Welcome to another week of Rounding the Belt, your premier MAC roundtable. This week's three esteemed Hustle Belt writers are: Bryan M. Vance, Alex Alvarado, and Carter Adler. Let's get right to the questions:
Eastern Michigan University is getting new turf. Are you sick of the turf trend? What would you do instead to make your team stand out? I wouldn't mind a Paul Revere look-a-like riding around on a horse before Massachusetts Minutemen games.
Bryan: Considering how few college teams actually have funky turf, I wouldn't actually call it a trend. Actually, there are a few teams I'd like to see do it, but maybe not the whole field, just the lines and such. I think in the MAC, it'd help make the teams standout a bit more, so why not?
As for the thing I'd like to see my team do instead, well we're the Bobcats, so why not have an actual live bobcat? Either that or have Frank Solich have play flip cup with a bunch of students before every game. That'd scream "OHIO".
Alex: It's not that big of a trend, really. We're only the second school in the FBS to do something like this. Boise started said trend in 1986, so it's not that big. But there are little silver rubber pellets instead of black ones in this, which is an extreme minor detail, but it's a detail that was taken into consideration.
But when the other team scores, those points just get added onto our side. That'd be cute.
Carter: It was probably about time for a new playing surface in Rynearson Stadium anyway, and I'm fine with teams using turf in their school colors -- grass is better, but if you're going to go with turf, no need to pretend it's alive -- but EMU's school colors are green and white. Nothing about this field says "EMU", and that's my beef with it. The only upside about it is that the Eagles will not be allowed to wear the gray uniforms anymore.
Craig Brown has transferred to Kent State. Is he a game changer for the Golden Flashes?
Bryan: HELL NO. No offense to Craig Brown, but he barely made a dent at Rutgers, and he's going to be behind three superior guards at Kent State. He's depth, nothing more.
Now, Jimmy Hall, the transfer from Hofstra, smells like a game changer. Dude was tearing it up as a true freshman before his legal issues led to him being run out of Hofstra. If he hasn't lost his edge, he'll be a damn force.
Alex: Nah, they'll probably still be playing basketball. He can't change the game THAT much.
Carter: Brown should provide a nice bit of additional depth for the Golden Flashes but not much more. Is he a game changer for them? No, I think not.
The MAC recruiting power rankings are out for this month. Who's lagging that you'd expect more from?
Bryan: It's a tie for me. Both Akron and Ohio. Here you have two successful coaches with national name recognition. Guys with connections ALL over. Yet both have been notoriously slow at getting recruits as MAC coaches, and in my opinion aren't getting the talent level they should be. Maybe it's an age thing (a different approach) but it's frustrating.
Alex: Our neighbors at Bull Run think my field is terrible, but at least EMU doesn't have only one commit to show for. Oh well. Sucks to suck. Go get 'em, Akron!
Carter: It's one thing to keep an eye on who a team is recruiting, but when we start ranking the teams' recruiting performances -- and then analyzing the rankings -- more than seven months before any of these kids (thanks to snow days some of them may still be finishing their junior years of high school) will be able to sign an LOI. Two-thirds of the conference have just a handful verbal commitments. With that small a sample, I think it's still much too early to divine anything about what this means for the conference race in 2017, which is, after all, when these recruits will really start making an impact.
You go back in time to kill baby Hitler, upon your success, do you believe that a dynamic timeline springs forth, possibly resulting in you disappearing from the face of the earth like in Back to the Future, or a fixed timeline, where the baby you killed just gets replaced by another baby, because changing the past is futile?
Bryan: I believe in reincarnation, so I think he'd just pop up somewhere else. We see this all the time. One evil is killed, another springs up elsewhere.
If I could go back in time, I wouldn't bother changing the past, I'd just do go on an excellent adventure with my pall and abduct Napoleon, hang out with Billy the Kid, and Genghis Khan, and ace my history assignment
Alex: Wait a minute, who's killing babies and not inviting me over for dinner? Ya'll suck.
But if I could go back in time, I'd go back to yesterday when I was waiting tables at work and tell the two ignorant high school kids that left me a combined 70-cent tip (one left 69 cents, the other just a penny) that there's a law against tipping under 15% without notifying one of our managers of the crappy service (which they didn't receive because I don't suck at my job). Which is just a big fat lie, but those kids are assholes and I have bills to pay.
Carter: I think "Dead Baby Hitler" would be a good name for a band. While we're on the subject, check out this photo of baby Hitler.
Well that's quite the finish to this week. Join us next week as we look into whether players really do play better commando, and all the rest as we go Rounding the Belt.