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MAC Men's Basketball Power Rankings: Top three stay the same, but the rest is a toss-up

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NIU rises, CMU falls again and Bowling Green gets out of the cellar.

Matt Cashore-USA TODAY Sports

It's almost a month into the season, and it feels like we still don't know anything. There are some good teams in this conference, but none that will totally dominate. This year could be one of those years where the conference champion has 5-6 losses in MAC play and there will be a large bunch of teams hovering around 8-8. It's sure to be another wild season in the conference, which hardly comes as a surprise.

Note: Rankings are compiled through Sunday's games.

Rank Team (1st-place votes) Points Last Week
1 Akron (11) 20 1
2 Toledo 35 2
3 Kent State 56 3
4 Northern Illinois 66 8
5 Eastern Michigan (1) 74 7
6t Ball State 82 10
6t Buffalo 82 9
8 Western Michigan 88 6
9 Ohio 90 4
10 Central Michigan 92 5
11 Bowling Green 112 12
12 Miami 124 11

That's a big change.

We know the three best teams right now are Akron, Toledo and Kent State. Right now those three are pretty interchangeable, with Akron having the best win (at Arkansas). The Zips and Rockets did struggle a little this week, with Coppin State giving Akron a lot more of a game than it should and Toledo needing a Jaelan Sanford buzzer-beater to win at Green Bay. Wins are wins, especially in non-conference play, but these teams are far from invincible.

The middle of the conference is just a mess. It really is. Last week's ranking just shows how much we (or anyone else for that matter) knows about these teams. Northern Illinois is 7-1 with the only loss being by 7 at Missouri. Eastern Michigan is 5-3 but with only two wins over Division 1 competition. Ball State equaled their win total from last season (7) this week and have that signature win over Valpo.

Western Michigan, Ohio and Central Michigan fell big time since last week. The Broncos have lost two in a row and three of their last four, and really miss Connar Tava. Ohio's drop is a little more surprising, as they smothered Marshall and lost on the road to a good St. Bonaventure team. Poor Central Michigan, who just can't get Chris Fowler back soon enough. They were cruising to a blowout win over lowly McNeese State, but had to make free throws late to hold on to a one-point victory. A close loss at Grand Canyon isn't bad, but the Chips sit at 3-4 and just don't look all that good right now.

Bowling Green sits at 6-2 but are still near the bottom. Their non-conference schedule isn't great, but if they keep winning they'll shoot up the rankings. Miami has some good talent but just can't put it together to win games they should. John Cooper has a lot of work to do in Oxford if he wants to stay off of the hot seat come March.