2018 MAC Football Power Rankings Week Seven: Yep, Still Buffalo
Central Michigan tried to make things weird, but it wasn’t enough to stop Kevin Marks and Buffalo. NIU gutted out a close win at Ball State and sits tied with a familiar MAC West foe in this week’s rankings.
Free on Saturday’s Week Seven Power Rankings
1. Buffalo Bulls
Last Week’s Rank: 1
Week Five Result: Won @ Central Michigan 34–24
Tyree Jackson had another down game — statistically speaking — in the win over Central Michigan as Anthony Johnson was again missing in action. The passing game seems to stall when he is out, so that might be something to keep an eye on if he misses significant time.
2. Toledo Rockets
Last Week’s Rank: 2
Week Five Result: Won vs Bowling Green 52–36
If the Rockets don’t get it together on defense, their days at the top of these rankings could be numbered (I’m sure they care deeply about this). Toledo let Bowling Green stick around on Saturday and while the win was never really in danger it makes one wonder what happens when a team with a living defense comes to town.
T3. Western Michigan Broncos
Last Week’s Rank: 5
Week Five Result: Won vs Eastern Michigan 27–24
The Broncos held on to beat Eastern Michigan despite turning the ball over twice and committing 10 penalties on Saturday. Western is now a team that looks to be a contender in the MAC West, but consistency will likely come back to bite it in winnable game (see: Central).
T3. Northern Illinois Huskies
Last Week’s Rank: 4
Week Five Result: Won @ Ball State 24–16
Nothing new really from NIU. Another year, another Bronze Stalk trophy, and another great defense. Marcus Childers only averaged 4.9 yards/pass on Saturday, but the offense was bolstered from a huge day from Marcus Jones in another 24–16 win in MAC play. The offense keeps doing just enough to win, and honestly, that might get the Huskies the MAC West this year.
T5. Miami RedHawks
Last Week’s Rank: 9
Week Five Result: Won @ Akron 41–17
Maybe Miami’s a good team with some rotten luck after all. Alternatively, Akron could just be bad despite having a transitive first half lead over Michigan and a win over Michigan State via Northwestern. The RedHawks have looked extremely comfortable in MAC play so far and sit at 2–1 with Kent State coming to town. Don’t count Miami out just yet.
T5. Ohio Bobcats
Last Week’s Rank: 6
Week Five Result: Won @ Kent State 27–26
What can we make of Ohio’s near loss at Kent State? The game featured seven turnovers and nearly 900 yards of total offense and somehow just 53 points, but the Bobcats escaped. I guess the defense played better last week, but Ohio’s got a lot to prove before it feels like the MAC favorite again.
7. Eastern Michigan Eagles
Last Week’s Rank: 7
Week Five Result: Lost @ Western Michigan 27–24
Since beating Rutgers last year, Eastern Michigan is 3–10 in one-score games. Last year, the Eagles lost six straight to pretty much knock themselves out of bowl contention, and this season is looking eerily similar to that one, with the current streak at 4. This team is just cursed, that’s the only explanation I have.
8. Ball State Cardinals
Last Week’s Rank: 8
Week Five Result: Lost vs Northern Illinois 24–16
Like Miami, it’s probably not wise to count out Ball State for a few more wins this season. The Cardinals are probably a long shot to win the MAC West considering the offense hasn’t fully realized its potential against not Kent State, but the defense is good enough to keep them competitive. Don’t let Ball State catch you on an off night.
T9. Akron Zips
Last Week’s Rank: 3
Week Five Result: Lost vs Miami 41–17
Akron has a pretty distinct way in which it wins, and it ain’t winning games in all three facets. No sir. The Zips need the game to drag, be played on a short field, and create a ton of turnovers. When Akron is the only one in the game playing like Akron, you get a result like the one you saw Saturday.
T9. Kent State Golden Flashes
Last Week’s Rank: 11
Week Five Result: Lost vs Ohio 27–26
Kent State is *this* close to having a huge MAC East win in Sean Lewis’ first year. They faltered late, and are now 0–2 in the MAC. This should still be a damn good team in the near future, but for now, it’s time to keep getting better in a rebuilding season.
11. Central Michigan Chippewas
Last Week’s Rank: 10
Week Five Result: Lost vs Buffalo 34–24
Say what you will about Central Michigan, the Chippewas sure do go down swinging. At multiple points during Saturday’s game against Buffalo Jon Bonamego and company looked like they were totally doomed, only to rattle of a few big plays and make a game of things. The only problem is Buffalo had a few more big plays of their own and walked out of Mount Pleasant with a win.
12. Bowling Green Falcons
Last Week’s Rank: 12
Week Five Result: Lost @ Toledo 52–36
The Falcons look to be improving on offense to allow the defense to look less bad, but this is still a team that is a non-player in the MAC East race. Mike Jinks needs a strong 2nd half to save his job. That’s going to be difficult to do if they can’t stop teams from scoring — Bowling Green is yet to hold an opponent under 35 points.