The second week of conference play has now wrapped up, but things are not any clearer than they were at the beginning of the new year. Preseason favorite Akron sits at just 2-2 after being embarrassed at Central Michigan and Toledo, while Bowling Green, Northern Illinois and Ball State sit surprisingly at 3-1. Will this week answer any questions? Or just leave us scratching our collective head again?
Note: Rankings compiled through Saturdays' games.
|Rank||Team (1st Place Votes)||Points||Last Week|
|1||Northern Illinois (4)||32||2|
|2||Kent State (6)||43||5|
|4||Ball State (1)||59||7|
|6||Bowling Green (1)||71||10|
Well now, that's quite a shake-up.
Northern Illinois is our new number one team after beating Toledo on the road. They lost to Western Michigan in Kalamazoo, but mainly because four players were ejected after a skirmish. Who knows if the Huskies would have beaten WMU at full strength, but the voting shows that even with that loss NIU still is the best team in the conference right now.
Ball State and Kent State both made big jumps from last week. The Cardinals did what NIU couldn't - win at Western - but struggled to beat lowly Miami at home. The Golden Flashes protected home court by beating both Miami and Ohio. This year it's going to be tough to put up back-to-back victories, but that's what both of these teams did this week, providing them momentum heading into this weeks' games.
Ohio took a major slide after falling at home to Bowling Green and on the road at Kent. The BG game should have been a win - the Bobcats had a huge lead early in the second half - but couldn't defend to save their lives. The offense is always going to be there, but the real question is can Ohio get stops defensively.