Central Michigan Chippewas

EVANSTON, IL- SEPTEMBER 03: P.J. Fleck head coach of the Western Michigan Broncos reacts after his teams win against the Northwestern Wildcats on September 3, 2016 at Ryan Field in Evanston, Illinois. the Western Michigan Broncos won 22-21. (Photo by David Banks/Getty Images)
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The state of Michigan? Just one loss amongst five FBS teams

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If you’re an FBS program in the state of Michigan, you’re off to a pretty good start to the 2016 season. In fact, it’s damn-near perfect.

Eastern Michigan, amidst a peaceful protest, was able to hold off Wyoming Friday night to push its record to 3-1 on the young season. That marks the first time in more than two decades that the Eagles have started a season at 3-1.

Not only that, but it continues into Week 4 what’s been a rather remarkable first three weeks of the season for the FBS teams in the state.

Michigan and Michigan State of the Big Ten are 3-0 and 2-0, respectively, thus far. EMU’s directional counterparts, Central Michigan and Big Ten West leader Western Michigan, are each 3-0.

Add it all up, as Bruce Feldman did on his Twitter account, and the five FBS teams from the state of Michigan are a combined 14-1 heading into a Saturday that will see UM (Penn State, 2-1), MSU (Wisconsin, 3-0), CMU (Virginia, 0-3) and WMU (Georgia Southern, 3-0) look to push that mark to 18-1.

In the here and now, though, how does that .933 winning percentage compare to other states with three or more FBS teams at this juncture of the 2016 season? Let’s take a peek.

Colorado — .750 (6-2)
Tennessee — .727 (8-3)
Georgia — .692 (9-4)
Kentucky — .667 (6-3)
Utah — .667 (6-3)
Florida — .619 (13-8)
California — 12-8 (.600)
Indiana — .600 (6-4)
Texas — .595 (22-15)
Alabama — .583 (7-5)
Oklahoma — .555 (5-4)
Pennsylvania — .555 (5-4)
North Carolina — .542 (13-11)
Ohio — .542 (13-11)
New York — .500 (4-4)
Louisiana — .467 (7-8)
Mississippi — .444 (4-5)
Illinois — .222 (2-7)

One note before somebody starts whining despite the three-team stipulation: the state of Maryland is undefeated but has “just” two FBS programs, with both Maryland and Navy sitting at 3-0 each.

Western Michigan gets second B1G win of season, this one at Illini’s expense

CHAMPAIGN, IL - SEPTEMBER 17: Jamauri Bogan #32 of the Western Michigan Broncos runs the ball for a touchdown as Julian Hylton #30 of the Illinois Fighting Illini follows at Memorial Stadium on September 17, 2016 in Champaign, Illinois. (Photo by Michael Hickey/Getty Images)
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If you squint and look at the standings in juuust the right light, it’s Western Michigan sitting atop the Big Ten’s West division.

WMU’s win over Northwestern in the season opener gave the MAC a win over a B1G school for a record 11th consecutive season.  Two weeks later, P.J. Fleck & Company rowed their boat to another B1G win.

On the strength of Jamauri Bogan‘s 189 yards rushing — he averaged 7.9 yards per carry — WMU ran over, through and around a porous Illinois defense for an easy 34-10 win.  As a team, the Broncos ran for 281 yards.

WMU’s run defense was their offensive counterpart’s equal, holding the Illini, which has lost to MAC schools three times in the conference’s 11-year streak, to just three yards rushing in 15 attempts.

The win was the Broncos second over the Illini in the five games in which they’ve played.  WMU owns a 6-31 record against BiG teams since 1963, although they own a 2-1 advantage over Iowa.

Group of Five Power Rankings: Boise State is back? Boise State is back

BOISE, ID - SEPTEMBER 10: Running back Jeremy McNichols #13 of the Boise State Broncos runs through traffic during second half action against the Washington State Cougars on September 10, 2016 at Albertsons Stadium in Boise, Idaho. Boise State won the game 31-28. (Photo by Loren Orr/Getty Images)
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The highest-ranked conference champion from the American Athletic Conference, Conference USA, MAC, Mountain West Conference or Sun Belt as ranked by the College Football Playoff selection committee is awarded a guaranteed spot in the New Years Six bowl line-up at the end of the year. Boise State earned that in the 2014 season and Houston claimed it in the 2015 season. Houston again appears like a very strong candidate for the spot once again this fall after two weeks of play.

Keep in mind these rankings do not include independent programs BYU and Army, as neither qualifies for the automatic New Years Six bowl spot reserved for the Group of Five representative. So, without any further delay, here is how I would rank the Group of Five contenders through the first two weeks of the season.

1. Houston (2-0)

Houston had to play without quarterback Greg Ward last weekend against Lamar, but that was no problem at all. The Cougars blanked Lamar, 42-0, a week after scoring one of the best wins of the opening weekend against Oklahoma. With that win, it may be difficult for any Group of Five contender to chase down Houston unless the Cougars stumble. The win over the Sooners will look even better if Oklahoma can pick up a home win this weekend against Ohio State.

2. Boise State (2-0)

The Broncos filled in at the fifth spot last week but get the jump up to No. 2 this week after picking up a win against Washington State. Now I know what you’re saying. But Kevin, Washington state lost to an FCS school at home! This is true, but the Broncos have been looking pretty decent out of the gate and may be emerging as the team to beat in the Mountain West Conference already.

3. San Diego State (2-0)

Oh yeah. Then there’s San Diego State, fresh off a win at home against Cal. Donnel Pumphrey is a one-man wrecking crew on the ground. Should the Aztecs be ranked ahead of the Broncos? It’s debatable. The only reason the Broncos get the edge for now is San Diego State has a win against an FCS opponent and Boise State went on the road to demolish a possible Sun Belt contender in the opener. San Diego State hits the road this week to play Northern Illinois, which could help nudge the Aztecs past Boise State.

3. Western Michigan (2-0)

I would have easily kept Western Michigan higher this week after putting up 70 against an FCS opponent, but the luster of a win on the road against Northwestern that was nearly handed away to the Wildcats lost a little luster when Northwestern lost at home to an FCS opponent, in which they only scored seven points. But that’s not Western Michigan’s fault! If Western Michigan goes 2-0 in Big Ten play, they could ascend right back up the ranking next week. The Broncos head to Illinois this week.

4. Southern Mississippi (2-0)

A week after a big rally on the road against Kentucky for a win, Southern Mississippi wasted Savannah State, 56-0, as expected. The Golden Eagles get Troy at home this week, after the Trojans just made Clemson work hard for a win. Get this one and the Golden Eagles should be in business.

5. East Carolina (2-0)

Making their season debut in the top five here is East Carolina. The Pirates scored a nice win over North Carolina State for some in-state bragging rights, and they could go 2-0 vs Power Five opponents this week with a road game at South Carolina. Do that and then they head to Blacksburg, Virginia for a game with the Hokies. East Carolina has a chance to make a move in this ranking before conference play opens.

On the Radar: Air Force, Cincinnati, Navy, South Florida, Western Kentucky, Toledo, Central Michigan, Temple, Georgia Southern

I was tempted to place Central Michigan in here, but I refuse to acknowledge the Chippewas actually did win as both the MAC and Big 12 confirmed the officials in the game blew the call. Under that set of circumstances, I believe the game should be vacated, so I cannot bring myself to acknowledge the win. I will, however, keep them on the radar because they took advantage of an opportunity presented to them, and in the end I cannot hold that against them too much.

Tommy Tuberville says OK State-CMU replay crew should be fired

MIAMI GARDENS, FL - OCTOBER 11: Head coach Tommy Tuberville of the Cincinnati Bearcats watches first quarter action against the Miami Hurricanes on October 11, 2014 at Sun Life Stadium in Miami Gardens, Florida. (Photo by Joel Auerbach/Getty Images)
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There are a lot of upset people in the college football world about the controversial ending to the Oklahoma State-Central Michigan game. Chief among them: Tommy Tuberville. In fact, from the sound of it, the Cincinnati head coach may be more chafed by the outcome than Mike Gundy.

Speaking on the American Athletic Conference coaches’ teleconference Monday, Tuberville blasted both the Big 12 replay crew and the MAC officiating crew.

“Things are going a lot faster for the officials on the field; I think they lean on the instant-replay people a lot more than probably they should,” Tuberville said, via the Tampa Bay Times.

He saved most of his ire, though, for the Big 12 replay crew, saying they should, effectively, lose their jobs.

“But bottom line, they dropped the ball, big-time. And unfortunately Oklahoma State suffered this consequence. It would be like having 12 men on the field and the instant-replay guy not seeing it at the end of the game, or getting a fifth down like Colorado did (against Missouri in 1990). This can’t happen.

“The people involved in this should not be allowed to do games anymore.”

Tuberville’s take is harsh but understandable. Football is a game of inches, as we know, and coaches put their jobs on the line with each result. One game can turn a season, and one play, one call can turn a game. If a coach can lose his job in part because his team lost a game it shouldn’t, it makes sense Tuberville would think the way he does.

Both the Big 12 and MAC have announced two-game suspensions for the crews involved, effective immediately.

Big 12, MAC slap 2-game suspensions on OK State-CMU officiating, replay crews

STILL WATER, OK - SEPTEMBER 10: Quarterback Cooper Rush #10 of the Central Michigan Chippewas and tight end Tyler Conklin #83 of the Central Michigan Chippewas celebrate after a NCAA football game, September 10, 2016 at Boone Pickens Stadium in Stillwater, Oklahoma. Central Michigan won 30-27 on the last play of the game.  (Photo by J Pat Carter/Getty Images)
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Oklahoma State isn’t the only entity to see a personal cost to the botched ending that saw Central Michigan escape Stillwater with a 30-27 win.

The Big 12 and MAC have separately — but nearly concurrently — announced two-game suspensions for the officiating and replay crews that oversaw the debacle. The officiating crew hailed from the MAC, while the Big 12 operated the replay booth.

In addition to losing their meal money, the Big 12 is sending its crew to bed without dinner.

Official Tim O’Day admitted his crew’s error almost immediately after Central Michigan was allowed to complete an untimed down that never should have happened:

There’s a rule that says that the game cannot end on an accepted live ball foul. That’s the rule. There’s an exception to the rule that says if enforcement of the foul involves a loss of down, then that brings the game to an end. So in that situation, we’ve had the opportunity to run it back through our hierarchy, which includes the national rules editor, and he confirmed that should have been a loss of down and the end of the game at that point, so that extension should not have happened.

With the 30-27 result officially on the books, Mike Gundy has stated his team will but the game to bed and move forward to Week 3. The zebras who worked the game will have to wait two week until they can do the same.