Michael Shroyer

Once all of the games were over with on Saturday, Alex and 'Brown and Gold' were talking and texting a lot about the #MACtion and whatnot. Weird things were said. Burring the evidence would be common sense, but that's just now how we roll. So we're publishing this conversation because why the heck not?

*Alex and Fitz find themselves debating team rankings in our respective power rankings*

Brandon: I think if we're really doing "Who's most powerful right now", you have to have Western Michigan up there. They look so solid in every facet of the game. They're just a missed kick (one way or another) away from being undefeated in the MAC, and have faced a gauntlet (look at Ball State now). Toledo looking bad against the pass now, and the WMU/Toledo game was in a storm.

Alex: Yes, but "close" only counts in horseshoes and hand grenades. Near-wins are still losses, but I still don't disagree with you throwing Western Michigan up there. I've got Toledo as my number one still, but I can't really argue against it. The Broncos are a GOOD team.

Brandon: I guess my point is that this is a WMU team that has been playing mostly freshman. These kids are growing to a point that if you were to put both teams together on a neutral field, I think the Broncos win now with the added experience. But with the discussion about the top, we haven't mentioned Northern Illinois. Would you even consider them "elite"?

(/shows self out)

Alex: I don't consider anybody elite. I don't snort that candy sugar. NIU is definitely not as good as they were before, and that's just the circle of life (right, Michigan fans?). But it's Carey's second year, he's trying to manage an offense that doesn't have a do-it-all, Heisman finalist quarterback. He's literally had to groom these quarterbacks to keep up with the pace. And for him to be able to do that and get to six wins, first in the MAC to be bowl-eligible, it's okay to put them high.

Brandon: Heh, Michigan. But is NIU just that good or is it a product of a weak schedule? Let's look at it:

-Presbyterian: Right......
-Northwestern: Solid win on the road. even if they aren't the greatest right now.
-UNLV: 2-6, have to win out over 5 games (go to Hawaii) to get bowl eligible
-Arkansas: Yep
-Kent State: 1-win
-Central Michigan: Loss at home, to a decent team on a comparable level
-Miami: 2-wins, both over 2 win or less teams.
-Eastern Michigan: Let's not go there.

I mean, most teams should be able to get to 6 wins if they're decent enough. I don't think today's WMU or Toledo have any fewer wins there.

Alex: On the same token, a good team is expected to win those games. They got to six wins before anybody else in this conference, which carries some merritt with my voting, but I still slid them down from two to three and had your Broncos move up to two. But you have them as the number one team in the MAC. But that's not very controversial in all honesty. Where you put Ball State in your rankings is pretty interesting though.

Brandon: 3rd? Oh yeah. Jack Milas is the next Keith Wenning. That team is clicking once again, and I'm so overly glad that WMU has already beaten the Cardinals, because I'd be hard pressed to find a team that can beat them the way they are playing now. In fact, I'd be so bold to say Lembo gets that team to win out, finish 7-5 (6-2), and a 3rd place finish in the West. Call me crazy, but it's entirely possible.

Alex: See, I'm just not that sold on them right now. Milas has done great against three good teams: Western Michigan, Central Michigan and Akron. I wasn't very up on Akron for a while either, but everybody else was so I'll just say they were good for the given context. I also have a problem with saying this kid is the difference between a winning season and a losing season, but it's really only been three games with him under center.

Brandon: Fair enough. That's a solid point (/looks at Ozzie Mann). We'll really know more though next Wednesday when Milas takes on NIU in the Battle for the Corn Stalk in Muncie. Should he win there against your bowl eligible Huskies, I think we'll see who is the #3 team in the MAC. But let's try to get out East, which has really just become a muddled mess. We both have Bowling Green in the 4-5 slots, and UMass at 7th. Are there really 4 West teams better than the Falcons? Do we really think UMass is the middle team of the conference? What is this world?

Alex: And for me, I have the Falcons as my top-ranked team in the East. I do think that all four of my West teams are better than Bowling Green. Let's just expose our ballots. I don't care about going public, you?

Brandon: I'm not playing into the Dave Chappelle "White People Voting" stereotype.

Alex Brandon
1 Toledo WMU
2 WMU Toledo
3 NIU Ball State
4 CMU BGSU
5 BGSU Akron
6 Ball St NIU
7 UMass UMass
8 Akron CMU
9 Ohio Miami
10 EMU Ohio
11 Buffalo EMU
12 MIami Buffalo
13 Kent St Kent St

Alex: Akron fifth? Right now, they're a team that very may well be without Pohl for another couple of weeks. Without Pohl, they've got issues. You don't win by getting shut out in the second half against Ball State. That's when all the important shit happens, and you blow it. The Pitt win means so little if you're in danger not winning the MAC East. But I'm not voting on what these teams will be, I try to look at who they are today. Now sure, I have Ohio below Akron, but I'm less sold on the ‘Cats than I am less sold on the Zips, ya know?

Ball State's loss to Indiana State matters in my voting, too.

Brandon: Ohio hasn't been able to find their rhythm. They've had to shuffle QBs and RBs all year. I think they're a good team if you have them in sync offensively, but right now that's impossible. Akron, I think, is still a solid team, although what happened in Muncie is just insane. Keep in mind that Ball State also shredded the same WMU defense that held BG and Toledo to a combined 27 points in regulation (hence why I have them so high), but Akron seemed to find some groove with backup Woodson in the game, they just didn't sustain it.

Alex: Right, which, when they don't sustain it, they're not as good as Kyle Pohl on a bad day, either. A few glimpses of doing something good doesn't do enough for me. The consistency really matters, and when things aren't working with him, they lose very winnable football games, hurting their chances to go to Ford Field.

Brandon: But let's go back to UMass. Seriously, the 7th place team? Mark Whipple has this offense firing on all cylinders, and they had Toledo on the ropes early on before falling apart late. Is this team really on a collision course for a possible shot at the MAC East?

Alex: I don't like using the "almost won" as something good, but most teams don't even get that close in some games.

Brandon: I guess in comparison it's OK. But with Central/Eastern coming up, who do you think wins the Michigan MAC Trophy? Another retention year?

Alex:
EAST-ERN EA-GLES, HATS OFF TO YOU!
FIGHT, FIGHT, FIGHT, FOR OLE E-M-U!
LOOK TO THE SKY, THE HURON WAR CRY
THE BRAVEST WE'LL DEFY!

RAHRAHRAH!

HOLD THAT LINE FOR OLD GREEN & WHITE
LOY-AL SONS COME SHOW YOUR MIGHT
AND FIGHT! FIGHT! FOR OLE E-M-U
AND VIC-TO-RY!

But seriously, it's Halloween weekend. Scarier things have happened.

Brandon: Halloween weekend is just one leg my friend. It just sucks that a retention goes back to CMU.

Alex: Screw those guys. But I don't know. We can keep saying how good or bad these teams are, but once these rivals hit the turf, no matter its color, nothing matters. These Michigan MAC games get intense. Some better than others, but these are still very compelling games that nobody is ever interested in seeing. That's a shame. Like, as a whole, not just because EMU won it outright that year, but 2011 was so damn exciting.

/grins

Brandon: You bastard. THAT WAS OUR YEAR. Then we blew it in 2012. Cubit was fired hours after EMU won and retained on our home turf. I remember almost asking if he thought he was gone, but you could see it in his face. I've never seen a WMU Michigan MAC Trophy in football. Just the insane amounts we've won it in basketball, which I almost got to take home this past year.

Alex: *clicks Finder*
*search: storm_trooper_pelvic_thrust.gif*
*open*