MAC Football Week 5 Overview: Conference Play Hits Full Tilt

Andrew Weber-US PRESSWIRE - Presswire

Ball State heads into Kent State trying to avoid a letdown, while Toledo-WMU will try really hard to replicate a combined 129-point performance.

(Also, have you picked 'em yet?)

Spencer Keith or David Fisher? That's the primary question surrounding Kent State at quarterback and really the main position holding them back from being a dominant force.

Letdown game for Ball State? I just asked if this will be a letdown game for Ball State. That might be the weirdest thing I've asked all year. They narrowly beat Indiana and South Florida in back-to-back weeks, both in the final minute of play. That's a lot of high-stress football for them.

Watch this game because: For one it's the MAC Game of the Week and if you live in the area you can probably watch this on TV. Plus, this is upstart vs. upstart. You'll like it.

BO problem. That stinks for Buffalo if Branden Oliver cannot go due to that leg injury suffered last week. Without him the offense is, how you say, not so good.

But the defense! But that freaking defense. Khalil Mack and now Colby Way is emerging as the reason that the Bulls can stay in games. WMU beat them by causing turnovers. Maybe UB can hang around long enough to pull one off here if those 11 guys on defense have anything to do about it.

Watch this game because: Maybe the Kent State game was an aberration. And also watch for the UConn meltdown, if possible.

Maybe Akron doesn't suck? I mean, maybe? Put the UCF game out of your mind and in their last three contests they've looked very capable. The big thing is, at least they can score with Dalton Williams at quarterback and they have a couple playmakers surrounding him. More than we could say the last two years.

Cradle of Ouches. It still looks like Nick Harwell won't be playing in this game, and neither will defensive tackle Austin Brown, and those are arguably two of their three best players. Zac Dysert still has targets down field, and the Brown's replacement Mwanza Wamulumba has not only done well, but he leads the team in sacks and TFLs.

Watch this game because: Bowdenball has so far lived up to the hype, and Miami remains a curious contender in the MAC East.

ANGER GAME. It's really the only possible way that BGSU can look at this game. URI is basically a wounded gazelle, and I don't mean that in a metaphor. They are probably wounded gazelles, which explains their 0-3 start.

Which Matt is which? Like I've written before, Matt Schilz has thrown one touchdown on the year, and Matt Johnson is licking his chops to get some game time. I'm still not entirely sure how both will be used, but the smart money is on both to get some playing time, somehow — either by design or by number of points they are ahead.

Watch this game because: You're a BGSU fan and just want to take some frustration out. Or you adore unfair fights. Otherwise, you can probably pass this one by.

Perhaps the best quarterback ever named Vick. That's what we saw last week against Norfolk State. Derrius Vick can run this offense. Tyler Tettleton — and I did backpedal on this, he is questionable for this game — is still reasonably better than Vick, but no matter which one they go with, UMass' defense is in trouble.

Minutemen baby steps. I've joked that UMass would go from zero to six to 12 points all the way to 66 points in the finale. There's a grain of truth to this: they've gone from 0 to 6 to 13 to 16 points in their brief FBS career. Their offense is doing nothing but improving. Are they going to get to 24 points? I doubt it but Michael Cox had the best game of his career last week, and if that's his potential, this will help out his teammates.

Watch this game because: It's the perceived best-vs-worst, and unless you specifically enjoy the better team, as a collective we are always rooting for the upset.

A new-found respect for the Chips? Iowa was just one game, yes. However it was a glorious game with a stupid crazy good finish and the offense looked capable and Dan Enos appears to be a genius. David Harman was able to walk around campus and kick textbooks over buildings, probably, just to get applause. Of course, they also did rather poorly in their first two games. But the trend is correct for CMU as rising out of the cellar in the West.

Jordan Lynch, everybody. With a complete appreciation of Chandler Harnish, Lynch may not be Mr. Irrelevant but he's putting up numbers pretty darn close to what Harnish did, if not better. The best possible scenario was not missing a beat, and they seem to have hit that mark.

Watch this game because: It's revenge for NIU. A trip to Mount Pleasant was the Huskies' lone MAC loss last year, and fortunately it didn't cost them the division.

TO. There aren't many monogrammed athletes like that other than Terrell Owens and Terrance Owens, but at some point I'll get used to everybody calling Terrance this. He's essentially won the job with his play and, well, I'm not sure what happened with a close win at Coastal Carolina, but the Broncos are no Chanticleers, that's for sure.

TVT: Speaking of teams with quarterback depth, while WMU is concerned about Alex Carder's hand, they have to have every of confidence in the world that Tyler VanTubbergen can play as well as him. If he doesn't turn the ball over, all the better. Plus, it's incredibly fun to say. van-TOO-burr-gin. van-TOO-burr-gin. I'm already smiling.

Watch this game because: Jesus Christ, you people. Does 66-63 mean nothing to you scoundrels? They are not your little dancing minions and they'll play to a 73-70, triple-OT game if they feel like it. Furthermore it's a MAC West game, and we have way too many contenders in that division and need to start thinning out a couple teams.

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