Brad’s 2022 College Football Preview- MAC Analysis and Predictions

Every summer since 2007 I have created an intricate set of college football predictions for each upcoming season.  This year is no exception, as I will be using my blog over the next few hours to publish my 16th annual college football preview guide which will contain 18 entries in all. The records below reflect each team’s predicted regular season overall record followed by their conference record.  These records include conference title games for the two division champions but exclude bowl games which will be previewed later on in a separate column on this blog.  The teams marked in bold font are the ones predicted to gain bowl eligibility.  Without further ado, here are my predictions for the Mid-American Conference in 2022.

West Division

1Toledo (10-3, 7-1)conference champion

Positional Strength: Linebacker

Positional Weakness: Wide Receiver

Biggest Predicted Win of the Year: at Western Michigan (November 25)- de facto MAC West title game!

Worst Predicted Loss of the Year: at Northern Illinois (October 8)

Bottom Line: The Rockets are the most talented and experienced team in this league in 2022 on both sides of the ball and house be rewarded with their first MAC title since 2017.

2Northern Illinois (8-4, 6-2)

Positional Strength: Offensive Line

Positional Weakness: Defensive Line

Biggest Predicted Win of the Year: vs. Toledo (October 8)

Worst Predicted Loss of the Year: at Ohio (October 22)

Bottom Line: The Huskies will likely be a better team than the one that won the MAC in 2021 but they won’t be nearly as lucky, as they are bound to lose at some of those close games that they kept winning last year.

3Western Michigan (6-6, 5-3)

Positional Strength: Linebacker

Positional Weakness: Quarterback

Biggest Predicted Win of the Year: vs. Northern Illinois (November 9)

Worst Predicted Loss of the Year: at San Jose State (September 24)

Bottom Line: The Broncos were much better than their 4-4 conference record (see fact # 7 in my facts/tidbits article) but key losses at QB and receiver will prevent team from contending for the division title.

4Central Michigan (4-8, 3-5)

Positional Strength: Running Back

Positional Weakness: Linebacker

Biggest Predicted Win of the Year: at Western Michigan (November 16)

Worst Predicted Loss of the Year: at Akron (October 15)

Bottom Line: Jim McElwain’s Chippewas are my top disappointment team for this conference, as defensive departures will reduce an already mediocre unit to one that is just dismal.

5Eastern Michigan (4-8, 2-6)

Positional Strength: Wide Receiver

Positional Weakness: Running Back

Biggest Predicted Win of the Year: vs. Central Michigan (November 25)

Worst Predicted Loss of the Year: at Ball State (October 25)

Bottom Line: Aside from the Covid season of 2020, head coach Chris Creighton always exceeds expectations with his Eagles. This year, however, the Eagles will have to break-in a new QB and face a brutal schedule with all their winnable games coming on the road.

6Ball State (3-9, 1-7)

Positional Strength: Offensive Line

Positional Weakness: Quarterback

Biggest Predicted Win of the Year: vs. Eastern Michigan (October 22)

Worst Predicted Loss of the Year: at Georgia Southern (September 24)

Bottom Line: The Cardinals miraculous 2020 season will fade futher and further out of views as a team that was extremely lucky to go bowling in 2021 will emerge as the doormat of this division.

East Division

1Miami-OH (8-5, 6-2) conference runner-up

Positional Strength: Quarterback

Positional Weakness: Running Back

Biggest Predicted Win of the Year: at Northwestern (September 24)

Worst Predicted Loss of the Year: at Buffalo (October 1)

Bottom Line: Brett Gabbert will lead a potent Redhawk passing attack to the division crown!

2Kent State (7-5, 6-2)

Positional Strength: Wide Receiver

Positional Weakness: Defensive Line

Biggest Predicted Win of the Year: at Buffalo (November 26)

Worst Predicted Loss of the Year: at Miami-OH (October 8)

Bottom Line: Roster turnover and brutal early schedule will prevent Flashes from repeating as division champ.

3Buffalo (7-5, 5-3)

Positional Strength: Defensive Line

Positional Weakness: Defensive Backs

Biggest Predicted Win of the Year: vs. Miami-OH (October 1)

Worst Predicted Loss of the Year: at Central Michigan (November 9)

Bottom Line: The Bulls have recruited well and have used the transfer portal to their advantage but there are just too many new faces playing key roles on this squad for me to pick them to win the MAC east.

4Ohio (5-7, 4-4)

Positional Strength: Defensive Backs

Positional Weakness: Wide Receiver

Biggest Predicted Win of the Year: vs. Northern Illinois (October 22)

Worst Predicted Loss of the Year: vs. Buffalo (November 1)

Bottom Line: The Bobcats weren’t the tough-minded powerhouse we are used to seeing last year without Frank Solich at the helm. And while they should be better in 2022, a brutal opening schedule will likely prevent this team from bowling this season.

5Bowing Green (4-8, 2-6)

Positional Strength: Defensive Backs

Positional Weakness: Offensive Line

Biggest Predicted Win of the Year: vs. Marshall (September 17)

Worst Predicted Loss of the Year: at Ohio (November 22)

Bottom Line: The seat is getting warm for 4th year coach Scott Loeffler and a brutal schedule accompanied by a porous offensive line will likely lead to the Falcons being underdogs in 10 of their 12 games this season.

6Akron (2-10, 1-7)

Positional Strength: Linebacker

Positional Weakness: Defensive Line

Biggest Predicted Win of the Year: vs. Central Michigan (October 15)

Worst Predicted Loss of the Year: vs. Bowling Green (October 1)

Bottom Line: The Zips made a great hire with Moorhead (pictured above), but it is going to take him sometime to rebuild this program from the destitute state it is currently in.

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