MAC pick ’em, week 2
Last week I went 10-3. All three misses were MAC wins: Temple over Villanova, Bowling Green over Idaho, and Ball State over Indiana. The other games that surprised me a little were Western Michigan at Michigan and Army at Northern Illinois — I picked them right, but I thought they’d be a little closer than they were. All the other games went pretty-much as I expected.
This week again features several clear mismatches. Temple will have no trouble with Akron, Ohio will coast past Gardner-Webb, and Bowling Green will put up some ridiculously good offensive numbers en route to a route of Morgan State.
Three FCS opponents will cause a little more trouble, though the MAC teams will triumph in the end, with Buffalo beating Stony Brook, Western Michigan edging out Nicholls State, and EMU downing Alabama State.
Ball State is surely feeling pretty good after beating Indiana, and they should, but South Florida had their own big win last week, and Notre Dame is a much higher quality opponent that the Hoosiers. The Bulls will have little trouble putting the Cardinals in their place and giving Pete Lembo his first Division I loss. Toledo is certainly one of the top MAC teams again this year, and they’ll put up a good fight against Ohio State, but in the end, the Buckeyes will win.
I still don’t have any faith in Darrell Hazell as a first-year head coach at Kent State, and on the basis of that alone I’m picking the Louisiana-Lafayette “Louisiana’s Ragin’ Cajuns” to beat the Golden Flashes. Kentucky’s offense won’t do much against Central Michigan, but the Chippewas’ offense will do even less, and the Wildcats will win the Ugliest Game of the Week.
Finally, Northern Illinois will beat Kansas. If you think this is an upset, you aren’t paying attention, because Northern Illinois is good — knocking on the door of the top-25 good — and Kansas is one of the worst AQ teams out there. (Fun fact: Kansas head coach Turner Gill, former of the University at Buffalo, in his head coaching career, has won only two of his ten games against MAC West Division teams.)