clock menu more-arrow no yes

Filed under:

Hustle Belt Power Rankings: Little Changes Despite Weak Showings

New, 16 comments

Despite crushing losses to Power 5 opponents, little changed from last week's rankings. Was your team one of the few to rise or fall?

Beth Hall-USA TODAY Sports

Last week was rough.  With the last round of mass non-conference games being played, EMU, Bowling Green, UMass, and NIU all got walloped by Power 5 schools while Akron fell to Marshall and Ohio struggled to put away Idaho at home.  Still, three MAC schools scored solid wins in blowouts (Buffalo, WMU) or conference games ending after midnight (Toledo).  So what did that mean for the power rankings?  Let's find out!

It's Gonna Be A Long Conference Season

13.  Eastern Michigan
12.  UMass
11.  Kent State
10.  Miami

Miami is a really curious case.  They're 0-4, but have held their own against Michigan, Marshall, and Cincinnati, with last two dominating stronger conference opponents in Akron, Toledo, and Ohio.  Still, they dropped a game to Eastern Kentucky.  The RedHawks are one of those teams that could sneak into the MAC Championship with a 6-6 record, especially with the weakness of the East right now.  They could also go for double digit losses again.  Next week should give us a great indication on where they are.

The Last Bowl Spot Contenders

9.  Western Michigan
8.  Central Michigan
t-6.  Buffalo
t-6.  Ohio

I'm just going to go at this group rather than single a team out.  WMU is 2-1 despite a -1 turnover ratio thanks in part to Jarvion Franklin doing beast mode things.  They will be at least .500 heading into conference play, and could contend for a bowl game if the defense can pick up their play.  Lump Buffalo in there too, as the Bulls are showing some strong play despite the Buffalo drubbing.

Meanwhile, Ohio and CMU are trending downwards.  Ohio got thumped by Marshall and barely held on to beat an Idaho team that just a week prior got thrown around by the Broncos.  CMU on the other hand can't seem to keep players on the field be it from injuries or suspensions.  When Titus Davis returns, he'll help bolster that offense, but the lack of a run game is frightening for a team that has no other weapon on that side of the ball.

They Will Battle For The Crown

5.  Akron
4.  Ball State
3.  Bowling Green
2.  Toledo

All four of these teams seem poised to battle for the MAC crown, but have yet to show the consistency to do it.  Ball State have lost their past two games after looking like a clear top team by scaring the pants off Iowa.  Akron's Kyle Pohl seems to be collapsing, and BGSU and Toledo will knock the other out when they play, albeit with their 2nd string or lower QB.  Strong, but not strong enough for.....

The Crown Jewel of the MAC

1.  NIU

Was there any doubt?  Despite getting thrashed by Arkansas, NIU remains at the top in part to two reasons:  (1) they're still 3-1 with wins over Northwestern and UNLV and (2) Arkansas is a really good team in the toughest division in football.  Seriously, the Razorbacks could sneak into a bowl game going 6-6 and finish last in their division.  That's how stacked it is down there.

So do you agree with us?  Think we're crazy?  Let us know