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Week 8 Power Rankings

With some help from a few of our friends from the Sidelines Sports MAC school account runners, we are presenting the third power ranking of the year.

12. Akron (12.0 average)

The Zips came out swinging early on a Collin Schlee-less Kent State team, starting with an 80-yard touchdown to Alex Adams from DJ Irons, and the Akron faithful had some optimism early. Kent State would respond and do enough to keep the Zips from taking the Wagon Wheel back to Akron. This entire Akron unit is looking better every week, however, things aren’t there quite yet, and the Zips continue their streak at 12th in our power rankings.

11. NIU (10.4 average)

Getting Rocky Lombardi back is a huge boost for this offense, but an offensive boost isn’t always enough. The 17 points in two quarters were bookended by goose egg quarters, and despite the great ground game by Antario Brown for NIU(16 carries for 160 yards), the Huskies couldn’t keep the Bobcats from the late score to secure the win. NIU falls to 2-6, and will need a miracle to stay bowl eligible. They get their chance to rebound against CMU this week.

10. CMU (10.2 average)

Another week with a depleted offense (no Lew Nichols and Jase Bauer at QB) coupled with four turnovers, one returned 45-yards for a score, did not bode well for a CMU team looking to stay alive in the MAC West. Now, after a thumping at the hands of a resurgent BGSU, the Chippewas look to seek bowl eligibility. If they get Lew Nichols back and Daniel Richardson returns to form, this team could make a solid push late. Next week is do-or-die for CMU in a major match-up with NIU.

9. WMU (9.8 average)

Amazingly, after the disastrous start to the year and a few peculiar losses, the Broncos suddenly find themselves in second in the MAC West. Treyson Bourguet took over for Jack Salopek for WMU and help guide the offense to victory. The real winner from the day? The Bronco defense, who shut Miami out for two straight quarters and helped set up Sean Tyler for 22 carries, 110 yards, and a score. Maybe, just maybe, things are getting right in Kalamazoo. Don’t get too excited just yet, Bronco fans. Bowling Green looms large, and you face them on the road.

8. Miami (OH) (7.6 average)

Well, things went south fast. After a tough non-conference schedule and Miami was looking forward to the #MACtion slate, however, three of their last four MAC outings have resulted in single-score losses. The defense is holding up its end to the pre-season hype, but the offense has taken a step back. Welcoming back Gabbert to the lineup this past weekend, everyone expected him to feast on a middling WMU defense. He did not, and the RedHawks left Kalamazoo with a loss. While their MAC title hopes are pretty much gone, a bowl game is still on the table, and the RedHawks can take a step toward bowl eligibility this week against Akron.

7. Ball State (7.2 average)

Chirp Chirp? The Cardiac Cardinals took their second MAC loss at the hands of Eastern Michigan, leaving them on the wrong end of tie-breakers with the Eagles and the Broncos in the MAC West. Not all is lost, and while Ball State needs a little help, a trip to Detroit is still very much in the “Cards” (Alright, I’m sorry, that was bad). Ball State had a bad game and it happened at the wrong time to a good EMU team. The offense still runs through Carson Steele, and the Cardinals play their do-or-die for a MAC title game next week against the Kent State Golden Flashes this week.

6. Kent State (6.2 average)

The Wagon Wheel stays in Kent, OH for another year after a 33-27 win over their arch-rival Arkon. Not that the Zips didn’t come out and punch Kent State early (10-0 lead for the Zips in the early going), freshman Devin Kargman stepped up and filled in for Collin Schlee by delivering 213 yards and two touchdowns. The Flashes keep their bowl game and MAC title hopes alive and will look to continue their march to Detroit as they host Ball State this week.

5. BGSU (5.8 average)

BGSU continues its rebound from its disastrous start to the year and is now 3-1 in MAC play. Not what you expected at the beginning of the year, but for Falcon fans, it's a welcome sight. After taking care of a depleted CMU (we have to say it, doesn’t discredit the win), BG is tied for second in the MAC East. Unfortunately, they need help to get to the MAC Championship but never say never. Falcon fans were hoping for a bowl appearance, but now a MAC title shot is very much in play. They will look to get above .500 for the first time this week as they host Western Michigan this Wednesday.

4. EMU (4.0 average)

The Eagles ground out a huge win against Ball State this weekend, drawing back to .500 in MAC play. Austin Smith filled in nicely for Taylor Powell, and scored the game-winner in the fourth while the defense locked up the victory with a key interception off of John Paddock. After a rocky start to MAC play, the Eagles are righting the ship. They play Toledo this weekend, and their defense might get a break if Toledo star QB Dequan Finn has to miss time this week. We learn a lot about EMU this weekend, and with a win, the Eagles would jump to first in the MAC West.

3. Ohio (3.0 average)

The Bobcats are sitting at 5-3, and 3-1 in MAC play, a low-scoring affair with NIU this past weekend. Was it a pretty win? No. Was it a gritty win? Absolutely. Did Kurtis Rourke and Sam Wiglusz connect for two scores to lift them past NIU? Bingo. Ohio has a pretty clear path to a MAC Championship appearance: Win out, and you’re in! The Bobcats are playing some good football, outscoring their last two opponents 57-31, and securing five takeaways. A critical matchup at Peden Stadium between Ohio and Buffalo takes place this week.

2. Toledo (2.2 average)

The high-flying Rockets came crashing back down to earth after coughing up the ball six times in their loss to Buffalo this past week. Even with all those turnovers, the Rockets had a chance on the final play of the game to tie it up, which should be a testament to their resolve and will to overcome their turnovers. However, they still fall to number two in the rankings, and the road forward gets tougher. It's being said that Dequan Finn may potentially miss some time from a shoulder injury he suffered on the final play. Tucker Gleason would take over duties under center for Toledo if this is the case. A potential blow for Toledo as they sit in first in the MAC West. The Rockets travel to EMU this weekend in a pivotal MAC West race.

1. Buffalo (1.0 Average)

HERE COME THE BULLS! Despite the best efforts of Toledo, the six turnovers by the Bulls defense proved too much as Buffalo toppled the Rockets 34-27 at home. If there is a more impressive comeback team in the country, we would like to meet them. This Bulls defense is legit and has 17 turnovers on the year, the offense is clicking, and now they sit atop our Power Rankings all by themselves. Can they stretch their streak to six straight wins? It is the MAC, so anything can happen. We find out what the Bulls can do as their journey to go 8-0 in MAC play continues when they travel to Ohio on Tuesday.


@SSN_Buffalo, @SSN_BallState, @SSN_EMU, @SSN_NIU @SSN_Toledo/@CollegeSportPod



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