MAC Team Season Grades: West
2019 Team Season Grades
ACC Atlantic | Coastal
AAC East | West | Big Ten East | West
Big 12 | C-USA East | West
Independents | MAC East | West
MW Mountain | West | Pac-12 North | South
SEC East | West | Sun Belt East | West
Ball State Season Grade: B-
The Cardinals were a wee bit better than expected, and they beat eventual MAC champion Miami University, but they had a 4-3 start and whiffed on their shot to go bowing with a four-game losing streak. They were competitive – three of the MAC losses were by a total of eight points – in a slightly overachieving season.
Central Michigan Season Grade: A-
The year might have ended with a thud – losing the MAC Championship to Miami University and getting destroyed by San Diego State in the New Mexico Bowl – but the Chippewas had a huge first year under Jim McElwain. Remember, they went 1-11 last year, and got to eight victories and the MAC title game.
Eastern Michigan Season Grade: B
Eastern Michigan got to a bowl game. It’s not as unique now, but it’s still a huge deal for a program that’s been able to keep the mild success going. It was a losing season, but the team showed up large in the loss to Pitt in the Quick Lane Bowl, and there was a win over Illinois.
Northern Illinois Season Grade: C
The defending MAC champion should’ve been better in Thomas Hammock’s first season, but give the new guy credit – his team played really, really hard late in the year. Blowout losses to Central Michigan and Eastern Michigan weren’t okay for a team that was good enough to beat Ohio and Western Michigan.
Toledo Season Grade: C
It’s Toledo. It’s supposed to be a whole lot better than 6-6 and missing out on a bowl game. The defense couldn’t do much of anything over the second half of the year, and the offense was inconsistent throughout the campaign. After starting 6-3, dropping the last three games to three very, very beatable teams – Northern Illinois, Buffalo, Central Michigan – was a disaster.
Western Michigan Season Grade: B-
It’s like the Broncos just couldn’t get the season going, and then when it did, it flunked. Close losses to Toledo and Eastern Michigan weren’t a killer, but the 17-14 loss at Northern Illinois when a shot at the MAC Championship was there as a massive disappointment. The gut-punch of a First Responder Bowl loss to WKU made the finish even worse.