Thursday, December 4, 2008

Around the MAC

Several news stories have popped up concerning the Mid-American Conference over the past few days, so I figured I would go over them in a nutshell:

- Ball State and Boise State will not meet in a bowl game. That's sad for those who were hoping for a battle of the non-BCS unbeatens, but the likelihood of it happening was just too small. There was no way the Cardinals were going to take their undefeated season all the way across the country to play a road game in a hostile environment, which they would have had to do if the game would go to the Humanitarian Bowl, located at Boise State. And I doubt Boise State would have done the same even at the Motor City Bowl, a neutral site but much closer to BSU. It just wasn't meant to be... which means BSU will likely go to the MCB.

- Toledo hires Oklahoma State defensive coordinator Tim Beckman to coach the team in place of "Toledo Tom" Amstutz. At first sight, this is a good move for the team, even though it's Beckman's first head coaching gig. The Rockets, known for their offensive firepower during the Amstutz era, are weak on defense and need a good defensive mind to lead them back to the top. And Oklahoma State looks good on his resume.

- Cincinnati coach Brian Kelly claims he is happy to be coaching the Bearcats despite being contacted by other teams. Wow, that sounds familiar, doesn't it?

- You heard it here first: Turner Gill will not be coaching Buffalo next season, whether he leaves after the MAC title or the bowl game. He is such an attractive option for BCS teams with coaching openings, which we know will come within the next month or two.

- You heard it here first: Brady Hoke will coach Ball State next year. Like Gill, he's a popular commodity since he turned the Cardinals from MAC bottom-feeders into BCS contenders, but I think it's going to take a really good offer for him to leave his alma mater.

- Also, the all-MAC teams were announced. Looks good, but I have a question: Why is WMU's Tim Hiller, statistically the best MAC quarterback, on the THIRD-team offense? I understand Ball State's Nate Davis deserves to be on the first-team. And no disrespect to Dan LeFevour (on the second team), it's moreso because of his injuries throughout the year, but Hiller did have a better year than him. And Western had a good year, too.

- There's finally a new poll. Pretty basic. Fire away.

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