Earlier this year, I announced that I officially accepted the Buffalo Bulls as full fledged members of the MAC. Of course no one really cares if I accept them or not, but I felt a need to throw it out there. There were several reasons I made that announcement. One, the Bulls have been a part of the conference long enough that it now feels natural when I do a preview of their games to think of it as a conference game. Two, and this was probably the most important reason, I no longer feel like they have one foot out the door. Part of me has always felt that Buffalo was in this weird place where they were new to FBS, but also felt they were better than the MAC. An unruly teenager, if you will. I now believe they feel a part of the MAC, which makes it much easier for me to accept them. Third, geographical footprints are becoming a thing of the past. Buffalo’s latest victory was a curb stomping of a Big Ten team. This Rutgers team is also out of the geographical footprint of the Big Ten, yet they are now a member.
Funny how all this stuff comes full circle.
There was a time when I considered the Big Ten two tiers above the MAC. Using a 5 point system, a mediocre Big Ten team was the equal of a great MAC team. A terrible Big Ten team was the equal of a mediocre MAC squad. Now the MAC is only a step, or half a step below.
Ohio State is a great Big Ten team this year, by all appearances. They beat Rutgers by 52-3 in the ‘Shoe. Buffalo traveled to Jersey and knocked of the Scarlet Knights 42-13. That’s about the same type of score. That similarity of score is no coincidence.
Ohio State is probably a better team than Buffalo, and probably deserves their top 5 rankings. It’s still early in the season.
Buffalo is probably only a step behind Ohio State, or maybe not even. Buffalo probably should be ranked. 11 of the top 25 teams already have a loss. Buffalo has had two close games. Temple, who is 2-2 on the year, but could be 3-1 save for a 2 points loss the first game of the season. Aside from that, Temple knocked off 3-1 Maryland team that beat Texas and killed Minnesota. The other close win was against fellow MAC squad EMU, which has also had a pretty good season thus far. EMU’s other loss was in overtime to San Diego State, which beat Arizona State and lost to Stanford.
The gap between the G5 and the P5 has clearly closed, yet the poll does not reflect that.
Do I really think Buffalo is a top 25 team? I am on the fence. If they knock off an Army squad that took Oklahoma to overtime, then I will be convinced. Sadly, I believe the poll will still leave them out, though they might get up to 40 votes or some nonsense.
It’s a G5 life. Fly the flag!
ICYMI: @UBFootball is 4-0 for the first time since becoming an FBS program. ( : @UBAthletics) #FlyTheFlag #MACtion pic.twitter.com/nfoheZMFPk— #MACtion (@MACSports) September 23, 2018