1. This weekend the MAC suffered four losses by 38 points or more, with Massachusetts losing 48-7, Bowling Green losing 68-17, EMU losing 73-14, and Northern Illinois losing 52-14. Is the payday worth the price in reputation?
While losses like these do hurt, especially when the conference is in a low season like this one, there are two important things to remember: (1) our schools generally need that paycheck very, very badly and (2) sometimes we pull the upsets while getting those paychecks. Sure the butt whoopin's hurt, but those two things make up for the fact even if the upsets are few and far between in down seasons.
2. How has your perception of the conference race changed since the pre-season? Which team(s) have most disappointed and which have most impressed you so far?
Well, the East has become a complete free-for-all with just Kent State and UMass probably finishing at the bottom. 1st-5th though can be anyone in my eyes, especially with BGSU's exposed weaknesses and loss of Matt Johnson. Miami may be 0-4, but they have had some strong showings in 3 of those games, making them another complete wild-card.
Meanwhile in the West, you have NIU leading the way, Toledo starting to come back to life, and everyone else falling in behind them with WMU actually looking decent on offense. It'll be interesting to see how the West plays out, since 3-5 can fall any way between Ball State, WMU, and CMU (assuming Rawls stays healthy and on the team from here out).
As for impressions, NIU hasn't missed a beat in the Post-Jordan Lynch era, and also hasn't had TommyLee Lewis, a very dynamic wide-out for the season (and now he's done too, so ouch). The Huskies have to be the most impressive, but the Broncos also have looked sharp. Throw in Miami not looking like complete dog crap as well (my darkhorse for the East).
3. If your team could replay one down from this fall and get a different result, what down and why?
For WMU, I'd have to put the Zach Terrell interception at Purdue at the top of the list. Remember, that was a close game, and the interception and ensuing return put the Boilermakers right in scoring territory and changed the tide of that game. Maybe if the interception isn't thrown, the Broncos continue to drive the field and score. Maybe they punt and force Purdue to go the length of the field. Who knows. Maybe WMU wins the game and sits 3-0 heading into a tilt with Virginia Tech. I can dream, right?