MACtion Power Rankings: NIU moves up slightly after Georgia Tech upset

Friends, we have an upset to report.

And yes, it came against a Power 5 team. And yes, it came on the road.

But be honest. Who really saw Northern Illinois with its army of freshmen coming down to Atlanta and beating Georgia Tech?

I don’t know who felt good about this upset coming into the game and I don’t know who would lie to me about it to sound cool now that NIU actually pulled off the win. But I do know that nobody saw things with more clarity than NIU head coach Thomas Hammock when he called for a 2-point conversion for his offense to play for the win rather playing for overtime. Rocky Lombardi and Tyrice Richie connected on a risky play and, after review, the Huskies took the 22-21 lead with under a minute to play. That lead was protected by a field goal block as time expired, and the Huskies now get to be the MAC team to pull off the kind of upset that 2020 took away from us.

Week 2 MAC Football Power Rankings

[Click here to read last week’s rankings]

[Week 1 recap]

BALL STATE — If power rankings lists would let me put two teams at #2, I would. I think Ball State should’ve won much easier than it did against Western Illinois, but a win is a win, and I’m feeling nice about Week 1 play.

TOLEDO — The Rockets let a lot of guys see the field against Norfolk State. The team handled its business at home, but a big “Show Me” game is coming up.

WESTERN MICHIGAN — The Broncos’ final score at Michigan wasn’t great, but it ultimately confirmed some prior thoughts I already had on this team’s defense. If it’s going to keep giving up big plays, then I can’t assume it’ll clean up in MAC West play.

MIAMI — I expected the RedHawks to lose big at Cincinnati, and there’s a lot of cleaning up to do with its own defensive secondary. Miami’s still MAC-level good, but most MAC teams would get torched by those Bearcats.

KENT STATE — Losing at Texas A&M was expected, but I’ll note that the Flashes showed improvement on defense, but it still allowed two guys to have 100-yard rushing days. Offense will have to really prove itself next weekend at Minnesota.

BUFFALO — Congrats to Mo Linguist’s first career win over Wagner. Nebraska looks like a garbage program, so make sure you’re tailgating for Buffalo-Nebraska.

NORTHERN ILLINOIS — This is the only team to make any actual movement on the rankings. I still don’t think the full-season outlook looks great for either NIU or Georgia Tech this year, but NIU got the job done in Atlanta and showed some cajones with a 2-point conversion after a touchdown to avoid overtime and go for the win.

EASTERN MICHIGAN — EMU’s got two quarterbacks, and that’s either a good thing or a bad thing. You can be the judge of that. EMU’s currently got a 3-game winning streak over Big Ten opponents, and Wisconsin didn’t exactly impress yesterday.

OHIO — The Bobcats had its moments where it could’ve flipped the script against Syracuse, but things never materialized. The upcoming Duquesne matchup might be a good chance for the Bobcats to right their offensive wrongs and get some points on the board.

AKRON — Either I’m too lazy to put Akron beneath BGSU or losing 60-10 at Auburn didn’t shock me that much.

BOWLING GREEN — BG didn’t get absolutely destroyed by Tennessee on the scoreboard. Still couldn’t hang though.

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