MAC pick ’em, week 13
Ball State finished their season with a 59-21 loss at the hands of Northern Illinois on Saturday. The other twelve teams pair off for six conference games to wrap up the regular season, with one Tuesday night game, and five Friday games — I hope you weren’t planning on going shopping the day after Thanksgiving, because we’ve got some football to watch!
The Tuesday night game pits Temple against Miami University in the MAC East showdown that isn’t quite what it could have been. Temple was eliminated from the title race with their loss to Ohio last week; for the Owls a win puts them in second place in the East Division and a loss leaves them in third, but other than that it’s meaningless for them. Miami has a little more at stake; with a win Tuesday and a Kent State upset of Ohio on Friday the RedHawks could win the East. They need the Bobcats to lose, because Ohio holds a tie-breaking head-to-head win. The RedHawks have mostly flown under the radar this year, but I think they’ll get the job done in front of their home crowd, keeping alive (for a few more days) Miami’s hopes of going from worst to first in the East Division.
The most meaningful Friday game will be Ohio at Kent State. If Miami wins on Tuesday, Ohio will need a win here to lock down the East Division, while Kent State is 4-7 and looking for a positive note upon which to end Doug Martin’s career; according to the university, Martin “is resigning following the Golden Flashes’ game this Friday (Nov. 26) with Ohio in Dix Stadium.” Unfortunately for Martin, whose seven seasons make him the longest-tenured head coach in the MAC, the Bobcats will have adequate motivation in this game, and should be more than Kent State can handle.
The only other truly meaningful game in the MAC is Western Michigan at Bowling Green. The Broncos are 5-6 and looking for bowl eligibility, though barring the Bowlpocalypse, I don’t think a 6-6 MAC team is likely to get a bid, while the Falcons are just hoping to avoid the MAC cellar. Bowling Green has scored more than 27 points just once this season, against Marshall, while Western Michigan has gone over 40 four times. The Broncos have more than enough offense to handle Bowling Green.
In less meaningful games, Central Michigan will lose to a bowl-bound Toledo team still smarting from the 65-30 beating Northern Illinois gave them two weeks ago. In the pillow fight of the week, Buffalo will scratch out a narrow win to put the sealing touch on a winless season for Akron. Finally, there’s Northern Illinois at EMU. I’ll be realistic and say that I think we all know how that’s going to go, but just in case you’re not sure, we’ll have the preview on Wednesday.