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2017 MAC Football Power Rankings: Week 7

Last week produced a bunch of results no one saw coming. So what does it all mean?

Toledo v Miami Photo by Joel Auerbach/Getty Images

Week 6 was a bit of a riot, as all 12 teams not only saw action, but saw action against conference foes.

This means a lot of movement in our voter-based power rankings, as some surprise results forced our voters to consider mitigating factors and re-evaluate how they viewed each team.

Without further ado: the rankings:

12. Kent State Golden Flashes (PR: 11)

  • 1-5 overall, 0-2 MAC
  • Average vote: 11.75
  • High vote: 11 (twice), low: 12 (six)

The Golden Flashes are not only in a never-ending offensive struggle, but the normally-sturdy defense looked suspect against NIU’s third-string quarterback, giving up three touchdowns and no interceptions to Marcus Childers.

11. Bowling Green Falcons (PR: 12)

  • 1-5 overall, 1-1 MAC
  • Average vote: 10.75
  • High vote: 10 (three times), low: 12 (twice)

The Falcons finally won! That’s good news for a team that desparately needed it. ANd they managed to pull off the feat against a Miami squad that was in the running for the MAC East title. BGSU has been on the verge of a win for a while now, so it’s good to see them get one.

10. Ball State Cardinals (PR: 10)

  • 2-4 overall, 0-2 MAC
  • Average vote: 10
  • High vote: 8, low: 11 (twice)

Ball State has been outscored 86-6 in the last two games, which we have to point out isn’t great. They’ve looked lost without Riley Neal and James Gilbert to help buoy the offense. The defense has also had to deal with two of the better teams in the conference to start the league slate, so we hope this is just a temporary thing.

9. Miami-Ohio Redhawks (PR: 7)

  • 2-4 overall, 1-1 MAC
  • Average vote: 8.37
  • High vote: 7 (twice), low: 11

The RedHawks have taken a beating the last two weeks. After sailing to a win against CMU on the road, the ‘Hawks traveled to South Bend for an (exptected) sound beating. They came back to Yager Stadium hoping to go 2-0 in the MAC East against sorry BGSU. That didn’t happen, as Gus Ragland got injured late in the game and the Falcons defense smothered Billy Bahl, who came on to the field in relief.

8. Akron Zips (PR: 9)

  • 3-3 overall, 1-1 MAC
  • Average vote: 8
  • High vote: 5, low: 9 (five times)

The Zips have found themselves in the MAC East lead after two straight conference victories, which is right where they hoped to be at this point in the season. Granted, the two wins were against BGSU and Ball State, but the Zips looked good during both performances.

7. Central Michigan Chippewas (PR: 8)

  • 3-3 overall, 1-1 MAC
  • Average vote: 6.875
  • High vote: 5, low: 9

Hey, look at that! The Chips had their act together in Week 6. After a three-game skid that looked like it could doom CMU’s season before it really began, Tyler Conklin and the Chippewa defense (without Amari Coleman) willed together a victory against the Bobcats.

They draw a Toledo squad which is a bit beat up on offense at home for Homecoming this Saturday, so they could really make a statement and put themselves back in the conversation for the MAC West.

6. Buffalo Bulls (PR: 6)

  • 3-3 overall, 1-1 MAC
  • Average vote: 6
  • High vote: 5 (three votes), low vote: 8

We should probably Cold Takes Exposed ourselves here. This is James “Rocket” Snyder from last week’s rankings:

Well, the Bulls then went out and scored 68 points in a loss while forcing starting and then completing a comeback rally from down 24-10 in the third quarter to force the first of seven overtimes. That made us look silly, didn’t it?

The weirdness of the 7OT game gives the voters the benefit of the doubt, as the Bulls kept their ranking from last week despite the loss. Up next on the schedule comes NIU, which promises to be an interesting clash between two back-up quarterbacks and two hard-hitting defenses.

5. Eastern Michigan Eagles

  • 2-3 overall, 0-2 MAC
  • Average vote: 4.75
  • High vote: 2, low vote: 7

Our voters had very volatile opinions on the Eagles, who are the only team with two conference losses to even sniff the Top 10, much less the Top 5.

They’ve certainly shown a lot of fight in recent weeks, taking Kentucky down to the wire on the road and rallying to push the Toledo Rockets (also on the road) to make a case based on the “eye test.” They passed with five of our voters placing them in the Top 5, but if they continue to struggle in conference play, we’ll have to re-evaluate them.

They face Army West Point in their final non-conference matchup on Saturday.

4. Ohio University Bobcats (PR: 2)

  • 4-2 overall, 1-1 MAC
  • Average vote: 4.375
  • High vote: 3 (twice), 6 (twice)

Well, that wasn’t how last week was supposed to go.

Ohio had their homecoming ruined by the visting CMU Chippewas, thanks in part to four offensive fumbles lost and a bad special teams play at the end of the first half which ultimately proved to be a key difference on the scoreboard.

The Bobcats looked sloppy and had a hard time navigating a stiff CMU defense. They also lost grip on the MAC East lead. It was, overall, a tough week.

3. Northern Illinois Huskies (PR: 4)

  • 3-2 overall, 1-0 MAC
  • Average vote: 3.125
  • High vote: 1 (twice), low: 6

Last week, we said we didn’t have a definitive answer on this team in terms of how good they could be. We’re in the same position again this week, unfortunately.

Yes, the Huskies won, but it was against a lowly Kent State squad. And the Huskies switched out their quarterback, so that makes projections very hard to do. What we do know is the Huskies have one of the most ferocious defenses in the country, and that will carry them to many victories, especially with the offense still figuring things out.

2. Western Michigan Broncos (PR: 3)

  • 4-2 overall, 2-0 MAC
  • Average vote: 2.125
  • High vote: 1, low: 3 (three times)

The Broncos have found their offensive rhythm, to say the least.

They posted 71 points against Buffalo in a 7OT victory the week after posting 55 on Ball State, showing that scoreboards will not be spared on any gridiron the Broncos find themselves on.

They didn’t earn it without getting hurt, however. Jamauri Bogan and LaVante Bellamy left the game with injuries, leaving Jarvion Franklin to largely be responsible for the running offense for the Broncos. He was effective, but with an offense predicated in a three-headed monster in the backfield, WMU will be wary about what could happen next.

It doesn’t get easier from here, as they look to defend a MAC West crown from the previous regime against a suddenly resurgent MAC West.

1- Toledo Rockets (PR: 1)

  • 4-1 overall, 1-0 MAC
  • Average vote: 1.625
  • High vote: 1, low: 3 (two times)

The class of the conference since the conference started playing this year, Toledo finds themselves in a hunted position rather than a hunter. With seven MAC games standing in their way of a trip to Detroit, the Rockets can make some headway this weekend when they travel to Mount Pleasant for a date with the CMU Chippewas.

What say you? Where did your Belt crew get it right or wrong?