What words can you use to describe last week’s #MACtion?
Ridiculous? Epic? Absofreakingawesome?
Well, whatever you used to describe it, it’s probably applicable, as the majority of the games in the weeknight slate so far this season have ended in upsets and/or one-score games, with a side effect of increasingly silly comeback attempts turning into gold.
It caused a lot of chaos in the standings, which feels appropriate, all considered.
12. Akron Zips (Last week: 12)
- Unanimous #12
The Akron Zips are still winless, and are therefore still at the bottom of our rankings once again.
11. Bowling Green Falcons (LW: 11)
- Unanimous #11
Bowling Green is still not very good, which was evident in a 44-3 obliteration against Miami last week. That’s too bad, because they’ve shown some moxie, even in several of their losses. The Falcons looked completely outclassed after failing on multiple opportunities to keep pressure on the RedHawks.
t-9. Northern Illinois Huskies (LW: 10)
- Average vote: 8.6
- Highest vote: 6 (one)
- Lowest vote: 10 (three)
NIU seemed to come alive in the first three quarters against Toledo, establishing a 28-7 lead on the Rockets on the road, just a week after looking lost and hopeless against Central Michigan in a road loss. But they had to hold off a furious rally and score in the waning moments to secure the win this past week.
They’re still technically alive in the MAC West race as a result, but they’re gonna need a lot of help, even if they get the job done on their end.
t-9. Kent State Golden Flashes (LW: 9)
- Average vote: 8.6
- Highest vote: 6 (one)
- Lowest vote: 9 (three)
Another week, another wild and rambunctious game for the Golden Flashes.
This time, they were the team to win by one score, pulling off perhaps the most improbably victory we’ve seen in several years against Buffalo on national TV. But the way they did it was more telling. They had to gap a 20+ point lead in the fourth quarter and kick a 44-yard field goal with one second on the clock to win, and they totally did it.
This team is really close to being a force to reckon with, and last week showed it.
8. Eastern Michigan Eagles (LW: 8)
- Average vote: 8
- Highest vote: 6 (two)
- Lowest vote: 10 (one)
The Eagles somehow still have a chance at a bowl game after winning this past week over Akron, even despite having a losing conference record, which is honestly very impressive when you think about it.
They’re certainly out of the MAC West division race, but can still play spoiler against NIU on Tuesday before taking on Kent State with a potential bowl bid on the line to end the season.
7. Ohio Bobcats (LW: 7)
- Average vote: 6.6
- Highest vote: 5 (one)
- Lowest vote: 8 (two)
The Bobcats dropped yet another heartbreaker last week, this time to Western Michigan, to drop into that danger zone of missing the postseason. They’ve lost all three of their conference games by a field goal, and the margin for error is now zero. Lucky for them, they face MAC East cellarswellers BGSU and Akron.
6. Toledo Rockets (LW: t-3)
- Average vote: 6.4
- Highest vote: 4 (two)
- Lowest vote: 8 (three)
Toledo put up a hell of a fight against Kent State, but they made a lot of mistakes that couldn’t be overcome at the end of the day, losing yet another game in-conference. They’re on the outside looking in for the MAC West, with their season likely on the line against CMU on Black Friday, yet again. Like fellow preseason favorite Ohio, the margin for error is zero, as they can’t afford to lose another game at this point.
5. Ball State Cardinals (LW: 6)
- Average vote: 6
- Highest vote: 4 (one)
- Lowest vote: 7 (three)
Ball State imploded on Saturday, thanks in part to an atrociously undisciplined defense cropping up alongside CMU making adjustments in all phases of the game to overtake Ball State at the end of the day. It’s not often you blow a 16+ point margin three times in a game, but the Cardinals did just that in a lackluster second half.
Even despite the grim circumstances of losing three-straight conference games, they’re still in contention in the wacky MAC West, although they’re gonna need several lifelines with losses to WMU and CMU, who are ahead of them.
4. Buffalo Bulls (LW: t-3)
- Average vote: 4.8
- Highest vote: 4 (two)
- Lowest vote: 6 (one)
When you are a team that gives up a 20+ point lead and loses it, you’re gonna drop.
But the Bulls are here largely because there’s really no one else to put here, for the most part. They blew an opportunity to compete for the MAC East title due to an earlier loss to Miami and losing their high-stakes game against Kent State, as they needed to win out and for Miami to lose to be able to win. They’re still one of the more formidable teams in the MAC, though, and will definitely be a tough out in a bowl game for whoever draws them.
3. Central Michigan Chippewas (LW: 5)
- Average vote: 2.6
- Highest vote: 2 (two)
- Lowest vote: 3 (three)
Central Michigan showed perseverence on the road against a quality Ball State side in a 17-point comeback victory on Saturday night to stay alive in the MAC West title race.
That’s something which hasn’t really happened on the road since the Miami [FL] game, and it marked what felt like a turning point in the season for the Chippewas, as it seemed like all the pieces finally came together in a fashion which is appealing. They have to take care of business vs. Toledo and hope NIU upsets WMU a couple days prior to go to Detroit.
2. Miami RedHawks (LW: 2)
- Average vote: 2.2
- Highest vote: 1 (once)
- Lowest vote: 2 (four)
Miami is going to Detroit, it’s official.
They rolled all over Bowling Green en route to securing the MAC East, thanks in part to Kent State pulling off the upset of upsets against Buffalo. It hasn’t always been an easy season for the RedHawks, who came in with a losing record coming out of out-of-conference play, but they turned on the afterburners in MAC play to earn their place.
1. Western Michigan Broncos (LW: 1)
- Average vote: 1.2
- Highest vote: 1 (four)
- Lowest vote: 2 (one)
WMU is still on top after sweating it out against the Ohio Bobcats on Nov. 12, eeking out a 37-34 victory on the strength of a LeVante Bellamy touchdown run in overtime. They’re now on a BYE and making final preparations for their game against NIU next Tuesday night.
Being on top of the tougher division usually means you’re in the tops of the league, and that proves to be the case once again this week, as the Broncos remain #1 for the second straight week despite Miami already clinching the MAC East with one conference loss.