Well that was another fun week, wasn't it? Let's review what exactly we seem to have learned now that there is nothing left but head-to-head, conference matchups for the remainder of the season:
- Ohio really was a close loss waiting to happen
- The defenses of both Kent State and Bowling Green appear to be for real (those of the rest? debatable).
- The offenses of both Northern Illinois and Toledo (and perhaps even Kent State?) also appear to be legitimate.
- Buffalo is clearly better with Branden Oliver back on the field - but probably not better enough to beat anyone besides those around them in the standings.
And yes, when you take down a top-15 team, you get to be king of the hill at least temporarily. On a related note, it's rather lame that Kent didn't even pass Rutgers in either poll (though Toledo, Kent and NIU are now 28th, 29th and 30th in the USA Today poll).
|Rank||Rank (Pv)||Team||Record||What We Learned|
|1||4||KENT STATE||7-1 (4-0)||Trayion Durham and Dri Archer combined for 265 yards of offense. The defense tallied 6 INT's, 5 TFL, 2 sacks, and 1 INT return for a TD. I'd say that qualifies as a dominant win over a high-ranked team.|
|2||2||NIU||8-1 (5-0)||Can anybody stop Jordan Lynch? He is now second nationally in both rushing yardage and rushing touchdowns - plus another 246 yards and 2 TD per game passing over the last seven games. This was the seventh time in nine games that NIU scored at least 21 unanswered.|
|3||1||TOLEDO||8-1 (5-0)||David Fluellen went apey and is now four yards behind Jordan Lynch (1,181). That said, this was not a remotely pretty win for Toledo, whose defense most certainly does not consistently look like that of a contender.|
|4||5||BGSU||6-3 (4-1)||The offense wasn't anything spectacular, but the defense was dominant and certainly appears to be legitimate - their remaining schedule (OHIO, Kent and Buffalo) will tell us exactly how legitimate.|
|5||3||OHIO||7-1 (3-1)||I don't know. If you're Frank Solich, wouldn't you use your star kicker to tie the game and go for overtime? Perhaps just second-guessing, but I might prefer that over the frantic ending that happened instead. This defense desperately needs to get healthy. Or perhaps just a game against EMU will do?|
|6||7||MIAMI||4-4 (3-1)||Looks like a bye does a body good. Miami opened up a two touchdown lead early and held on at the end to knock off the Bobcats and ruin their dream season.|
|7||6||BALL STATE||6-3 (3-2)||Once again, Ball State got out to an early lead, and then did just enough to hold on to win (including some fortunate breaks like Army dropping a late touchdown).|
|8||9||CMU||3-5 (1-3)||Zurlon Tipton takes the cake for most impressive offensive stat line this week, with 251 yards from scrimmage all on his own. CMU needs to keep this up to salvage their season.|
|9||8||WMU||3-6 (1-4)||Surrendering 31 unanswered points is a great way to lose. Jordan Lynch's tackle-breaking TD late in the 3rd pretty much sums up WMU's season to date, I'd say.|
|10||10||BUFFALO||1-7 (0-4)||The return of Branden Oliver clearly makes Buffalo a more formidable opponent, but you're not going to win when you surrender almost 250 rushing yards.|
|11||11||AKRON||1-8 (0-5)||Never good when your defense gives up a 72 yard touchdown on the second play of the game, and your offense then ends their first drive of the game with a first-and-goal that results in zero points.|
|12||12||EMU||1-7 (0-4)||This one was too bad. Literally too bad. EMU managed eight first downs, two of which were immediately followed by an interception and a sack-fumble for a TD. Not a good time for a short week and a road tilt against an angry OHIO team.|
|13||13||UMASS||0-8 (0-4)||Looks like that Vegas line of -33 was about right. I had hoped, after looking at Vandy's numbers, that they weren't that much better, but I forgot that the bottom of the SEC is very different than the bottom of the MAC.|