Bowling Green State University football coach Scot Loeffler said there are three seasons in the Mid-American Conference. Now, it is time for season No. 2.
The first four games are non-conference, and no team in the MAC came out of it better than .500, although there were wins against power-five conference schools.
“We came out of it 1-3. We wished to be 2-2,” Loeffler said. “The whole conference is either 1-3 or 2-2. There’s not one person over .500 so that’s what makes this conference awesome. Everyone’s even right now.”
Season No. 2 includes a stretch of four league games, which the Falcons will begin Saturday against Akron (1-3), with kickoff at 3:30 p.m. at InfoCision Stadium, just eight miles from Loeffler’s hometown of Barberton.
The final “season” is the four-game stretch of “MACtion,” which means nationally televised games, usually scheduled for primetime evening broadcasts.
This second “season” is the four-game stretch of what Loeffler calls “regular college football,” which means games on Saturdays. It begins the 71st year of MAC play for BGSU.
“I’m extremely excited to get going, we’ve got a great opponent in Akron. They keep getting better each and every week, similar to us,” Loeffler said. “We’ve got to go down to their stadium and play a very difficult offense and defense that I think is really playing hard and improving and playing better each and every week.
“So, we’ve got to go down and we’ve got to play it like it’s our Super Bowl. Our preparation needs to be elite.”
Akron opened by beating St. Francis, 30-23, in overtime, but has lost to Michigan State (52-0), Tennessee (63-6) and Liberty (21-12). Both Michigan State and Tennessee are ranked.
Boost to offensive line
The good news for BGSU is that 6-foot-1, 310-pound senior center Jakari Robinson has been cleared to play.
Robinson, a transfer who enrolled at BGSU in January, has already been voted to be a captain on the offense along with senior quarterback Matt McDonald.
Robinson learned about his clearance as the team’s airplane was landing in Mississippi prior to the Falcons’ 45-14 loss to the Bulldogs Saturday. Once he got on the field, he immediately made an impact.
Robinson started the second quarter and promptly helped lead the Falcons on a 97-yard drive that resulted in a 25-yard pass from quarterback Camden Orth to Tyrone Broden.
Robinson made 24 career starts at Cincinnati and was part of its 2020 AAC championship team. A graduate of UC, Robinson transferred to Memphis in 2021 and appeared in seven games last season.
“We really think that him at center, (6-3, 285-pound junior) Jalen Grant at left guard, (6-3, 305 sophomore) Bronson (Warner) at right guard, (6-5, 300 sophomore Tunde (Fatukasi), Kam (6-6, 285 junior Kameron Stewart) and (6-5, 280 junior) Jeremiah (Banks-Wall) at left tackle rotating in with (6-6, 315 freshman) Alex (Padgett) at right, we’ve got a much, much sounder, better offensive line than what we’ve had here in the past,” Loeffler said.
“And then (6-1, 295 sophomore) Cade (Zimmerly), obviously, will be great at subbing in with Bronson at the right guard position so it makes all things a heck of a lot easier.”
Loeffler is critical of the transfer process that kept Robinson off the field until last week. Loeffler, who missed the Mississippi State game after being hospitalized for blood clots, got the phone call on Friday.
“The best Friday you could ever imagine,” Loeffler said. “The team left. I started working on Akron and took a nap actually in the office for like an hour.
“Got back up and was just starting Akron again and the phone rang,” Loeffler continued. “I think the process is completely failed. I think it is something that needs to get completely changed in college football. There are so many holes and so many problems and so many inconsistencies.
“With this transfer portal, it’s unbelievable and I don’t want to dive into it too much. But it is an issue that beyond needs fixed. Yeah, it’s not fair. It’s not consistent,” he said. “Information is not consistently being shared from school to school.
“That system right now is a complete mess, to say the least, and Jakari should have been eligible in January,” Loeffler said. “He lost three football games because of a broken, beyond broken system.”