MAC Power Rankings (Pre-Bowl Season)
With the 2012 MAC Champion crowned for the season, North Coast Bias releases its first Power Rankings of the season. NCB will release a final Post-Bowl Season Power Rankings after the final MAC bowl game of the season.
The top teams practically ranked themselves, although it wouldn't be surprising to see Ohio-based rankings have NIU at four or lower.
MAC POWER RANKINGS
- NIU (12-1, 9-0): The Huskies have dominated the conference over the last three seasons, winning three division titles, two conference championships, and join Oregon and Stanford as the only programs to win at least 11 games per year over that 3-year span. Short of calculated malfeasance, the NIU Huskies should play in the team's and conference's first BCS Bowl this season.
- Kent State (11-2, 8-1): Kent State showed why they were 11-1 coming into the Championship Game. The Flashes were thoroughly dominated in the game but hung around and struck with opportune turnovers to thrill us with the first ever overtime MAC Championship Game. Great and historic season for the Kent State Golden Flashes, hats off.
- Ball State (9-3, 6-2): Ball State is a very overlooked and undersold team. Looking back, the Cardinals only lost to Top 20 caliber teams and beat a Top 25 ranked team. In another year, this could have been a Championship team.
- Toledo (9-3, 6-2): Toledo surpassed NCB's preseason expectations by finishing ahead of Western Michigan (although that may have had more to do with the Broncos), but did finish behind NIU and Ball State as predicted. The Rockets are a very solid #4 this season.
- Bowling Green (8-4, 6-2): Bowling Green's six conference wins came against Akron, UMass, EMU, Miami, Buffalo, and Ohio. Its non-conference wins came against Idaho and FCS Rhode Island. If the Falcons don't show well during Bowl Season, they will drop on the list.
- Ohio (8-4, 4-4): The Bobcats suffered no more injuries than did any other team in the conference, it's just that their lack of depth made it more apparent. Hopefully, the team will have time to heal and get to shine in a Bowl game.
- Central (6-6, 4-4): The Chips surpassed preseason expectations with a win against an AQ opponent on the road and becoming bowl eligible for the first time under Head Coach Dan Enos. The prospects for the Chips to actually go bowling don't look good.
- Western (4-8, 2-6): It's unfortunate that Cubit's decision to be loyal to a senior starter at QB probably cost him his job. The Offense seemingly was starting to gel under backup Tyler Van Tubbergen when starter Alex Carder came back from injury. The Broncos may have won their last two games to become bowl eligible and salvage a disappointing season had they stuck with Van Tubbergen, but we commend Cubit for his loyalty.
- Buffalo (4-8, 3-5): Buffalo had a solid Defense and played like a different team when Branden Oliver was healthy. The future looks bright for the Bulls, as Oliver should be back for his senior season.
- EMU (2-10, 1-7): Oh, EMU. You said you'd changed; shame on us for believing you. But here we are giving you the benefit of the doubt again. The Eagles did play significantly better behind sophomores Bronson Hill and Tyler Benz. And their conference schedule did include the top eight teams, including all seven bowl-eligible teams, plus they didn't get to play Akron or UMass. This is such a dysfunctional relationship, but we can't quit you.
- Miami U. (4-8, 3-5): Outside of the win that crippled rival Ohio's season, Miami's wins came against UMass, Akron, and a FCS team. In the preseason, I had them only ahead of Akron and UMass in the division, and I think that's an appropriate place for them in the conference was well.
- UMass (1-11, 1-7): Overall, the Minutemen had a successful first-year campaign that had UMass winning its first ever game against a FBS school as a FBS school and with the Minutemen being competitive in several others.
- Akron (1-11, 0-8): Akron was the only team to go winless in conference, there really is no other place to put them.