Week 10 turned out to be a separation week, greatly clarifying who is in and who is out on both sides of the conference tables.
Depending on the results from last week, we could have been in a position where the waters were muddied in both divisions, but it went about as well as it could have on the West side for the leaders, while the East side is wide open for a potential representative.
Let’s get straight into it then, eh?
MAC West: CLINCHED
With their comeback victory over the Ball State Cardinals, the Toledo Rockets have clinched the MAC West. They were in danger over the last two weeks of being upset and perhaps falling out of the top spot after taking a tough loss to the Buffalo Bulls early on, but the Rockets persevered, and they will be rewarded with a trip to Detroit for the first time since they won the conference title back in 2017.
With five league wins under their belt and tie breakers over Ball State, CMU and EMU, no other team can overtake the Rockets for the league title, even if Toledo loses out. The best Ball State, CMU and EMU can do is get to five wins, but with CMU and EMU facing off in the final week of the season, the latter two could be capped at four wins.
With three league wins currently, the best that Ball State can do is get five wins.
Northern Illinois and Western Michigan have already fallen out of contention, as they can only get four wins maximum. So we congratulate the Toledo Rockets on their clinching of the of the 2022 MAC West.
It gets a little more complicated in the MAC East.
As it stands, Ohio is in first place at 5-1. With their earlier victory, they hold the tiebreaker over the Buffalo Bulls. It’s not all sunshine and rainbows, however, as Ohio still has to play Ball State and Bowling Green.
That creates three scenarios for the Bobcats:
- If they win both games, they are in.
- If they lose to Ball State but beat Bowling Green, they are in.
- If they lose both, they may be in but it depends on what Bowling Green does.
Buffalo suffered an aura-shattering loss to Central Michigan this week, and also lost their safety buffer. In any scenario, the Bulls must beat both Akron and Kent State to be able to have a chance. After that, the Bulls would need for either Ohio to lose both games or for Bowling Green to specifically beat Ohio. If BGSU beats Ohio, that gives Buffalo the tiebreaker over the Falcons due to their 38-7 victory earlier in the conference season. If Ohio beats BGSU, then it doesn’t matter.
Bowling Green took a severe loss of their own to Kent State to come crashing back down to reality. Now with two conference losses, BGSU is in must-win territory against cross-division rival Toledo if they want to keep their hopes alive. After that, they must beat Ohio to gain the tiebreaker. However, if they lost to Toledo, there’s still a chance. BGSU would need to Ohio to lose to Ball State and then beat the Bobcats for the head-to-head tiebreaker.
In either scenario, they need Buffalo to lose out to have their best chance at going to Detroit.
So there you have it. May the next week of games bring more intrigue to the stage!