MAC Fearless Predictions, Nov. 4
Posted Nov 1, 2006

Preview and predictions for the week Ten MAC games

East  Akron | Bowling Green | Buffalo | Kent State | Miami Univ. | Ohio
West  Ball State | Central Mich | Eastern Mich | No. Illinois | Toledo | West Michigan
Past MAC Predictions:
Week 1 | Week 2 | Week 3 | Week 4 | Week 5
Week 6 | Week 7 | Week 8 | Week 9

How'd we do so far? 59-14 straight up, 35-30-2 ATS

Week 10 MAC Fearless Predictions, Part 2 | Get Tickets for These Games

MAC Game of the Week

Bowling Green (4-5) at Akron (3-5) 1 PM EST Saturday November 4th
Why to Watch: Two teams that were supposed to be in the thick of the MAC East race at this point are merely playing out the string after, arguably, being the league's two most disappointing teams this season. Akron is coming off a strange 35-20 loss to Toledo that ended all hopes of the defending MAC champions to get a chance to repeat. A winning season is still possible by winning out, but unless the final four games are impressive, a bowl bid is unlikely. As bad as things might seem for Akron, they're worse for Bowling Green, who suffered the indignity of losing to Temple to break the Owls' 20-game losing streak. With MAC lightweights Miami and Toledo ahead, a 7-5 years is more than possible if the Falcons can get past this week.
Why Bowling Green Might Win: The punting game and kick coverage has been a nightmare all season long for the Falcons, and helped Temple pull off the win, but Akron is having just as many problems. For a team that needs field position like Bowling Green, this game should be like Christmas for the nation's second-worst team in net punting; Akron is the nation's second-worst punt return team. The Falcon rushing offense should be able to work without a problem since the Zips can't handle mobile quarterbacks. Kent State's Julian Edelman and Toledo's Aaron Opelt were extremely effective against the Zip D, so BGSU's Anthony Turner, if he's the starter, should be in for a big day. 
Why Akron Might Win: Bowling Green lost to Temple. Bowling Green lost to Temple. Bowling Green lost to Temple. You don't lose to Temple even if you bring your C game. Akron might be having problems on both sides of the ball, but it's running well and isn't making too many mistakes. Statistically, the Bowling Green pass defense is great, but that's because it hasn't faced anyone outside of Ohio State who throws with any regularity. If Luke Getsy and the Akron passing game was ever going to get going, this would be the week.
Who to Watch: Will it be Turner or Sheehan for the Falcons? Turner has been the main man throughout the year, when healthy, with good mobility and a little bit of pop to the passing game, but he's not leading the offense to enough key scoring drives. Sheehan, a true freshman, stepped in against Temple when Turner wasn't getting the job done, and threw two interceptions. Turner brings more options with his mobility.
What Will Happen: Bowling Green lost to Temple. You don't. You just don't.
CFN Prediction
: Akron 27 ... Bowling Green 14 .. Line: Akron -10
Must See Rating: (5 skip the birth of your first born - 1 Running with Scissors) ... 2

Ball State (3-6) at Michigan (9-0)  12 PM EST ESPNU Saturday November 4th
Why to Watch: Michigan gets to got through the motions in a warm up for ... Indiana? As crazy as this might sound, the Hoosiers might provide a bit of a challenge in Bloomington next week with their emerging passing game, so dealing with the strong Ball State air attack should be a nice tune-up. Really, this should be a chance for the reserves to get plenty of work and get Mike Hart and some key Wolverines a half a game off. The Cardinals are coming off a thrilling 20-17 win over Miami University, and now they have to hope their passing attack, the MAC's most efficient and effective passing attack, can make this mildly interesting.
Why Ball State Might Win: Bombs away. Ball State doesn't have a prayer of gaining more than 25 net rushing yards on the nation's best run D, so it'll be throw, throw and throw some more. Oddly enough, emerging freshman QB Nate Davis is coming off two of his worst games of the season, but he, along with backup Joey Lynch, have the potential to keep the pressure on by throwing it 40 times. However, they have to complete some of those throws to keep the three-and-outs to a minimum, or they'll have to run it a bit just to get the clock moving. Michigan does give up yards through the air.
Why Michigan Might Win: If Michigan ever wanted to open up the passing game a bit to see what it can do, this would be the week facing the nation's worst pass defense. The Cardinal secondary has been awful all season long getting bombed deep, short, and in between. Lloyd Carr and his staff would never run up a score and aren't interested in beating up poor Ball State, but with only one more game to go after this before the Ohio State showdown, getting QB Chad Henne on track would be nice.
Who to Watch: Henne has been fantastic when he's needed to be, and he has done a marvelous job considering Mario Manningham has missed the last three games with a knee injury, but he has to find an accurate tough again after only completing ten of 20 passes for 116 yards and a touchdown against Northwestern. While he has completed 61% of his throws on the year, he only has two touchdown passes in his last three games with his star receiver out. Able to practice this week, Manningham is expected to be back soon, although it's doubtful he'll see any time this week. Expect him back for Indiana.
What Will Happen: Ball State will be lucky to get on the board. This will be Michigan's final home game of the year, and the team will play like it for a half on the way to an easy, ho-hum win.
CFN Prediction
: Michigan 45 ... Ball State 7 .. Line: Michigan -34
Must See Rating: (5 skip the birth of your first born - 1 Running with Scissors) ... 1.5

Central Michigan (5-3) at Temple (1-8) 1 PM EST Saturday November 4th
Why to Watch: That's right Temple, puff that chest out. Keep your head up high. You deserve it after years of pain and misery. One win over Bowling Green isn't going to change the college football world, but for a young team desperate for anything positive, getting by the Falcons 28-14 means everything. Reality might set back in this week against a Central Michigan team that's the class of the MAC at 5-0 and with a showdown next week against Western Michigan for, most likely, the MAC West title. The Chippewas have won three straight and should be rested after beating Bowling Green 31-14 two weeks ago.
Why Central Michigan Might Win: How did Temple beat Bowling Green? It got a few big plays, didn't screw up, and played lights out on defense for the first time all season long. Central Michigan is like the souped up version of the Falcons with more talent and mobility at quarterback, a more effective running game, and a far more efficient passing attack. The Chippewas have more offensive options and should move the chains far better than BGSU did. As long as CMU avoids giving up the home run on a punt return or a big run from Tim Brown, it should be able to go through the motions and come up with the win.
Why Temple Might Win: Talk about looking ahead, with everything on the line against Western Michigan next week, Central Michigan will hardly be focused in a relatively meaningless non-conference game. While the stats might not show it, the team really is starting to play a bit better with more production from the offense and aggressiveness making up for youth and inexperience on D. CMU might be good, but it's not so good that it can win in a blowout if it turns the ball over in critical situations and isn't sharp. Now we get to see what a confident Owl team can do.
Who to Watch: Temple sophomore quarterback Adam DiMichele is starting to come into his own. He's still throwing too many interceptions, with three in the last two games, but he's being ultra-efficient with his short passes completing 30 of 42 throws against Northern Illinois and Bowling Green with five touchdown passes after throwing for just two scores over his previous six outings. It's all about the future for Temple, so the more DiMichele can progress over the final four games, the more the offense will be able to rely on him going into next year.
What Will Happen: Central Michigan will be too effective at generating pressure against the patchwork Temple offensive line, while the offense will come up with a balanced performance with some big drives early to set the tone.
CFN Prediction
: Central Michigan 38 ... Temple 14 .. Line: Central Michigan -20
Must See Rating: (5 skip the birth of your first born - 1 Running with Scissors) ... 1.5

Week 10 MAC Fearless Predictions, Part 2 | Get Tickets for These Games