The NEIM Road to the College Football Playoff looks at the MAC's national profile, and how far conference teams need to climb to earn the Group of 5 top bowl game spot, as well as how far they need to climb to gain an unprecedented spot in the college football playoff:
MAC Average National Rank
|Team||Average National Rank||CFP Magic #||High||Low|
USA Today Myerberg, CBS Sports, ESPN FPI, Orlando Sentinel, Massey, Billingsley + MOV, S&P, Bill C SB Nation
The MAC puts 2 teams in the top half of the nation, as everyone waits for the assumed week 13 MAC West Championship Game showdown between WMU and Toledo. On average WMU will need to leap over 46 teams to earn a spot in the college football playoff. In their best ranking, WMU sneaks into the top 25% of the nation at #31.
MAC G5 Rank
|Team||G5 Rank||G5 Magic #|
WMU only needs to pass 6 teams to reach the G5 top-6 bowl game.
The G5 Top 25
|3||MWC||San Diego State||43||58||14|
6 MAC teams are in the initial G5 top 25.
Average Conference Rank
The MAC is third in strength and can gain ground on the MWC with a good showing in OOC play.
|W/L Projections Based on National Perception|
|Team||Overall W/L||MAC W/L||W1||W2||W3||W4||W5||W6||W7||W8||W9||W10||W11||W12||W13|
|WMU||10-2||8-0||P5||FCS||P5||Ga Sou||at CMU||NIU||at AKR||EMU||BYE||at BSU||at KSU||UB||TOL|
|NIU||9-3||7-1||at WYo||at USF||SDSU||FCS||at BSU||at WMU||CMU||UB||BYE||BG||TOL||at EMU||at KSU|
|Ohio||8-4||6-2||Tx St||P5||P5||FCS||at MIA||BG||EMU||at KSU||at TOL||UB||BYE||at CMU||AKR|
|Toledo||8-4||6-2||at Ark St||FCS||Fresno||BYE||at BYU||at EMU||BG||CMU||OU||at AKR||at NIU||BSU||at WMU|
|CMU||7-5||5-3||FCS||P5||UNLV||P5||WMU||BSU||at NIU||at TOL||KSU||at MIA||BYE||OU||at EMU|
|Buffalo||6-6||4-4||FCS||BYE||at Nev||Army||P5||KSU||BSU||at NIU||AKR||at OU||MIA||at WMU||at BG|
|BGSU||6-6||4-4||P5||FCS||M. Ten||at Mem||EMU||at OU||at TOL||MIA||BYE||at NIU||at AKR||KSU||UB|
|Akron||5-7||4-4||FCS||P5||at Marsh||App St||at KSU||MIA||WMU||at BSU||at UB||TOL||BG||BYE||at OU|
|Miami (OH)||3-9||2-6||P5||FCS||WKU||at Cincy||OU||at AKR||KSU||at BG||at EMU||CMU||at UB||BYE||BSU|
|EMU||3-9||1-7||FCS||P5||at Char||WYM||at BG||TOL||at OU||at WMU||MIA||BYE||at BSU||NIU||CMU|
|Ball State||2-10||1-7||at Ga St||P5||FCS||at FAU||NIU||at CMU||at UB||AKR||BYE||WMU||EMU||at TOL||at MIA|
|Kent||2-10||0-8||P5||FCS||FCS||P5||AKR||at UB||at MIA||OU||at CMU||BYE||WMU||at BG||NIU|
|All P5's are projected as losses, all FCS projected as wins.|
|If average national rank is more than 20 higher than opponent, the game is projected as a win|
|If average national rank is +/- 20 than opponent, home team is projected to win|
|if average national rank is 20 lower than opponent, the game is projected as a loss|
WMU is seen as the best school in the MAC and they host NIU and Toledo. If they beat Northwestern and Illinois, WMU could run the table.
NIU could make G5 waves if they can beat USF and SDSU
Ohio was projected to win the MAC East by 2 games, will their outlook dampen without Sprague?
Toledo can make G5 waves with wins at Arkansas State and at BYU. Even if they lose, the practice on the road could pay off late when the Rockets travel to DeKalb and Kalamazoo.
CMU travels to Oklahoma State, Virginia and then takes on the teeth of the MAC West. Fatigue may doom CMU's chances at a MAC West title, but you can always count on CMU to spoil someone else's chances.
UB is lucky to have their easier 4 MAC games at home and their harder 4 on the road. It's a clear path to 4-4 in conference and a bowl bid.
BG also plays easier foes at home, but after their run of success they probably won't be as happy to go 6-6 as the folks in Buffalo.
Akron has tough matches at home and some easier teams on the road in hard places to win. Akron will have to beat a good team at home, or steal a win on the road to go bowling.
Miami will improve, but their schedule doesn't set them up for success.
EMU the birds could probably compete in the East, but will get destroyed in the West, the factory will shutdown in November.
Ball State like Akron, their most competitive games are on the road, so their record may not show the progress the team from Muncie has made.
Kent State the good: Kent plays 2 FCS games so should get 2 wins. The bad, that probably means Kent needs to win 7 to become bowl eligible. The ugly, based on national perception, the 2 FCS wins will be Kent's only victories of the season.