Wednesday, Jul 18, 2018
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MAC West rankings: Toledo clings to top spot

Western Michigan is 2nd after epic 7 OT win over Buffalo

There was lots of great #MACtion this past week, and with all teams now playing at least one conference game, the Mid-American Conference looks to have a lot of parity. This past week, Central Michigan stunned MAC East favorite Ohio in Athens and Western Michigan won an epic seven-overtime game 71-68 over Buffalo. It was a very difficult week to rank teams, but without further ado, here are this week’s MAC West power rankings.

1. Toledo (Last week: 1) — The Rockets maintain the top spot after defeating MAC West foe Eastern Michigan 20-15 at the Glass Bowl. In the win, Toledo lost top wide receiver Cody Thompson to a broken leg, which will be a big blow moving forward. However, the Rockets defense stepped up in this game allowed Toledo to escape with a win over a good opponent and move to 4-1 overall.

2. Western Michigan (Last week: 2) — The Broncos played in one of the craziest games of the season, outlasting Buffalo 71-68 in seven overtimes. Buffalo is a team on the rise, and for Western Michigan to go on the road and win that kind of instant classic is impressive. The Broncos should be in contention all year long.

3. Northern Illinois (Last week: 3) — The Huskies took care of business in beating Kent State 24-3 at home. Northern Illinois got a good performance from quarterback Marcus Childers, who threw for three TDs and was also the team’s leading rusher. The Huskies moved to 3-2 overall and will head on the road to Buffalo to take on the Bulls on Saturday.

4. Central Michigan (Last week: 5) — The Chippewas were perhaps the surprise team of the week in going to Athens and getting a win over reigning MAC East champion Ohio 26-23. Central Michigan got a boost from tight end Tyler Conklin, who caught two TD passes in his first action of the season after missing the first five games of the season. The Chippewas host Toledo this Saturday.

5. Eastern Michigan (Last week: 4) — The Eagles dropped their third straight game with the tough loss at Toledo. Eastern Michigan played well enough to win but didn’t execute down the stretch, earning its second conference loss of the season. The Eagles have a championship-level defense, but they need more offensive production.

6. Ball State (Last week: 6) — While spots 1-5 can be debated each week, it has become fairly evident that Ball State has settled into the No. 6 spot. The Cardinals have struggled all year, and took a 31-3 loss to Akron last Saturday to fall to 0-2 in the MAC and 2-4 overall.

Contact Brian Buckey at bbuckey@theblade.com419-724-6110, or on Twitter @BrianBuckey.

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