Five Takeaways From Week 3: It's Still Too Early

Rick Osentoski-USA TODAY Sports

After another rough week of #MACtion it's time to look at what we learned.

5: The MAC is in a down year — This is becoming increasingly clear as the weeks chug on. This weekend, Bowling Green was smashed by Indiana, Ball St. hit a wall against North Texas, Northern Illinois struggled against a bad Idaho team and Kent State was rolled. We knew coming into this year that seeing another season of seven MAC teams making a bowl game was unlikely, but the bottom half is much worse than I expected and the top isn't as good as last year's top half.

4: Injuries continue to ravage the MACDri Archer missed his second consecutive game as he recovers from a ankle injury. Now another MAC star could miss some time as well as Terrance Owens suffered a knee injury during the first quarter of yesterday's game and didn't return. Then factor in that CMU's star player (Zurlon Tipton) is out for the season, and it's clear that injuries are playing a major role in the MAC's sluggish start. Injuries are a part of football, but the MAC needs stars like Archer and Tipton on the field, or it risks slipping into the same discussion as the Sun Belt.

3: Bowling Green still hasn't taken that next step — Despite two impressive victories to start the season, and a jump in my power rankings, it's clear now that BG has not taken that step up yet. After an offensive explosion against Kent State a week ago, the Falcons, and quarterback Matty J, returned to Earth yesterday...with a thud. They managed just one touchdown...on special teams. The offense was stagnant and stale. Johnson went 25-of-44 with a pick, and Travis Greene was held to less than 50 yards. The defense was also torched by a mid-tier B1G squad, to the tune of 601 yards. Not saying Bowling Green is worse than last season, but they're not a clear step up yet.

2: Terry Bowden might just have something special in Akron — I was battling a debilitating cough yesterday that kept me on the sidelines for most of the day (hence the lack of activity on the Twitter feed, sorry folks). But, I did get to watch most of this game. Heading into it, I was dreading this match up. I figured it would be another black mark on the MAC's record...boy was I wrong. Akron turned out the single greatest performance by a MAC team of the weekend, and they lost. Behind the arm of Kyle Pohl the Zips not only were competitive, they actually outplayed the Wolverines for much of the game. Not bad for a program that hasn't beaten an FBS school since 2010. After the heart Akron showed in that game, any doubt there was in what Terry Bowden was building up there should be gone. It may take some time, but the Zips will be a threat in the MAC by the time he's done.

1: It's still too early to know anything — We're only three weeks into the season, and that's something I find myself losing sight of. It's key to remember that three weeks into the season last year Ohio looked phenomenal, NIU certainly didn't look like a BCS crashing team, and no one foresaw Kent State going on to nearly win the MAC Championship. While things look crazy and wild, and in most cases bad right now, the fact is it's still entirely too early to tell anything for certain. NIU could falter, CMU could turn it around, and maybe Akron has been pranking us all along and is really a top-tier MAC team (unlikely). The point is, basically throw everything I just said out. We just don't know anything for certain yet. There's still more than 10 weeks of action left.

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