Sooner or later, Lou Holtz is right - John Radcliff
Does the MAC belong in the top 25?
The SBNation Week 13 BlogPoll is out and there is a whole lotta MACtion to go around! I say that somewhat tongue-in-cheek because there was a lotta MACtion in my ballot as well. Like the combined BlogPoll ballot (below), I had Northern Illinois, Kent State, and Ohio State. Not to mention the MAC-like Utah State Aggies.
It brings up a somewhat valid question, do these teams really belong in the top 25 based on their record? I tend to think they do. The MAC isn't on the same level as the Big 10 or any of the other power conferences. And yes, that Ohio State thing is a joke. They don't play the same level of competition week in and week out as most of the teams they share the ballot with. But the MAC has always been home to solid football programs that unfortunately don't have the across the board talent they would need to compete on a weekly basis with the big boys. But in a one game scenario, they certainly can hold their own.
Northern Illinois lost by one point to open the season against Iowa and beat Kansas three weeks later. Kent State lost to Kentucky early in the year and then won on the road at Rutgers while the Scarlet Knights were ranked #15. Those games alone aren't deserving of consideration in the top 25. But what I want, and what I think a lot of pollsters want is some consistency out of the teams they vote in. And in a year that teams like Mississippi State, TCU, Oklahoma State, Washington, etc. bounce in and out of the polls it's appropriate to give recognition to the consistency these teams have shown.
Does it mean they are the 17th best team in the country? No, but that's not really what most ballots are about. For example, I don't think Notre Dame is the best team in the country. But they've done enough to win each game against enough good teams that you can't automatically count them out. No matter how bad I want to. So let them in, I say. Because if the world melts down and Kent State beats Georgia Tech in the Orange Bowl (it could happen) there won't be any denying them. What say you?
Results for Week 13