Well, we’ve reached the end of another football season. Both teams finished at 6-6 and both teams are waiting to see if they make a bowl game. One of those teams could have gotten a better insurance that they got to a bowl game. So what did we learned?
The running game can be a killer
In a game that Eastern Michigan needed to win and one that they should have had a decent run game, they only ran for 123 total yards. On the flip side, in a game they needed to shut down Kent State’s run game, the Golden Flashes were able to run for 253 yards. In the games that Eastern Michigan lost, both the lack of the running game and the almost inability to stop the running game killed them.
Kent State is not that bad
At a point when Eastern Michigan seemed hot as they’d been throughout the conference season, Kent State was able to hold them to just 26 points. The Flashes showed a lot of grit in finishing out the game, especially on the road, showing their winning streak coming into the game was no fluke. Even with their struggles covering the pass, they still found other ways to stop the Eagles en route to the win.
Special teams are important
Kent State returned the opening kickoff of the second half for 96 yards and that proved to be the decided factor in the game. Granted, Eastern Michigan tightened up and only allowed three points for the rest of the game. The lead created proved insurmountable.
The MAC needs more than bowl eligibility
With eight teams claiming bowl eligibility but only four primary tie-ins (five if the Quick Lane Bowl decides to go with a MAC team), I expect three of the four 6-6 teams will miss the postseason. Given that Kent State ended on a high note with a three game winning streak, I suspect they will end up bowling over the other three.
This means the MAC will have to do a lot of cheering on Saturday afternoon against a lot of 5-6 teams or 6-5 teams. Thankfully, in 2020, a handful of new primary bowls join the regular roster, which will help to alleviate the worries teams face in 2019.
Will coach poaching continue?
Given that Chris Creighton has taken a team that hadn’t had a winning season in 20 years to bowl games in at least two of four seasons, will there be a higher position waiting for him somewhere else? I’m not sure his record in the last four years will convince someone to hire him as a head coach for a Power Five school but it may be enough for one of those teams to look at him as a coordinator. I hope that doesn’t happen, but I will have to keep it in the back of my mind.