Boy does this seem strange. I always like to point out to folks that the one thing I genuinely like about SEC football is that every week there are multiple important games, and the results of that week inevitably shift which games matter.
All of a sudden, there lies the MAC. This past week, BGSU-OHIO and Toledo-Ball State were huge. Now, after another week's results go by, the BGSU-Kent game looms even larger, as does the NIU-Toledo game.
That's right, this week's upcoming MACtion features both of the conference's title game representatives being decided. I defer to Mr. Sussman for the last time the MAC had both divisions undecided this late.
I finally got my way, too - Kent State is ranked! Because clearly all of my bitching is the reason they snuck into the AP Poll at #25. Now it's time to get some serious questions answered:
- Will Ohio rebound against Ball State - and will anyone still be watching besides Matt once the NIU game starts?
- How will the matchup of the MAC's likely player of the year (Archer) against the conference's best defense (Bowling Green) play out?
- Can UMass show that last week was skill and not luck?
Anyways, here is how the teams rank. As usual, you may comment as you see fit, but I'm right and you're wrong.
|Rank||Rank (Pv)||Team||Record||What We Learned|
|1||1||KENT STATE||9-1 (6-0)||Kent's rush offense was a beast in this one - Durham and Archer were responsible for (roughly) 200 yards from scrimmage each. Suddenly, Saturday's game against Bowling Green decides the MAC East champion.|
|2||2||NIU||9-1 (6-0)||A week of rest for the Huskies, who now face a slightly less exciting but no less important matchup against Toledo this week.|
|3||5||BGSU||7-3 (5-1)||My bad. I said last week that they were off prior to their biggest home game in a while. They actually dominated OHIO on the road, which means this Saturday is now TBHGIAW. Defense = legit.|
|4||4||TOLEDO||8-2 (5-1)||Maybe they shouldn't have gotten the extra rest prior to this one? It took until the opening play of the fourth quarter to get their first lead, and even another 200 yard game for Fluellen and three INTs wasn't enough. They better shake it off quick.|
|5||6||BALL STATE||7-3 (4-2)||They handled that game very well. Wenning was not nearly at his best, and they gave up numerous long runs to Toledo, but they got out to an early lead and kept trading punches until they were the ones left standing. We'll see if they suffer a letdown against OHIO.|
|6||3||OHIO||8-2 (4-2)||A safety on a punt at the end of the half sums this game up nicely for Ohio, where they managed three strong offensive drives (for 14 points) and did little else well.|
|7||9||CMU||4-6 (2-3)||A coaching job may or may not have been saved now that CMU just barely completed a sweep of the directionals. It's not easy to win when you surrender almost 300 yards rushing, so kudos to them. I think.|
|8||7||MIAMI||4-6 (3-3)||Great offensive numbers, but more than 1/3 of their yardage came in the fourth quarter after Kent was already up by four touchdowns. That's four times this season they've alloed 48+ points.|
|9||8||WMU||4-7 (2-5)||Alex Carder came back! Just in time to turn the ball over five times. Perhaps they should just go back to Van Tubbergen?|
|10||10||BUFFALO||3-7 (2-4)||Branden Oliver and Devin Campbell tag-teamed WMU's defense for - surprise - just enough offense to win! Is it too soon to start referring to this as Joe Licata's team now?|
|11||13||UMASS||1-9 (1-5)||*Harry Caray voice* "UMass wins! UMass wins!" Finally off the schneid and out of the basement now that they have a conference win, a solid one as their defense stood strong for all four quarters.|
|12||11||AKRON||1-10 (0-7)||The Zips are playing better than they were a year ago, but it is very uncommon for a team to pass the ball 50+ times per game and be competitive on a weekly basis. Akron is #1 nationally in pass attempts per game - and #96 in yards per attempt. That sums it up pretty well.|
|13||12||EMU||1-9 (0-6)||On the flipside of CMU's equation, it is not easy to rush for 294 yards and still lose a game. But that is where EMU is at this season. Next week will, if they are lucky, be their second and last win of the season.|