UB's loss to Ohio doesn't help, but it wasn't entirely unexpected. Rather, in a look back of the season, it's going to be the listless defense in the loss against Miami that will loom as the game that got away. UB wins that game, and they're sitting fourth today. Instead, it's sixth.
For all intents and purposes, the Bulls, needing to hop two of Akron, WMU, and Toledo, need to win out. 1-1 head-to-head tiebreakers against each are not going to help things at all.
But for now, here's what we want to help us climb into that top four:
Ball State (11-4) at Western Michigan (9-6): BALL STATE
This one is huge. WMU is the most dangerous of the teams around UB, since they have a win over top-seeded Ohio. It's also totally feasible that Ball State top the Broncos. Think happy thoughts.
Northern Illinois (7-8) at Eastern Michigan (8-7): NORTHERN ILLINOIS
Oh hey, Eastern is tied with Buffalo at 8-7. They're less of a threat in a tiebreaker (0-1 vs Buffalo), but could of course pass the Bulls.
Central Michigan (7-8) at Toledo (9-6): CENTRAL MICHIGAN
The thing with this round of games is that if everything goes right, UB could be in a tiebreaker for #4 with two very winnable games, but if everything goes right except a UB win, suddenly the Bulls are at risk of missing a home playoff game altogether. That would suck.
Anyway, UB's Akron game is less important in a tiebreaker with the Zips and more just for getting the Bulls another win. We need to find losses from Western and Toledo somewhere, so this one from CMU is big.
Kent State (3-12) at Miami (3-12): NOPE
Bowling Green (2-13) at Ohio (13-2): NOPE
Neither of these games can help or hurt UB but in the most twisted tiebreakers. Kent and Miami because they're both bad, Bowling Green and Ohio since Ohio's locked up #1 anyway.
The possible results, from most helpful to most damaging. I know, I know, but we have to find WMU and Toledo losses somehow even if we win out:
1. Ball State over WMU
2. CMU over Toledo
3. UB over Akron
4. NIU over EMU
5, 6, 7, and 8. Ohio, Miami, Kent, and BG
9. EMU over NIU
10. Akron over UB
11. Toledo over CMU
12. WMU over Ball State