Another week another set of midweek games from the MAC, with the first featuring an undefeated Ball State team looking to work its way into the BCS. But with games remaining against Central Michigan and Western Michigan the Cardinals will have a hard enough time winning the MAC West let alone going undefeated. But tonight brings a trip to Oxford to take on the Redhawks of Miami (OH), who find themselves in the middle of a heated battle for the MAC East. Every team in the division has at least two conference losses, which could make for a serious mismatch (on paper) when the two divisional champs meet on December 5th. The game matching two of the preseason favorites can be seen at 7 PM EST on ESPN2, and look for QB Nate Davis to lead Ball State to a routine road victory.
-Temple @ Kent State 8 PM EST on ESPN360
The Owls find themselves one game out of first place in the MAC East despite having the conference's worst offense. Kent State hasn't been much better, but with four league losses the Golden Flashes still can entertain thoughts of winning the division. Unless Akron, Buffalo or Bowling Green wins the division, there's a strong chance that the East representative could be either playing for bowl eligibility or looking to win the conference even though they wouldn't be bowl eligible. As for this game, look for the Golden Flashes to win at home and further muddle the divisional race.
- Central Michigan @ Northern Illinois 8 PM EST on ESPN2
A showdown in the west that is essentially an elimination game for Jerry Kill's Huskies. Thanks to their loss to Ball State NIU would need a lot of help to win the division, but given the status of the East they could very well be playing for a bowl game in this one. Central Michigan, on the other hand, hasn't missed a beat with Brian Brunner playing quarterback for the injured Dan LeFevour. LeFevour could be back for this one, but there shouldn't be much concern if he isn't. Northern Illinois has the best defense in the MAC, but this two-game stretch (Ball State and then CMU) can kill those numbers in a hurry. NIU will be competitive, but look for the Chippewas to take care of business and set up a showdown next week with Ball State.
FWAA Awards for this week:
- Iowa was named FWAA/Tostitos Fiesta Bowl National Team of the Week thanks to their 24-23 home win over then-#3 Penn State. Other nominees were #2 Texas Tech (56-20 win over Oklahoma State) and #8 Utah (13-10 win over TCU).
- Alabama safety Rashad Johnson was named FWAA/Bronko Nagurski Defensive Player of the Week due to his performance at LSU on Saturday. Johnson had three interceptions (one for a TD) along with four tackles and one-half sack in the Crimson Tide's 27-21 overtime win in Baton Rouge.