Here are my responses to this week's MAC Blogger Roundtable...
1. Now that we have reached November, what do you really think of this no-Saturday stuff? Is it a necessary evil, an unnecessary evil, or a non-issue? Do you think that the difficulty for home fans outweighs the long-term benefit of being on ESPN?
Because you must balance the fans' interest and the conference's desire for exposure, I think they should only play mid-week when there is a promise to be on ESPN or ESPN2. Being on ESPNU doesn't do it for me. It diminishes the quality of MAC football to say we're willing to play Tuesday morning during breakfast so a handful of football fanatics get to watch live football in an unusual timeslot.
2. As we hit the home stretch, who are your early leaders for MAC Offensive and Defensive players of the year? Coach of the Year?
For offense, you're looking at a three-way race. It depends on 1) if you're willing to vote for a freshman (Temple running back Bernard Pierce leads the league in rushing by almost 40 yards) and 2) whether you can pick between either of Bowling Green's studs: receiver Freddie Barnes or quarterback Tyler Sheehan. I'll go with Barnes. On defense, I could narrow the list to five, but not much further. As for coaches, I'm a big Al Golden fan.
3. Bernard Pierce is making a huge impact as a freshmen at Temple. What freshmen are making an impact or showing promise at your program?
Brian Wagner is a reason to watch Akron play football. Maybe the only reason. The linebacker is second in the MAC in tackles, eighth in fumbles forced, third in fumbles recovered, ninth in interceptions, and he has scored a touchdown. You're looking at a Freshman All-American. J.D. Brookhart knew he had a special player when he nominated Wagner for Preseason All-MAC before Wagner played a single snap.
4. Think back on your time as a fan.....what is the single most exciting or thrilling moment you recall witnessing for your team.....I'm thinking in person, but certainly not a requirement.
This is easy. I was in the front row in Detroit at Ford Field on Dec. 1, 2005. Luke Getsy found Domenik Hixon on a deep post route with under a minute to play. The touchdown gave the Zips their first MAC Championship. We were going absolutely berserk, hugging complete strangers. That was a great time to be a Zips football fan. That's the point when I decided I would never sit in the press box during a football game if I can help it. You can't enjoy a moment like that without high-fives, clapping, shouting, chest-bumping, etc.
5. Rank 'em if you got 'em.
1) CMU 2) Temple 3) NIU 4) Kent State 5) BG 6) WMU 7) Toledo 8 ) Ohio 9) Buffalo 10) Miami 11) Akron 12) Ball State 13) EMU