Could MAC Baseball Tournament Forecast Football Race?
If you’re a believer in omens, the events of last weekend bode well for the Kent State football team this fall.
With a 3-0 shutout victory over rival Akron on Sunday afternoon, the Golden Flashes captured their fifth MAC baseball title in the last six seasons and secured another trip to the NCAA tournament.
What does this have to do with the upcoming MAC football season, you ask? Well, technically nothing. Unless, as mentioned earlier, you believe in bargain-barrel prophecy.
Last May, Bowling Green’s baseball team won the MAC tournament, and last December, its football team upset Northern Illinois in the conference’s football championship game.
Almost certainly, yes. And yet, it did mark the first time since the inception of the MAC football title game in 1997 that the same school captured league titles in baseball and football in the same calendar year.
(And, in case you were wondering, in that same time frame, there’s been no football foreshadowing from the MAC men’s basketball championship.)
Granted, Kent State winning the MAC in football in 2014 would be a much bigger surprise than Bowling Green a year ago. The Falcons were coming off of an 8-5 (5-2 East Division) campaign in 2012 and leapfrogged both Ohio and Kent State to earn a trip to Ford Field in 2013.
The Golden Flashes, meanwhile, dipped to 4-8 a year ago (2-3 East), finishing only above miserable UMass and Miami in the division.
But, as exemplified by this year’s wacky MAC baseball bracket, perhaps the unexpected isn’t all that unusual. The top three seeds all lost their first game of the double-elimination bracket, with No. 1 Ball State and No. 2 Central Michigan both getting bounced without winning a contest. And of the 13 total games played, the lower seed won 10.
Could this be the gridiron equivalent of Punxsutawney Phil peeking his head out in early February and forecasting an early spring? Or at the very least, an unpredictable one?
For Flashes fans looking for a similar football resurgence, the possibility is enough to begin counting down the days to the start of practice.