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2016 MAC Football Power Rankings: Hello, Miami

The RedHawks continue to soar deeper into November

Aaron Doster-USA TODAY Sports
Rank Wk 9 Rank Team Record Points Notes from Week 10
1 1 Western Michigan Broncos 9-0 9 (9) The Broncos let James Gilbert get off and running early in Muncie, but eventually settled in in the second half of last Tuesday's game to the tune of 52-20 over Ball State. Boat's still rowing strong.
2 2 Ohio Bobcats 7-3 21 It's shaping up to be a pretty special year for the Bobcats. After handling Buffalo last week, Ohio got its seventh win and is in the drivers' seat for a MAC East division crown. The reward will be either WMU, or the Toledo Rockets.
3 3 Toledo Rockets 7-2 24

Don't worry, the Rockets had no intentions of going into a free fall following the loss to Ohio. A 48-17 dismantling of Akron has Toledo back to winning form, and they'll take that form to whatever the White Sox are calling their stadium these days against NIU.

4 5 Miami RedHawks 4-6 45 This season is officially weird. Big Game Gus Ragland has the RedHawks playing some outstanding football in the midst of a four game winning streak that threatens to turn to five and even six. That sensation you're feeling is a Miami Bowl season pulled from the depths of the MAC cellar.
5 4 Eastern Michigan Eagles 5-4 47 At 5-4, this has still been an outstanding season for Chris Creighton's squad in Ypsilanti. The loss to Miami - not looking as bad in hindsight - hurt the chances the Eagles go bowling this season, but they have a very winnable match up with Ball State on Election Night
6 8 Northern Illinois Huskies 3-6 61 Like the Miami RedHawks, the NIU Huskies are fighting to salvage a bowl eligible season from what appeared to be nothing. Somehow NIU has managed to get themselves to 3-2 in the MAC, with a huge opportunity against Toledo upcoming. There could be some magic left in these Huskies yet.
7 7 Akron Zips 5-5 65 Sitting a game behind Miami is not where you would have put the Zips just a few weeks ago when they were 4-2, but now at 5-5 the mission is to be bowl eligible for a second straight season. Standing in Akron's way are Bowling Green and Ohio.
8 6 Central Michigan Chippewas 5-5 71 After spending a considerable amount of time at the top of our poll, the Chips have faded down the stretch. Losses that once seemed impossible became real the last two weeks, dropping games to Kent State and Miami of an East division perceived to be less than. Left on the schedule are Ohio and Eastern Michigan, meaning a sixth win will be hard earned.
9 9 Ball State Cardinals 4-5 76 James Gilbert certainly tried, but it wasn't quite enough. It wasn't an ideal night for the Cardinals at home, but to be fair, Western Michigan has done worse things (looking at you, Akron). The Cardinals host a toss-up game with EMU this week with a chance to improve on the beginning of the Neu Era.
10 10 Kent State Golden Flashes 3-6 79 The Flashes had some time off after beating Central Michigan to prepare for Western Michigan, and that could be a huge factor for a team not expected to keep the game close on Election Night. With the dismissal of Nate Holley from the program, the defense has a very large hole to fill.
11 11 Buffalo Bulls 2-7 96 The Bulls couldn't keep up the magic against Ohio. Lance Leipold's second year has not gone as well as many would have hoped, and now the hottest team in the conference in Miami comes to town. The Bulls hope they can spoil the party.
12 12 Bowling Green Falcons 1-8 106 The Falcons are going to get an opportunity at a road win when they travel to Akron Wednesday, and a chance to close out strong against Kent State next week. This is definitely a year zero for the Mike Jinks era, but enough talent remains on offense to be optimistic about the future.