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How did EMU’s 2011 opponents do in week 7?

October 17, 2011

EMU’s opponents went 5-6 this week — Akron had the week off or that probably would have been 5-7. There was one matchup of future foes, as Northern Illinois hosted Western Michigan, and of course, EMU beat Central Michigan.

New this week, I’m including Sagarin ratings for each team. Near the beginning of the season, when each team has only played one or two opponents, initial expectations play a role in the rating. After Saturday’s games, the teams are now “well-connected”, meaning that those initial expectations no longer play a factor, and the ratings are based solely on this season’s on-field performance. The rating I give here is the overall rating, which is a synthesis (not a straight-up average) of the Elo-chess rating, which only considers wins and losses, and the Pure Points Predictor, which only considers the score margin. The BCS uses Elo-chess, while Jeff Sagarin writes that Pure Points “is the best single PREDICTOR of future games.”

Team W L Total % Conf W L Conf % Last Next Sag
Howard 3 4 43% MEAC 2 2 50% Lost 21-3 to Georgetown Vs North Carolina A&T 34.79
Alabama State 6 1 86% SWAC 6 0 100% Won 20-7 vs Prairie View A&M Vs Alabama A&M 52.58
Michigan 6 1 86% Big Ten 2 1 67% Lost 28-14 at Michigan State Bye (vs Purdue) 82.27
Penn State 6 1 86% Big Ten 3 0 100% Won 23-18 vs Purdue At Northwestern 84.67
Akron 1 5 17% MAC 0 2 0% Bye (lost 27-17 vs Florida International) Vs Ohio 45.50
Toledo 4 3 57% MAC 3 0 100% Won 28-21 at Bowling Green Vs Miami 75.87
Central Michigan 2 5 29% MAC 1 2 33% Lost 35-28 vs EMU At Ball State 56.68
Western Michigan 4 3 57% MAC 2 1 67% Lost 51-22 at Northern Illinois At EMU 68.36
Ball State 4 3 57% MAC 2 1 67% Won 23-20 at Ohio Vs Central Michigan 62.10
Buffalo 2 5 29% MAC 1 2 33% Lost 34-0 at Temple Vs Northern Illinois 57.53
Kent State 1 6 14% MAC 0 3 0% Lost 9-3 vs Miami Bye (vs Bowling Green) 50.85
Northern Illinois 4 3 57% MAC 2 1 67% Won 51-22 vs Western Michigan At Buffalo 66.56
Total 43 40 52% 24 15 62% 61.48
Past 28 20 58% 17 7 71% 61.77
Upcoming 15 20 43% 7 8 47% 61.08

Howard, easily EMU’s weakest opponent of the year, lost to Georgetown to fall to 3-4 for the year, but remains 2-2 in the Mideastern Athletic Conference, and #101 (out of 126) in the FCS. Like EMU in 2010, they’re still bad, but out of the cellar.

Alabama State continues to excel, scoring a big 20-7 win over Southwestern Athletic Conference West Division leader Prairie View A&M, in a possibly SWAC Championship game preview. The Hornets lead the SWAC East Division by 1 1/2 games, with only three conference games left to play, and are knocking on the door of the FCS top-25. With a 6-1 overall record, their only loss is to EMU. Remember back at the beginning of the season, when I wrote that Alabama State would be better than at least one or two MAC teams? Well, they’re definitely better than Akron and Kent State, and possibly better than Miami and Central Michigan.

Michigan faced off against in-state rival Michigan State, and Wolverine fans can complain about dirty play all they want, but Michigan just got clocked by “little brother” for the fourth straight year. Michigan State senior quarterback Kirk Cousins, a native of Holland, Michigan,  gave the quote of the week, saying, “For the rest of our life, we will walk the streets of this state. For the rest of our life, it’s satisfying.” Michigan fell to #18 in the AP poll, while Michigan State rose to #15. (Maize N Brew: Michigan Fails to Capitalize on Opportunities Late, Drops 4th Straight to MSU; MGoBlog: Lizard Brain Tornado Apocalypse Derp Derp Derp)

The now rapidly developing lizard brain theory of college football coaching states that there is a certain level of pressure above which rationality goes out the window and coaches revert to who they really are. It came to me in a horrible epiphany when Lloyd Carr punted in the 2005 Ohio State game less than a quarter after going for it on his side of the field. Coaches panic, go to their binkies, and then try to convince you otherwise in the post-game.

Different coaches have different levels. Ron Zook reverts to the lizard brain on the opening kickoff of every game. Kirk Ferentz makes it about five minutes in. We don’t know about Tressel because he constructed his team such that the lizard brain was right. Les Miles exists on an entirely different axis with taffy on one end and victory on the other. He is the only one who escapes. The lizard brain is unavoidable. — MGoBlog

Michigan gets an extra week to let this feeling sink in.

In a less rivalry-tastic game, since the Nittany Lions don’t really have any, Penn State took care of business against Purdue and worked their way into the USA Today poll at #22, though they came up 14 points short of an AP ranking. This weekend the Nittany Lions will play at Northwestern, who is reeling from four straight losses. (Black Shoe Diaries: Penn State 23, Purdue18: The Art Of Survival)

Mercifully, Akron didn’t play. This weekend they’ll host an Ohio team that, over its last four games, lost at Rutgers, barely beat Kent State, lost at Buffalo, and lost to Ball State.

Toledo defeated rival Bowling Green to retain the Peace Pipe Battle for I-75 Trophy Promissory Note for the Battle for I-75 Trophy. See apparently they decided to change the trophy, and they held a big press conference and announced the new trophy, but somebody forgot to go to the trophy store and pick the thing up. After a rough start to the season, due partly to poor officiating, partly to a difficult schedule, and partly due to self-inflicted injuries, the Rockets now lead the MAC at 3-0. (Let’s Go Rockets: Rockets win Battle for I-75)

Gillett eluding the Chippewas for the game-winning touchdown.

Central Michigan…well, you know how that one went. Let’s have a pretty picture! Next week the Chippewas travel to face a Ball State team that’s probably about as good as EMU, though they play an entirely different style of ball.

EMU’s next opponent, Western Michigan lost a game that had me saying “WTF?” After leading most of the first half, something happened. I have no idea what, but Northern Illinois reeled off 44 straight points, to go from down 15-7 to up 51-15. Northern Illinois quarterback Chandler Harnish is my all-everything player of the week, after throwing for 203 yards and running for 231 more. If you have any idea what happened in this game, drop a note in the comments, because still, all I can say is “WTF?” (Red and Black Attack: NIU 51, WMU 22: Potential Realized)

As I mentioned earlier, Ohio’s Solich Slide is in full effect, with the last four games being a loss at Rutgers, a narrow win over Kent State, a loss at Buffalo, and now a loss to Ball State. This was a team that some thought might not only win the MAC but have a perfect season. Ball State, meanwhile, looks like they might be the up-and-coming team in the West Division.

In the MAC East Division, Buffalo was held out of the endzone for the second time this year as Temple registered their second consecutive shutout. The Bulls’ only FBS win was by one point over Ohio, and this Saturday they face Northern Illinois, whose offense never went away but who now seems to have a defense also.

In the pillow fight of the week, in which the teams combined for just 410 total yards, averaging 3.2 yards per play, Miami edged out Kent State, 9-3. They did combine for nearly 750 yards of punting, so they’ve got that going for them, which is nice. Kent State gets the week off to ponder their inability to be the ball.

One Comment leave one →
  1. October 18, 2011 1:01 am

    So if the Sagarin Ratings are any indication, we have a shot against Buffalo and Kent State? And a possible against Ball State?

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