The MAC weekend might not have gone as well as they would have liked, but there were a few highlights to be found too. Things are shaping up to get very interesting once conference play begins.
Ohio State 43, Ohio 7- This outcome is a surprise to no one, although it would have been nice to see Ohio compete for a little while. Next Week: Ohio at Marshall
Penn State 24, Kent State 0- Kent State gave the Nittany Lions fits on defense, allowing only 3 points in the 2nd and 3rd quarters, but never had any life on offense. Next Week: idle. At Miami October 2.
Temple 30, Connecticut 16- Temple hung around in a back and forth game until 16 points in the final quarter sealed Temple’s first BCS win since being jettisoned from the Big East, and the first of the season for the MAC. Next Week: Temple at Penn State
Illinois 28, Northern Illinois 22- Every time it seemed like the Huskies had the momentum and might get the lead or pull away, Illinois would grind out a long scoring drive. NIU had a slim chance at the end, but the onside kick went over to the Illini to end the upset bid. Next Week: Northern Illinois at Minnesota
Purdue 24, Ball State 13- Purdue went up 14-0 in the first, and then Ball State realized the season has begun and started to slow down the Boilermakers. They couldn’t mount anything on offense in time, but this might still be the Cardinals best game this year. Next Week: Ball State at Iowa
Miami 31, Colorado State 10- Miami gets their first nonconference FBS win since 2007, while Colorado State managed a late touchdown to end their 2010 touchdown-free streak at 178 minutes. Next Week: Miami at Missouri
Central Michigan 52, Eastern Michigan 14- Eastern Michigan may be an improved team this year, but CMU went out to prove a point, going up 14-0 in the first quarter and never looking back. Next Week: Central Michigan at Northwestern, Eastern Michigan at Ohio State
Kentucky 47, Akron 10- Another BCS league matchup that went as expected, with Akron not moving past 3 points until the 4th quarter. Next Week: Akron at Indiana
UCF 24, Buffalo 10- A sloppy game from both sides led to a 10-10 tie at halftime, but the UCF defense came together in the second half while the offense finally got the ball moving. Next Week: UCF at Kansas State
Bowling Green 44, Marshall 28- Bowling Green went up 21-0 before Marshall rallied back to send the game into the 4th quarter tied at 28. Big plays turned the momentum back to Bowling Green’s side, including a pick-six (the second of the night) to seal the game late. Next Week: Ohio at Marshall
Toledo 37, Western Michigan 24- Toledo raced out to a 21 point lead and fought to maintain it the rest of the game, finally icing the game with a kickoff return for a touchdown midway through the 4th quarter. Toledo is now 2-0 in the MAC. Next Week: Toledo at Purdue, Western Michigan idle, vs. Idaho October 2.
What We Learned This Week
Temple is finally looking like the team we expected to win the MAC this year. Northern Illinois less so, although their schedule has been a bit tougher. NIU has one last chance to beat a BCS team this week against struggling Minnesota.
Toledo has emerged from a bad opening week game to become a MAC West contender. Perhaps we should note that Arizona beat Central Michigan in week 1 last year, then CMU won the league.
Central Michigan is still much better than Eastern Michigan.
Ohio is a bit of an enigma- they haven’t done anything yet to suggest they’ll be back in the mix for the division race, and have only 20 points against FBS competition so far.
Kent State looked better than Ohio but not great. Their upcoming game with resurgent Miami will be their best litmus test yet.
Bowling Green had their best game yet, surviving a Marshall comeback to get their first win of the season. The Falcons suddenly look like a team that could make noise in the East.
Ball State is still bad, but they didn’t look like the worst team in football Saturday. Akron was pretty bad too, but at least both teams went down to BCS competition.
Miami has improved quite a bit, but Eastern Michigan and Colorado State are probably inferior to what Miami will face for the rest of the year.
Western Michigan and Buffalo are enigmas right now- neither have looked very good, but neither one looks terrible either. It wouldn’t surprise me if one of the two turns out to be pretty good when all is said and done, but they better get going.
Week 3 Power Rankings
Temple is the class of the league so far, unbeaten and with a BCS pelt on the wall. If they manage to beat Penn State somehow, then they’ll certainly move into a class by themselves, but that still seems a bit unlikely.
- Central Michigan
- Northern Illinois
- Kent State
- Bowling Green
- Western Michigan
- Ball State
- Eastern Michigan
Looking ahead to next week, the MAC has 10 games against BCS opponents (including 8 against the Big Televen), one with C-USA, and two byes. Should be an interesting, if probably painful, week of games.