Times are hard for the Mid-American Conference. After having the top two teams in the standings both suffer losses in the past week, and the conference continuing to expose itself as a wide-open crapshoot, the Mid-Major Top 25 wasn't too kind.
After weeks of seeing teams slip and slide in the mid-major coaches poll the MAC's top ranked team, Toledo, which just a few weeks ago sat as high as No. 3, has slipped once again, checking in at No. 7 this week. That's down one spot from a week ago, despite beating WMU, the hottest team in the MAC, and claiming first place in the MAC with one week to go before the conference tournament.
The Broncos' reward for falling to Toledo in overtime—we should note just days after narrowly beating the worst team in the conference in overtime—is a two-spot drop to No. 23 in this week's poll. The Broncos have had a hard time gaining respect amongst their mid-major peers despite having an impressive run in conference play due to a weak non-conference slate which has dramatically impacted WMU's RPI. The opposite, a strong non-conference slate, is the reason why Toledo has managed to hang out in the Top 10 despite being exposed several times in the past few weeks.
It's not all bad news for the MAC though. Buffalo has cracked College Insider's poll for the first time this season, checking in at No. 20, an impressive debut for Bobby Hurley's club. The Bulls have come on strong as of late and are in the driver's seat for a double-bye in the MAC Tournament. Recent wins over former longtime Mid-Major Top 25 residents Akron and Ohio, as well as a strong performance against WMU a few weeks back are certainly playing a key role in the Bulls debuting at such a high number so late in the season.
Elsewhere WMU has continued to garner some support, though its a far cry from cracking the poll. The Eagles hauled in six votes this week, half of Akron's total. Ohio pulled in 40.
Here's a look at the full poll, courtesy of CollegeInsider.com.
|1||Wichita State (31)||31-0||775||1||Missouri Valley|
|2||Stephen F. Austin||27-2||737||2||Southland|
|4||North Dakota State||23-6||670||4||Summit|
|8||Georgia State||22-7||524||8||Sun Belt|
|11||Indiana State||21-9||450||9||Missouri Valley|
|14||UC Irvine||21-10||307||22||Big West|
|17||UC Santa Barbara||19-8||270||13||Big West|
|18||North Carolina Central||23-5||252||18||MEAC|
|19||New Mexico State||22-9||229||10||WAC|
|22||Saint Mary's||21-10||128||20||West Coast|