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MACtion Roundup: The evolution of Central Michigan’s downfall

Central Michigan
Scott Grau/Icon Sportswire

Central Michigan is one team in particular that’s making sure MACtion — or pure bedlam on the unorthodox weeknight games, as some of the more qualified college football fans know it — stays well intact.

A once-3-0 team has tripped up, having lost five of the last seven.

Chippewhat?

The season became a whole lot more interesting on Friday night with Central Michigan’s 37-17 thrashing, endured at the hands of the Miami (Ohio) Redhawks.

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Earlier this season, Mount Pleasant was once sunshine and rainbows. Trace back to the Chippewas’ thrilling triumph in Stillwater when quarterback Cooper Rush chucked a Hail Mary toss-and-run when honestly, the team shouldn’t have even been awarded a play in the first place.

The season kicked off with a surplus of optimism.

 

 

Another win slotted the Chippewas at 3-0; then, the wheels came off.

Central Michigan surrendered 49 points on the road in a loss to Virginia. The following week, CMU was shellacked by Western Michigan, 49-10.

Then, back-to-back wins, including a triple overtime winner over Northern Illinois? Fire up Chips!

 

That’s right team account, six wins on the horizon.

Except that can’t happen anymore, because Central Michigan fell to Ohio, Kent State, and the aforementioned Redhawks. With three wins in conference play, the Chippewas have two more games left versus MAC foes. Unless my math has gone by the wayside, that’s an unreachable feat.

Blow it up after the loss to the ‘Hawks.

 

 

Central Michigan’s deadlocked at 5-5, though that West Division appears to be all but Western Michigan’s, should things play out right. In the opposite division, Ohio (7-3, 5-1) is impressively leading the pack under head coach Frank Solich.

In what may have been the biggest response of the season — by any MAC team in the conference’s entirety — the Bobcats suffered a home loss to the Eastern Michigan Eagles back in Week 7 with two crucial road games in conference play on deck.

Solich’s club rebounded in superb fashion with wins over Kent State and Toledo. While Oklahoma-Iowa State and UCLA-Colorado stole the national spotlight on Thursday night, Ohio was busy taking care of business yet again. After another statement win, this time over lowly Buffalo, Ohio’s in prime position in the East; it controls its own destiny. The Bobcats take flight to Mount Pleasant to take on the Chips in Week 11 and finish the season at home versus Akron. Solich and company continue to post winning seasons, though there is one ‘red’ hot team breathing down the Bobcats’ neck.

Miami University.

A once-downtrodden team that began the season 0-6 with three of those losses coming by seven points or fewer has suddenly found life.

Regular quarterback Billy Bahl suffered a shoulder injury back in the early stages of October. Since then, it’s been the Gus Ragland show.

After sorting the kinks out in his first action during the team’s game versus Kent State — which began the club’s four-game winning streak — the sophomore’s been lights out, and the offense has clicked into a second gear.

After failing to record more than 24 points over the course of the first seven games, Ragland’s played a big role in the offense scoring 28 or more in each of the last three games. His four-touchdown outing against the Chippewas included three scores of 12 yards or fewer. Tighter windows and a smaller playbook in the red zone?

Blasphemy.

Then, there’s Toledo, which erased the loss to Ohio by handling Akron on Wednesday night. Flying well under the radar with Western Michigan’s surge and the rising Bobcats, that final showdown in Kalamazoo between the Rockets and Broncos should have substantial implications.

Right now, the conference is Western Michigan’s for the taking.

However, this is the MAC, where Bowling Green loses by 74 to Memphis, the Chippewas beat Oklahoma State in Stillwater, and both Western Illinois and Eastern Illinois have wins over Northern Illinois and Miami, respectively.

Mayhem — it’s warranted.

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