The MAC has had six different conference champions in the last six years: Bowling Green (2015), Western Michigan (2016), Toledo (2017), Northern Illinois (2018), Miami (2019), and Ball State (2020).
While the MAC is at or near the bottom of FBS conference power rankings, it does provide competitive games and an exciting conference race. In 2020, Buffalo went 5-0 in the East Division standings, Kent State was 3-1, and Ohio and Miami were 2-1. In the West Division standings, Ball State was 5-1, and Western Michigan and Toledo went 4-2.
Ball State beat Buffalo 38-28 in the MAC championship game.
The year before saw two teams go 6-2 in the division standings, four teams finish 5-3, and two teams go 4-4.
The college football betting odds say it will be another close race to a MAC title with no clear-cut favorite that everyone is chasing. Toledo has the best odds at +220, but Ball State isn’t too far behind at +425. Buffalo and Ohio are right there as well with +500 odds.
Toledo returns just about every starter from 2020 but is only 12-10 in conference play since winning the MAC championship in 2017. Defending champs Ball State is led by standout quarterback Drew Plitt and two of the better wide receivers in the conference in Justin Hall and Yo’Heinz Tyler. Ohio had the best defense in the conference last year (16.7 points allowed a game), and Buffalo was No. 2 in scoring offense.
Don’t sleep on Kent State at +1200, though. The Golden Flashes went 3-1 in the East Division last season, averaging a wild 49.8 points per game. Buffalo averaged 43.4, and Western Michigan scored 41.7 points a game. MACtion, baby!
Expect some entertaining games in the conference this season, to say the least. Fourteen of the 33 MAC vs. MAC games in 2020 were one-possession contests.
MAC Champion Odds
*As of Aug. 25.
Ball State +425
Western Michigan +700
Kent State +1200
Central Michigan +1400
Miami (OH) +2000
Eastern Michigan +4000
Northern Illinois +25000
Bowling Green +25000
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