Welcome to another week of Rounding the Belt. We have Bryan M. Vance and Justin Kruse with us this week taking on questions about the upcoming football season, the World Cup, and Summer drinking games. Without further ado lets get right into it:
We kicked off the top 50 football players in the MAC this week. Anyone take you by surprise so far?
Justin: Given that we are just a week or so in, the only real surprise to me was Gehrig Dieter from BGSU. Dieter enters a great situation with the league's premier QB in Matt Johnson, but in a conference that hangs it's hat on offense, is a guy with 10 career receptions a top 50 player? Now he may end up there by seasons end, but that's a lot of hype for a transfer from SMU.
Bryan: I'd have to agree and say Dieter is the shocker. Technically the rule is that transfers and freshmen can't be on the list, but so many people voted for Dieter, and some of them had him high up on their ballots, that I made an exception. I also was a bit surprised to see Saylor Lavallii make the list. I like Lavallii, but he may not even be the starting running back up in Mt. Pleasant come MAC play.
There was some good MAC representation on the various preseason watch lists that came out this week. What caught your eye?
Justin: Got to love three kickers getting some attention for the Groza Award and they all deserved it. Jeremiah Detmer from Toledo is coming off being named the league's special teams player of the year and is poised to stay in the national award mix throughout the 2014 season.
Bryan: I was perplexed as to how not a single MAC player made it on the Chuck Bednarik or the Outland Trophy watch lists. I mean we had two first round defensive players, one who went No. 5 overall, just a few weeks back in the NFL Draft, and we're just one year removed from a MAC lineman going No. 1 overall. Yet the powers that be still watch so little football outside of the Group of 5 that they're unwilling to recognize that some of the best talents in the game actually play for schools in the MAC. Damn elitists. They can keep their awards. We have our own.
The USA met an unfortunate end in the World Cup, but that doesn't mean all was for naught. Were you impressed with DeAndre Yedlin's play?
Justin: I am no soccer guru, but I thought Yedlin brought some speed and created scoring chances on multiple occasions. It is hard not to be impressed given his youth and potential moving forward both for his club team and the national squad. I still contend we need more of our American stars playing in Europe and I would love to see the former Zip get that chance.
Bryan: Hell yes. I don't ever watch soccer. It's just not my thing (read: I'm not smart enough to figure it out), but I could tell Yedlin was good. He was so damn quick and relentless on the pitch. Clearly the soccer powers noticed too, what with him going to AS Roma and all.
What summer drinking sport (cornhole, KanJam, etc.) do you want to see the MAC adopt?
Justin: In my mind nothing beats a warm summer day on the golf course with a golf cart full of ice cold beers. Sunshine, drinking and gambling on the course; that is a summer drinking sport by the time you get to the back nine.
Bryan: What on Earth is KanJam? It sounds like something you Northeasterners would play while watching the Saux. I think seeing the MAC host Edward 40 Hands would be fun. Also, I would have been the MAC Champion at that game. First time I ever played it I downed three King Cobra 40s before anyone else had their first down. That's right, three. I also spent the rest of the evening sleeping on my kitchen table, so on second thought, maybe Corn Hole is a safer bet. Hey, college arm wrestling is on TV. Anything is possible.
That rounds up the Belt this week. Join us next week as we look into connections between the shape of the football and the Illuminati and all the rest Rounding the Belt.