We are back with the week three rankings, and we have some MAJOR shifts as we start to think about conference play. A big thank you to our friends at Sidelines Sports, Fifth Quarter, and CFB Home for voting in this week's rankings.
1. Ohio Bobcats (+1 spot from last week) - While Toledo had a nice win over G5 San Jose State, the Bobcats hosted P5 Iowa State and defended their home turf (Frank Solich Field, as was named last season) with a strong defensive effort. A 10-7 win over any team looks good, especially when it's a P5 team that thumped you the year before. Ohio looked really good defensively and made the right plays on offense to win. The Bobcats begin MAC play this week at BGSU (1.444 Average, lowest ranking: 2)
2. Toledo Rockets (-1 spot from last week) - The Rockets had a tough G5 test in the Glass Bowl and they passed it with a 21-17 win over San Jose State. The offense was held mostly in check, so the defense had to get it done and a key McDonald pick-six locked up the Rockets' win. It wasn't easy, but the Rocket defense looks every bit as good as advertised. They begin their title defense at home against Western Michigan on Saturday (1.555 Average, lowest ranking: 2)
3. Miami (OH) RedHawks (+/- 0 spots from last week) - 2005 was a long time ago, and in that time, the Cincinnati Bearcats left two different conferences (Big East and American) before reclaiming their spot as an AQ/Power 5 program. That's also how long it's been since Miami defeated their oldest rival. That changed as Miami traveled into newly-minted Big 12 country and took down the Bearcats at home in overtime, 31-24. A key field goal block and key OT interception sealed the win for Miami. The RedHawks look to avoid a hangover as they host FCS Delaware State this weekend (3.000 Average, lowest ranking: 3)
4. Eastern Michigan Eagles (+/- 0 spots from last week) - The Eagles eeked out a win against former MAC foe UMass at The Factory this last week, and as has been the tale so far, it was the defense who kept them in the game. An El-Zayat 50-yard touchdown was enough to lift EMU as they improved to 2-1 on the year. Samson Evans is still off to a slow start but watch for him to get going this weekend the Eagles travel to Jacksonville State (4.333 Average, lowest ranking: 5)
5. Bowling Green Falcons (+/- 0 spots from last week) - If we were giving out a toughness and fearless award, BGSU would run away with it in a landslide. They traveled to Ann Arbor last weekend and played Michigan in a one-point game through part of the second quarter. Big defensive efforts (three interceptions by three different Falcons) had many eyes peaking at this game. Untimely, injuries to key players and a few misfires of their own and Michigan pulled away. Effort as a while? excellent, and even with a loss, BG stands at five as they gear up to host reigning MAC East Champion Ohio (5.888 Average, lowest ranking: 9)
6. Central Michigan Chippewas (+1 spot from last week) - CMU had a tough test on the road without starting QB Bert Emmanuel, and it went... better...than expected? A 21-14 Notre Dame lead at the break swelled in the second half but not all is bad for the Chips. Some good offense shone through, and we will see Jase Bauer on the field again this season. Up next? CMU takes on South Alabama down in Mobile to complete their non-conference slate this weekend (7.222 Average, lowest ranking: 11)
7. Ball State Cardinals (+2 spots from last week) - Finally, the Cardinals earned a win and they did it at home. Sure, it was Indiana State, but Ball State looked the part in this old rivalry that hasn't been played since 2014. Kadin Semonza continues to impress as a true freshman, the defense looked locked in all day, and Ball State earned some momentum (and an undefeated record on their new mid-field logo). They host Georgia Southern this Saturday (7.666 Average, lowest ranking: 10)
8. Northern Illinois Huskies (+2 spots from last week) - After upsetting Boston College in week one, the Huskies have looked bad the last two weeks. A loss at Nebraska would normally be understandable and even forgivable until you see that Nebraska was 0-2 and was averaging 12 points a game. YIKES. After making a 7-3 game in the first quarter, the Huskies surrendered four straight touchdowns. NIU is at home this weekend against Tulsa, a rematch of last year's thriller (8.000 Average, lowest ranking:10)
9. Akron Zips (-3 spots from last week) - After shooting up the rankings, the Zips crashed back down after a 35-3 loss at Kentucky. This loss was a little more surprising, not because Akron lost but because the defense looked pretty solid. The Zips forced three turnovers, but couldn't capitalize, and held Kentucky to long stretches without scoring through the first three quarters. Akron rounds out its non-conference slate at Indiana on Saturday (8.333 Average, lowest ranking: 10)
10. Western Michigan Broncos (-2 spots from last week) - Western Michigan made things interesting in the first half, owning a 7-0 lead and a 10-7 lead, but that was the best the Broncos would do. WMU gave up 16 third-quarter points, waved at the Children's Hospital in Iowa (The BEST tradition in college football, don't @ me), and took their check back to Kalamazoo along with a 41-10 loss. Treyson Bourguet was inefficient, but that's not his fault, Iowa just has a solid defense. Broncos travel to the Glass Bowl to try to make it two straight wins over the Rockets on Saturday (9.222 Average, lowest ranking: 11)
11. Kent State Golden Flashes (+1 spot from last week) - There is no place like home against an FCS opponent, right? The Flashes came out and dominated their overmatched foe, racing out to a 38-0 lead after three. Michael Alaimo had just four incompletions but it was Gavin Garcia doing the damage on the ground to help pull Kent State out of the last spot in the power rankings. They do battle with the Bulldogs of Fresno State this weekend (10.333 Average, lowest ranking: 12)
12. Buffalo Bulls (-1 spot from last week) - I... don't know, man. Buffalo started last season 0-3, but this one feels vastly different. a lot of talent on both sides of the ball, but not a lot of cohesion. Lots of positives after the Wisconsin game, but a loss to Fordham and now a blowout by Liberty at home, fans are turning their attention to the Bills across town. Buffalo rounds out conference play at Louisiana this Saturday (11.000 Average, lowest ranking: 12)
Is someone too high? Too low? Let us know what you think!
A big thank you to SSN Ball State, SSN Buffalo, SSN CMU, SSN EMU, SSN Kent State, SSN NIU, SSN Toledo, FQ MACtion, and CFBHome for voting on this week's power rankings.