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Midweek MACtion, College Football Playoff Rankings Open Thread

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Some of the best rivalries in the MAC on the field this week! Grab your popcorn, grab your CFP Rankings outrage, and let’s do it:

Well, Week 1 of MACtion didn’t disappoint.

  • Frantic comebacks by Akron and Miami Hydroxide to just fall short against Balls Tate and Ohio
  • Central Michigan getting TWO punt return touchdowns to reclaim the Victory Cannon from Western Michigan
  • The delightful insanity that was Eastern Michigan and Toledo putting up 1162 yards of offense combined in a 52-49 shootout
  • Northern Illinois surrendering a 31-point second quarter to Kent State and then scoring 20 in the fourth to lose 52-47 in a game where the Huskies racked up 532 yards passing (Rocky Lombardi was 33/57 for 532 and 3 TDs to 0 INTs) and 131 rushing, the Golden Flashes threw for 322 and ran for 360 more...

It was a blessing. We are all blessed to be a part of such wonderful MACtion.

I think we had fun last week in this article, talking about both the MAC and the release of the College Football Playoff rankings, so we’re gonna try to run it back.

You should, of course, note that college basketball is already underway! Ohio State has likely tipped off with Akron by now, and while I expect much less in the way of BasketMACtion, you never know...

Here is, regardless, yet ANOTHER thread for your discussion/perusal of the night’s college football—both the MACtion and the rankings.

College Football Playoff Rankings Show

Date: Tuesday, November 9
Time: 8pm CT
TV: ESPN (streaming too, I’d bet)

My guess:

  1. Georgia Bulldogs (9-0)
  2. Alabama Crimson Tide (8-1)
  3. Oregon Ducks (8-1)
  4. Ohio State Buckeyes (8-1)
  5. Oklahoma Sooners (9-0)
  6. Cincinnati Bearcats (9-0)

Yes, I am betting that the Sooners leapfrog the Bearcats. CFP Committee gon’ CFP Committee, kiddos.


Here’s a place where you can talk about those things or, just in general, the sports of the week! We’ll keep this thread open and pinned as a place to talk about all things MACtion and college football for the next couple nights, and we’ll be sure to update with the CFP rankings as they become available.

Midweek MACtion Schedule

MNW’s Week 1 Performance:

  • Balls Tate 42, Akron 21 (actual: Balls, 31-25)
  • Miami-OH 35, Ohio 27 (actual: Ohio, 35-33)
  • EMU 34, Toledo 24 (actual: EMU, 52-49, but a glorified loss for failing to adequately prepare for MACtion)
  • WMU 45, CMU 42 (actual: CMU, 42-30)
  • NIU 48, Kent 38 (actual: Kent, 52-47)

2-3, but I promise to do better this time.

Tuesday, November 9

Buffalo Bulls (4-5, 2-3 MAC) at Miami Hydroxide Redhawks (4-5, 3-2)

6pm | ESPNU | M(OH) -7.5 | O/U 57

Welcome to midweek MACtion, Bulls! Buffalo had Week 1 of MACtion off, but they make their glorious return hot off a MACtiony Saturday game with Bowling Green where the Falcons pulled off a fake kneel-down for a TD and then got their coach ejected.

It’s not been the dynamic, efficient Bulls offense of old—RB Dylan McDuffie is the real deal on the ground, but QB Kyle Vantrease has been less effective than in years past. A game back of the Redhawks and two back of the Flashes in the MAC East, though, the Bulls could be right back in it with a win and some help tonight.

Miami couldn’t stop the Ohio...passing attack?! No, wait...that can’t be right.

Well, it’s what happened in the Battle of the Bricks, at least. Playing from behind, Brett Gabbert threw 55 times, completing 32 for FIVE touchdowns as Jack Sorenson ran all over the Bobcats and excellently-named Mac Hippenhammer caught a pair of tipped TDs, too.

Expect more of the same tonight—the Redhawks were stymied on the ground last week and struggled to stop the run against Ohio. I like something in the 31-28 range...give me the Fightin’ Bases.

Poll

Pick:

This poll is closed

  • 100%
    Bulls
    (1 vote)
  • 0%
    Bases
    (0 votes)
1 vote total Vote Now

Akron Zips (2-7, 1-4) at Western Michigan Broncos (5-4, 2-3)

6pm | CBSSN | WMU -24.5 | O/U 62

Akron’s bad. Zach Gibson led a nice little comeback and Michael Mathison had a career day receiving, but the Zips will be playing catch-up again.

Despite their struggling stopping punt returns against CMU, the Broncos were fine—particularly on the ground, where Sean Tyler and La’Darius Jefferson move the ball efficiently enough. Kaleb Eleby should be able to find good WRs like Corey Crooms to get Western through this one. Give me Broncos, 41-14.

Poll

Also a game:

This poll is closed

  • 0%
    WMU by a lot
    (0 votes)
  • 100%
    WMU by less than 24
    (1 vote)
  • 0%
    Akron
    (0 votes)
1 vote total Vote Now

Ohio Bobcats (2-7, 2-3) at Eastern Michigan Eagles (6-3, 3-2)

7pm | ESPN2 | EMU -6 | O/U 61.5

I need to get over the Ohio I saw when the Bobcats came to Evanston, because clearly they’ve got something extra working for them when MAC season rolls around.

Ohio, despite being 2-3, is not out of it in the MAC East yet, and Eastern hardly blows anyone away. While the Ben Bryant-Hassan Beydoun combination has been absolutely lethal for the Fightin’ EMUs in their high-flying wins over Texas State, Bowling Green, and Toledo, Chris Creighton’s club takes a very “defense optional” approach and struggled mightily with Toledo RB Bryant Koback.

That’ll present a relatively unique opportunity for Ohio, who will line up running QB Armani Rogers and allow regular QB Tanner Rourke to run a little, while De’montre Tuggle could put up some numbers tonight for Ohio. That said, Ohio still...man, they just can’t actually be decent, can they? Could bowl-eligible EMU take their foot off the gas?

Chris Creighton has done something just short of a miracle in Ypsi: since 2-10 and 1-11 campaigns to open his tenure, he’s gone 7-5, 5-7, 7-6, 6-7, 2-4, 6-3. He’d be great for a struggling, troubled underdog like Nebraska, wouldn’t he? EMU, 35-17.

Poll

Who wins yet another EMU war?

This poll is closed

  • 60%
    Always the EMUs
    (3 votes)
  • 20%
    Sometimes the Bobcats
    (1 vote)
  • 20%
    Never the Australians
    (1 vote)
5 votes total Vote Now

Wednesday, November 10

WE GOT US SOME RIVALRY TROPHIES, KIDS!

Toledo Rockets (4-5, 2-3) at Bowling Green Falcons (3-6, 1-4)

6pm | CBSSN | Toledo -10.5 | O/U 49.5
Battle of I-75

Here is a picture of the Battle of I-75 Trophy:

That Anniversary Award replaced the Peace Pipe, for which the Rockets and Falcons competed for a long time, I’d imagine, given the aged—and bitchin’—logos on the trophy:

Hustle Belt

Love the little football trophy on there, too, just in case it needed explaining what the award was for. (The Peace Pipe ran from 1980-2010 and then was retired for obvious reasons.)

Toledo’s only lost one game in this rivalry since 2009, but Wikipedia tells me this game is also called the BLACK SWAMP SHOWDOWN and even though it’s a reference to just how terrible Ohio is, that’s pretty great.

The good news for Bowling Green is that if they’re down in this one—and they should be, because Bryant Koback can run the ball (though then again we thought Minnesota could, too)—they showed against Buffalo that they could hit the home run: Matt McDonald threw just 19 times but for 263 yards and 4 TDs, including a 77-yard catch-and-run by RB Terion Stewart and 64-yard bomb to WR Tyrone Broden, Jr.

The edge here is still Toledo, obviously—Koback is a running threat and QB Dequan Finn can toss it a mile, too—and Jason Candle is a quiet coaching carousel prospect to keep an eye on, too. Toledo, 41-24.

Poll

And the Battle of I-75 goes to...

This poll is closed

  • 37%
    Falcons
    (10 votes)
  • 62%
    Rockets
    (17 votes)
27 votes total Vote Now

Balls Tate Cardinals (5-4, 3-2) at Northern Illinois Huskies (6-3, 4-1)

6pm | ESPN2 | Balls -2.5 | O/U 61.5
THE BATTLE FOR THE BRONZE STALK

IT’S RIVALRY WEEK, BABY.

Get you some popcorn off the Bronze Stalk, and let’s get weird in DeKalb.

I’m surprised to see the Fightin’ Robotbirds—even if they’re rocking an 80s throwback Cardinal called Dancin’ Charlie—favored here, even though Drew Plitt and the Cards will absolutely move the ball alongside RB Carson Steele, who’s having a helluva year.

That’s just because of how good NIU has been at moving the ball on the ground: on that 6-game win streak the Huskies rattled off, RBs Jay Ducker and Harrison Waylee, along with QB Rocky Lombardi, really set the tempo on the ground. Oh, and there’s Wildcat FB/RB Clint Ratkovich, who takes direct snaps when the Huskies are near the goal line. And his twitter handle is TheRatdog25:

With apologies to Wasserman: I’VE SEEN ENOUGH. Huskies, 27-21.

Poll

BRONZE STALK!

This poll is closed

  • 39%
    Robotbirds!
    (11 votes)
  • 60%
    Goodboys!
    (17 votes)
28 votes total Vote Now

Kent State Golden Flashes (5-4, 4-1) at Central Michigan Chippewas (5-4, 3-2)

7pm | ESPNU | CMU -2.5 | O/U 75

OVER-UNDER OF 75! This one features two of the teams running the most plays in football per game—Kent with 78.4, CMU with 76.0—and we’ll see some of the best quarterbacking in the MAC on Wednesday night.

That’s because Dustin Crum (62.8%, 2092 yards, 11 TD to 2 INT) of Kent State...holy moly can that dude air it out. He’s going to find Dante Cephas, they’re going to score touchdowns in that FLASH FAST offense...all Central can hope to do is contain it.

But the Chips are a damn good team, too—they’ve lost to Miami Hydroxide by 11 and NIU on a late FG—and it’ll be their offensive efficiency that can win them this game. Lew Nichols III has been a gamer on the ground, already over 1000 yards (5.6 ypc, 7 TD) on the year, with QB Daniel Richardson as efficient a game-manager (15 TD to 2 INT on the year) as you’ll see anywhere in the conference.

This one’s got a line that tells you it’s basically a pick’em—it’s my best for Best MACtion of the Week—but I’m hard-pressed to pick against a team with as much momentum (and, perhaps, as good a coach?) as Kent State. Flashes, 45-42.

Poll

Who runs away with it?

This poll is closed

  • 60%
    FLASH FAST
    (15 votes)
  • 40%
    FIRE UP CHIPS
    (10 votes)
25 votes total Vote Now

Here’s your open thread for the next two days’ games! We’ll update with tweets on the College Football Playoff rankings as they become available, so feel free to talk about those in the meantime, too.

While you’re here, as well, consider giving a click to our friends at Hustle Belt! They’ve previewed these games in a lot more depth than me, and they’re good guys and gals who deserve your support, too.

Thanks for patronizing OTE, as always. If you’re looking for the college basketball open thread, be sure to hit that up here. Usual gamethread rules apply, otherwise—behave, and Happy MACtion!