#1 Buffalo Bulls
(14-1 overall, 2-0 MAC)
Well that was easy. The problem comes when trying to make sense of the first week of MAC play. Toledo is off to an 0-2 start, losing by a combined 45 points. Bowling Green housed both conference opponents, but at a sub par non-conference record. Ball State played a rough non-conference schedule, did fairly well, dominated Toledo, lost to EMU. EMU finally played to potential, beat Ball State, but looked mostly terrible the rest of the season. I don’t know how to quantify all of this into power rankings. So this particular rankings will be more about the eye test, based on conference games. It will look nothing like the non-conference rankings, and will probably steady out next week, once we have more head to head contests.
#12 Western Michigan Broncos
(6-9 overall, 0-2 MAC)
They lost two games on the road to a pair of solid opponents. There are 4 teams that started conference play 0-2, and really they all showed a little promise, so I suppose I differed to overall record when slotting the Broncos last.
#11 Miami RedHawks
(8-7 overall, 0-2 MAC)
RedHawks faithful will likely be up in arms about such a low ranking. They should be. The RedHawks have talent. I am starting to believe 2-12 will be a tie at the end of the season.
#10 Ohio Bobcats
(8-6 overall, 0-2 MAC)
Another team with potential, the Bobcats don’t quite mesh as a team. The pieces are there, so I expect them to win their share of conference games.
#9 Toledo Rockets
(12-3 overall, 0-2 MAC)
Dozens of people are probably marching on our offices after they read this. “How could a team that is 12-3 be ranked so low?) Well, because they have looked terrible in their two games, and their non-conference schedule was weak. Of course they are probably not the 9th best team in the conference, but this week has been exceptionally difficult to make sense of.
#8 Akron Zips
(9-6 overall, 1-1 MAC)
I might have punished the Zips a bit for scoring 56 in a win and 86 in a loss. That’s record level inconsistency, but probably their overall record slotted them here.
#7 Kent State Golden Flashes
(12-3 overall, 1-1 MAC)
The Golden Flashes are much like the Rockets, with a hard to figure out non-conference record. Unlike the Rockets, they have a win in conference play. Like the Rockets, I expect this team to jump next week.
#6 Ball State Cardinals
(10-5 overall, 1-1 MAC)
I’ve had the Cardinals all over these rankings. In all honesty, I think they are one of the 4 best teams in the conference. The problem is that the team at number 5 went to their house and beat them.
#5 Eastern Michigan Eagles
(7-8 overall, 1-1 MAC)
I hate the 2-3 zone for college basketball and above. This team has played under their talent level all season, and doesn’t quite fit. They lack guard play to consistently score with a boatload of bigs. However, they have loads of potential, and showed it on the road in Muncie. I expect them to drop in the upcoming weeks, but would not be shocked if they rise.
#4 Northern Illinois Huskies
(9-6 overall, 2-0 MAC)
Undefeated in conference play, and a team that fits well nicely together. I don’t think their overall 9-6 non-conference record was a complete lie, however. They’ve shown the ability to have some lapses from time to time. I am inclined to believe they will drop a few spots as the season progresses, but not much.
#3 Bowling Green Falcons
(10-5 overall, 2-0 MAC)
The Falcons have been impressive this conference season, blowing out both Kent and Ohio. Much like the Huskies, they get lost from time to time. I am just slightly more sold on the trio of Turner, Frye, and Wiggins.
#2 Central Michigan Chippewas
(13-2 overall, 2-0 MAC)
This team can score. You win basketball games by scoring more points than your opponent. They play just enough defense to be a very good, at least to this point. Maybe it bites them in the ass like it did the Rockets. Time will tell.