Week 5 CFN Fearless Predictions – MAC

Posted Sep 28, 2012

Week 5 CFN Fearless Predictions & Game Previews – MAC

Ball State (3-1) at Kent State (2-1) Sept. 29, 12:00, ESPN3

Here’s The Deal: All of a sudden, these two teams are looking like real, live MAC title contenders. The Kent State offense continues to sputter and cough, but it was able to do enough to get by a road test at Buffalo last week in dominant fashion. The Golden Flashes aren’t making mistakes, they’re winning the turnover battle, and they took advantage of every opportunity to start out 1-0 in the conference. Ball State has been terrific getting by Indiana in a shootout and shocking South Florida in a good home win. The defense might not be there, but the offense has been great on the ground and the offensive line play stellar. With Northern Illinois and Western Michigan up next, the Cardinals have to come up with a 2-0 start in MAC play or else there won’t be any margin for error.

What Will Happen: The Cardinals are playing too well and have too much offense. With top receiver Tyshon Goode hurting, Kent State doesn’t have any pop and can’t win unless it owns the turnover margin – which is possible. Ball State will keep the momentum rolling.

CFN Prediction: Ball State 24 … Kent State 20
ATS Consultants Line (Click for more lines and picks) Ball State -1 O/U: 53.5
Must Watch Rating (5 – Ryder Cup 2012, 1 – SNL Thursday Weekend Update): 3

Miami University (2-2) at Akron (1-3) Sept. 29, 2:00, ESPN3

Here’s The Deal: Akron might be 1-3, but it’s a fun 1-3 with head coach Terry Bowden infusing life into the passing game that gave Tennessee fits for a half and averaging 341 yards per game. All of a sudden, the Zips are dangerous with the potential to make some big noise in the MAC is the offense keeps on producing like is has over the first month. Miami has a passing game of its own, but it’s not as efficient and it hasn’t been nearly as effective. This starts a rough run of three straight road games and four in the next five, and to come through alive the run defense has to be far better and the offensive front has to do a better job in pass protection.

What Will Happen: Akron doesn’t have enough of a pass rush to take advantage of the leaky MU line, and the run defense isn’t slowing anyone down, but there isn’t any ground game for the Zips to worry about. Dalton Williams will bomb away for 300 yards as the Zips simply outscore the RedHawks.

CFN Prediction: Akron 30 … Miami 27
ATS Consultants Line (Click for more lines and picks) Miami University -5.5 O/U: 58.5
Must Watch Rating (5 – Ryder Cup 2012, 1 – SNL Thursday Weekend Update): 3

Ohio (4-0) at Massachusetts (0-4) Sept. 29, 3:30, ESPN3

Here’s The Deal: It’s best vs. worst with Ohio looking like the MAC’s top team and UMass trying to find its way in the new world. The Minutemen are undergoing a massive rebuilding job under head coach Charley Molnar, not coming close in any of the four games so far, but this is the chance to make a big statement against a Bobcat team that might be thinking this is a true layup. Ohio has been able to get by with Dennis Vick at quarterback in place of a banged up Tyler Tettleton, who’s trying to get past a stomach injury, while the defense has been terrific against the run so far and has forced a slew of mistakes.

What Will Happen: Ohio has been nearly flawless with just two fumbles and no picks so far. It’s not making the big mistakes needed, and the Minutemen aren’t forcing enough errors to make this interesting. The UMass offense came up with its best performance yet last week against MU, but it’s not going to have nearly the same luck this week against a D that’s not giving up a thing.

CFN Prediction: Ohio 48 … Massachusetts 14
ATS Consultants Line (Click for more lines and picks) Ohio -24.5 O/U: 54.5
Must Watch Rating (5 – Ryder Cup 2012, 1 – SNL Thursday Weekend Update): 1.5

Rhode Island (0-3) at Bowling Green (1-3) Sept. 29, 3:30, ESPN3

Here’s The Deal: It has been a rocky road so far for Bowling Green, but all should be right with the world this week against a Rhode Island team that has scored a grand total of 23 points so far in three blowout wins. The offense is abysmal, the defense is struggling, and there isn’t much hope for a team that’s already 0-2 in the Colonial and is trying to find something that works. The Bowling Green offense has been shockingly bad so far, but the numbers will pick up a bit with Matt Schilz and the passing game about to do whatever it wants.

What Will Happen: Playing Florida and Virginia Tech will hurt any MAC team’s stats, and this is just the second home game all season. The Falcons will have a fun day with an easy win. The game will be over after the first quarter.

CFN Prediction: Bowling Green 45 … Rhode Island 6
ATS Consultants Line (Click for more lines and picks) No Line O/U: No Line
Must Watch Rating (5 – Ryder Cup 2012, 1 – SNL Thursday Weekend Update): 1

Central Michigan (2-1) at Northern Illinois (3-1) Sept. 29, 3:30, ESPN3

Here’s The Deal: Is Central Michigan actually any good? The Chippewas pulled off a miraculous late win over Iowa with a bomb of a field goal, and it couldn’t have come at a better time after getting blown away by Michigan State the week before. If they want to be in the MAC West title chase, now is the time to be even more offensively to battle the defending league champion and with a road trip to Toledo coming up next. This hasn’t exactly been the tightest of teams when it comes to mistakes, and there isn’t any pass rush, but now there’s a chance to prove that things are starting to improve under Dan Enos.

NIU has been a bit rocky in a rebuilding year, but its lone loss came in the final moments against Iowa in a game it should’ve won. With tight wins over Army and Kansas, the Huskies are battle tested and should be ready to hit the MAC ground running. With a trip to an improved Ball State next week, and with three road games in the next four, coming up with a win in the conference opener is a must or the pressure will be on.

What Will Happen: Central Michigan isn’t as bad as it looked against Michigan State, and it isn’t as good as it was against Iowa. It’ll battle with NIU, but the Huskies are too good on the ground and the secondary is playing too well for the Chippewa attack to do anything consistently well.

CFN Prediction: Northern Illinois 35 … Central Michigan 20
ATS Consultants Line (Click for more lines and picks) Northern Illinois 34-20 O/U: 58.5
Must Watch Rating (5 – Ryder Cup 2012, 1 – SNL Thursday Weekend Update): 2

Toledo (3-1) at Western Michigan (2-2) Sept. 29, 7:00, ESPN3

Here’s The Deal: Northern Illinois is still the defending MAC champion, Ball State has been terrific, and Central Michigan is coming off a win over Iowa, but Toledo and Western Michigan are still two dangerous teams good enough to win the West. This might not be an elimination game, but it might not be far off. The Broncos are coming off a nice win over Connecticut, and with four road games in five dates coming after next week’s layup against UMass, getting a home win over the Rockets is a must. Toledo has won three straight after coming achingly close to beating Arizona in a 24-17 overtime loss. The offense isn’t as potent as it was last season, but the pass rush is terrific and the team should be tuned up for what might be the showdown of the MAC season.

Can this game possibly be as good as last season’s 66-63 classic Toledo win? The Rockets rolled up over 800 yards of total offense, while Western Michigan quarterback Alex Carder threw for 548 yards and seven scores. It’s asking a lot for a repeat of one of the best games of 2011, but these two might come close.

What Will Happen: Toledo isn’t quite as good as its record. The pass defense has been a mess despite the tremendous pass rush, and Carder will take advantage. He’s not going to throw for over 500 yards again, but he’ll put the Broncos in the West driver’s seat with the victory.

CFN Prediction: Western Michigan 40 … Toledo 35
ATS Consultants Line (Click for more lines and picks) Western Michigan -2.5 O/U: 57.5
Must Watch Rating (5 – Ryder Cup 2012, 1 – SNL Thursday Weekend Update): 3.5