First, my ballot with explanation.
I give Buffalo the edge due to their easy MAC schedule, with many thinking only the BGSU game will be a loss. Even with a BGSU win, BGSU would still have to only lose two of their other 4 tough games, 3 on the road.
Akron has a decent schedule and a great chance to be a sleeper. I still don't believe in Ohio who never seems to be able to last till November.
UMass plays 4 tough OOC opponents and then BGSU, they will enter October 0-5, battered and bruised, which will prevent them from putting up a good fight in the MAC.
Tough OOC:1, vs Baylor. Tough MAC games: 4 @BGSU, CMU. @Ohio, Akron
2) Bowling Green
Tough OOC: 1 at Wisconsin. Tough MAC games: 5 vs Buffalo, @Ohio, @Akron, @Toledo, Ball State
Tough OOC: 2 @ PSU, @ Pitt. Tough MAC games:4 @Ohio, @BSU, BGSU, @Buffalo
Tough OOC: 1 @ Kentucky. Tough MAC games:5 @CMU, BGSU, Akron, Buffalo, NIU
Tough OOC: 1 @ Ohio State. Tough MAC games:6 Ohio, @NIU, Toledo, @BGSU, @Buffalo, Akron
Tough OOC: 2 @ Michigan, @ Cincy. Tough MAC games:5 @Buffalo, @Akron, @NIU, @CMU, Ohio
Tough OOC: 4 @ Boston College, Colorado, @Vandy, @Penn State. Tough MAC games:5 BGSU, @Toledo, BSU, @Akron, Buffalo
I give NIU the edge based on the crossover game. NIU goes to Ohio, Toledo hosts BGSU. Also NIU hosts Toledo, I think those two games will let NIU slide through again.
CMU and Ball State both have 5 tough MAC games, and I give the edge to CMU as they return a QB even (though he may not start, although that worked out well for BGSU last year), while BSU has to replace the great Keith Wenning.
I put WMU over EMU as people seem to buy into Fleck, and we probably need to give the Factory a few years to really start production.
Tough OOC: 2 @ Northwest, @ Ark. Tough MAC games:4 CMU, @BSU, Toledo, @Ohio
Tough OOC: 3 Missouri, @Cincy, @Iowa St. Tough MAC games:4 BSU, CMU, @NIU, BGSU
Tough OOC: 2 @Purdue, Syracuse. Tough MAC games:5 @Toledo, Ohio, @NIU, BSU, @Buffalo
4) Ball State
Tough OOC: 1 @ Iowa. Tough MAC games:5 @Toledo, @CMU, Akron, NIU, @BGSU
Tough OOC: 2 @ Purdue, @VaTech. Tough MAC games:6 Toledo, @BSU, @BGSU, Ohio, @CMU, NIU
Tough OOC: 2 @ Florida, @ Mich State. Tough MAC games:4 @Akron, Buffalo, NIU, CMU, @BSU, Toledo
MAC Champ: NIU because I don't believe in Buffalo THAT much.
POTY: Matt Johnson: BGSU New high octane offense should give him crazy numbers.
MAC: Coach of the year: Jeff Quinn. Because I don't think anyone expects him to win the MAC East
Hustle Belt MAC Blogger Poll
The number in parenthesis is first place votes.
- Bowling Green (6) 52 points
- Akron (1) 41 points
- Buffalo (1) 39 points
- Ohio 38 points
- Kent State 23 points
- Miami 19 points
- UMass 10 points
- NIU (4) 42 points
- Toledo (2) 41 points
- Ball State (2) 33 points
- CMU 25 points
- WMU 15 points
- EMU 13 points
MAC Champion: NIU
Coach of the Year: Terry Bowden
Player of the Year: Matt Johnson