Quinn’s Bulls collapsed in a 37-27 loss to Eastern Michigan. Northern Illinois, meanwhile, got bumped off in DeKalb by Central Michigan, 34-17. Another upset, at least to some, was Western Michigan pulling out a 42-38 win at Ball State.
Three of the top four teams in last week’s power rankings fell. The next three in line all won. Surely, such results will shake up the MAC Reporter Online Power Rankings.
1. BOWLING GREEN (5-2, 3-0 MAC)
The Falcons took care of business last week, traveling to Ohio to douse the Bobcats’ homecoming. In the bend but don’t break fashion, BG’s defense gave up a ton of yards, but it still managed to hold Ohio to one fourth quarter TD and a pair of first half field goals. It was just the second time this year, BG has won by more than five points. With Western Michigan in town this week, the Falcons defense may take another stat hit. As long as they can keep posting wins, they can probably live with it.
2. TOLEDO (4-3, 3-0 MAC)
The Rockets went out of conference last week and dropped a 37-30 decision at Iowa State. That snapped a three-game winning UT winning streak. With a potent UMass squad coming to the Glass Bowl Saturday, Toledo needs to keep its focus. The Minutemen are putting up a lot of points these days (42, 41, 40 respectively over last three games).
3. WESTERN MICHIGAN (3-3, 1-1 MAC)
Down by 10 on the road in the fourth quarter, WMU scored two touchdowns after the 8:00 mark to edge Ball State Saturday. Freshman RB Jarvion Franklin continued to shine, carrying 24 times for 161 yards (6.7 ypc) with three touchdowns. Corey Davis, meanwhile, turned six receptions into 154 yards and a touchdown. Sophomore Daniel Braverman snagged 10 receptions for 96 yards and two TDs. This week’s trip to Bowling Green has all the makings of a busy day for the scoreboard operator.
4. AKRON (4-2, 2-0 MAC)
The Zips made it three in a row last week with a 29-19 victory over Miami. Aside from the 48-17 loss to Marshall, the Zips defense has been anywhere between steady to darn right good. Akron leads the MAC in scoring defense with a 17.3 ppg average. That’s just over six points better than Central Michigan in second place.
5. CENTRAL MICHIGAN (4-3, 2-1 MAC)
The Chippewas pulled off a huge win when they broke Northern Illinois’ 28-game winning streak Saturday. Senior Thomas Rawls led the way on offense with 40 carries for 270 yards. That puts him atop MAC rushers with an average of 168 yards per contest. Sprinkle in some Cooper Rush passing (20 of 31 for 269 yards with 2 TDs, 1 Int) with the run game and CMU’s defense – that is a winning formula.
6. NORTHERN ILLINOIS (4-2, 1-1 MAC)
Somebody out there is saying, “Really, they lose one MAC game and they fall from first to sixth. Well, the Huskies have time to work their way back up, but they can’t be ahead of CMU at this point. The last three weeks have been anything but impressive. Nipping Kent State, 17-14, at home two weeks ago was probably a red flag.
7. BUFFALO (3-4, 1-2 MAC)
The Bulls fell face first on the gray “parking lot” turf of Eastern Michigan last week. They appeared to be in command with a 10-0 lead in the second quarter, but redshirt freshman quarterback Reginald Bell Jr. entered the game and ran for 202 yards to guide the Eagles to victory. Head coach Jeff Quinn, who was at the helm a week earlier when UB nearly knocked off MAC East leader Bowling Green (36-35) on the road, was dismissed several days later.
The Bulls have a bunch of talent, so it will be interesting to see how the move affects the team short term. Buffalo is off this week, so the Bulls have an extra week to regroup and prepare for Central Michigan before returning to MAC East competition.
8. OHIO (3-4, 1-2 MAC)
The Bobcats were able to move the ball last week against Bowling Green (as most teams do). The trouble for OU was that all the traveling (513 yards to 355 for BG) resulted in just 13 Bobcat points. Ohio ranks 120th nationally in points scored (18.1 ppg). That kind of production is going to be a problem with some of many teams on the remaining schedule. Akron’s defense (No. 1 MAC, scoring) figures to be a challenge this week.
9. BALL STATE (1-5, 0-2 MAC)
The Cardinals had a great chance to break their losing streak last week. Playing at home with a 10-point lead in the fourth quarter, they gave up 14 unanswered points. Ball State’s final drive set the Cardinals up with first and goal at the Western Michigan eight, but four passes fell incomplete. The Cardinals can play with anybody, but they need to start beating somebody.
10. MIAMI (1-6, 1-2 MAC)
Akron’s defense was too much for Miami last week. The Zips had nine sacks (and a safety) on the way to a 29-19 win. Three turnovers and 12 penalties – some at critical times -- for 102 yards were reminiscent of early season miscues. Rushing continues to a problem area as MU had zero yards on the ground while Akron totaled 151. On the plus side, WR David Frazier was again named MAC East Offensive Player of the Week after accumulating nine catches for 132 yards and two touchdowns.
11. UMASS (1-6, 1-2 MAC)
The Minutemen are poised to move up after ending their season-long losing streak with a 40-17 road thumping of Kent State. After coming sooooo close the week before at Miami, UMass pulled away, outscoring the hosts 33-7 after trailing early. QB Flake Frohnapfel leads the MAC in passing with 306.6 yards per game and 18 touchdowns. Sophomore RB Lorenzo Woodley provided 160 yards on 23 carries with one TD against KSU.
12. EASTERN MICHIGAN (2-4, 1-1 MAC)
The Eagles have taken flight and left the Power Rankings basement. It will be interesting to see what Reginald Bell might due for an encore. In addition to his 202 yards rushing, Bell completed 8 of 13 for 144 yards and one TD last week. The 37 points against Buffalo easily eclipsed EMU’s total points during its four-game losing streak.
13. KENT STATE (0-6, 0-3 MAC)
The Flashes have reached rock bottom in our Power Rankings. Last week’s loss in the battle of winless teams sealed the Flashes fate.
Kent State is 127th nationally in points scored (11.8 ppg) and 125th in rushing yards (68.2 ypg). There are six games remaining, but each stop along the way will be challenging.