Northern Illinois' game Saturday against Cal Poly was tame enough. The Huskies played an FCS opponent. The game went the way you'd expect against an FCS opponent. No surprises, the usual excitement.
Other stops around the Mid-American Conference were much different last weekend. Here's a look:
Official blunder: When Northern Illinois lost to Kansas earlier this season, many fans griped about an overturned call that likely would have led to a NIU touchdown. The complaint was legitimate. It pailed in comparison to what happened to Toledo against Syracuse on Saturday.
The Rockets lost to the Orange, 33-30, in overtime after a late Syracuse extra point was wrongfully called good and then upheld after an official's review. Here is the statement Big East coordinator of football officiating Terry McAulay issued after the game:
"After studying the videos of the Syracuse extra point attempt at 2:07 of the fourth quarter, we have concluded that the ruling on the field that the kick passed between the uprights was incorrect, and that the replay official made an error in failing to reverse that ruling. In reviewing the video, we have determined that the angle from behind the kicking team shows conclusively that the ball passes outside the right upright.
"Our review of the process determined that the replay official mistakenly focused his attention on the sideline angle, which proved to be distorted. We are confident that our officiating staff will learn from this situation in order to prevent a reoccurrence. "
According to Zach Silka of the Toledo Blade, the Rockets petitioned for the result to be overturned. It won't happen, primarily because it sets an awful precedent, but certainly a difficult loss that should have been a win.
Mistakes cost Broncos: Western Michigan had some costly mistakes in a 23-20 loss at No. 24 Illinois. Had they not occurred, perhaps the game could have been different.
As it was, the Broncos certainly look like a legitimate challenge in the West. As Kalamazoo Gazette columnist Graham Couch writes, the thing that makes Western Michigan better is a solid defense that had been missing the past few seasons.
Ball State stomps Army: Remember how NIU's win against Army seemed even better after the Black Knights beat Northwestern two weekends ago? The opposite feeling came out of Saturday.
Army was dominated at Ball State, 48-21, after falling to a 31-0 halftime deficit. For the Cardinals, as the Ball State Daily News' Teddy Cahill writes, a talent crop of underclassmen has led to a shocking 3-1 start.
CMU next: NIU will open MAC play at Central Michigan next week. As Ryan Berlinm of the Mount Pleasant Morning Sun writes, this is not the same program it was near the end of last decade. Should be an easy win for the Huskies, although they'll never admit that.
– Ryan Wood, @rwood_DDC on Twitter, firstname.lastname@example.org