Created:Saturday, October 27, 2012 5:30 a.m.CDT
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TAKE 2: Some surprises, good and bad, in MAC so far

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

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Jacobson: Northern Illinois is undefeated halfway through its Mid-American Conference slate. While I don’t think anyone is shocked at the Huskies’ 4-0 mark, the way they have rolled over three of their four conference opponents might have been a bit unexpected.

While the Huskies certainly are playing well, riding a seven-game winning streak into today’s game against Western Michigan, there are a number of good squads in the MAC. Who is your surprise team to date in the MAC?

Nitz: I’ll brag a little here: I picked Kent State to finish second in the MAC East when I filled out my preseason poll in July. I still figured Ohio would roll over the whole division, and every one else would be fighting for second place. However, right now it looks like the Bobcats-Golden Flashes matchup at Dix Stadium on Nov. 23 will decide who wins the East Division.

I thought Kent State would be an improved team this season, but I didn’t expect this.

Jacobson: So then what are the chances, in your opinion, Kent State wins the MAC East?

Nitz: With the game being in Kent, I think the Golden Flashes have to be favored over Ohio at this point. Sure, the Bobcats are undefeated and had a nice win over Penn State to open the season, but at the same time, Ohio has had close calls against Akron and Buffalo. That shouldn’t happen to a Top 25 team.

Jacobson: Kent State is definitely a feel-good story, but there are some teams having some pretty poor seasons in the MAC as well. A quick glance at the conference standings show three teams with only one win on the season and Massachsetts has yet to record a victory in its first seven games.

What team is your biggest disappointment in the MAC right now?

Nitz: Easy. Two of the schools in the MAC West: Western Michigan and Eastern Michigan. I fully expected the Broncos to compete for a West Division title along with NIU and Ball State. In terms of the Eagles, they were nearly bowl eligible last season, and I thought they would really be able to compete in Ron English’s fourth season as coach. But, Eastern Michigan once again is at the bottom of the division.

Will the NIU football team play for the MAC title this year?
Yes
No
Too soon to tell