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College Football Playoff Rankings Show, Midweek MACtion Open Thread

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

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COLLEGE FOOTBALL: OCT 30 Kent State at Bowling Green Photo by Scott W. Grau/Icon Sportswire via 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 8 (all times here)
Time: 6pm CT
TV: ESPN (streaming, too, I assume)

My Guess:

  1. Georgia Bulldogs (9-0)
  2. Ohio State Buckeyes (9-0)
  3. Michigan Wolverines (9-0)
  4. TCU Horned Frogs (9-0)
  5. Tennessee Volunteers (8-1)
  6. Oregon Ducks (8-1)

Updated CFP Rankings here:

25. Washington Huskies
24. Kentucky Wildcats
23. Florida State Seminoles
22. UCF Citronauts

21. Illinois Fighting Illini

20. Notre Dame Fighting Irish
19. Kansas State Wildcats
18. Texas Longhorns
17. Tulane Green Wave
16. NC State Wolfpack
15. North Carolina Tar Heels

14. Penn State Nittany Lions

13. Utah Utes
12. UCLA Bruins
11. Ole Miss Rebels
10. Clemson Tigers
9. Alabama Crimson Tide
8. USC Trojans
7. LSU Tigers
6. Oregon Ducks
5. Tennessee Volunteers
4. TCU Horned Frogs

3. Michigan Wolverines
2. Ohio State Buckeyes

1. Georgia Bulldogs

I don’t like getting the Top 6 entirely right. Feels bad for my cred, even if this week was about as “find your ass with your hands” as it gets in the CFP rankings.

I’m surprised to see Illinois still in the rankings, but I guess all the better if there’s still potential for a ranked-on-ranked Big Ten Championship Game at the end of the year.

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

Tuesday, November 8

Eastern Michigan Eagles (5-4, 2-3 MAC) at Akron Zips (1-8, 0-5)

6pm | CBSSN | EMU -7 | O/U 57

  • Is it a rivalry game? No :(
  • What’s at stake? For Eastern Michigan, the chance to salt away ANOTHER bowl appearance for Chris Creighton. For Akron? Uh...pride?
  • Is either team good? The EMUs HAD Toledo back on the 29th, man. They’ve dealt with uncertainty at QB, as neither Taylor Powell nor Austin Smith have lit it up this year, but the bread-and-butter in Ypsi is Samson Evans plowing forward, which he’s done to the tune of 9 TDs and 5 ypc so far.
  • Could we get some MACtion? Maybe! Akron is horrific on defense (126th), but EMU’s just 120th,’s a possibility! Before a 27-9 loss to Miami Hydroxide a couple weeks back, the Zips at least put up some points in one-score losses to Kent State, Central, Ohio, and Bowling Green. But they’re bad, and it’s basically just “Can QB DJ Irons win it while running for his life?”

I doubt it, but if Akron can avoid just openly shooting itself in the foot, maybe it stays better for longer. Eastern Michigan, 41-21.

Ohio Bobcats (6-3, 4-1) at Miami Hydroxide Redhawks (4-5, 2-3)

6:30pm | ESPN2 | Ohio -2.5 | O/U 51.5

  • Is it a rivalry game? BATTLE OF THE BRICKS, BABY — this is mostly a contrivance, as both schools have brick buildings WOW!, but it’s something. PICK SIDES, GODDAMNIT—Chuck Martin’s mad as hell that this rivalry’s not a bigger deal.
  • What’s at stake? The Redhawks are trying to stay in the hunt for a bowl berth in 2022—since their win over Northwestern it’s been rocky roads for the Fightin’ Bases, who played five straight one-score games in the teens and twenties before seeing off Akron, 27-9. Ohio’s in a three-way tie with Buffalo and Bowling Green for the East lead, so they need this one to keep pace (do not bother asking me about tiebreakers).
  • Is either team good? I’m winning to believe in Ohio, who’s topside on their overall point differential thanks to QB Kurtis Rourke, who’s tossed 21 TDs to just 4 INTs in 2022. He’s a strong runner and will give the Redhawks’ 75th-rated defense a still test.
  • Could we get some MACtion? If Redhawks QB Brett Gabbert avoids errors. Since his return against Western (a 16-10 loss) the Redhawks have fallen back into the pro-style struggles, but Ohio’s defense is not good. We’ll see if Gabbert can dice them or if running QB Aveon Smith provides a needed change of pace.

I’m not sold on Miami—remember, Northwestern’s that bad—and the Rourke family is just MADE for MACtion. Ohio, 27-21.

Ball State Cardinals (5-4, 3-2) at Toledo Rockets (6-3, 4-1)

7pm | ESPN | Toledo -11.5 | O/U 50

  • Is it a rivalry game? No :(
  • What’s at stake? Ball State trails Toledo by a game in the MAC West standings, so this one would put the Robotbirds in the driver’s seat. Lose, and they join the mess of Michigans, who are all 2-3 in conference.
  • Is either team good? Jason Candle and the Rockets are zooming right along— they play passable defense (outside their 77-21 loss to Ohio State), have put up 50 twice in MAC play, and only have a loss at Buffalo as the blemish on their record. QB Tucker Gleason filled in admirably for Dequan Finn against Eastern Michigan (4 TDs to 0 INTs), but Finn leads a four-headed rushing attack with Jacquez Stuart, Peny Boone, and Micah Kelly that it’ll be tougher to replace long-term.
  • Could we get some MACtion? When Ball State RB Carson Steele is involved, odds are good. The long-haired back stole the show with 192 yards rushing against Kent State and sees the lion’s share of the work for the ol’ Beep Boop Birds. If he gets going against a Toledo defense that’s keying on him, look out.

...but I’m not optimistic. Toledo looks head-and-shoulders above Ball State, but if Finn’s out, this could get interesting. Rockets, 31-21.

Wednesday, November 9

Northern Illinois Huskies (2-7, 1-4) at Western Michigan Broncos (3-6, 2-3)

6pm | ESPNU | EVEN | O/U 49.5

  • Is it a rivalry game? No, but it feels like it should be.
  • What’s at stake? The Broncos need to run the table to go bowling. You’re not an idiot, you can read.
  • Is either team good? No.
  • Could we get some MACtion? Maybe, but WMU’s last two games are a 13-9 loss to Bowling Green and a 16-10 win at Miami Hydroxide. Meanwhile, Northern has been horrific on defense (123rd in the nation) and started Winnetka frosh Nevan Cremascoli at QB against CMU last week...where he went 13/33 for 2 TDs and 1 INT.

I’m not optimistic here, unless both teams are SO inept. NIU, 18-14. Don’t ask me how.

Buffalo Bulls (5-4, 4-1) at Central Michigan Chippewas (3-6, 2-3)

6pm | ESPN2 | EVEN | O/U 54

  • Is it a rivalry game? No :(
  • What’s at stake? The Chips, obviously, need to run the table to bowl. The Bulls, on the other hand, lost their advantage in the MAC East after a 45-24 pasting by Ohio last week and are in a three-way tie at 4-1 with Ohio and Bowling Green.
  • Is either team good? I thought the Bulls were, but Ohio stopped the Bulls’ RB tandem of Mike Washington and Ron Cook Jr., forcing the Bulls to the air, where QB Cole Snyder struggled (25/49, 2 TDs, 1 INT). More concerningly, the Bulls’ 64th-ranked defense struggled with Ohio’s mobile Kurtis Rourke.
  • Could we get some MACtion? That could be an issue with the Chips’ backup QB, Jase Bauer, who ran for 109 yards and 2 TDs on Northern Illinois last week — CMU cycled in three QBs in total, with Richardson being a truer pocket passer. I wouldn’t have put the line at even here, but maybe this CMU pop pass convinced them:

I am less convinced, even if this one’s in Mount Pleasant. Buffalo, 34-27.

Kent State Golden Flashes (3-6, 2-3) at Bowling Green Falcons (5-4, 4-1)

6pm | CBSSN | Kent -2.5 | O/U 55.5

  • Is it a rivalry game? TIME FOR THE ANNIVERSARY AWARD! Would you like to read something?

The Anniversary Award was created by each of the schools’ alumni departments and commemorates the founding of both institutions, which occurred in 1910 as a result of the Lowry Bill. The award was first given out in 1985 to celebrate the 75th anniversary of the founding of each school.

  • What’s at stake? THE ANNIVERSARY AWARD. DUH.

...oh. Well, also the MAC East, for the Falcons, as well as the chance for Sean Lewis and the FLASHFAST offense at Kent State to salvage a season that’s really hit the bricks in 2022.

  • Is either team good? I don’t quite know what’s happened in Kent — Connor Schlee and Marquez Cooper have been a good enough tandem in the Flashes’ backfield, but Kent State keeps coming up just short in close games. I suppose a defense rated 117th doesn’t help.
  • Could we get some MACtion? We can and probably should, because Bowling Green...uh...I’m not sure how they’re doing it. They’ve got the 34-31 win over Marshall, the 59-57 loss to Eastern Kentucky, and generally have been all over the map all season. A 17-13 win over Miami Hydroxide and 13-9 squeaker over WMU give me pause, but QB Matt McDonald should be able to move the ball on the Flashes.

This is, in my mind, the MACtion Game of the Week—though I’d put Buffalo-CMU just behind it. I’ll take Kent State to reclaim the Anniversary Award on the road, 35-32.

We’ll update the CFP Rankings when they’re out. In the meantime, here’s your open thread for the night’s sports. Basketball open thread’s right here, if that’s what you’re looking for—and I worked hard on the Final Record Predictions article, too, so give that a read.

In the meantime, I’ll be getting scotch drunk in my basement. Behave.