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MAC Men's Basketball Power Rankings: Akron blows field away, middle still a mess

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Another week gone by, another week we have no idea how to rank the middle of the conference.

Derik Hamilton-USA TODAY Sports

This was a pretty slow week with only a handful of games played due to finals week, but that doesn't mean there wasn't a lot of movement among the teams in our power rankings. A team went from ninth to fifth and two teams fell from sixth to tied for eighth and tenth. This is shaping up to be as unpredictable of a season as ever in the conference, and our struggles putting together these rankings show that.

Note: Rankings are compiled through Sundays' games.

Rank Team (1st-place votes) Points Last Week
1 Akron (10) 19 1
2 Kent State 41 3
3 Toledo 49 2
4 Northern Illinois (1) 61 4
5 Ohio 71 9
6 Eastern Michigan 74 5
7 Central Michigan 77 10
8t Western Michigan 81 8
8t Buffalo 81 6t
10 Ball State 82 6t
11 Bowling Green 103 11
12 Miami 113 12

Akron is far and away the leader, nabbing all but one first place vote in the past two weeks. The Zips sit at 7-2 but face some tough competition next week after finals, as they travel to Las Vegas to play UC Santa Barbara and Iona in the South Point Hoops Classic.

Ohio is the big jumper of the week, moving from ninth to fifth. The 5-3 Bobcats have a very easy rest of their non-conference schedule, playing two sub-200 Ken Pom teams and one D2 team. The UC-Riverside game on December 30 may be a little challenging, but expect the Bobcats to be 9-3 heading into the conference slate. By the way, nine wins is just one less than they had over the entirety of last season.

Ball State and Buffalo both fell probably somewhat unfairly. The Cardinals were beaten at home by a decent Pepperdine team, but if you want to compete in this conference you need to win games like those. Buffalo lost three in a row to St. Bonaventure, at Duke and at Iowa State before beating Binghamton at home. Give Nate Oats a lot of credit for playing those teams back-to-back; that'll only help them in conference play.

Bowling Green can't seem to get any love even though they sit at 7-3 and were riding a six-game winning streak before losing at Detroit over the weekend. The schedule has set up nicely for them, as they have yet to beat anyone ranked under 200 by KenPom. With Wright State, Cleveland State and Oakland City coming up on the schedule, the Falcons may be waiting awhile to get a signature win.