We’ve finally made it to the last week of #MACtion! With games on Tuesday evening and Friday morning, every team will get one last chance to make an impression going into either the bowl season or the offseason.
There isn’t as much drama this week for bowl bubble teams, as only one team will have to fight for the right to a bowl bid in Week 13, but there’s still a lot to fight for this week for all 12 MAC squads.
Let’s get right to the rankings.
12. Ball State Cardinals (PW: 12)
- Record: 2-9 overall (0-7 MAC)
- Low vote: 12 (seven times)
- High vote: 10 (once)
- Average vote: 11.75
Yeah, we’ve said all we can say here.
11. Kent State Golden Flashes (PW: 11)
- Record: 2-9 overall (1-6 MAC)
- Low vote: 11 (five times)
- High vote: 10 (three times)
- Average vote: 10.625
The Flashes made the Chippewas sweat, which was a pleasant surprise, and looked competent (on the most part) on offense while doing so. But ultimately, they still found a way to lose, which is what losing teams do. That said, they’ve got a great chance to upset bitter rival Akron on the road in the Battle for the Wagon Wheel and ruin the Zips’ best season in years.
10. Bowling Green Falcons (PW: 10)
- Record: 2-9 overall (2-5 MAC)
- Low vote: 11 (three times)
- High vote: 10 (five times)
- Average vote: 10.375
The Falcons offense is a lot of fun to watch. The Falcons defense... is another story. BGSU had a great chance to pull off a miracle upset, down just one score at the half, but ultimately was unable to sustain the momentum before getting thrashed by Toledo. They’ll end the season against EMU.
9. Miami RedHawks (PW: 8)
- Record: 4-7 overall (3-5 MAC)
- Low vote: 9 (five times)
- High vote: 8 (three times)
- Average vote: 8.625
Miami is officially out of bowl contention, losing to EMU last week. It’s a disappointment to say the least after a 2016 campaign which saw the RedHawks catch fire over the last six games to attain bowl eligibility. Some saw Miami as a MAC East dark horse, but alas, it wasn’t meant to be. There will be many questions whispered in Oxford this offseason, but for now there’s an opportunity to collect a win in the newly-formed Redbird Rivalry against Ball State.
8. Buffalo Bulls (PW: 7)
- Record: 5-6 overall (3-4 MAC)
- Low vote: 9 (three times)
- High vote: 7 (three times)
- Average vote: 8
The Bulls collected a win against Ball State and looked good doing it, as Tyree Jackson and Anthony Johnson connected for four touchdowns on the day. They’ve got an outside chance at clinching a bowl berth if they can upset Ohio, but that’s a demanding task at this point.
7. Eastern Michigan Eagles (PW: 9)
- Record: 4-7 overall (2-5 MAC)
- Low vote: 7 (four times)
- High vote: 5 (once)
- Average vote: 7.125
EMU collected a win against MAC East foe Miami to wreck the RedHawks’ chances at a bowl game, so they have that going for them this season. They have another chance to collect a win against BGSU on Tuesday night #MACtion.
6. Western Michigan Broncos (PW: t-6)
- Record: 6-5 overall (4-3 MAC)
- Low vote: 6 (four times)
- High vote: 5 (four times)
- Average vote: 5.5
Another week, another WMU rally falling short. Trailing 21-14 at the half, the Broncos scored 14 straight and shut out NIU in the third quarter to push the game to 28-21 in their favor. It all went wrong from there, as NIU stormed back in the fourth to take victory from the jaws of defeat on the legs of Jordan Huff. WMU did everything right and still lost somehow. Just that kind of season.
5. Central Michigan Chippewas (PW: 4)
- Record: 7-4 (4-2 MAC)
- Low vote: 7 (once)
- High vote: 4 (twice)
- Average vote: 5.25
CMU has won four in a row and could clinch its first eight-win season since 2009 with a win on Black Friday against NIU, who they’ve beaten three years in a row. They’re in a great spot right now, securing a winning season and seeking to build on this year’s success by finding a marquee lower bowl game.
It wasn’t easy, however. CMU had to earn a hard-fought win on the road against Kent State, which might be why they fell in our rankings despite a win.
4. Akron Zips (PW: 5)
- Record: 6-5 overall (5-2 MAC)
- Low vote: 6 (twice)
- High vote: 2 (once)
- Average vote: 4.125
Akron did it: they beat Ohio, and they did it with backup QB Kato Nelson, who once again served as the starter in the stead of Thomas Woodson. Now, they’re in the driver’s seat for the MAC East, only needing a win against rival Kent State to win the division. In lieu of that, they would need a Buffalo upset of Ohio. But right now, things are looking good for the Fighting Zippys.
3. Northern Illinois Huskies (PW: 3)
- Record: 8-3 overall (6-1 MAC)
- Low vote: 4 (three times)
- High vote: 2 (twice)
- Average vote: 3.125
NIU won and sits at 6-1 in the MAC, which is an incredible feat considering the panic which overtook DeKalb after a less-than-desirable out-of-conference schedule. Even with QB Marcus Childers limited to 64 passing yards and one interception against WMU, the Huskies still toughed out a four-point victory, thanks in part to a rough-and-tumble defense.
They could possibly win the division with a win over CMU and a Toledo loss vs. WMU. Both games are being played simultaneously on Black Friday, which will add to the intrigue.
2. Ohio Bobcats (PW: 1)
- Record: 8-3 overall (5-2 MAC)
- Low vote: 3 (three times)
- High vote: 1 (once)
- Average vote: 2.25
Ohio had a great opportunity to lock up another trip to Detroit with a win over Akron and well... they didn’t. That isn’t for lack of trying, however. The game was back and forth from the start, with Ohio setting the pace early. But Akron forced the issue, limiting the Bobcats to just 10 points in the second half. Now, the Bobcats will have to beat Buffalo (who is looking to clinch a bowl berth) and hope Kent State can upset the Zips on the road.
That’s asking a lot.
1: Toledo Rockets (PW: 2)
- Record: 9-2 overall (6-1 MAC)
- Low vote: 2 (once)
- High vote: 1 (seven times)
Well, it didn’t take very long for the Rockets to get back to the top of the Power Rankings.
They plastered BGSU with 66 points of offense, scoring touchdowns with second-and-third string skill position players. It looked like for a moment the Rockets might be in for another disappointing result, as BGSU kept the halftime score respectable, but Toledo remembered who they were and now they can win the MAC West and clinch a trip to Detroit with a win against WMU on Black Friday.