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MAC Power Rankings, Week 9: Setting Up Clashes Of Might, Meekness

Okay, so this wasn't totally done on purpose to hype up next Tuesday's game. Nope. They're just both of the undefeated teams remaining. Nor were the two last-place teams slotted that way. It's pretty much where they've been all season.

  Team Last



1 Northern Illinois (7-2, 5-0): Still on top, you have to think, for the rest of the season. Those with the half-empty outlook see a measly seven-point win. The half-full fan will identify that as the prerequisite "close victory." RUMINATE ON THAT. All of their other wins were double digits except for, strangely enough, North Dakota. Next: Tuesday, 11/9 vs. Toledo (ESPN2)


Toledo_medium 4 Toledo (6-3, 5-0): The bad news is that Austin Dantin is probably not going to recover in time from his shoulder/collarbone injury in time for the regular season. But Terrance Owens had no problem with EMU, although I hear the Huskies defense is a little better than that. Next game: Tuesday, 11/9 at Northern Illinois (ESPN2)


Temple_medium 3 Temple (7-2, 4-1): It's been said before, but winning 72-0 in the last two weeks (admittedly against Akron and Buffalo) means they're back to rolling through the East, setting up a mighty juicy game with the Bobcats in a couple weeks. They're much more balanced with Mike Gerardi behind center, and the defense keeps getting scarier. Next: Saturday, 11/6 at Kent State


Ohio_medium 2 OHIO (6-3, 4-1): Solid nonconference win, but it would've been nice to not win as nail-bitingly as 38-31 to an average Sun Belt team. Nonetheless, it was nice practice for winning close (read: winning despite throwing four straight interceptions). Next: Thursday, 11/4 vs. Buffalo (ESPNU)


Miami_oh_medium 5 Miami (5-4, 4-1): One more plush win and that makes six, which would complete a great turnaround for having won three total in the last two seasons. Zac Dysert and Nick Harwell could be a fun tandem to watch throw and catch for the next two years. Next: Wednesday, 11/10 at Bowling Green (ESPN2)


Kent_st_medium 7 Kent State (4-4, 3-2): Apart from the Murray State opener, this team hadn't scored 30 in a game until last week, and now they've done it twice in a row. Coupled with that all-too-mentioned defensive potential, Doug Martin just might coach himself into another couple years in NE Ohio. Next: Saturday, 11/6 vs. Temple


Western_michigan_medium 6 Western Michigan (3-5, 2-2): Well, that's a rough way to lose the division, but I don't think many people saw this team equipped to contend for as long as they did. Their wins are merely against EMU, Ball State, and Nicholls, but they were HUGE margins of victory. Still, a win this weekend will solidify the season — and perhaps the inside track on the Aluminum Compass. Next: Friday, 11/5 at Central Michigan, ESPNU


Buffalo_medium 9 Buffalo (2-6, 1-3): Yes, it's possible to move up a spot after a brutal loss this year. All you have to do is remain better by default than five other terrible teams. Their current three-game skid includes just 23 points of offense, one shutout, and STILL zero fourth quarter points for the whole season. And it won't get easier this week. Next: Thursday, 11/4 at OHIO (ESPNU)


Bowling_green_medium 12 Bowling Green (2-7, 1-4): Yeah, I'll slot 'em this high before I change my mind. An ugly road win broke a terrible winning streak, but these boys are still on track for their worst season since 2000 when Gary Blackney resigned. Next: Wednesday, 11/10 vs. Miami (ESPN2)



8 Central Michigan (2-7, 1-5): A bunch of Michigan media outlets have finally noticed that their adorable little MAC powerhouse is suddenly not so powerful. Is something wrong? Did the magic disappear? No, they're just experiencing growing pains. It's November and their only two wins are against EMU and Hampton. Quick, get on that Dan LeFevour statue. Next: Friday, 11/5 vs. Western Michigan (ESPNU)


Eastern_michigan_medium 11 Eastern Michigan (1-8, 1-4): Last week's 35-point loss was, astonishingly, only their fourth-worst loss on the season. No word on if/when their suspended players return, so you best hope they are on their best behavior if they want a second win. Next: Saturday, 11/13 at Western Michigan


Ball_st_medium 11 Ball State (2-7, 1-4): The CMU upset looks worse and worse. Everybody's takin' it to them these days, and Ball State's having trouble finding somebody to contend with. Although WHAT A SHOWDOWN THIS WILL BE: Saturday, 11/6 vs. Akron


Akron_medium 13 Akron (0-8, 0-5): Did you hear that, Akron? This is your best shot at a shiny W! I'll cut and paste it in case you missed it the first time. Next: Saturday, 11/6 vs. Akron. C'mon, Zips. Get on the board.