Power Rankings: Ball State in 1st Place? Well How About That

Eastern Michigan snapped a five-game losing streak against Western Michigan on Saturday.

Hours before that, Ball State snapped its five-game losing streak against Toledo, also at home.

By then, Bowling Green had already snapped a nine-game losing streak to rival Toledo (at home), Ball State beat Northern Illinois for the first time in 10 years (in DeKalb), and Kent State went to Akron to take back the Wagon Wheel for the first time since 2014.

Central Michigan is coming off of its worst season ever, or at least as a MAC team, and is the only five-win team in the league right now. NIU’s only 2-5 on the year, and will probably miss its first bowl game since 2016. The second to last time NIU missed a bowl: 2007 when Joe Novak’s final team had a 2-10 record.

The MAC East as a whole is bad. It’s been bad before, but it’s definitely the worst division in FBS and there’s almost no argument against it. By SP+, the MAC is the lowest-ranked conference in FBS, with the MAC East as the nation’s worst division and the MAC West as the nation’s third-to-worst division.

I know it’s been oversaid, but I really mean it. The MAC has been very hard to predict this year, and this power rankings list will probably make zero people happy because of it.

MAC Prospectus Power Rankings (thru Week 8)

1. Ball State (last week: 2)

2. WMU (1)

3. CMU

4. Ohio (6)

5. Toledo (4)

6. Kent State (7)

7. EMU (10)

8. Miami 

9. NIU (5)

10. BGSU (9) 

11. Buffalo 

12. Akron

Previous rankings thru: Week 0 | Week 1 | Week 2 | Week 3 | Week 4 | Week 5 | Week 6 | Week 7

Ball State’s the fourth team to reach No. 1 on this list and we’ve gone through eight weeks of the season now. The Cardinals just got off of a huge win over Toledo, the preseason MAC West favorite.

WMU lost to EMU, but only moved back down to two on my list while EMU, picking up its first MAC win of the year, moved up to 7th. It’s been that kind of year for the league. Toledo’s slid down to five after being No. 1 and 4 the weeks before, but it almost feels like this team should be lower. Tomorrow’s Toledo vs. EMU game should be very revealing.

The two teams from the East that moved up at all since last week are Ohio and Kent State, and they’re both in the top-half of my conference rankings. They’re both playing really well, and the East will be best represented in Detroit if one of these two teams made it there. Miami beat a bad NIU team, and it’s still puzzling to know that NIU is legitimately bad, but the Huskies are maybe the most disappointing team in this conference.

CMU’s the only MAC team with five wins, but after beating Bowling Green last week, I can’t move this team up any higher than No. 3, but the Falcons slipped one spot to 10.

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