Let's All Laugh At The Sports Network's MAC Preview

The headline was enough of a portent: "Bet against MAC teams in non-conference play." I don't know enough about Sports Network to see how they normally preview conferences. But it seems like an odd jumping-off point. Gambling! Also, the teams are bad.

But where they really lost me was their prediction of divisional finishes. I'm not ready to really decide who's the best — and 1-11 Miami showed us nobody knows anything — but even using the conventional predictor tools this doesn't seem like anything close to what'll happen:

EAST
1. Miami (6-6, 5-3)
1. Temple (7-5, 5-3)
3. Kent State (6-6, 4-4)
3. BGSU (6-6, 4-4)
3. OHIO (6-6, 4-4)
6. Buffalo (2-10, 1-7)
6. Akron (2-10, 1-7)
24-32

WEST
1. WMU (9-3, 6-2)
1. Toledo (8-4, 6-2)
1. CMU (7-5, 6-2)
4. NIU (7-5, 5-3)
5. Ball State (3-9, 3-5)
6. EMU (4-8, 2-6)

First of all: good lord, these standing predictions have more ties than George Will's chifforobe. Then you have seven teams in the MAC East, none of which will win more than seven games. That hasn't happened in a seven-team MAC division ... ever. And Northern Illinois fourth in the MAC West? Behind CMU? It could possibly be a regression year, but they didn't lose that much on defense, and Chad Spann will be missed, but they don't appear to have regressed that much as a whole from a top 25 flirter to a middle-of-the-road middle-major.

So, again. It's not like I could effectively do better. When the time comes, I'll do my best and probably be wrong. Still, this preview just seems off. I'd bet against it from actually happening.

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