How did EMU’s opponents do in week 13?
EMU’s opponents went 5-5 this week, while Howard and Central Michigan ended their seasons a week ago. Two games matched up former EMU opponents. With the regular season over for all of EMU’s opponents, this will be the last such review until all the teams on this list have played their bowl games (which means sometime in early January).
|Team||W||L||Total %||Conf||W||L||Conf %||Last||Next||Sag|
|Howard||5||6||45%||MEAC||4||4||50%||N/A (lost 39-36 at Delaware State)||N/A||36.67|
|Alabama State||8||3||73%||SWAC||7||2||78%||Won 30-21 vs Tuskegee||N/A||40.85|
|Michigan||10||2||83%||Big Ten||6||2||75%||Won 40-34 vs Ohio State||Bowl eligible||85.52|
|Penn State||9||3||75%||Big Ten||6||2||75%||Lost 45-7 at Wisconsin||Bowl eligible||80.02|
|Akron||1||11||8%||MAC||0||8||0%||Lost 68-19 at Western Michigan||N/A||41.58|
|Toledo||8||4||67%||MAC||7||1||88%||Won 45-28 at Ball State||Bowl eligible||73.82|
|Central Michigan||3||9||25%||MAC||2||6||25%||N/A (lost 44-17 vs Toledo)||N/A||55.51|
|Western Michigan||7||5||58%||MAC||5||3||63%||Won 68-19 vs Akron||Bowl eligible||68.11|
|Ball State||6||6||50%||MAC||4||4||50%||Lost 45-28 vs Toledo||Bowl eligible||62.23|
|Buffalo||3||9||25%||MAC||2||6||25%||Lost 42-28 vs Bowling Green||N/A||55.60|
|Kent State||5||7||42%||MAC||4||4||50%||Lost 34-16 at Temple||N/A||58.88|
|Northern Illinois||9||3||75%||MAC||7||1||88%||Won 18-12 vs EMU||Vs Ohio (MAC Championship)||71.28|
As I menioned above, Howard and Central Michigan ended their seasons a week ago. Alabama State closed their season with a win, but it’s still got to be a disappointing finish for the Hornets. For most of the season it looked as though they would repeat as SWAC East Division champions, but they lost two of their last three conference games, missing the championship on a three-way tiebreaker.
If you live in southeastern Michigan or know any Michigan alumni or fans, you probably know how their game went. It was a tight, back-and-forth game with one tie and five lead changes. My favorite stat of the game is that Denard Robinson totalled 337 yards of offense for the Wolverines, while Braxton Miller managed 335 for the Buckeyes. Braxton Miller overthrew a wide-open DeVier Posey in the final minutes for what could have been a game-winning Ohio State touchdown. Instead, the Wolverines beat the Buckeyes for the first time since 2003. The Wolverines are currently ranked at #16 and #17, which isn’t normally high enough for a BCS bid. However, there are five SEC teams ahead of them (LSU, Alabama, Arkansas, Georgia, South Carolina) and at most three can go to BCS games (LSU and Alabama in the championship game, plus Georgia if the Bulldogs win the SEC Championship game). There are also three Big XII teams in front of them (Oklahoma State, Oklahoma, Kansas State), of which only two can go to BCS games. Additionally, Michigan State and Wisconsin are not far ahead of Michigan in the rankings, so the Wolverines will probably wind up ahead of the loser of the B1G Championship game. By the time you get through all the convolutions that the BCS requires, Michigan will probably just barely make it in; right now they’re being projected for the Sugar Bowl against Houston. (MGoBlog: “Get Behind Me“)
Penn State traveled to the very unfriendly confines of Camp Randall Stadium to face Wisconsin in the B1G semifinal game. After scoring first, the Nittany Lions frankly went on to embarass themselves, going scoreless for the remaining 54:38 of the game, being outgained 450 yards to 233, and turning the ball over four times. By rights Penn State should probably be heading for either the Capitol One Bowl or the Outback Bowl, but rumors suggest that they might drop several spots lower if bowls are reluctant to be associated with the Nittany Lions because of the Sandusky scandal. (Black Shoe Diaries: “Wisconsin 45, Penn State 7: The Road To Nowhere“)
Akron got blown out by Western Michigan, which means they lost the last four games of the season by nearly 40 points each. Western Michigan certainly helped their case for a bowl bid with the big win, while Akron dropped to 1-21 against FBS teams and 1-1 against FCS teams for the Rob Ianello era. One day after the loss, Akron athletic director fired Ianello, which was not surprising, but the timing was unfortunate. When the call came, it just happenned that Ianello was in his car, driving out of town…to his mother’s funeral.
Kent State lost to Temple (though the final margin was better than what Villanova, Akron, Maryland, Ball State, Buffalo, and Army managed), ending their long-shot hopes for a bowl trip. The Golden Flashes finished the season 5-7, the same record they had in 2010 and in 2009, but I’m guessing there’s a lot more optimism this time. After putting up miserable offensive performances for half the season, things finally started clicking late, and Kent State won four of their last five to finish at .500 in the MAC and third place in the East Division.
Buffalo closed out their season with a 14-point loss to Bowling Green. Jeff Quinn is now 3-19 against FBS teams in his two seasons as head coach, and the Bulls are graduating 21 seniors, including quarterback Chazz Anderson. However, there is some good news for Buffalo fans: if they want Turner Gill back, they can have him, because Kansas has shown him the door. (Bull Run: “The 2011 season mercifully comes to an end“)
With their loss to Toledo, Ball State now sits at 6-6, and their season mostly makes sense. The only real puzzler on their record is their 30-point loss to South Florida, but the puzzle is not in Muncie but in Tampa, where the Bulls started 4-0 before going 1-6 — probably soon to be 1-7 — the rest of the way. (Let’s Go Rockets: “Rockets end regular season with victory over Ball St, 45-28“)
Altogether there will be 71 to 75 bowl-eligible teams, not counting Miami of Florida, who are voluntarily skipping the post-season after the Nevin Shapiro scandal (Remember that? Doesn’t an improper benefits scandal seem so quaint now that we have allegations of child abuse at two major programs?), which is probably just as well, since at 6-6 with a scandal they might have been sitting at home anyway — not that spending the holidays in Miami is a bad thing! If I had to guess, I’d say Ball State, at 6-6 in the MAC, is probably the first team left out. If there’s a second, Marshall, at 6-6 in Conference USA, looks likely, and beyond that it’s anyone’s guess. Temple and Western Michigan are possible, but may depend on just how many teams are eligible and even on the conference breakdown, while Toledo seems likely to get an invitation, and Ohio and Northern Illinois are locks as the two division champions.