It's only five games, but there is a lot to be said about the Mid-American Conference basketball race at the moment. For Cleveland State, right now the Horizon League race is all Green Bay.

While the Toledo Rockets (16-2, 4-1) still look to be the team to beat in the MAC, it has also been proven that the Rockets are beatable. Beyond that, Akron, Eastern Michigan, Ohio University, Buffalo and Bowling Green can't be discounted as threats, even as upsets show up every night.

The most surprising in that bunch may well be Bowling Green (9-9, 3-2), but its overall record may be more a reflection of injury issues than talent. BG is currently riding a three-game winning streak with the last two coming on the road vs. Western Michigan and OU.

A Sunday home game with fast-improving Miami (7-9, 3-2), another team that is getting healthy, will be a test of how well BG can handle success. Then a four-game run at EMU, vs. Buffalo, at Toledo and vs. Akron will offer tangible evidence whether the Falcons are contenders or pretenders.

Meanwhile, a Buffalo team most expected to be the MAC power this season, before the ouster of former head coach Reggie Witherspoon, seems to be hitting its stride. The Bulls (9-6, 3-2) had won five of their last six going back into non-conference play with the lone setback being a buzzer-beater at Toledo. Then they were upset on the road at Ball State.

All of this leaves Akron (12-6, 4-1), coming off its recent win at Eastern Michigan, sitting alone atop the MAC East with the Zips only MAC setback coming against the Rockets. Akron plays at Central Michigan (7-10, 0-5) tomorrow.

Conspicuously absent from the MAC conversation is Kent State (11-7, 2-3), which is coming off a stunning 75-59 home loss Thursday night to Western Michigan.

It is the halfway point in the season, and for the first time in years a Kent coach has no player on hand he can give the ball to at critical points in the game. Since starting the season 8-2, Kent has gone 3-5 since. The confidence and swagger that seemed to pass down from team to team over the past 15 years is completely missing with this edition of the Golden Flashes.

"As a group, our confidence is not where it was a month ago,'' Kent coach Rob Senderoff said. "Disappointing, obviously. We are pressing too much. A lot of guys struggling, and it's snowballing."