- Plenty of star power is returning in the Mid-American Conference
- Central Michigan Chippewas (+350 to win the MAC championship)
- Toledo Rockets (+425 to win the MAC championship)
- Miami RedHawks (+450 to win the MAC championship)
- Northern Illinois Huskies (+650 to win the MAC championship)
- Kent State Golden Flashes (+850 to win the MAC championship)
- Western Michigan Broncos (+850 to win the MAC championship)
- Eastern Michigan Eagles (+1200 to win the MAC championship)
- Ohio Bobcats (+1400 to win the MAC championship)
- Ball State Cardinals (+2200 to win the MAC championship)
- Buffalo Bulls (+2200 to win the MAC championship)
- Bowling Green Falcons (+4000 to win the MAC championship)
- Akron Zips (+10000 to win the MAC championship)
Plenty Star Power Returning in Mid-American Conference
The return of the nation’s leading rusher Lew Nichols is just one reason why Central Michigan is currently favored to win the Mid-American Conference title according to the MAC Conference Odds.
Toledo, Miami, and Northern Illinois are among the teams capable of finishing on top. Five teams finished with either 6-2 or 5-3 marks in conference play in 2021 and it could be more of the same this season.
With seven teams coming in with expected regular-season win totals ranging from 5 to 6.5 so the middle of the conference could be a little on the unpredictable side.
Tennessee, Oklahoma State, Michigan State, Maryland, UCLA, Kentucky, and Washington are among the opponents for the MAC teams in Week 1. The NCAAF betting lines have the Mid-American teams as at least three touchdown underdogs in those season openers. However, those games should prepare them for a challenging conference season.
Here is a team-by-team breakdown
Central Michigan Chippewas (+350 to win the MAC championship)
When the list of returnees beings with the nation’s leading rusher Lew Nichols, that is a pretty good start.
Tackles Bernhard Raimann and Luke Goedeke were both selected in the NFL Draft but center Jamezz Kimbrough leads the offensive line. Receiver Dallas Dixon is another player to watch on offense.
Defensive lineman John Wesley Whiteside and cornerback Donte Kent lead the defense.
Toledo Rockets (+425 to win the MAC championship)
Another team is expected to approach the eight-win mark thanks to some key veterans on both sides of the ball.
Maxen Hook (95 tackles), and Jamal Hines (88 tackles, 10 sacks) are among the returnees on defense. Replacing 1400-yard rusher Bryant Koback won’t be easy.
Quarterback Dequan Finn (18 touchdown passes, two interceptions in 2021) and receiver Devin Maddox (a team-high 41 catches) lead the offense. The Rockets are one of the favorites in the MAC conference odds.
Miami RedHawks (+450 to win the MAC championship)
Brett Gabbert is back after throwing for 26 touchdowns. Jack Sorenson (76 catches, 1406 yards) is gone, but Mac Hippenhammer and Jalen Walker are back after combining for 79 receptions and nine touchdowns.
There were heavy losses on defense, but linebacker Matthew Salopek (112 tackles, six pass breakups), Jacquez Warren and Austin Ertl are back.
The odds are at -140 for Miami to top the 6.5 expected win total in the regular season.
Northern Illinois Huskies (+650 to win the MAC championship)
Linemen Nolan Potter and Logan Zschernitz, receiver Trayvon Rudolph (51 catches, 892 receiving yards) return on offense.
Eighteen of the top 24 tacklers were freshmen led by CJ Brown (108 tackles). Jordan Gandy (53 tackles, 10 pass breakups) also returns.
Kent State Golden Flashes (+850 to win the MAC championship)
Marquez Cooper ran for more than 1200 yards and Xavier Williams wasn’t too far behind with 812 rushing yards. Dante Cephas (82 catches) is one of the top receivers in the conference so that offensive talent is why the MAC Conference Odds have the 2021 East Division champion in contention once again.
Dean Clark is back after recording a team-high 116 tackles.
Western Michigan Broncos (+850 to win the MAC championship)
Linebackers Corvin Moment and Zaire Barnes are back after tying for the team lead with 68 tackles a season ago.
Western Michigan has Dylan Deatherage and Jacob Gideon to open holes for running back La’Darius Jefferson.
Eastern Michigan Eagles (+1200 to win the MAC championship)
Defensive lineman, Jose Ramirez is among the returning starters on that side of the ball. On offense,
Hassan Beydoun (97 catches, 1015 yards), Dylan Drummond (64 catches, six TD receptions), and Tanner Knue (32 catches in just five games) all return on offense.
Ohio Bobcats (+1400 to win the MAC championship)
Bryce Houston (104 tackles), Cannon Blauser (86 tackles), and Tariq Drake (49 tackles, three interceptions) are among a large group of returning players on defense.
Quarterback Kurtis Rourke will need to improve on the ratio of 11 touchdown passes and seven interceptions.
Ball State Cardinals (+2200 to win the MAC championship)
Linebacker Clayton Coll (108 tackles, two interceptions) returns while the Cardinals would love to see cornerback Amechi Uzodinma revert back to his sophomore season production when he intercepted five passes.
Can Jayshon Jackson improve on his team-leading numbers of 69 catches and 829 receiving yards?
Buffalo Bulls (+2200 to win the MAC championship)
Buffalo has the top-rated group of transfers in the MAC. Western Carolina linebacker Willie Hampton, North Carolina State defensive end Ibrahim Kante, Notre Dame cornerback Caleb Offord and Louisville receiver Justin Martin are among the new additions.
Linebacker James Patterson (114 tackles), Max Michel (4.5 sacks), George Woloand C.J. Bazile are among the returning players on defense.
The transfer of leading rusher Dylan McDuffie does hurt a bit.
Bowling Green Falcons (+4000 to win the MAC championship)
The five running backs to have carries last season were all freshmen, including Terion Stewart. Quarterback Matt McDonald, receivers Tyrone Broden and Austin Osborne as well as tight end Christian Sims all return.
Leading tackler Darren Anders (124 stops) and sack leader Karl Brooks are among the defensive players to keep an eye on.
Akron Zips (+10000 to win the MAC championship)
There will be some new pass catchers with the transfers of receivers Daniel George (Penn State), Shocky Jacques-Louis (Pittsburgh), and Alex Adams (LSU) along with former West Virginia tight end TJ Banks. Former Penn State offensive lineman Anthony Whigan is another newcomer to keep an eye on as new coach Joe Moorhead was active on the transfer portal.Follow us on Twitter