With full-fledged conference play beginning for both the MAC and the B1G this week, Jesse Collins from Off Tackle Empire and I took a bit longer deciding on who we'd promote/relegate this week. As always, you can find out who we promoted by checking out OTE. For now, let's see which B1G castaway is getting their Tom Hanks on in the island of MACtion.
Bryan: Holy hell, how did we survive long enough to make it to conference play? I was certain both the MAC and B1G were going to lose their football playing privileges after Week 3, but here we are, heading into week five, and despite an onslaught of stinkers on both conference's non-conference landscape, we're now to the point where our bad teams get to beat up on our worse teams and make the conference look somewhat, sort of, kind of good. Maybe.
With that in mind, who are ya' sending down to the MAC this week?
Jesse: This might be the highlight of my week. Like, I would be lying if I wasn't really excited to choose a team to relegate this week's team. Many people know them as the winningnest team in all of college football. Other's know them as Dave Brandon's next sales pitch. We all know them as the Michigan Wolverines. I repeat WE'RE SENDING THE MICHIGAN WOLVERINES TO THE MAC! How do you like that?
Bryan: Dammit, Jesse, how many Michigans do you think we want down here? We've already got three, and now you give us the one that simply goes by Michigan! I suppose I'll pipe down and let you explain, but only if I get to call them the (Not So Eastern) Michigan Wolverines.
Jesse: I'm fine with it, but we'll have to write it as NSEUM, and everything about this is wonderful. But seriously, last week was actually the first time the Big Ten didn't look like one spectacular tire fire. Our power teams beat up on terrible teams, we went 12-1 as a whole, and we beat four P5 teams so that people would stop laughing for a second. Heck, Indiana beat Missouri. Missouri sposed to be Ess-eee-seeeeee...
That leaves us with the crater that is currently the Michigan Wolverines, who managed a spectacular statistic of actually outgaining their opponent and getting blown out at the same time. We had a serious discussion at OTE this week about whether or not Michigan deserves to be behind Northwestern and Purdue, which no, they don't, but this is the state of that program. Again, they got beat by Utah and this is what the world comes to. I can't tell you how funny this all is to me. I guess I'm still miffed they took half our National Championship in 97.
Bryan: Some wounds are just too deep to forget. Seriously, I'm impressed with how spectacularly Michigan has failed this year. It reminds me of 12 of the 13 MAC football teams: taking a dump on the gridiron one botched play call at a time. So if we get the Brady Hoke's...well, before I tell you where they fit in in the MAC, give me your thoughts on that. Are they the best MAC Michigan school? Or does EMU somehow still manage to win that trophy, and confuse the living hell out of MAC fans once again?
Jesse: Here's how I see things right now for Michigan. They're actually a very athletic team with talent at every single position. They just have zero clue how to use any of it. I checked CFBStats this afternoon, and Michigan - statistically - has the eighth stingiest defense in the nation right now. Their offense is around 80 or so. That is not a team that should be getting blown out by anyone, and yet here we are.
Now, we could blame turnovers - definitely an issue - and I am sure the good folks at MGoBlog would tell you that the undefined crater of a run game isn't helping, but that's just a symptom of a bigger issue that is a clown of a coach who doesn't seem to have coherent plans from week to week. That in mind, I still think this is a team that could do damage in the MAC. NIU looks like a legit team athletically, but the Wolverines might just be able to use size and speed to win games down there. I could be wrong, but Michigan seems to be a team that would do what it's done historically - show off how awesome it is by using superior athletes to beat lesser teams while getting beat by everyone else who can remotely hold a candle to them in that same department.
tl;dr? Michigan should still be able to be Michigan in the MAC.
Bryan: I get your point, and I do think NSEUM would do well in the MAC. EMU may as well field a competitive dance team right now, because the Eagles can't play football. WMU has looked good, against terrible competition, and the Broncos still lost to Purdue. CMU is doing a very big thing and letting someone who pled guilty to some felony charges back on the team this week, but even he is a NSEUM castaway.
I think the Wolverines are easily the best MAC Michigan team. Ball State is an interesting team, but not interesting enough to win more than 1 out of 10 times against NSEUM (Yes, I'm going to keep using this....forever.) NIU and Toledo may be able to win against the Wolverines, but I'd still take the Brady Hoke's most of the time. So, I'd say the West is theirs.
Could they beat the East's best? Well, the best team from the East (taking in last year's finish) apparently forgot that defense is a critical part of football. Seriously, Wisconsin just scored on BGSU AGAIN, and the game has been over for a handful of days now. Basically, I think NSEUM get to keep puffing their chests about being winners by winning the MAC. Though, the more I watch football this year, I'm not sure that crown is one to be proud of wearing.
Jesse: Well, look at it this way. The MAC can now get to some full-time MACTION and all will start to become better in the world. Oh, and have fun with a cocky, winning Michigan. That's SUPER fun.
Now, go find out who we promoted by heading over to OTE.