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Once you read this article in The Toledo Blade, you'll feel the Zips are going to run away with this one. But reality tells us the Zips are in the same difficult position as the Falcons, and still, BG is 7 point favorites!



Maybe there is hope for the Zips yet this Saturday...BG News reports.


FALCONS SEEK STRONG FINISH...Bowling Green Sentinel-Tribune.

The Sentinel-Tribune also reports on the shoulder injury of BG quarterback Tyler Sheehan.



Even though the Zips lost the MAC basketball player of the year (Romeo Travis) they should still compete for the MAC East title says The Sports Network in their MAC basketball preview. Included in the preview is a team by team breakdown. Not a bad read.


Bowl Eligible

The Muncie Star-Press reports that the winner of the Indiana-Ball State game will chalk up their sixth win, thus becoming bowl eligible. What's going on in the Hoosier state?



Jim Corrigall, who coached the Golden Flashes from 1994-99, was recently named to the All-Time All Argos team by the Toronto Argonauts of the Canadian Football League. By the way the Flashes were playing when Corrigall was their head coach, you would have thought they were playing by Canadian rules! Article in the Record-Courier.



Congratulations to the Miami hockey team for being ranked number one in the whole danged country...Oxford Press reports.



OU and Temple duke it out in what will be an interesting MAC East contest...The Athens Messenger.



After destroying Northern Illinois last week, the Rockets are gaining some self-respect...The Toledo Blade reports the season may not be a total loss after all.


Contact Don Olson at:

The Ohio State dilemma-Zippy or Brutus?

You were raised in Ohio - more than likely rooted for the Buckeyes as a youth. Then, you graduate high school and then go to a college that’s not Ohio State! Even worse, you go to a Divison I school that’s in the state of Ohio. So what happens when the school you attended plays the Buckeyes?

That’s the position many Mid-American fans are put in whether you are from Ohio and dealing with Ohio State, Michigan and dealing with, well Michigan or Michigan State. I'm not sure if the same dilemma impacts MAC fans in Illinois, Indiana, PA or New York. I know that in my state, it's a major issue.

MAC Inferiority Complex

It didn't take long for the smack to start the week Akron played Ohio State.

One Buckeye fan posted a welcome to Zips fans on the Akron fan site, He wrote:

“Just wanted to stop by to say welcome to the shoe and here’s to a well played injury free game. I do not know a lot about your team. What do you consider to greatest strengths? Weaknesses?

The poor guy was slayed. I already know what Zip fans are thinking. What, we’re suppose to know what “the shoe” is? You don’t know a lot about our team — but we’re suppose to know everything about the storied Buckeyes.” What would happen if we posted on the Buckeye forum, “Welcome to the Bowl.” Would Buckeye fans know what that means?

Playing a Big 10(11) team always seems to get into a discussion about the inferiority complex of MAC fans. I’ve lived it. I’m tired of it.

No one has fought this fight more than I. While attending the Akron-Ohio State NIT game at St. John Arena in 1989, I got into a verbal joust with a Buckeye fan, who, seeing my Akron gear came up to ask, “Are they the Akron….Zips?”

I shot right back, “Is this Ohio State, home of the condescending A-holes?” (except I didn’t say A-hole)

I went to Akron in the Division II days. Now that we have climbed the ranks to D-I in all sports, I asked myself, why should I be an Ohio State fan? My school is technically on the same level. And it is MY school.

Enough time has passed since I started thinking this way that I have an emotional disconnect with Ohio State. I really don’t care if they win or lose - even to Michigan! However, I’ve been rethinking that lately.

Since Jim Tressel became head Buckeye coach, I’ve really tried to get behind Ohio State. I respect Tressel - know him from the many years he spent beating us at Youngstown State. In addition, he holds sheepskin from The University of Akron, earning his Master’s Degree while he was an assistant under Jim Dennison - another man to be respected.

So, that should be enough to be an OSU fan - right? But what happens if Tressel leaves or retires? Pretty thin reason to follow a university’s football team.

The Solution?

Here’s where I’m currently at with this conundrum - I think. As an Akron and MAC fan, I always root for a MAC team when they play out of conference. I even rooted for Kent State over Iowa State (sorry). So, when Ohio State is playing in the Big Ten or another out of state team, I shall root for the Buckeyes. However, if they’re playing a MAC school, my allegiance lies with the conference.

Now, this doesn’t mean that I’m going to go out and buy up all the Ohio State gear I can find (I would like a Woody hat, but don’t think I could wear it in public - yet).

This is going to have to grow on me and maybe I can still be talked out of it. Until then, I’m hoping to find peace with the Ohio State dilemma, but it has taken a long time to get here.

MAC Linkin'

Ball State blogger, Doug Zeleski, reports what Ron Zook had to say about Nate Davis (before the game, but relevant nonetheless I suppose)

The Akron Beacon-Journal describes the recovery of DB, John Mackey.

Drew Ellis writes about the Central Michigan victory against Kent State last week. reports MAC East Player of the Week award winners. sounds off on the MAC's OOC performance (it's a week old, but interesting as well).

Buffalo Circling The Wagons

A little introduction about myself…I’m a 2003 Miami University alumnus who will never ever refer to my alma mater with the suffix “of Ohio”. We are the real Miami, dammit. That being said, I love the Mid American Conference. I make a point to get to at least a couple of Redhawk football games each year as well as a few hoops game and have enjoyed the MAC basketball tournament at The Q for the past 3 years. I also run my own blog, sexily titled, The Money Shot. Needless to say, I jumped at this opportunity quicker than Super Tecmo Bowl Thurman Thomas because this is a conference that I love to discuss. While my topics will heavily favor the Red and White, I look forward to my weekly column each and every Tuesday. But enough about me, let’s get going with some MAC Smack.

To channel my inner-Harry Doyle, “in case you haven’t noticed, and judging by the attendance, you haven’t,” the MAC East race will largely be decided this Saturday afternoon in the friendly confines of Yager Stadium. That’s right, the East has been flipped upside down this year as two of last season’s bottom feeders, Miami and Buffalo, will face off for the lead and the inside track to the MAC Championship game. Which led me to wonder: how in the hell is Buffalo up at the top? I did some research. Let’s compare the last 2 seasons on offense for the Bulls

2006: 163.5 yards passing/game, 7 TD’s, 9 INT’s.
81.5 yards rushing/game, 14 TD’s
Points for: 18.3 Points against: 35.9
2007: 205.3 yards passing/game, 11 TD’s, 6 INT’s
138.8 yards rushing/game, 15 TD’s
Points for: 24.0 Points against: 27.3

So what does this mean? This means that head coach, Turner Gill, has got good balance on the offensive side and has cut down on the mistakes that have doomed this program for years. Drew Willy has been the QB for the past two years and James Starks is still the feature back. So they have both seen the lows and are now finally experiencing the highs. And luckily for them, the talent is finally there. Hell, they are averaging 100 yards more per game this season! That’s right, Buffalo has finally built up a stockpile of talented players that Gill has meshed into an effective offensive unit. Willy is not running for his life this year and the results are staggering. He is not having to force throws. WR Namaan Roosevelt is making plays all over the field. And the holes for Starks have allowed the Bulls offense to sustain drives and keep their undersized defense off the field.

The defense is lead by a couple of rock solid safeties in Mike Newton and Davonte Shannon. Now I have not seen a lot of the Bulls this year, but the proof is in the box scores. This defense is vastly improved. While they may not be suffocating, the Bulls defense can come up with 3 and outs when needed. That is something that could not be said in the pre-Gill days.

And that brings us to head coach Turner Gill. For my money, this is the coach of the year in all of college football thus far. If you can get Buffalo to 4-5, you are doing something right. You know how to coach. You know how to recruit. You know how to motivate. You know how to build confidence in a place where losing has been the norm. If you think Tom Osborne is not following the Bulls sitting high atop his throne in Lincoln, NE, you are crazy. We could all be looking at the next Cornhuskers head coach right in western New York.

But can the Bulls keep the winning streak going in Oxford on Saturday (in my mind, not bloody likely)? We will have to wait and see. I would never bet against a team this hot and playing with such emotion like Turner Gill has them playing with now. Win or lose, Gill has been a miracle worker and will soon be rewarded with a well deserved promotion and a handsome pay day.


MAC Power Rankings

Teams appear to be separating themselves as we continue along conference play. Here is how I see it now.

1) CMU 5-4 LW(3) The Chips continue to play great against other MAC opponents. I still can not figure out how Clemson hung 70 on this team.
2) Ball State 5-4 LW(1) The Cardinals lost to a strong Illinois squad. Ball State features the only other MAC squad above .500.
3) Buffalo 4-5 LW(5) The Bulls are 3-0 in the East after a decisive win over the Zips. The Bulls could go bowling for the first time ever.
4) Miami 4-5 LW(4) The Redhawks fell to Vandy and have their showdown with Buffalo next week. This should be the game of the week for the MAC.
5) Temple 3-5 LW(6) Bye Week
6) Toledo 4-5 LW(10) WOW! The Rockets have been revived! 63 points in three quarters, 70 overall. Dominating!
7) EMU 3-6 LW(9) Impressive win over WMU. I thought EMU was improved but did not believe they would be able to handle WMU. A convincing 19-2 win.
8 ) BG 4-5 LW(2) After getting thumped by Miami, losing to Ohio has to shake the confidence of the Falcon faithful.
9) OU 4-5 LW(12) Big win over BG but still alot of things need to fall right for the Bobcats to get back into the title race.
10) Akron 3-5 LW(7) Personally, I feel disgusted with the loss. I was irritated with the loss to Temple but thought the Zips would bounce back. A decent defense with a shaky offense. The Zips are not championship material this season.
11) WMU 3-6 LW(8) A 17 point loss combined with allowing 255 yards rushing equals big problems. The Broncos are disappointing this season. The team had such a rapid improvement rates the previous two season, this year they took a step back.
12) Kent 3-6 LW(11). The team has some talent but relied heavily on their quarterback. Now that he is injuried the Flashes are going to figure out a way to win.
13) NIU 1-8 LW(13). Not much to say. Anhilated by Toledo.

A MAC Team Ranked #1?

After sweeping its third series in a row, Miami is now the No. 1 team in the nation. This is the first time since January 30, 2006 that the RedHawks have been in the top spot for the USA Today/USA Hockey Magazine Men's College Hockey Poll.

Thanks to a 6-0 record, Miami received 506 points and 30-of-34 first-place votes to overtake the University of North Dakota for top billing in the poll.

Those are my boys!!! Way to go, Redhawks!!!

Recappin' the MAC: Week 9

On TV......

Ohio 38, Bowling Green 27

In what was a somewhat-poorly executed game with some flashes of brilliance for each team, Ohio wound up victorious.

The game certainly wasn't exiguous in terms of excitement. Bowling Green and Ohio each made multiple mistakes that kept the game interesting. ESPN Gameplan switched after the Louisiana Tech/Utah State game was over, so the beginning of the first quarter was unavailable in my parts, but if you saw this game, you'd notice that Kalvin McRae is a huge game-changer. Almost every time he touched the ball, he was penetrating the front four and getting to the linebackers. It seemed that whenever he did get stuffed, he was able to turn that potential loss into a minor gain which is exactly what any coach would want from his running back. Early on, the offensive lines for each team were winning the battle in the trenches with Willie Geter getting to the edge and creating some plays.

The decision to bench Brad Bower turned out to be a great one with Theo Scott filling in fairly well. His decision-making was solid even though he was never really asked to do that much. His ability to scramble made life difficult for Bowling Green whereas with Bower, that option isn't exactly available. Scott's only crucial mistake wasn't exactly a poor decision, but it was a risky throw. He seemed like he forced the ball that got intercepted by John Haneline.

Even though Kalvin McRae was tremendous and became the Bobcat's all-time leading rusher, you couldn't help but get the sense that Bowling Green shot themselves in the foot far too often. As you might have noticed, Bowling Green really hurt themselves with Ohio/Toledo-esque fumbled punt returns. Gregg Brandon tried mixing things up with a gadget play that they've tried before I believe, but that got intercepted. Bowling Green's intricate offense was rolling when Geter got to the outside and when the screens developed. This was obvious on the touchdown pass where Ohio's all-out blitz backfired for a touchdown.

Of course, the major turning point of this game was the interception by Kris Luchsinger. Tyler Sheehan had his arm basically karate-chopped and the ball floated in the air before it was picked off. It was a thing of beauty for the Ohio defense.

Ultimately, this wasn't a well-played game, but Ohio did outplay Bowling Green on BGSU's homefield. This game was huge for each team's hope of going bowling, but you come away with the feeling that Gregg Brandon's bunch has rebounded from 2006. Even though they weren't good enough to come away with the win, the passing game is back on track with Sheehan. This QB has all of the physical tools and with a year under his belt by 2008, he should be one of the MAC's best. Ohio on the other hand looked like Nebraska, pounding Kalvin McRae consistently up the middle.

Illinois 28, Ball State 17

Ball State couldn't quite hang on in this valiant effort against Big 10 foe, Illinois.

After a very uneventful first quarter, Illinois opened up the scoring on a Rashard Mendenhall touchdown. On that very drive, Juice Williams gashed open the Ball State run defense for two runs of twelve yards in the process.

Soon after, Ball State responded with a Jake Hogue FG and an INT return from Mike Dorulla. Unfortunately in this game though, Frank Edmonds had to leave the game twice so the Ball State rushing attack was a little bit weakened.

Once BSU was down 21-10, Nate Davis started lighting up the Illini defense. Dante Love made some big catches, but Darius Hill was the recipient of the 24-yard TD pass. However, Jake Hogue missed a huge FG in the latter stages of the game that really swung the momentum. The Cardinals in effect got shut down offensively in the 4th quarter and that was that.

Arrellious Benn hurt the Ball State D more often than not and they also utilized him properly as a decoy. Also on the Illinois side, Juice Williams continued his poor reads and that showed on the INT return.

As for Ball State, they can take away from this game the fact that they were able to compete against one of the better Big 10 teams on the road (during homecoming no less). Nate Davis showed why he was the best QB in the MAC with his rushing ability. He didn't have a great day passing, but he was effective enough to keep them in the game. I know Brady Hoke probably isn't worried about gaining moral victories, but whatever momentum they got from this game will be used next week against Indiana.

And the Rest.....

Buffalo 26, Akron 10

Man, what is the deal with Buffalo? Turner Gill has been doing a magnificent job with the Bulls program that Jim Hofher struggled so much to turn around. Drew Willy was the exact opposite of Chris Jacquemain throwing for 125 yards and 3 TDs compared to Jacquemain's 185 yards and 2 INTs. Akron opened up the scoring with a TD run from Alex Allen, but Buffalo closed out the game with a 26-3 run.

Central Michigan 42, Kent State 31

Central Michigan is the most schizophrenic football team of all time. It's not like the Chippewas are FIU-dreadful or anything, but they've played like it in the non-conference schedule. Well, good-CMU showed up Saturday with a solid drumming of Kent State. Dan LeFevour was tremendous with a 77% completion percentage and 359 yards passing. The Golden Flashes are a little bit depleted at QB with the injury to Julian Edelman, so Giorgio Morgan filled in and did a nice job.

Vanderbilt 24, Miami OH 13

Miami OH came through with a solid effort against Vanderbilt unlike the one they experienced in Boulder a few weeks ago. The Miami OH offense got shut down late after they took a 13-10 lead in the 3rd quarter. Earl Bennett became the SEC's leading receiver, so Miami OH gets that dubious distinction.

Eastern Michigan 19, Western Michigan 2

In what is probably the most disappointing season of any MAC team, Western Michigan suffered yet another tough defeat. After opening the game 2-0 on a safety, the Broncos just couldn't hold onto the football. Due to six, that's correct, S-I-X turnovers, Eastern eventually got the best of WMU. The Eagles didn't let Tim Hiller do anything. Kyle McMahon wasn't exactly spectacular, but he got the job done.

Toledo 70, Northern Illinois 21

Has Northern Illinois ever been this bad under Joe Novak? It seems that every year, he manages to field a decent team. With their lone win coming against Idaho, they gave up an FBS season-leading 812 yards of offense to Toledo! The Rocket's offense didn't need a "show-me" kind of effort with the way they've been playing, but the 2007 Huskie defense is good for any team trying to pad their stats.



Just a heads up, I'm going to begin blogging here on Sunday recapping the action. Not sure if I have enough time to preview all of the games today, so we'll save that for next week.

(EDIT: Actually, make that Monday, I DVR'ed the Ball State/Illinois and Bowling Green/Ohio games and I have yet to see those, so I'll get back to you guys on Monday)



Hey, this is Eric here from Saturday Sound Offs.

Blogging has been a lot of fun (especially when you have no life to live! :D j/k). So, along with my home blog, I've decided to begin this blog about my passion for the Mid-America Conference.

Helping me out will be Dan from and Breezy from Red and Black Attack. I've contacted some others who might be interested, so these bloggers probably won't be all that will be members of the team.

As you might have noticed, it's titled "Mid-America Nattering" which means we want you to get involved with our idle chatter! If you feel you can contribute to the blog, feel free to drop me a line at (for now) If not, feel free to leave a few comments.

I hope this venture winds up being pretty cool like my SSO experiment. Later!