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Bowling Green will have the most wins in the MAC Conference

Handicapping MAC Conference Football

The MAC was won by the Bowling Green Falcons in pretty decisive fashion last season, and they’re now looking to repeat. Oddsmakers have them installed as the favorites to pull off the feat again, though with head coach Dave Clawson moving on to coach Wake Forest, things could be a little tougher.

Bowling Green Falcons

Conference winning odds: +130
Futures from sportsbook.ag

There’s also a fair amount of turnover on the roster, though new head coach Dino Babers’s squad still looks like the class of the conference.

MAC Overview

A lot of pieces fell into place for the Falcons last season, starting with a defense that was one of the better units in the nation, let alone the conference. That unit said goodbye to seven starters from a year ago, and appears poised to take at least a partial step back.

Coach Babers figures to give a boost to the team’s offense. A year ago, his Eastern Illinois squad, headlined by Jimmy Garroppolo, threw its way to a second consecutive FCS playoff appearance. This year’s Falcons offense features seven starters who are returning from a year ago. Quarterback Matt Johnson figures to take a step forward in his development under Babers.

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After Bowling Green in the East, Ohio and Akron will likely be the teams duking it out for the second spot. The Bobcats have five consecutive winning seasons under their belts, while the Zips have been an improving squad under head coach Terry Bowden.

Buffalo likely takes a step back. The team returns 11 starters, including quarterback Joe Licata, but the losses of linebacker Khalil Mack and running back Branden Oliver are a lot to make up. Notre Dame offensive coordinator Chuck Martin is in at Miami (Ohio), but there’s still a lot of work to do to turn that program around.
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The other side of the MAC is a little more difficult to predict, as Toledo, Ball State, and Northern Illinois will all have a shot at coming out of the West. Toledo head coach Matt Campbell will need to work in a new quarterback, but his team should still field the best offense of the bunch.

Northern Illinois will have to replace quarterback Jordan Lynch, which is a major loss, but there is still plenty of talent on the Huskies’ roster. Getting to host Toledo is also a big advantage.

Why Bowling Green will win the MAC

The Falcons’ schedule doesn’t feature much in the way of road bumps. They get a bye week in advance of a road date at Akron, and another prior to their home stretch in which they’ll play Kent State, Toledo, and Ball State. The most dangerous spot would have to be a road game at Ohio, but if they can weather that storm, it will be smooth sailing to the title game.

Their game against Indiana comes at home this year after they were lit up in Bloomington last season, and a date at Wisconsin is a write-off, but it is games like these that will help the team cut its teeth for when the going gets tough.

The team ranked ninth in the nation in passing efficiency a year ago, racking up 266 yards per game through the air. Babers and his Eastern Illinois squad threw for over 5,000 passing yards and 53 touchdowns, so his ability to help in that area, along with strong running Travis Greene, and Kim McCloud keeping the defense level, will make the Falcons a tough out each week.

Prediction: 10-2

The MAC has seen some flashes in the pan in recent years. Teams like Akron in 2005 or Buffalo in 2008, winning the MAC title one year because things fell right for them, but Bowling Green looks more like the kind of powerhouse team that could enjoy some sustained success atop the conference, much in the way Central Michigan did from 2006 to 2009.

Northern Illinois made it to a BCS bowl game out of the MAC in 2012, and Bowling Green could be in contention for the spot given to teams outside of the power conferences in college football’s new postseason format.

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Gino is new to CappersPicks.com but NOT new to the online gambling industry.He's got an AMAZING knack for discovering hidden gems when it comes to betting on sports. Stick with him as he predicts when a team will have a letdown! Check Gino out for NBA, NHL, NFL, and MLB betting articles all season long!


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