MAC Fearless Predictions, Week 6
Posted Oct 4, 2006

Preview and predictions for the week six MAC games

East  Akron | Bowling Green | Buffalo | Kent State | Miami Univ. | Ohio
West  Ball State | Central Mich | Eastern Mich | Northern Illinois | Toledo | West Michigan
Past MAC Predictions:
Week 1 | Week 2 | Week 3 | Week 4 | Week 5

How'd we do so far? 39-9 straight up, 21-19-2 ATS

Week Six MAC Fearless Predictions, Part 2 | Get Tickets for These Games

MAC Game of the Week

Central Michigan (2-3) at Toledo (2-3) 12 PM EST ESPNU Saturday October 7th
Why to Watch: Toledo was expected to be one of the favorites for the MAC title and definitely one of the stars of the West, but the bloom is off the rose after getting whacked 31-10 by Western Michigan in the conference opener a few weeks ago. There have been signs of life with a nice double-overtime win over Kansas and a near-miss in a three OT loss to Iowa State, but the team hit a wall last week against Pitt. If the Rockets have any interest in being in the MAC title discussion, they need to come up with a big win a Central Michigan team that's 2-0 in MAC play and has one of the league's hottest offenses. With three conference home games coming up, CMU can go on a huge run before facing Northern Illinois in mid-November.
Why Central Michigan Might Win: Dan LeFevour and Bryan Anderson. The redshirt freshman quarterback came into the season as the backup behind Brian Brunner, but now he's been given the starting role after a brilliant 360-yard, four touchdown performance against Kentucky. Anderson has caught 16 catches for 262 yards and two touchdowns over the last two weeks and has turned into one of the MAC's best young receivers. Teams have spent their time running on the Rockets, but quarterbacks have had no problems picking apart the UT secondary.
Why Toledo Might Win: Central Michigan is having major problems stopping the pass. BC threw for 323 yards and three scores on the Chippewas, Kentucky threw for 266 yards and four touchdowns, and Akron threw 375 yards and three scores. No matter who's playing at quarterbacks, whether it's Aaron Opelt, Brandon Summers, or banged up starter Clint Cochran, bombing away shouldn't be a problem. Maybe that's a stretch considering the Rocket receivers aren't stretching the field, but putting up big numbers, especially with TE Chris Hopkins, should be easy to do.
Who to Watch: Is CMU's Ontario Sneed healthy enough to get back, and if so, can he be the running back who ripped through the MAC as a freshman? He leads the team in rushing, but he hasn't rushed for more than 49 yards and missed the Kentucky game last week with an ankle injury. That puts more pressure on the quarterbacks to run the ball more and forced Marcel Archer to step in. Archer ran for 69 yards on the Wildcats, but the team needs Sneed to be Sneed again if the MAC title hopes are real.
What Will Happen: Shootout, shootout, shootout. This might be a case of the team with the ball last winning. Central Michigan is the better team at the moment, but Toledo will come through at home.
CFN Prediction
: Toledo 41 ... Central Michigan 31 ... Line: Toledo -3
Must See Rating: (5 skip the birth of your first born - 1 Rachael Ray) ... 2.5

Kent State (3-2) at Temple (0-5)  1 PM EST Saturday October 7th
Why to Watch: Is Kent State the best team in the MAC? Coming from out of nowhere, the Golden Flashes have gone 3-0 in conference play picking off the three teams (Miami, Bowling Green, and Akron) considered to be the favorites in the division and have as easy a road as possible ahead. But first, there's the technicality of Temple to go through. The Owls scored more points against Vanderbilt last week than it had in the first four games combined, but still lost 43-14 showing just how far the program has to go. Things only get worse with road games against Clemson and Northern Illinois ahead, so Al Golden's club has to take full advantage of its second home game of the year.
Why Kent State Might Win: Vanderbilt averaged 12 points per games in its first three outings against D-I teams, and hung 43 on Temple. The Owls are getting pounded on, thrown on, and scored on at will. Kent State's offense is exploding getting stronger and more balanced by the week, and it should be able to do whatever it wants to. If Temple finds a way to slow down the KSU passing game, the Golden Flashes will run. and vice versa.
Why Temple Might Win: Kent State can be run on. The defense has been stout over the last four weeks, and Akron's ground game didn't do anything, but the KSU front isn't so strong that it can't be pounded on for at least 150 yards. Temple is coming off its best offensive showing of the season, mainly due to a 78-yard scoring run from Tim Brown, but at least there was a sign of life.
Who to Watch: NIU RB Garrett Wolfe will be the  hands down MAC Player of the Year, but KSU sophomore QB Julian Edelman could finish second. The JUCO transfer keeps getting better week after week with a brilliant 17-of-21, 305-yard, two touchdown, 69-rushing yard, one score day in the win over Akron. Of course, no one noticed this because Wolfe tore off 353 yards against Ball State, but it still made a statement in the MAC race. If he can use this game to keep pushing the ball deep and become a stronger passer, look out MAC. 10-2 will be very possible.
What Will Happen: At some point, everyone will start to giving Kent State credit for being 2006's top turnaround team. It'll have few problems at Temple, but it'll take about a half to pull away.
CFN Prediction
: Kent State 38 ... Temple 10... Line: Kent State -24.5
Must See Rating: (5 skip the birth of your first born - 1 Rachael Ray) ... 1.5

Ball State (1-4) at Buffalo (1-3)  1 PM EST Saturday October 7th
Why to Watch: Buffalo finally plays someone its own size taking on a Ball State team that's lost four straight including a 29-24 loss to D-IAA North Dakota State and allowing 353 rushing yards to Garrett Wolfe in a 40-28 loss to Northern Illinois. The Cardinals are still 1-1 in MAC play, thanks to an opening day 38-20 win over Eastern Michigan, and has to end their four-game losing streak in what has to be seen as one of the few sure wins on the slate. Buffalo is thinking the same way. The Bulls have been more competitive under new head coach Turner Gill, but it needs to start producing wins, With two weeks off after the loss to Auburn, the team is as rested as it'll be the rest of the year.
Why Ball State Might Win: It doesn't matter who's throwing the ball for Ball State, the passing game is clicking averaging over 300 yards per game. Part of the issue has been the need to come back time and again, but Joey Lynch and Nate Davis have dinked and dunked, and they've bombed away. Technically, UB's pass defense has been fine, but that's because Temple can't throw and Bowling Green, NIU, and Auburn ran at will. UB's secondary will be tested this week.
Why Buffalo Might Win: Ball State presents on odd matchup, but a good one for the Bulls. UB's defensive front is awful holding up against the run, but BSU can't run. UB's offensive line has been awful in pass protection, but BSU doesn't have any pass rushers to worry about. Ball State's has the nation's second worst pass defense ripped apart through the air for 311 yards per game; UB QB Drew Willy has to be licking his chops.
Who to Watch: While he hasn't run wild, UB freshman James Starks has started to play like the type of back the offense can revolve around with three decent performances in four games. Making the young Bulls even younger, freshman linebacker Tom Drewers will take over at middle linebacker for Ollice Ervin to provide more of a run stopper next to tackling machine Ramon Guzman.
What Will Happen: Buffalo will get the offense moving, but it won't have nearly enough firepower to hang with the BSU passing game.
CFN Prediction
: Ball State 28 ... Buffalo 20 ... Line: Ball State -4.5
Must See Rating: (5 skip the birth of your first born - 1 Rachael Ray) ... 1.5

Bowling Green (3-2) at Ohio State (5-0)  3:30 PM EST GamePlan Saturday October 7th
Why to Watch: Ohio State is taking a week off from its busy schedule as the nation's number one team to play a light scrimmage against a Bowling Green squad coming off a solid 21-9 road win over Ohio. The Falcons are in the midst of a season-long transformation from a passing team to a pure ground attack with mixture of various rushing weapons to keep things moving. The Buckeyes will look to put this away early to get on to more pressing matters, but if the Falcon ground game is even slightly productive, Troy Smith and the boys might have to play for more than three quarters.
Why Bowling Green Might Win: In case you haven't noticed, Ohio State's offense, while potent, isn't exactly blowing anyone away. Oh sure, winning by an average of almost 23 points per game is impressive, but it's not throwing 55 points on the board like a team with this much talent should be doing. The defense made the final score of the 28-6 Penn State win look more impressive than it really was. As bad as Bowling Green's defense has been at times, it hasn't given up a ton of yards.
Why Ohio State Might Win: The Bowling Green pass defense is currently ranked 12th in the nation allowing 147 yards per game. It also hasn't played anyone who can throw the ball more than three yards down the field. The Falcon corners won't have a prayer of sticking with the speed of the Buckeye receivers. On the other side of the ball, the Falcons are way too one-dimensional to put up many, if any, points on the Buckeye D. The OSU front seven is doing a fantastic job of getting into the backfield, and it should be able to keep Freddie Barnes, Anthony Turner and the Falcon running game from getting going.
Who to Watch: With all the attention being paid to Ted Ginn, Anthony Gonzalez is cleaning up. Eventually, defenses will have to start game planning around the big-play junior, who leads the team with 24 catches for 373 yards and four touchdowns, and then Ginn should explode. It's not like Ginn has been bad, but other receivers have been more open for Smith. This game should change that with No. 7 certain to be able to blow past the Falcon corners at will. Bowling Green's punting has been atrocious, so if there's actually a kick to Ginn, he should finally bust off a big return.
What Will Happen: Ohio State will go through the motions and put this away just after halftime.
CFN Prediction
: Ohio State 48 ... Bowling Green 10 ... Line: Ohio State -34.5
Must See Rating: (5 skip the birth of your first born - 1 Rachael Ray) ...

Week Six MAC Fearless Predictions, Part 2 | Get Tickets for These Games