MAC Football Week 9 Overview

Howard Smith-US PRESSWIRE

One-loss Kent State plays undefeated Rutgers. Ohio and Miami tangle in the Battle of the Bricks. UMass is playing Vanderbilt for some reason. And Army wants some more of this. Let's take a peek at the rundown of this week in MAC football, the last Saturday before weeknight games:

Time (ET) Road Away Watch It
12 p.m. Ball State 5-3, 3-2 Army 1-6 Ind. CBS Sports Network

I gotta admire Army's love for playing MAC teams. Maybe that's all you can do as an independent football club relatively nearby a conference with an odd number of football teams, but it works out, at least for the MAC. Army is always a tough play, even if football-wise they're not very good. (Although what are we supposed to say: our military cadets aren't tough?)

What's gonna happen here is a bunch of rushing yards for everyone involved. And because it's Ball State, some type of victory that's going to make your cardiologist shake his head in disgust.

12 p.m. NIU 7-1, 4-0 WMU 3-5, 1-3 ESPN Plus / ESPN3

The name of the game has become "Jordan Lynch Is A One-Man Team." But he's not; he's got lots of help. A great O-Line, some dependable running backs, and also I hear the defense can stop some people. But Lynch is the leader in total offense, more so than some ranked FBS programs.

While Western is not a team that gets lit up defensively, but they keep hovering around the 30-mark in terms of points given up. However they're one with an offensive identity that's still getting there in a Alex Carder-less world. But it seems like WMU is just gonna be Jordan-ed to death over the course of four quarters.

3:30 p.m. Akron 1-7, 0-4 CMU 2-5, 0-3 MAC Digital Network

There haven't been many games that, at first glance, you see and say "yuck." And here we are: yuck. Akron is not going to a bowl game, but we all kinda foretold this back in August, and the year before that, and a few years before that. After being torn to bits against NIU, a game in Central is a bit more up their alley right now. It's time to see if their offense can get back on track; just throw to the guy not being covered by Jahleel Addae and they might be able to hit 30 on the scoreboard.

As for CMU ... man, all that talent on offense and here they are, sitting winless in the conference, figuring out how to beat Iowa and wondering why not even a MAC team exists that self-immolates with that much regularity and magnitude.

3:30 p.m. EMU 1-6, 0-3 BGSU 5-3, 3-1 ESPN3 (live) BCSN (7 p.m.)
Here's our preview and Q&A on this game and oh, jeez, I just remembered Eastern beat BGSU during their homecoming in 2008 and this has always cheesed me a little bit every time it comes back into the forefront of my mind.
3:30 p.m. Kent State 6-1, 4-0 (15) Rutgers 7-0, 4-0 Big East Big East Network/ESPN3

Oh man. Oh man. OH MAN. It's the game nobody expected to be excellent and yet it's right there. Here are the games besides this one where both teams have one or fewer combined loss: Alabama-Mississippi State, Florida-Georgia, Kansas State-Texas Tech, and Notre Dame-Oklahoma. Rutgers is not going to kick the football to Dri Archer, because they have televisions and read the Internet. They are undefeated for a reason.

Lost in Archermania is that the Golden Flashes defense is rather quite scary in terms of turning over the ball and making big plays. In fact they're tied for third in the country with a +14 turnover margin with ... Rutgers. Hoo boy.

3:30 p.m. (23) Ohio 7-0, 4-0 Miami (OH) 3-4, 2-1 SportsTime Ohio/ESPN3

The Battle for the Bricks And Also Kind Of The MAC East. Few have been wholly impressed with what Miami has thrown out there but they've had some stiff competition and beyond the obligatory UMass/Akron/[Insert FCS Team] victories that's about all they have. They really haven't been close in any other fashion. I don't want to say they're bad, but they may be. Or they could be "2010 bad," as in why the heck are they winning games all the way to the MAC Championship?

But Ohio just as much needs a good victory over someone like Miami to pull back into the lead of the MAC power rankings. Okay, there are bigger prizes at stake, such as staying ahead in the MAC East, and shoring up the defense. They're a bit injured on that side but those backups are at least getting the job done. Now they just need to improve.

Also, for those who love hashtag banter —> #thelasttimemiamibeatohio

3:30 p.m. Toledo 7-1, 4-0 Buffalo 1-6, 0-3 TWC Sports Net, BCSN

[looks at Toledo's record]

[looks at Buffalo's record]

[looks at Toledo's record]

[looks at Buffalo's record]

Moving on.

7 p.m. UMass 0-7, 0-4 Vanderbilt 3-4, 2-3 SEC Fox Sports South/ESPN3
Here's your goal, UMass, and I hope it's not too much of a stretch: score first. Have a lead against an SEC team at an SEC school, while Vanderbilt still qualifies as one. We know who the Minutemen are and what they can't do. A victory at this point in the season would be awesome for them: go for it. Otherwise, just count the number of times you make another team uncomfortable.
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