MAC Review Podcast: A banner year for MACtion

Jordan Lynch took the country by storm in his first season starting for NIU, and he's back for more in 2013. (US Presswire)

The 2012 reviews are winding to a close, and Tom Fornelli (@TomFornelli) was kind enough to hop back on the Eye On College Football podcast to wrap up a memorable season in the MAC.

As you can hear in the podcast below, Tom and I point out that 2012 was a very different brand of MACtion. The midweek games were not characterized exclusively by video game scores and fantastic finishes. This was a season that featured several MAC teams that could compete with almost anyone in the country in all three phases of the game. We open the show by discussing why we think 2012 stood out, and if the trend will continue moving forward.

Stick around as we break out some of the "What Went Right, What Went Wrong" analysis that we applied to other conferences. We chose to pick out the biggest stories in the interest of time, but tried our best to make sure most of the teams got covered.

[More: What Went Right, What Went Wrong 2012 review podcasts: SECBig TenBig 12Pac-12, ACC]

Check out the time stamps below for specific topics, or you can download the podcast from iTunes for the authentic long-play feel.

0:00 -- 2012 was a new brand of Maction. Not just crazy football, but pretty good crazy football.

4:00 -- After praising the league play, we must address the 2-5 showing in bowl games for the league. Not necessarily a representation of the conference's standing, but there were a couple of duds.

7:00 -- Begin with arguably the story of the year in the conference: Northern Illinois' Orange Bowl run.

9:20 -- A tip of the cap for Chris Jones and the Bowling Green defense. The Falcons' stout D -- No. 6 in total defense, No. 10 in scoring defense -- led the way down the stretch in conference play.

11:25 -- The MAC showcased some impressive depth in 2012. Tom examines some of the reasons the conference is producing more competitive, nationally ranked teams.

16:00 -- Ball State fans should be very happy that Pete Lembo -- a coach who received some buzz during the recent coaching silly season -- is returning to build on their 9-4 finish in 2012.

17:00 -- Miami (Ohio) fell short of its team goals, but Zac Dysert had the definition of a "what went right" as he became the first FBS quarterback to throw for more than 500 yards passing and run for more than 100 yards.

19:15 -- While we spent some time highlighting the great season in the MAC, it would be irresponsible to ignore where things need to improve at UMass and Akron.

20:30 -- Ohio was the first MAC team ranked in the polls in 2012, but injuries and some disappointing losses derailed what many thought could be a conference title run for Frank Solich and the Bobcats.

22:50 -- We don't put a lot of stock in the bowl games. But for public perception to the average sports fan, it would have been nice to follow up a strong regular season with a good postseason performance.

25:00 -- Early projections for 2013: Ohio will bounce back, Toledo will continue to improve under Matt Campbell -- and Tom names Ball State as his dark horse to compete for a division title.

Got questions you want answered on a future podcast? Let me know on Twitter (@cnpatterson3) or send them to Feedback -- both love and hate -- is encouraged as well.

You can listen to the podcast in the player below or click here to use the pop-out player and keep browsing. If you want to take the College Football Podcast on the go, you can click here to download the MP3 or get this and all episodes for FREE from the iTunes Store.

For more college football news, rumors and analysis, follow @EyeOnCFB on Twitter, subscribe to our RSS Feedcollege football newsletter, and get the Eye On College Football Podcast from iTunes. You can follow Chip Patterson on Twitter here: @cnpatterson3.

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CBS Sports Writer

Chip Patterson has spent his young career covering college sports from the Old North State. He's been writing and talking about football and basketball for CBS Sports since 2010. You may have heard him... Full Bio

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