Week 12 MAC Fearless Predictions
Northern Illinois QB Jordan Lynch
Northern Illinois QB Jordan Lynch
Posted Nov 16, 2012

The picks, predictions and game previews for all the Week 12 MAC games

Ohio (8-2) at Ball State (7-3) Nov. 14, 8:00, ESPNU

Here's The Deal: The two teams might be in separate divisions, but this is a MAC elimination game. Ohio was the hot team in the league after starting out the season with a huge win over Penn State, but after losing to Bowling Green 26-14 at home last week, and with losses in two of the last three games, the MAC title dream is over – even if everything goes the right way, the Bobcats lose the tie-breaker. However, there's still a shot at a terrific ten-win regular season and a strong bowl by closing out with two straight wins on the road.

Ball State is out of the hunt for the MAC title thanks to a loss to Northern Illinois, but it can boost up the bowl stock in a big way with a win. After last week's stunning win over Toledo, the Cardinals come into the game red-hot, winning four straight with the last three on the road.

What Will Happen: Ball State has a nice offense helped by a terrific line that's coming up with a whale of a season, but the Ohio offense has the ground game to barrel trough a Cardinal defensive front that's getting pushed around by everyone and isn't getting into the backfield. Ohio will be able to run at will. Beau Blankenship will take off for well over 100 yards, but the Cardinal midrange passing game will roll up yards and chunks. Miami's Zac Dysert dinked and dunked his way to 311 yards and the win over Miami University, and this week it will be about a hot Keith Wenning putting up big numbers on the way to a big win at home.

CFN Prediction: Ball State 38 … Ohio 31
ATS Consultants Line (Click for more lines and picks) Ball State -6 O/U: 63
Must Watch Rating (5 – Killing Them Softly, 1 – The Twilight Saga: Breaking Dawn Part 2): 2.5

Toledo (8-2) at Northern Illinois (9-1) Nov. 14, 9:00, ESPN2

Here's The Deal: The MAC West title is on the line in what should be the league's game of the year. Yes, there's still a freakish chance that Toledo gags against a miserable Akron team in the regular season finale, but most likely the winner of this game will end up playing for the conference championship. The Rockets lost last week to Ball State in a bit of a stunner after playing with fire throughout an eight-game winning streak, and now comes the big test.

Northern Illinois has been devastating. Not only have the Huskies rolled through the MAC season on the way to a nine-game winning streak, but they haven't won by fewer than double digits in conference play. The offense is rolling, the defense leads the MAC in tackles for loss, and everything is working at the right time for a second straight championship. First, they have to clinch the West with a win.

What Will Happen: Toledo just isn't explosive enough. Last year's team rolled through defenses putting up huge numbers, but this year, if the running game isn't working, the points aren't coming. David Fluellen will have a nice night, but NIU QB Jordan Lynch will have a better one. The Huskie defensive front will control the Rockets throughout.

CFN Prediction: Northern Illinois 38 … Toledo 23
ATS Consultants Line (Click for more lines and picks) Northern Illinois -10.5 O/U: 64
Must Watch Rating (5 – Killing Them Softly, 1 – The Twilight Saga: Breaking Dawn Part 2): 4

Kent State (9-1) at Bowling Green (7-3) Nov. 17, 12:00, ESPN3

Here's The Deal: Kent State can continue its stunning run with an East title and a spot in the MAC championship with a win, while Bowling Green will take the division with a win this week and a victory at home over Buffalo to follow – or with a Golden Flash loss to Ohio. The Falcons have been phenomenal defensively during the six-game winning streak, failing to allow more than 14 points during the run and giving up a grand total of 17 points in the last three games. The MAC leader in almost every major defensive category, no one is moving the ball on the ground on the Falcons.

Kent State is getting by with an opportunistic offense, RB Dri Archer and the special teams, and lost and lots of takeaways, leading the nation in turnover margin thanks to 30 takeaways and just ten giveaways. It has been the dream season, even if the defense isn't quite up to recent snuff.

What Will Happen: Kent State is finding way to make magical things happen with Archer and Trayion Durham each averaging over 100 yards per game, but the Bowling Green defensive front is too active and too strong. The Golden Flash ground attack will be slowed, and Spencer Keith won't be able to pick up the slack.

CFN Prediction: Bowling Green 24 … Kent State 20
ATS Consultants Line (Click for more lines and picks) Bowling Green -2.5 O/U: 47
Must Watch Rating (5 – Killing Them Softly, 1 – The Twilight Saga: Breaking Dawn Part 2): 4

Miami University (4-6) at Central Michigan (4-6) Nov. 17, 1:00

What Will Happen: While it'll be a big, BIG long shot considering how many MAC teams are bowl eligible, the winner of this game will stay alive in the hunt for a six-win season and a post-season game. Central Michigan has won two of its last three games to turn the season around, and it has a layup against UMass to close things out, while MU is quickly dying with a stunning win over Ohio the only positive in a rough five-game stretch. The RedHawk passing game is terrific, and it should be able to roll at will against a woeful CMU pass rush. The Chippewas are last in the nation in tackles for loss and have come up with just ten sacks on the year.

CFN Prediction: Miami University 34 … Central Michigan 31
ATS Consultants Line (Click for more lines and picks) Central Michigan -3.5 O/U: 63.5
Must Watch Rating (5 – Killing Them Softly, 1 – The Twilight Saga: Breaking Dawn Part 2): 1.5

Eastern Michigan (1-9) at Western Michigan (4-7) Nov. 17, 2:00

What Will Happen: Wildly disappointing seasons for both teams will quickly get a whole lot worse for one of them. Western Michigan was supposed to be deep in the hunt for the MCA title, but instead it lost four of its last five games once the schedule got nasty. This is the season-ender, while Eastern Michigan has to deal with Northern Illinois next week – however, the Huskies won't have anything to play for. The Eagles are last in the nation against the run, and while WMU doesn't have a top-shelf ground game, the offense should be able to do enough to win in a walk.

CFN Prediction: Western Michigan 38 … Eastern Michigan 27
ATS Consultants Line (Click for more lines and picks) Western Michigan -13 O/U: 62.5
Must Watch Rating (5 – Killing Them Softly, 1 – The Twilight Saga: Breaking Dawn Part 2): 1.5

Buffalo (3-7) at Massachusetts (1-9) Nov. 17, 3:00

What Will Happen: The Bulls have been excellent over the last few weeks, turning around a six-game losing streak with home wins over Miami University and Western Michigan to provide hope going into next year. The ground game has been terrific and the pass rush outstanding, but all of a sudden, UMass might not be a total pushover. The Minutemen got their first win of the season with a 22-14 victory over Akron, and now they're looking into closing strong with home games against the Bulls and Chippewas to close. The UMass passing game that worked over the last few weeks will struggle against the Bulls.

CFN Prediction: Buffalo 27 … Massachusetts 17
ATS Consultants Line (Click for more lines and picks) Buffalo -11 O/U: 50
Must Watch Rating (5 – Killing Them Softly, 1 – The Twilight Saga: Breaking Dawn Part 2): 1.5