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Week One MAC Power Rankings

Our power rankings are back with our friends over at Sidelines Sports Network and the various MAC accounts! Same drill as a season ago, ranked 1 through 12, updated weekly. A big thank you to the folks at SSN for pitching in. After week one, this is where we land: 1. Toledo - The Rockets hold onto the top spot despite a heartbreaking 30-28 loss in Champaign, with the Illini sealing the game on a last-second field goal. Toledo's offense racked up 400 yards, and the defense proved extremely tough to beat at times. It took a miracle catch on fourth down in the waning minutes of the game for Illinois to have a shot at victory. This weekend, Toledo hosts FCS Texas Southern at the Glass Bowl. (1.33 average, with the lowest ranking being second place)


2. Northern Illinois - After defeating ACC challenger Boston College, the Huskies appear to be one of the early frontrunners in the MAC. With Rocky Lombardi fully healthy and Antario Brown scoring multiple times, the Huskies displayed a clutch performance when it mattered most. NIU will entertain Southern Illinois at Huskie Stadium this Saturday. (2.33 average, with the lowest ranking being fifth place)


3. Ohio - The Bobcats used multiple quarterbacks to give Kurtis Rourke the day off and a chance to keep healing after the SDSU loss, and the offense played well but the it was the defense who ruled the day as they limited LIU to just ten points. After a tough road loss the previous week, this victory extends their undefeated streak at home to seven games, dating back to September 3rd, 2022. The Bobcats hit the road this weekend against Florida Atlantic in Boca Raton. (3.00 average, with the lowest ranking being fourth place)


4. Eastern Michigan - The Eagles secured a win over the weekend, but many were left just a little puzzled as the offense struggled to maintain rhythm at times against MEAC opponent Howard. Although Samson Evans scored a touchdown, he was mostly contained by a surprisingly tough Howard defense. We'll learn more about the Eagles this week as they travel to Minnesota to take on the Golden Gophers. (4.00 average, with the lowest ranking being fifth place)


5. Buffalo - The Bulls came out strong against a Wisconsin team playing their first game under Luke Fickell. The defense forced the Badgers into some difficult situations in the first half, but second-half adjustments allowed Wisconsin to pull away. Despite the loss, Cole Snyder still managed 2 TDs and 194 yards. Buffalo will host FCS Fordham at UB Stadium this weekend. (5.50 average, with the lowest ranking being eighth place)


T6. Akron - The Zips showcased their best performance in years against Temple. A dominant first half turned heads, but getting shut out in the second half prevented Akron from securing a win in Philadelphia. Lorenzo Lingard had a strong showing with a score, and DJ Irons threw for over 200 yards, but it wasn't enough in the second half. The Zips will welcome Morgan State to InfoCision this weekend. (7.16 average, with the lowest ranking being tenth place)


T6. Bowling Green - The Falcons looked promising on the day, but it's nearly impossible to overcome five interceptions and an 11/31 completion rate. Bright spots included Ta'Ron Keith's touchdown and a special teams score by Trent Simms, providing BGSU fans with reasons to be hopeful. However, the quarterback situation has left many scratching their heads, especially given the poor performance of former Mizzou and Indiana transfer Connor Bazelak. The Falcons aim to get back on track as they host Eastern Illinois at Doty Perry this Saturday. (7.16 average, with the lowest ranking being ninth place)


T6. Western Michigan - The Broncos kicked off the Lance Taylor era with a 35-17 victory over Saint Francis. Although many expected Hayden Wolff to take the starting QB job, it was Jack Salopek who led the Broncos to victory. The standout of the night was Jalen Buckley, who rushed for 194 yards. Western Michigan aims to improve to 2-0 as they travel to Syracuse on Saturday. (7.16 average, with the lowest ranking being tenth place)


9. Miami (OH) - We discovered who the real Miami was this weekend as the RedHawks hit the road to face the Hurricanes of the same name. The outcome wasn't ideal, but perhaps it's a sign that things are finally turning around in Coral Gables? Brett Gabbert didn't have his best game, but there were some promising signs for the future. The MAC is still within reach, and a great season remains on the table. The RedHawks will travel to UMass this weekend. (8.83 average, with the lowest ranking being eleventh place)


10. Central Michigan - The Chippewas looked strong early against Michigan State and even held a 7-3 lead until the final minute of the first half. However, depth and talent took over in the second half for Sparty. Bert Emmanuel had a decent showing for CMU, and the team looked solid defensively. An important takeaway is that CMU held its own against MSU in first downs and rushing yards. The Chippewas will welcome New Hampshire to Kelly/Shorts Stadium this weekend. (9.16 average, with the lowest ranking being eleventh place)


11. Ball State - The Cardinals had a promising first half on the road against SEC opponent Kentucky, holding a 7-3 lead in the first quarter. The game got interesting again in the third quarter, with Ball State narrowing the gap to a two-score game, but that was as close as they would get. While Marquez Cooper was contained, freshman quarterback Kadin Semonza turned heads as the most impressive of the three QBs on the Ball State roster. Ball State continues its road trip in SEC country, facing #1 Georgia this weekend. (10.33 average, with the lowest ranking being eleventh place)


12. Kent State - It's fair to say that this is what was expected after Kenni Burns had to replace all eleven starters on the offensive side of the ball. Coupled with UCF launching their first season in the Big Twelve and starting the 2023 campaign at home, it was the perfect storm for a Kent State loss. Mike Alaimo had a solid debut as the Kent State starter, and despite surrendering 56 points, the Golden Flashes collected three turnovers, including a fumble and two interceptions. Kent State takes on Arkansas, hoping to become the next MAC team to upset the Razorbacks, a feat last achieved by Toledo in 2015. (12.00 average, with the lowest ranking being twelfth) Is someone too high? Too low? Let us know what you think! A big thank you to SSN Ball State, SSN Buffalo, SSN EMU, SSN Kent State, SSN NIU, SSN Toledo for this weeks power rankings

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