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Midweek MACtion, College Football Playoff Rankings Open Thread

Grab your popcorn, grab your CFP Rankings outrage, and let’s talk the weird and dumb in college football.

MAC Football Championship - Ball State v Buffalo Photo by Aaron J. Thornton/Getty Images

It’s Tuesday night! In college football’s Ordinary Time there would’ve be much to talk about, but Advent is upon us, as we spend four weeks preparing for Jesus’s birth the MAC Championship Game in Detroit, Michigan.

Blessed MACtion Season to you all. (And with your spirit.)

Also beginning tonight is the ESPN (and SEO how dare you this is just a college football interest blog not a moneymaking tool nothing else) ratings bonanza that is releasing the first set of College Football Playoff rankings.

College Football Playoff Rankings Show

Date: Tuesday, November 1 (all times here)
Time: 6pm CT
TV: ESPN (streaming, too, I assume)

My Guess:

  1. Georgia Bulldogs (8-0)
  2. Tennessee Volunteers (8-0)
  3. Ohio State Buckeyes (8-0)
  4. Clemson Tigers (8-0)
  5. Alabama Crimson Tide (7-1)
  6. Michigan Wolverines (8-0)
  7. TCU Horned Frogs (8-0)

Sorry, Michigan, but you’re not Alabama.

Updated CFP Rankings here:

25. UCF Knights
24. Texas Longhorns
23. Oregon State Beavers
22. NC State Wolfpack
21. Wake Forest Demon Deacons
20. Syracuse Orange
19. Tulane Green Wave
18. Oklahoma State Cowboys
17. North Carolina Tar Heels

16. Illinois Fighting Illini
15. Penn State Nittany Lions

14. Utah Utes
13. Kansas State Wildcats
12. UCLA Bruins
11. Ole Miss Rebels
10. LSU Tigers
9. USC Trojans
8. Oregon Ducks
7. TCU Horned Frogs
6. Alabama Crimson Tide

5. Michigan Wolverines

4. Clemson Tigers
3. Georgia Bulldogs

2. Ohio State Buckeyes

  1. Tennessee Volunteers

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

Shouldn’t you be grading final research proposals right now? Yes, bold headings guy, but this is a lot more fun than reading students trying to propose ANOTHER research paper about the JFK assassination...

...for my “US to 1877” class.

Tuesday, November 1

Ball State Robotbirds (4-4, 2-2 MAC) at Kent State Golden Flashes (3-5, 2-2)

6pm | ESPNU | Kent -7 | O/U 62

  • Is it a rivalry game? No :(
  • What’s at stake? Bowl eligibility, probably? The Robotbirds have only one home date left, with West Division leader Toledo, and travel to Ohio and Miami Hydroxide in the final two weeks. They need a win, as does Kent State, which faces suddenly-frisky Bowling Green, EMU, and Buffalo to close it out. A loss by Ball State probably means the MAC fills one fewer bowl space.
  • Is either team good? Meh. FLASH FAST hasn’t lived up to the excitement of 2021—junior QB Collin Schlee isn’t lighting it up and is questionable for tonight, meaning it falls to dynamic RB Marquez Cooper for Kent State. Ball State is a bit more of a known commodity...and what we know is that it’s gonna be close. The Robotbirds have played four straight one-score games, winning three behind an offense that, with RB Carson Steele doing yeoman’s work and QB John Paddock moving the ball decently through the air.

I’d expect some pretty classic MACtion: let’s say 32-28, Kent State.

Buffalo Bulls (5-3, 4-0) at Ohio Bobcats (5-3, 3-1)

6:30pm | ESPN2 | Buffalo -2.5 | O/U 60

  • Is it a rivalry game? No :(
  • What’s at stake? The MAC East! Buffalo has a game on the Bobcats, who are tied with Bowling Green at 3-1, and can all but salt away another trip to Detroit with a win (they beat Bowling Green, 38-7, a month back).
  • Is either team good? The Bulls are nothing to sneeze at—a 31-10 loss to Maryland is understandable, as is the 38-26 defeat at Coastal Carolina, but the 37-31 defeat to FCS #6 Holy Cross is a head-scratcher—having won five straight, including one-score wins over EMU and Toledo. Ohio has had a weird one, winning a 41-38 donnybrook with FAU and 59-52 slobberknocker with FCS Fordham before catching fire in the MAC: after a one-score loss to Kent, the ‘Cats have rolled up three straight, including a pasting of Western Michigan and a one-score win over NIU.

Want familiar names? The comfort of the last eight years of MACtion? Well, for the Bobcats it’s still Kurtis Rourke at QB—he of 2408 yards passing, 16 TDs, and just 3 INTs while being a threat to run—with WR Sam Wiglusz the downfield threat. But Cole Snyder for Buffalo’s no slouch, either (a comparatively muted 1907, 12 and 5), and backed up by a fierce backfield duo of Ron Cook, Jr., and Mike Washington, both just shy of 500 yards. Cook’s got a little more scatback, pass-catching to him.

The difference in this one is a Buffalo defense that’s decently legit—46th in FEI—as opposed to the Bobcats D that gave up 52 to Fordham and is 116th overall. Then again: MACtion. Buffalo, 41-28.

Wednesday, November 2

Central Michigan Chippewas (2-6, 1-3) vs. Northern Illinois Huskies (2-6, 1-3)

6pm | ESPNU | NIU -5 | O/U 56

  • Is it a rivalry? No :(
  • What’s at stake? Elimination game! Loser is guaranteed no bowl—though neither is likely to make one. The Chips have struggled to match their 2021 outputs, with Lew Nichols III being held to 3.6 ypc and QB Daniel Richardson struggling without WR Dallas Dixon.
  • Is either team good? Speaking of, what happened in DeKalb? Well, injuries to Rocky Lombardi have meant more of the load fell on RBs Harrison Waylee and Antario Brown, and...well, when you know where the wind’s blowing from, you’re a lot better prepared. Amusingly, in their last game, a 24-17 loss to Ohio, the Huskies went to a running QB, one J. Lynch. And, yes, it’s Justin, the younger brother of NIU legend Jordan. Poor guy never hears the end of it, I’ll bet.

Tough to feign much interest in this, but if it’s on, I’ll watch it. Huskies, 27-24.

Western Michigan Broncos (3-5, 2-2) vs. Bowling Green Falcons (4-4, 3-1)

6pm | ESPN2 | BGSU -4.5 | O/U 47.5

  • Is it a rivalry? No :(
  • What’s at stake? For the Falcons, staying alive in the race of the MAC East. For WMU...bowl eligibility is still in the cards? The Broncos have been pretty nondescript this year, though, only beating Balls and Miami Hydroxide (shut up, it’s harder than it looks) in the MAC and New Hampshire outside of it. Sean Tyler is here and running the ball well, but QB Jack Salopek is running a 50.8%, 7:10 TD:INT rate and, uh...well, you’re not Illini legend Mark Hoekstra, buddy. Get it together.
  • Is either team good? Talking about positive surprises in the MAC, though...uh...Bowling Green?! QB Matt McDonald sports a 16:3 touchdown ratio and the Falcons, while they can't stop shit on defense (see their 59-57, 7OT loss to FCS Eastern Kentucky and 430 ypg allowed), have somehow put it together enough to make it work. The 34-31 OT win over Marshall. Escaping winless-in-MACtion Akron. A narrow win over Miami-Ohio.

This is one: just sit back and let the MACtion wash over you. I'll take the Broncos by 10.

We'll update the CFP Rankings when they're out. In the meantime, here's your open thread for the night's sports. Behave.