As promised, here is today's Rasor's Edge. It may also be found, along with the archive of Rasor's Edges, at Buchtelite.com. I just re-read this column and realized I am incredibly optimistic at times.
The football team's loss to Ball State was heartbreaking. But it is not the end of Akron's bowl chances.
With some help, the Zips can still win their first division title since entering the MAC in 1992.
First and foremost, however, Akron must win its remaining games against Ohio and Kent State. Both games are in the friendly, yet sometimes empty, confines of the Rubber Bowl. After the Ball State loss, Akron (4-5, 3-3 MAC) is one game behind first place Bowling Green (5-4, 4-2 MAC) and Miami (6-3, 4-2 MAC). But the Zips have to rely on three other outcomes.
This Saturday, Bowling Green will travel to Oxford to play Miami. Miami beat Akron earlier in the season, so the RedHawks have a tiebreaker over the Zips. That is why Bowling Green must win.
BG has been without its star quarterback Omar Jacobs the past few weeks. If he returns next week, which is likely, BG will win. If BG had Jacobs the entire season, the Falcons would be undefeated in MAC play. Miami is solid, but is nothing compared to BG when Jacobs is healthy.
Assuming BG wins, the Zips will rely on two games the next week. First, Ohio must win at home against Miami. Ohio is a good home team. The Bobcats upset then-nationally ranked Pittsburgh early in the season in Athens. Ohio's only home loss came Friday night to Toledo. The Bobcats certainly are capable of beating Miami in Athens.
Lastly, the Zips must put on their Toledo hats. The Rockets are the best team in the MAC, but they will have a tough road game against BG if Jacobs plays. Toledo and BG have the conference's best rivalry. It seems like they always play a late-season game that could determine the MAC division winner. This game could go either way.
If Akron defeats Ohio at home Saturday and the other games go favorably, the Zips will go into Thanksgiving Day with a game against Kent State to win the MAC East title. That would be the biggest game in Zips football history since their 1968 trip to the Grantland Rice Bowl against Terry Bradshaw's Louisiana Tech Bulldogs.
Let's recap: BG over Miami, Ohio over Miami, Toledo over BG and Akron must win its final two games.
Does that seem like a lot to ask? I think so, but each game's result is likely to go in Akron's favor.
And if one game doesn't? Zips fans can quickly forget about football if Akron is in the men's soccer final four, played the second week of December in North Carolina.
And if the soccer team loses early in the NCAA Tournament? Remember that Romeo Travis, Darryl Peterson and the basketball team will begin their regular season Nov. 26 against Youngstown State at Rhodes Arena. Most experts have picked Akron to finish second in the MAC behind Ohio.
The fall sports season is winding down.
It will be one to remember for Akron sports.
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