Checking in on the… MAC

Posted by rtmsf on December 6th, 2008

Greg Miller of WPSD Local 6 is the RTC correspondent for the OVC and MAC Conferences.

Reason #182 of “Why the MAC is a one-bid league”: Record vs. BCS opponents in 2008 is 0-14.

That’s right.  Thrrough November and very early December, the MAC is a robust 0-14 against teams from the BCS leagues. In fact, their overall non-conference record is a very unimpressive 33-44.  The league is having a very hard time picking up big out-of-conference wins.  They’ve had some near misses, but those don’t really count come March. A more telling stat, is the MAC is a somewhat impressive 15-7 at home in the non-conference.  That only makes their road record of 13-25 even more disturbing.  Again, this league needs to do a better job of getting home games in the non-conference.  If they can somehow make this happen, you’ll see these records improve and quite possibly see an upset of a BCS team or two.  The league did pull off some eye-opening wins the past two weeks.

  • Toledo beat UMass at home 57-56 (although, UMass is starting to look like a debacle early under Coach Kellogg)
  • Miami and Buffalo both beat Temple (Miami did it in Philly…impressive)
  • Ball State blasted UW-Milwaukee on the road
  • Akron got a nice road win at 5-1 Niagara

And once again, they had their fare share of near misses:

  • Kent lost in OT to Illinois and by six to Texas A&M
  • Buffalo lost to #2 UConn 68-64 (and had a shot to tie in the final seconds)
  • Miami nearly upset nationally-ranked Xavier on the road, losing 60-53
  • Bowling Green lost by only four at Ohio State

Here are a few more MAC Tidbits from the past two weeks:

  • Kent started 3-0 for the first time since 2003-04, then proceeded to lose four straight.  But the four losses actually showed us this Flash team is a certain contender in the MAC.  As we mentioned above, they lost in OT to Illinois and by just six to Texas A&M.  A road trip to defending national champ Kansas was harsh, losing by 27.  The most disappointing was a home loss to mid-major power St. Mary’s in a BracketBuster return game.  This was a game the Flash could have won and made a minor statement for the MAC.  Instead, it goes down as a big road win for the Gaels, 75-69.
  • Miami has gotten back on track with two nice wins at Wright State and Temple.  They almost pulled off the road trip trifecta, but lost 60-53 at nationallly ranked Xavier.  Things get a little easier for the Redhawks the next couple of weeks.  They actually get three home games at Millett Hall.  Guard Kenny Hayes has been solid averaging over 16 points per game and knocking down over 50% of this 3-pt shots.
  • Ohio’s Jerome Tillman is making an early push for MAC Player of the Year.  Tillman started the year out with three-straight double-doubles (first time in his career.)  He followed it up with a 21-point, six rebound performance in a nice home win over Tulsa.  The Bobcats are 3-1 and have won 23-straight non-conference home games.  They’ll test their luck with a three-day weekend in Louisville against Lamar, Louisville and Indiana State.  Then two days later, they renew their buckeye state rivalry with Xavier in Cincy.  Follow that up with road trips to Delaware and Marshall and there are some big tests for the ‘Cats over the next two weeks.
  • What in the world is going on with Western Michigan?  The MAC West favorite is 2-6 out of the gates and are not looking too impressive.  Losses to IUPUI and Loyola-Chicago aren’t good resume builders.  The loss at VCU is understandable.  At least they squeezed a win over Sam Houston State in between.  David Kool (4th in league at over 18.0 ppg) needs some help.  Only one other Bronco is in the league’s top 30 in scoring.  The need to find some offense.  They rank dead last in 3-pt% and second to last in FG% in the MAC.
  • Buffalo opened a lot of eyes playing #2 UConn to a 68-64 loss.  The Bulls have experience and are making that trip to western New York one that a lot of teams don’t want to make.  The Bulls also scored a win over Temple at home and a hard-fought loss to city rival Niagara.

Here are some other games we haven’t mentioned yet to keep an eye on these next two weeks:

  • Unbeaten Dayton travels to Akron Saturday
  • Purdue goes to Ball State on Dec. 9
  • EMU goes to Michigan on Dec. 13
  • WMU goes to UNLV on Dec. 14
  • MVC unbeaten Illinois State goes to CMU on Dec. 17

Again, the MAC has some chances to make a little noise and rattle some cages.  They’re just running out of time to pick up the “big” wins they’ll need to make a serious at-large push in March.

rtmsf (3954 Posts)

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