Kent State RB Trayion Durham. - Alex Trautwig
Ranking the Divisions after Week 9 action.
MAC Divisional Rankings (Week 9)
- NIU (8-1, 5-0): Jordan Lynch threw for four touchdowns, ran for two more, and accounted for 410 combined passing and rushing yards. The Huskies scored 31 straight points to put the Broncos away and outscored Western 31-13 in the second half. The Huskies looked strong in all three phases, Kicker Mathew Sims kicked a 49-yard FG and career long 54-yard FG at the end of the first half and Tommylee Lewis was tripped up on three returns by the last man (kicker) between him and the end zone.
- Toledo (8-1, 5-0): For the second time in three weeks, Toledo preserved a win against a 1-win conference foe that had the ball with the opportunity to take the lead with less than two minutes left in the game. When you add Wyoming, it makes three one-loss teams that Toledo barely escaped past. All three games were on the road and the only team that the Rockets have beaten convincingly while on the road was a Western Michigan team that was starting a new quarterback under center.
- Ball State (6-3, 3-2): The Black Knights had two runners hit the century mark but it wasn't enough as Ball State increased the MAC's total victories over FBS non-conference opponents to 15 with the victory (Kent State would go on to make it 16). The Cardinals became bowl eligible with the win and increased the MAC total number of bowl eligible teams to five (Bowling Green would extend the number to six).
- Western (3-6, 1-4): The Broncos used some unconventional formations to confuse the Huskies and take an early lead, but it wasn't just the play calling, Western outplayed NIU for much of the first half. Unfortunately for the Broncos, the Huskies adjusted and tightened up their Defense late in the 2nd quarter and carried that over into the second half. The Broncos are faced with having to win out to become bowl eligible.
- Central (3-5, 1-3): Central is one of the more inconsistent and therefore difficult teams to gauge in the conference. The Chips handled Akron at home rather easily on the scoreboard and are still a longshot for bowl eligibility.
- EMU (1-7, 0-4): The Eagles' run game, which flourished over the last two weeks, was shut down by the Falcons' Defense. The loss officially ended the Bowl hopes for the Eagles, although it's probably safe to assume that nobody was calling their employer to cancel any vacation requests.
- Kent State (7-1, 4-0): I've been saying for the last few weeks that Kent State may be the best team in the East, the win over Rutgers sealed it. Kent State led Rutgers 21-10 at the half, on the strength of 4 INTs. The Flashes would add two more INTs and hold the Scarlet Knights to only 13 second-half points to secure the win. Kent State is +10 in turnovers over the last two games. The Thunder and Lightning combination of Dri Archer and Trayion Durham was too much. The win gave the MAC its second win over a ranked, and previously undefeated, Big East opponent in as many weeks.
- Ohio (7-1, 3-1): The Bobcats have been outplayed in several games this season but playing a bitter rival on the road proved too much to overcome. Despite being outplayed for most of the game, the Bobcats had a chance to win, or at a minimum send the game to OT, at the end but QB Tyler Tettleton took a sack on the game's last play to end Ohio's undefeated streak.
- Bowling Green (6-3, 4-1): Bowling Green's win gave the MAC six bowl eligible teams for the season. The Falcons continue to be impressive on Defense and especially against the run. The MAC East is legitimately a four-team race and will make for very interesting November MACtion. Bowling Green now gets 11 days to prepare for its game against Ohio in Athens.
- Miami U. (4-4, 3-1): Miami U.'s win over the Bobcats may have come as a surprise to most people, but not all. The Redhawks' win ended a six game losing streak to the Bobcats and improved Miami's overall record against Ohio to 52-35-2 in the Battle of the Bricks.
- Buffalo (1-7, 0-4): Buffalo had the ball with less than two minutes left in the game with the possibility to take the lead and the come out with the win but instead fumbled the ball away. It's been that kind of season for the Bulls.
- Akron (1-8, 0-5): The Offensive scoring potential that Akron showed early in the season appears to have gone missing. The Zips have failed to score more than 14 points in three of the last four games, with the exception being the game against the Bobcats of Ohio where they scored twice that. That's enough to get dropped to the sixth spot only above woeful UMass.
- UMass (0-8, 0-4): The Minutemen get to play some of their home games in the same stadium that Gisele Bündchen's husband plays in.