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Last Post at Mid-America Nattering

Well, guys, this is it. I've decided that this will be the final post at Mid-America Nattering. First off, I've lost the drive to blog (which could probably just be chalked up to a boring offseason). But more importantly, I've just been so darn busy for the longest time and I can't post anything remotely insightful. I mean, check out the post underneath this one; it's not even really a post, it's just something to throw up there because I haven't typed up anything in two weeks. Actually, this is like the third time I've been on the Internet within the last two and a half weeks. Normally, I'll log on two or three times a day.

So, so long, my 5 loyal readers :( . However, you probably haven't seen the last of me. Probably like Brett Favre, I'll get that itch and start up something in the summertime. But, it won't be here, unfortunately enough. I'll always be open to the possibility of guest blogging for somebody else though and if you think I could do that, just drop me a line at


Off-Topic: Favorite Sports?

Just so you guys know, posting is going to be very infrequent until summer rolls around. Last year, I struggled keeping up with two blogs and it wasn't even an easy thing to do during the offseason.

Anyway, I made this post over at SSO and though I'd just re-post it here:

This would be my list here:

1. College Football-Duh. Nothing beats the passion, excitement, upsets, pageantry, etc. that college football presents. Nothing even comes close. Ah, just thinking of college football brings me to crisp, autumn, 65 degree October Saturday afternoons watching college kids leave every thing out on the field for their school.

2. MLB-Really looking forward to the Tigers this year. Although they have to figure out that bullpen issue. And, no, I'm not a bandwagon fan of Detroit. I suffered through the indignity of 2003. It wasn't pretty. Okay, so I know the players are the most overpaid prima donnas on the entire planet, but I like watching the sport in general.

3. NHL-It's basically a tie between the MLB and NHL. Wow, the NHL races have been something to watch this year, haven't they? I love the fights, checking, physical play, and fancy goals that you see in hockey. It is a great sport and it's really a shame that it's in the state it is right now. Here's an idea for Gary Bettman: GET OFF OF VERSUS.

4. College Basketball-I watch the regular season with a lot of apathy. It's almost too much to take in at times. I suppose it is comparable to watching too much Scrubs; it's okay in moderation :) . Nah, I only bring that up because I recorded all 8 broadcasted Scrubs episodes on my DVR and it's on TV four hours a day (2 on Comedy Central, 1 on WGN, and 1 on The WB). I got through three episodes. Scrubs is pretty funny if you like that dry, ironic humor that you might find in Office Space (my favorite movie). Okay, now I know I'm rambling, back to college basketball. The tournament is a lot of fun to watch anyway.

5. College Lacrosse-Lacrosse is a fun sport to watch. It's more fun to play and it would be even more fun to watch if you didn't get Johns Hopkins, Duke, North Carolina, Virginia, or Syracuse playing each other every week. At least they'll be showing Delaware and Towson on ESPNU this Saturday. Part of the problem is a lack of parity (it's like women's college basketball). The talent is so concentrated because there isn't a large pool of players to choose from. Lacrosse is growing rapidly throughout the U.S. and you can see that on the west coast and especially in Ohio and some other surrounding Rust Belt areas.

6. NFL-Yeah, I would rather watch a college lacrosse game than the Superbowl. The NFL is kind of boring but then again, there's not a whole lot on TV on Sundays. I like wallowing in self-pity about my pathetic Detroit Lions, but the sport lacks the enthusiasm of college ball and I'm going to go postal if ESPN keeps talking about absolutely irrelevant NFL material. Oh, well Chad Johnson likes boxers instead of briefs, just so you know. And later on NFL Total Access on ESPN (the new name for Sportscenter), we'll take you through a daily routine of Peyton Manning because that's what the folks care about. ESPN is just extremely paranoid of losing viewers to the NFL Network that they obsess about the sport like TMZ obsesses over celebrities. It just gets tiring. But besides all of that, yeah, the NFL is alright.

7. College Baseball-I'll watch a game if it's on. Rice was playing Texas last night and some of those errors were downright painful to watch. Yikes. But the Big 10 Network will be airing some games so that's kind of cool. I usually try to watch the College World Series whenever I can. And no, I don't watch because of Erin Andrews. I think I've been over that previously on this site.

8. NBA-Honestly, I don't see how anybody can be a diehard NBA fan. They play no defense and when the day is done, the losing team is defeated by about 25 points making you wonder what the point of sitting through the entire game was. From time to time, I'll check out what the Pistons are doing and I have to say the race in the West is pretty intriguing, but I haven't sat through an entire NBA game since the 2005 NBA Finals (Pistons/Spurs).

9. Arena Football-I list the AFL here because it's almost an entirely different brand of football. Like the NBA or college baseball, if there's nothing else on, I'll watch a few minutes and switch over to the news. I guess it's kind of like American Dad. You decide to watch because you think Seth McFarlane is the epitome of comedic genius. Then, at the end of the show, you forget that he doesn't even try with that series. You hope you'll one day become a fan, but you never do :D .

10. Uhhhhh.......College hockey? I'm out of sports. Not much of a bowling, NASCAR, boxing, tennis, or golf fan over here.


Indiana Replaces Kentucky for New Akron Stadium Opener


Dropping the home and home agreement with Kentucky, thus changing the opponent for the first game at Infocision Stadium to Indiana highlights the announcement of the 2008 University of Akron football schedule.

Akron Athletic Director Mac Rhoades says the reason for the schedule shake-up is the fact that many non-conference games were scheduled before he arrived at the Hilltop, plus, the addition of Temple as a football-only member to the Mid-American Conference.

"Due to these circumstances, the University of Akron will not play the University of Kentucky in the 2008 season, nor will the Wildcats come to Akron in 2009 to open the University's new Infocision Stadium," said UA Athletic Director Mac Rhoades.

Since the deal with Kentucky is off, the Zips will open the 2008 season in Madison, Wisconsin to take on the Badgers of Wisconsin.

In addition to adding Indiana as the team to open up Infocision, the date for the 2009 home opener has been pushed back a week to September 19, 2009.

2008 Schedule

After opening up with Wisconsin, the Zips will play another BCS game against Syracuse before the first, and last, home opener at the Rubber Bowl against Ball State. Then, it's back on the road again to play Army in West Point before coming back to the Rubber Bowl to take on Cincinnati of the Big East.

In a strange move that I have never seen before, the Zips will have back-to-back bye weeks on October 25 and November 1 -- that is a LONG time to not play during the regular season.

Once again, the Zips will only have five home games in 2008 and seven on the road. Lets hope that changes when we are in the new stadium.


All and all, the Zips have a decent schedule with non-conference games against Wisconsin, Syracuse, Army and Cincinnati, with the Bearcats coming to the Bowl.

As for television, the Zips are scheduled to play on either ESPN2 or ESPN U three times, against Army, Toledo and Buffalo.

The last game at the Rubber Bowl will be Thursday, November 13, against Buffalo.

The only thing I do not like about the schedule, beside the usual five home games, is the back-to-back bye weeks in late October and Early November.

2008 University of Akron Football Schedule

University of Akron statement concerning changes in the 2008 and 2009 football schedules

Football Schedule News Release

'...WE COULDN'T MAKE ANY SHOTS...' Dambrot on KSU loss

Keith Dambrot says his Akron Zips obviously struggled in the 61-58 season-finale loss against Kent State before a packed house at the JAR.

"We struggled," said Dambrot. "We hung around defensively, and with our team having 37 bad minutes against their three bad minutes, that's when it became a game.

Now, the Zips are focused on the Mid-American Conference Tournament. With a first-round bye, the Zips will take on the winner of the Northern Illinois-Central Michigan game on Thursday at 2:30 p.m.

"I think Central Michigan has the ability and the talent to make it far in this tournament," said Dambrot. "Whether they can win four in a row is a different story, though. Miami has enough to win four in a fow as well I think, but the different is who gets hot at the right time. Anyone can win four games if they are hot."

Coach Dambrot's News Conference

MAC Tournament Brackets


It's Been A While!

I know I said earlier on Saturday Sound Offs that politics is the last thing I want to talk about on a sports blog, but as long as you poke fun at both sides, I'm cool. SMQ has a post on it that you should check out.

Even so, I know I should keep up more often with this blog and that I've gotten a little lazy when it comes to blogging in general. Hopefully I'll be able to get some more content up here pretty soon. I don't talk much about basketball, but I might get to it here pretty soon. Once summer comes around, maybe Mid-America Nattering will get moving.


Sorry, MAC Fans

I made this post over at SSO, and figured I'd just post it over here at Mid-America Nattering:

Every single inch of It's-Not-That-Difficult-Just-Sit-At-Your-Computer-And-Type-For-30-Minutes has left me. Check back in a little while and hopefully I'll get some meaningful stuff written. Until then......I dunno, I've been watching hockey and Family Guy to get by the offseason. God, last night's episode with James Woods sucked. I've learned not to get disappointed with Family Guy anymore......I mean, Seth McFarlane is just losing it.

Well, I guess this could generate some discussion. What do you guys do during the offseason to keep yourselves busy? I try not to think about college football a whole lot during this time of year; I just supress it. Is that healthy, you think? Yikes


Thoughts and Prayers

In wake of the recent tragedy at Northern Illinois, I just wanted to ask you guys to keep the students and university in your thoughts and prayers. Such a shame.


MAC Linkin': 2/08

Gregg Brandon gets a contract extension. Falcon nation is estatic. I can't believe he's still coaching there. Not a big fan of Brandon over here....

Western Michigan finalizes a deal to play Illinois at Ford Field next year. Hopefully, the run defense will perform better than it did last year or that game might get kinda ugly.

Ohio's athletic director, Kirby Hocutt, announced that he'll be taking the same position at Miami (the one in Florida). We wish him well.

Temple was named #1 in recruiting for (in the MAC, folks). Golden is quietly upgrading the talent base there. Their official Web site lists the signees.

Turner Gill's class is in and he's trying to get the play of his defense improved. Most of his recruits were on that side of the ball.


Jones, Genyk, Cubit Talk Recruiting

I'll get a recruiting recap by tomorrow, but the three Michigan head coaches sounded off on their recruiting classes. The following sound bites come from the Huge Show which broadcasts daily from 3 to 6 in Michigan.

Jones Interview

Cubit Interview

Genyk Interview


MAC Bracket Busters

Just a quick update on the Bracket Buster games to be played on ESPN this February. Ohio will face George Mason, Kent State will take on St. Mary's, Miami will face Valpo, and Akron will play Virginia Commonwealth.

Even though we don't talk much MAC basketball over here, one thing is for certain: These are some great games. All of these teams are cruising and the MAC can only hope for two bids this year (which I personally feel they should).

Joe Lunardi the other day had Ohio listed as his "last team in" for the NCAA tournament. Hopefully, the conference will be able to rebound from the last few years of disappointing postseason performances.

If I'm projecting this stuff right now, I predict Ohio gets a 12 seed while Kent State winds up with a 10. How does that sound, guys? One thing is for certain though, whichever MAC teams can win in these Bracket Busters, it will certainly go a long way in determining their NCAA tournament fate. Kent State has to beat St. Mary's to get in as an at-large, in my opinion. They all do, but the Golden Flashes need a big road win (against a ranked team no less).


Zips in Super Bowl


Akron football fans may not have had a personal interest in the MAC Championship game this year, but the same cannot be said about this Sunday's Super Bowl between the Patriots and the New York football Giants.

Two players who once roamed the sidelines at the Rubber Bowl will be roaming the pastures of the retractable roof (and retractable field) University of Phoenix Stadium .

Domenik Hixon, who caught the last-second desperation pass of Luke Getsy to win the 2005 MAC Championship, and Chase Blackburn, the former Zips defensive captain, traded in their blue and gold for the red, white and gray of the New York Giants, and will be taking on what some consider to be the best NFL team ever, the New England Patriots, in Super Bowl XLII.

Blackburn and Hixon are not the first Zips to appear in a Super Bowl. Dwight Smith picked off two passes, one for a touchdown, for the Tampa Bay Buccaneers.


HAVING TWO ZIPS IN SUPER BOWL HUGE FOR UA...editorial in The Buchtelite



Hixon was on the other end of the collision that put Buffalo's Kevin Everett in the back of an ambulance. reports that Everett wasn't the only one who needed to recover from that fateful play.


Does the MAC and Lacrosse Mix?

So I'm following a discussion about the MAC on MACbbs. It's a great message board by the way and I've tried to sign up, but my IP address has apparently been banned. So I guess I have to contact an administrator....

But anyway, the poster brings up lacrosse and hockey, two sports that the MAC doesn't support. You would think Buffalo would have a big interest in both of the sports considering how popular lacrosse is in the northeast and it's a hockey-mad city that has produced a number of the top hockey athletes.

The hockey idea doesn't convince me. I realize that with the Big 10 Network needing some sort of live programming that creating Big 10 hockey seems like a smart idea. Right? This has a possibility of happening. If you think about it, Ohio State, Wisconsin, Minnesota, Michigan, Michigan State, plus Notre Dame would make a good hockey conference. Of course, this is only six teams so they might want to convince an Iowa or a Purdue to maybe start up hockey. But, this would leave some of the GLIAC schools and Bowling Green, Western Michigan, and Miami without a conference. So, that's where the MAC could come in. They would have a problem with the expenses of hockey though. I mean, could you see a school like Central Michigan, Kent State, or Ohio funding hockey programs? Buffalo seems like an obvious candidate, but you would have too much difficulty trying to get enough institutions on board in this scenario to make this a possibility.

But, lacrosse makes much, much, much more sense. A lot more sense. I don't believe funding the sport would be as expensive and lacrosse is a booming sport, especially in Ohio. Basically, the sport is growing across the country, but it would be nice to see the MAC lead the charge and be ahead of the curve.......FOR ONCE. It's going to be too late in 10 years or so when most major schools would have lacrosse teams. There's the possibility of creating some nice programs because Buffalo could feed off of what Syracuse can't get in lacrosse.

Of course, all of this is hypothetical and just random musings in my mind. I'm not sure whether or not this would happen at all, but it sounds great in theory.


MAC Senior Bowlers

Well, the Senior Bowl begins here pretty soon (January 26th on the NFL Network). There also happens to be only two MAC players on the squads, one on each team. What are their prospects (pardon the pun) for the upcoming NFL draft?

Jason Jones: DT, Eastern Michigan (North)

Strength: Definitely, the strength for Jason Jones would be athleticism for his size. Of course, he still needs to do well at the combines and we don't have those exact stats, but Jones is a rock-solid 272 pounds at 6'5! He played DT at Eastern, but he sounds like he might switch over to DE in the NFL. Against Kirk Barton today (he's an OT from Ohio State), Jones was impressive. He's been progressively improving, or so it seems from what I've seen out of the NFL Network's production of the Senior Bowl practices.

Weakness: Transitioning to the exterior of the D-line. I'm not sure if this is going to be a problem or not. He doesn't seem to have too much trouble, at least in practice, but will he be able to pressure the QB and break through the initial line of defense as well as he has against actual NFL offensive lineman? We're not going to know that until later.

I was checking out Walter Football, and it said this about Jones going to the 49ers in the 4th round:

The 49ers were ranked 22nd against the pass because they couldn't get to the quarterback; no one on their defense had more than six sacks.

Kory Lichtensteiger: Bowling Green, C (South)

Strength: Fundamentals. This is what Kory Lichtensteiger made a living on for most of his career. He comes off of his stance very well, blocks well, doesn't make a lot of penalties, and is just a solid, all-around center.

Weakness: Feet movement and quickness. He hasn't had much of an issue with that this year because he was going up against teams like Buffalo and Toledo who, let's face it, have lesser defenses. He got tested early on in the Senior Bowl practice and didn't look like he was up to speed.

Can't really find much stuff out on the Web regarding Lichtensteiger since he's projected around the late fourth or early fifth round. I'm thinking a team like the Chiefs or Broncos could use a center like him.