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2019 MAC Football Power Rankings: Week 3

The ties are broken, as teams are starting to separate themselves before the MAC season starts in full.

NCAA Football: Eastern Michigan at Illinois Patrick Gorski-USA TODAY Sports

Week 3 is in the books, and if you thought we knew much about the MAC this season, well, throw it out.

Many of the teams expected to be tops in the league are struggling to get to .500, while other middling programs have been iinconsistent and hard to get a read on. The bottom has been largely dependable, but with so much ruckus going on above them, it wouldn’t be out of the blue for one of those teams to emerge.

The voters, whose tallies resulted in a lot of ties last week, at least were able to break those, as we have a straight 12-to-1 ballot this time around. So that’s resolved for now.

Without further ado: the rankings.

12. Akron Zips (Last week: 12)

  • Unanimous #12

Akron lost again, this time to CMU in a cross-division conference game. They looked lifeless for much of it, especially in the first quarter, where Kato Nelson had exactly one yard of passing. There’s a lot to fix for the Zips, but they knew that going into the season.

11. Bowling Green Falcons (LW:10)

  • Average vote: 10.85
  • Highest vote: 10 (one)
  • Lowest vote: 11 (six)

It wasn’t all bad in a 35-7 loss to Louisiana Tech, but they’re still 1-2, with their only win being the season opener against Morgan State. The offense has failed to do much of anything vs. FBS-level opponents, getting outscored 87-7 in two games thus far.

The team might return to its Week 1 form against a struggling Kent State program.

10. Kent State Golden Flashes (LW: 11)

  • Average vote: 9.85
  • Highest vote: 9 (two)
  • Lowest vote: 11 (one)

Kent State lost to #8 Auburn, so they’ll remain down here for the foreseeable future, with a 1-2 record. It was a valiant effort which saw the offense actually producing points against one of the tougher defenses in the country. Chalk it up to a moral victory as they enter conference play with BG next week.

9. Central Michigan Chippewas (LW: 9)

  • Average vote: 8.71
  • Highest vote: 6 (one)
  • Lowest vote: 10 (two)

The Chippewas looked really good at home once again, picking up a convincing 45-24 victory over the Akron Zips. An offense which saw a couple of second-stringers starting at key positions due to injury showed themselves capable, with David Moore throwing for over 300 yards and two touchdowns, while Kobe Lewis (148 yards, three touchdowns) anchored the run game. They head to South Florida to face the Miami Hurricanes for their next game.

8. Ball State Cardinals (LW: 8)

  • Average vote: 7.42
  • Highest vote: 6 (one)
  • Lowest vote: 9 (one)

Ball State had another back-and-forth game against FAU, jumping to a big lead over them before turnovers doomed them to a close loss. If that sounds familiar, look at the Indiana box score. They’re currently 1-2, but they’ve shown themselves to be an intriguing team which has plenty of dark horse potential. They play NC State next week.

7. Buffalo Bulls (LW: t-6)

  • Average vote: 7.28
  • Highest vote: 6 (two)
  • Lowest vote: 9 (one)

Buffalo got plastered by Liberty, in what could best be described as a rude awakening after last week’s performance against Penn State. The Bulls have scored 13 and 17 points, respectively, in each of their losses, and Matt Myers has some growing pains to go thorugh as a freshman starter missing the majority of last season’s offensive skill players. They face Temple next week in what should prove a compelling game against former NIU coach Rod Carey.

6. Miami (OH) RedHawks (LW: t-6)

  • Average vote: 6.57
  • Highest vote: 5 (one)
  • Lowest vote: 8 (one)

Miami once again failed to secure the Victory Bell against rival Cincinnatti, and looked pretty bad in doing so. Miami has always been a volatile group under Chuck Martin’s coaching reign, and it’s apparent 2019 will be another one of those years. They’ll take on Ohio State in Week 4.

5. Northern Illinois Huskies (LW: 3)

  • Average vote: 4.57
  • Highest vote: 2 (one)
  • Lowest vote: 7 (one)

NIU looked every bit the betting underdog in what proved to be a huge blowout agaisnt Nebraska. It’s the second blowout by a Power Five team this season, in a row no less. They’re 1-2 on the year, and are in the Top 5, mostly because we know what they’re capable of heading into the MAC calendar. It doesn’t get a lot easier, though, as they next play SEC for Vanderbilt to round out the out-of-conference slate.

4. Western Michigan Broncos (LW: t-4)

  • Average vote: 3.57
  • Highest vote: 2 (two)
  • Lowest vote: 5 (two)

WMU looked pretty good again, overwhelming Georgia State with a fifty-burger on home ground. LeVante Bellamy scored three of WMU’s seven rushing touchdowns on the day, while the defense only allowed 10 points in the first quarter. WMU gets Syracuse in their last out-of-conference game ahead of their rivalry game with CMU.

3. Eastern Michigan Eagles (LW: t-4)

  • Average vote: 3.14
  • Highest vote: 1 (one)
  • Lowest vote: 5 (one)

Hey look, another one-score football game that EMU got involved in. This time, the Eagles were the team having to hold off the rally, having previously built up a 31-17 lead over Illinois before beating them 34-31 in Urbana-Champlaign. Mike Glass III looked fantastic on the day, earning MAC West Offensive Player of the Week honors for his efforts. This EMU team is now 2-1 on the year with their FCS cupcake coming up next week for the first home game of the season.

2. Ohio Bobcats (LW: 1)

  • Average vote: 2.14
  • Highest vote: 1 (three)
  • Lowest vote: 4 (one)

The Ohio Bobcats lost once again, this time to former MAC blood rival Marshall in a wild back-and-forth game. Marshall is one of the better teams in Conference USA, so it comes as no surprise the game was fiercely competitive. The Bobcats are off to a slow 1-2 start thus far, but there’s still a lot of belief in the Bobcats which will have to be validated soon. For now, they fall a spot. Ohio will take on the tricky Louisiana-Lafayette Ragin’ Cajuns hoping to get to 2-2 before the MAC slate starts in full.

1. Toledo Rockets (LW: 2)

  • Average vote: 1.185
  • Highest vote: 1 (three)
  • Lowest vote: 3 (two)

The Toledo Rockets end up at 1-1 thanks to a victory over Murray State after a Week 2 bye. Mitchell Guadagni looked healthy after getting injured in Week 1, and the rest of the Rockets took care of what was in front of them. We’re still learning about this group as a whole, and their game next week against Colorado State will help out a lot with that assesment.