Sept 8, 2012; Lexington, KY, USA; Kent State Golden Flashes running back Dri Archer (1) runs the ball against the Kentucky Wildcats at Commonwealth Stadium. Credit: Mark Zerof-US PRESSWIRE
Two weeks in. TIME TO MAKE GROSS OVERGENERALIZATIONS. I mean, the regular season is just 16 percent over, so it's still early enough to draw premature conclusions, but we can possibly look at the collection of 26 performances and maybe figure something out.
Let's go by my favorite way to slice up the MAC: the divisions. We'll start in the West and work our way eastward, not unlike ominous storm clouds:
Toledo: Lost to Arizona in a game they should've won, pulled out a road victory at Wyoming"
Northern Illinois: Narrow loss to Iowa, convincing win against UT-Martin.
Ball State: Win over EMU, loss to Clemson where they ran OK
Western Michigan: Rolled by Illinois, rolled over Eastern Illinois
Central Michigan: Looked bad against SEMO, nary a pulse against Michigan State
Eastern Michigan: Egads
OK then. Moving to the East:
OHIO: Big Penn State win, big NMSU win
Bowling Green: Scared Florida, beat Idaho
Kent State: Looked sound against Towson, but not against Kentucky
Miami: Throttled by OSU, did their job against Southern Illinois
Buffalo: Scored points against Georgia, scored many points against Morgan State
Akron: Worked at home by UCF, pushed FIU to the brink
UMass: Um ... yeah ...
(Note: I didn't necessarily power-rank teams, although looking back at them, sheesh, that's pretty close to what they'd look like if I tried.)
What I'm trying to get at is that, no, not many teams have stood out in nonconference as of yet, but so far it's not a foregone conclusion that, unlike last year, the MAC West is the superior conference. I can fervently say that three teams look lost right now: CMU, EMU and UMass. All the others don't look halfway bad. Maybe Miami needs to show something more.
I hesitate to say that the MAC East is far and away better than the West. That isn't true. But the obvious dichotomy that usually plagues the conference — one side has to be better! — may not be the case, given the tiny amount of football that we've seen so far, this might be an evenly-powered conference with each division being marginally five-deep.
Of course, this will all settle down once a handful of teams finish 4-8 and 3-9, but I'm looking for total pushovers and so far I'm not seeing them beyond the aforementioned three.