After a far too long hiatus, the MAC Blog is back in your life. In this edition, the first of 2013, will dive into the dominance of Ohio and Akron, what is going on with the women, and a statistic that I find odd. Now onto the blogging.
Ohio, Akron and nobody else: Currently the MAC is dominated by Ohio and Akron. As you see in the graphic below, no other team has a comparable record to the Bobcats and the Zips. It has been a weak year for the MAC, and the top two will continue to feed off the bottom as the year continues. With Kent State down this season, it’s hard to picture any team challenging these two teams for the MAC. Wild guess here: when the MAC title will be on the line in Cleveland come March 16th, these two teams will meet for the title. Take a look at the standings below.
A note on the women: As good as the men have been this season in Athens, the women have been the complete opposite. Due to several injuries, Ohio has had to recruit athletes from the volleyball and field hockey teams to fill open roster spots. Currently, Central Michigan is the top team in the MAC, with Miami of Ohio, Bowling Green, Toledo and Ball State all within one game. As compared to the men, this is going to be a much closer race. As we go into February, this group of teams will play each other over and over again. Watching this race play out could be more entertaining than the men’s simply because it is closer. Even if the play won’t be as dynamic, it will be close.
A statistical anomaly: It is not given, but more often than not, the top teams tend to have the top scorers. But this year in the MAC, that is no the case. In fact, neither Ohio or Akron have a player currently in the top five scoring averages. Toledo’s Rian Pearson currently leads the league in scoring with 18.2 points per game, while Kent State forward Chris Evans and Buffalo forward Javon McCrea are tied for second at 17.1 points per game. Notably, Ohio’s D.J. Cooper is seventh with 14.6 points a game, while Akron’s Zeke Marshall is tenth at 12.6 points per game.
Ten Things I think I think:
- When Ohio plays at Akron next week, it will be Social Media Night at James A. Rhoades Arena. Not only will the game have be largely important, but Akron will be wearing special jerseys made for Social Media Night. Thanks to the MAC Report’s Steve Uhlmann for posting a picture on Twitter.
- Ohio and Akron will play twice more this season, once in Akron and once in Athens. With the two clearly showing themselves to be the best two teams in the MAC this year, a sweep for either squad would mean a lot.
- If you get a chance to, watch Toledo’s Pierson play. Toledo is not a good team by any stretch of the imagination, but Pierson may be the best pure scorer in the MAC.
- Kent State is simply not as good as some people (including myself) expected. The Golden Flashes, like every other team in the MAC, are just not as good as the Bobcats and Zips.
- Twelve MAC teams have been deemed eligible for ESPNU Bracket Buster games. I only expect Ohio and Akron to receive actual invites. Matchups will be announced late Monday night.
- Reggie Keely leads the MAC with 68.9 percent shooting from the field. Down the stretch, he will be the key to Ohio’s success.
- Even with the MAC Tournament more than a month off, it’s hard to picture any team other than Ohio or Akron winning the MAC tournament.
- With so many of the league’s top players graduating after this season, I cannot help but wonder how bad the league will be next season.
- With Saturday’s schedule featuring three Top 25 matchups, the Ohio-Akron matchup is going to fly under the radar. It’s a shame, too. That game is going to be incredibly close, and stylistically should be a treat.
- I’ll call it now: Both Akron and Ohio split their season series. The winner of the MAC tournament may be the the only team that has a chance to represent the MAC come March.