The Seventh Best Conference

Marilyn Indahl-US PRESSWIRE - Presswire

You know those teen romantic comedies where the jock falls for the nerdy girl who takes off her glasses and is revealed to be a beautiful girl? The MAC is that girl, once you get to know her.

Do you like power rankings? Do you enjoy conference power rankings? I hope you do; we have MAC power rankings weekly. But what about ALL THE CONFERENCE POWER RANKINGS? This is something CBS Sports enjoys doing.

Yes, we've railed on them for their group rankings which included Matt Campbell as the "worst" hire in FBS (Tim Beckman was in the top 10, which, GUFFAW). So with the understanding that rankings are fun conversation starters, CBS Sports showed they're not hustle haters by moving the MAC up two spots from a tie for 9th to outright seventh place this week:

They get the boost not just for Ohio's continued unbeaten streak but the recent push from Northern Illinois and Toledo. The MAC now has three bowl-eligible teams and a very enticing conference title race to follow during the weeknight MACtion down the stretch.

I'm looking at last week's rankings, where they were tied for ninth, and they didn't change much because the MAC didn't have much nonconference activity. But the day after 9/22/12, the MAC was seventh for the first time.

And let's not forget about Kent State either. If you include them in a "Top Four," they're a combined 24-3 and 13-0 in MAC play. It's as top heavy as I've ever seen this conference, despite some of the ones at the top narrowly beating some of the bottom-dwellers.

The strength of a conference, in my opinion, is as strong as its weakest teams, so perhaps by virtue of winless UMass being on a bye, Akron playing well at OHIO, and winless EMU scoring nearly 50 on Toledo, they're seeing the conference in a new light. They're not all pushovers, but they're still not the ACC (who is sixth). They can turn further heads with strong performances out of Toledo and Buffalo against Cincinnati and Pittsburgh respectively in a big ol' MAC/Big East Lake Erie-off.

And maybe EMU might actually get a win over Army. We can all dream.

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