As a Mid Major fan, listening to the "big boys" talk about MACtion is equal parts great, awful and insulting.
It's great to get recognition, even ironic recognition. It's awful when they show how truly ignorant they are about MAC ball, and it's insulting when the experts decide to talk about MAC ball, without doing even the smallest amount of research.
In my effort to remedy this, I present, the Week 11, MACtion Guidebook.
1) I vote on polls, and I spend my weeknights at fancy balls. I will not be watching. Give me the quick and dirty.
Ok, Northern Illinois (9-0) is BCS #18. They have a dominant running style QB named Lynch. Next Wednesday they play Ball State (8-1) who has a dominant passing style QB named Wenning. The winner of that game should be voted ahead of Fresno State. Unless Ball State falls at this Wednesday against 3-5 Central Michigan. Despite the bad record, CMU's losses have come against Michigan, Toledo, NIU, UNLV and NC State, all arguably good teams, and CMU defeated Ohio, favorite to win the MAC East.
In the East, Buffalo is 6-2 with 2 losses to BCS top 6 teams. Feel free to throw some BCS votes at them if they defeat Ohio on Tuesday night.
2) I am catching up on my MACtion, what have I missed?
#18 Northern Illinios Huskies 9-0 (5-0)
Kirk Herbstreit's and Bob Stoops' favorite BCS busters are back, but don't call it a comeback, they've been here for years. Since 2010, the NIU Huskies are 43-8 overall, 28-1 in the MAC, they have won three straight division titles and back-to-back conference titles. This year they defeated Iowa and Purdue, which means they would be 3rd in the Leaders division or tied for 2nd in the Legends division of the B1G right now.
Next game: Wednesday 11/13 vs. Ball State
Ball State 8-1 (5-0)
It took 5 years, but the Cardinals have finally built on the foundation laid by Brady Hoke in 2008. With big wins over Toledo and Virginia, Ball State may be the only MAC team capable to take down NIU.
Next game: Wednesday 11/06 vs. Central Michigan
Toledo 6-3 (4-1)
Toledo lost at Missouri by 15. Georgia lost at home to Missouri by 15, while Florida lost at Missouri by 19. Of course Toledo also allowed Florida to score 24 points so there's that. Anyway, Toledo is a bit of a wildcard, never know what you're going to get, but they seem to be hitting their stride with 4 straight wins headed into some big MACtion against Buffalo and NIU.
Next game: Tuesday 11/12 vs. Buffalo
Buffalo 6-2 (4-0)
Buffalo got Baylored hard, but otherwise has played great football all year. With six consecutive victories against the dregs of the MAC, the Bulls will get a trial by MACtion to see if they are pretenders or contenders.
Next game: Tuesday 11/05 vs. Ohio
Ohio 6-2 (3-1)
MAC East favorites Ohio took a predictable midseason tumble against Central Michigan, but they still control their MAC destiny.
Next game: Tuesday 11/05 at Buffalo
Bowling Green 5-3 (3-1)
Bowling Green has lost two consecutive games by a combined 4 points: A 21-20 loss at Miss St. and a 28-25 loss against their rivals Toledo. BGSU also controls their MAC East destiny.
Next game: Tuesday 11/05 vs. Miami Ohio
3) I Just Like Big Time Action, You Can't Match That, Can You?
We Got Offense:
Northern Illinois #7 scoring team in the nation, Ball State T#17 in the nation.
Northern Illinois #4 rushing team in the nation, Toledo #15 in the nation
Ball State #16 passing team in the nation
We Got a Little Defense:
Bowling Green #12 nationally in Scoring Defense
Bowling Green #11 nationally in Passing Defense, Western Michigan #13 in the nation.
We Got Big Plays:
Ohio T#2 in the nation in Sacks/game, Toledo #9, Buffalo #10, Northern Illinois #16
Buffalo T#11 in the nation in INTs/game, Northern Illinois T#19
Buffalo T#2 in the nation in Turnover margin, Northern Illinois T#7, Ball State & Toledo T#16.
4) I'm just watching MACtion between MNF and TNF, Who Will Be Making Plays on Sundays?
According to Mocking The Draft's Top 100 list:
Buffalo's Khalil Mack LB #10
Kent State's Dri Archer RB #79
Other players they don't know about according to Hustle Belt's Hustle Belt Awards:
Matt Johnson, QB
Travis Greene, RB
We Got Running Backs:
#4 Jordan Lynch - Northern Illinois (Quarterback) 1,150 yards
#8 David Fluellen - Toledo 1,067 yards
#15 Travis Greene - Bowling Green 906 yards
#20 Branden Oliver - Buffalo 874 yards
#25 Bronson Hill - Eastern Michigan 817 yards
We Got Quarterbacks:
#10 Keith Wenning - Ball State 2,865 yards, 318.3 yards/game
#26 Tyler Tettleton - Ohio 2,029 yards, 253.6 yards/game
We Got Receivers:
#3 Willie Snead - Ball State 1,057 yards
#23 Jordan Williams - Ball State 792 yards
#27 Corey Davis - Western Michigan 761 yards
Alex Neutz - Buffalo and Willie Snead - Ball State #6 in 40+ yard receiving plays
We Got Defenders:
Junior Sylvestre - Toledo #6 in the nation in tackles
Jayrone Elliott - Toledo & Khalil Mack - Buffalo tied #12 in the nation in sacks
Jimmie Ward #4 in the nation in interceptions
Now that you are caught up, get out and enjoy some MACtion.