Created:Saturday, October 13, 2012 5:30 a.m.CDT
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TAKE 2: Where does MAC rank?

By ROSS JACOBSON and STEVE NITZ - sports@daily-chronicle.com

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Jacobson: Through the first six weeks of the season, there has been a lot of talk about how strong the Mid-American Conference is and how much depth the conference has. Northern Illinois head coach Dave Doeren has said this is the most balanced he's seen the conference in recent years.

But which division is better in your mind? Would you take the MAC West or the MAC East?
Nitz:
Before the season, I would have told you the MAC West was the much better division, but six weeks into the season, I'm not sure that's the case. Ohio is unbeaten and will be in the Top 25 the next couple of weeks, assuming the Bobcats keep winning. Kent State has been a good team, and the Golden Flashes look to be headed toward their first bowl game since 1972.

In the West Division, Toledo and NIU could very well be unbeaten heading into their meeting in November, and Ball State is a good team. I expected big things from Western Michigan this season, but the hand injury to quarterback Alex Carder was a big blow to the Broncos.

I still think the MAC West is the league's better division. But, it's pretty close at this point.

Jacobson: There are five undefeated teams remaining in the MAC: Toledo and NIU in the West Division and Kent St., Miami and Ohio in the East. Kent St. is playing Army this weekend, but, of the other four, which team would you say is in most danger of losing its first MAC game of the season?

Well, Toledo will roll Eastern Michigan, and Ohio isn't losing at home to a 1-5 Akron team. Miami probably has the best chance of losing, with the RedHawks visiting Bowling Green. Buffalo is a team better than its 1-4 record, and I don't think NIU taking down the Bulls at home is a lock either.

Jacobson: With Ohio getting a number of votes in the Associated Press poll and NIU knocking on the door as well, the MAC may finally be getting some well-deserved respect this year. Where, in your mind, does the conference rank in college football? Is it the best non-BCS conference this season?

Nitz: I'd still take the Mountain West, which already has a team in the top 25 (No. 24 Boise State), as well as consistent winners like 5-1 Nevada and 4-2 Fresno State. The MAC is having a good year though, and I don't think there's anything wrong with saying the league is the second-best non-AQ conference. If NIU, Toledo and Ohio keep winning, you could see a couple of MAC teams ranked towards the end of the season.

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