Updated Tue, Nov 6, 2012 4:10 pm
With six bowl eligible teams, CBSSports.com has named the Mid-American Conference the fourth best football conference in the nation in its latest power rankings.
The MAC, previously ranked fifth, leapfrogged the Big Ten Conference in the site's latest rankings thanks in part to Toledo (8-1) jumping into the BCS rankings this week at 25.
The MAC is behind only the Southeastern Conference (No. 1), the Pac-12 and the Big 12 (tied for No. 2) in the conference rankings.
With six teams already bowl eligible in the MAC, only the SEC has more bowl eligible teams with seven, making the Mid-American Conference the highest performing non-automatic qualifying conference in the nation.
Northern Illinois (9-1), Kent State (8-1), Ohio (8-1) all received votes in the latest AP and USA Today polls despite not placing in the top 25. The MAC has already had a series of big time upsets of FBS teams from automatic qualifying conferences earlier this year, including Ohio’s season-opening victory over Penn State, Toledo knocking off then-undefeated Cincinnati in week eight and Kent State's victory over No. 23 Rutgers two weeks ago.
The MAC is sure to garner more attention in the final weeks of the season with two nationally televised matchups this week between No. 25 Toledo and Ball State tonight on ESPN2 and Ohio and Bowling Green tomorrow night, also on ESPN2.