Wherein the top finally sorts itself out - as does the middle, for that matter - and the near-final result isn't a huge departure from recent seasons.
We've still got one last week of MACtion before the title game, but the conference now features two ranked teams (Kent everywhere, and NIU in the USA Today poll - ahead of Kent, actually).
Barring any catastrophe, Kent and NIU will take care of business against OHIO and Eastern Michigan, respectively. That would mean that the MAC will have a conference championship between two ranked teams, something that neither the ACC nor the Big Ten would be able to claim.
What do you think, is it better for the MAC if Kent and Northern Illinois are both ranked heading into the MACC? Or does it not really matter? Anyways, here are the rankings.
|Rank||Rank (Pv)||Team||Record||What We Learned|
|1||1||KENT STATE||10-1 (7-0)||The Trayion Durham half of the running beast never really materialized, so Dri Archer did it by himself instead - and is suddenly 13th nationally in rushing yards after cracking 80 yards only once the first five games..|
|2||2||NIU||10-1 (7-0)||I'll admit I was skeptical, but I will say it for sure now - pending a MACC victory, I am fully aboard the Jordan Lynch for Heisman bandwagon - which would get a big boost if he pull out the rushing title (82 yards back currently).|
|3||5||BGSU||7-4 (5-2)||The defense played very strong - except for, y'know, those two 80-yard rushing touchdowns. Matt Schilz played well at quarterback - except for, y'know, those three interceptions. Still a strong season, but Bowling Green fans were probably hoping to improve from "better" to "best" this season.|
|4||4||TOLEDO||8-3 (5-2)||For another season, Toledo gets to be known as The Best Team In the MAC West Not Named Northern Illinois. Their difficulties on defense did indeed catch up with them eventually. Or maybe it was those awful helmets.|
|5||5||BALL STATE||8-3 (5-2)||Eight wins (and quite possibly nine) is very impressive for Pete Lembo's squad. Maybe this week they can work on not ruining Keith Wenning's ankle/career.|
|6||6||OHIO||8-3 (5-2)||So much for bouncing back. Anybody else tired of watching OHIO try to squeeze *justonemoreplay* in as time expires and fail? There's a fine line between calculated risk and throwing away points and the Bobcats wound up on the wrong side of that line too often to protect their frail defense.|
|7||7||CMU||5-6 (3-3)||Well look at that, CMU can now make their way to bowl eligibility with a win against lowly UMass in likely the only game of any consequence this coming week.|
|8||10||BUFFALO||4-7 (3-4)||The Bulls had to come from behind to take down UMass, but they've now won three in a row even without Branden Oliver and have earned this bump in the rankings.|
|9||8||MIAMI||4-7 (3-4)||Five losses in their last six now finds the RedHawks as the "lower middle class" of the MAC - probably about where they belong. Someday maybe they'll find a real defense?|
|10||13||EMU||2-9 (1-6)||This time the Eagles got out to an early lead and manage to hang on, just long enough to see Bill Cubit off into the sunset. Don't expect a continuation though, as they get to face the NIU buzzsaw to close out the season.|
|11||9||WMU||4-8 (2-6)||Seems rather appropriate for the Broncos to be the first team to be done playing in the MAC - and that may have been true further back than this past weekend, since Cubit was apparently done-zo a while ago.|
|12||11||UMASS||1-10 (1-6)||So close and yet so far. It started out promising for the Minutemen early on, but then they burned through their margin of error and this team just isn't built to play catch-up.|
|13||12||AKRON||1-10 (0-7)||It seemed all awesome and happy initially, but now you really have to look closely to find the ways in which this squad has improved since 2011 beyond succeeding at passing for a bunch of yards after they fall behind.|