Checking in on the… MAC

Posted by rtmsf on December 21st, 2008

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

As 2008 winds down, the MAC is looking more and more like a one-bid league (again).

The league still has yet to beat a ranked team and is 0-17 against the BCS leagues (Pac-10, Big Ten, Big XII, SEC, Big East & ACC).

If there is any good news, despite their stuggles the league still has four teams in the RPI’s top 100; #20 Miami, #85 Buffalo, #88 Bowling Green, #98 Akron.

Unfortunately a deeper look into the numbers shows us there are only two teams that falls in between #100 and #200 (#103 Ohio & #147 Ball State).

The rest of the league falls at #229 or worse.

As expected the East is king in the MAC with five of their six teams in the top 103.  The only team outside the top 103 is Kent State, a pre-season favorite.  The Flash have played a weak schedule, but should still be a factor come conference play.

Strangely enough, the league is ranked #17 in the RPI and has a #7 strength of schedule ranking.  Too bad they don’t have many wins over the strong part of that schedule.

It was a pretty slow couple of weeks in the MAC, but here are some quick hits from the league:

  • Miami’s Michael Bramos is starting to heat up.  He’s won the past two MAC East player of the Week honors.  In the last two weeks, Bramos has scored 31, 26 and 28 points in three Redhawk wins.  A lot of that is coming from deep.  Bramos has hit 20 three-pointers in those three wins.  He’s quickly emerging as the best player in this league and the Redhawks are emerging as the team to beat in this league.  They’ve won five of their last six (all by double-figures) and are now 6-3 against one of the tougher schedules in the country (ranked in the RPI’s top 30).  Redhawks will be tested on the road as we wind up 2008.  They’re at WVU on Saturday and then a road games at Northwestern State ends their year before their annual rivalry game at Dayton (Jan. 6) begins 2009.
  • Ohio looked to be a contender early this year, but lately the ‘Cats have looked nothing like a team that will contend.  We knew this was going to be brutal stretch for new head coach John Groce, but the Bobcats have lost five of six with their only win coming against lowly Indiana State.  Albeit, all the games were away from the Convo, but in college basketball, to be good, you have to find a way to win on the road.  The ‘Cats have a chance to get back on track with a four-game homestand starting on Monday against Holy Cross.
  • Eastern Michigan has officially hit “tail-spin” status.  The Eagles have lost seven of eight and even lost their coach for three days when Charles Ramsey was suspended by the school for an “altercation” with an EMU student.  Ironically, the Eagles lone win the last seven games came during Ramsey’s suspension.  The Eagles were hoping for a turnaround season, but at 2-7, things don’t look all that great.

Here are some of the games to watch as we close out 2008:

  • Miami at West Virginia (12/20)
  • Houston at Toledo (12/20)
  • Western Michigan at Southern Illinois (12/22)
  • Eastern Michigan at Illinois (12/28)
  • Central Michigan at Kentucky (12/29)
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