So do you ever think with such slim margins, we were 2-1 in a lean week, that one day it could all fall apart? Like we could miss four, five, six games in a row and evaporate all of our profit this season? I don't! 28-24 on the season, and our seventh, SEVENTH, consecutive winning week. When are you going to stop reading and start betting? Let's not kid ourselves, have you looked at the bottom of the conference? Half those games are only worth watching if you have money on them! With weeknight MACtion starting you'll no longer have to slog through Dancing with the Stars with the lady. So keep your weeknights open, and if you're on the West Coast you'll need to leave work a little early. Time to bet whatever makes you nervous. Your Week 11 picks:
Bowling Green (-23.5) at Miami
FOUR MAC East teams are in action Tuesday night, including the top three division leaders. Kicking off at 8 PM eastern will be Bowling Green and Miami. The Falcons still have their sights on a division title and a spot in the conference championship game. Games with Ohio and Buffalo remain on their schedule. What does this mean for the RedHawks? Plenty of bad news. Bowling Green is too talented to trip up against this Miami team. Expect Matt Johnson and Travis Greene to put up some big numbers. Now this game could be perceived as a trap game if Miami possessed any semblance of a competent offense. They don't. 122nd in the country to be exact. The Falcons on the other hand posses the 26th ranked defense in the nation, tops in the MAC. Miami can't be faulted for looking past this game. Next week's game against Kent State will be their best shot at a victory in 2013. Take the Falcons, lay the points.
Ohio at Buffalo (-2.5)
Game of the year in the MAC so far sports fans, and most certainly appointment television. The winner here controls its own destiny in the MAC East. Early season losses to Ohio State and Baylor have only served to strengthen Buffalo as the Bulls have run off six wins in a row by an average of better than 23 points. That first win of the season, a squeaker against Stony Brook in week three, was easily the closest game of the year for the Bulls. Since the season began Buffalo may be the most improved team in the MAC. The Bulls have done it with defense, stingiest against the run and tied for the league lead in interceptions. Linebacker Khalil Mack leads the MAC in sacks, tackles for loss, and draft stock. It may be inconsistent with the weeknight MACtion we are used to, but the Bobcats play some pretty solid defense too. Freshman sensation Tarell Basham and senior Ty Branz trail only Mack in sacks in the MAC (fun to say isn't it?). Both defenses will impress. Offensively, give me Joe Licata and Branden Oliver. Take the Bulls, lay the points.
Central Michigan at Ball State (-20)
Ball State's last test before the showdown with Northern Illinois on November 13th. The numbers have been put out there time and time again on Hustle Belt. Keith Wenning, the Cardinals senior quarterback has rewritten the BSU record books in 2013. He is now the Cardinals all time leader in, well just about everything. For this season, he is the MAC's leading passer, throwing for over 318 yards per game. Second in the conference is Ohio's Tyler Tettleton, more than 64 yards a game behind Wenning. Wenning's favorite target, Willie Snead, leads the conference in receiving yards. In the backfield junior Jahwan Edwards is tied for the MAC lead in touchdowns at 12 with NIU's Jordan Lynch. The Cardinals are an offensive machine. Central is not, but the Chips have had flashes of brilliance this year. In CMU's last game, all the way back on October 19th, the Chips hung with Northern Illinois before Jordan Lynch put in the cheat codes. A week prior the Chippewas scored their most impressive victory of the year, a 26-23 victory at Ohio. The biggest game of the Pete Lembo era is next week at Northern Illinois. It's been said before, but it is imperative the Cardinals avoid the slow start, get out in front early, and cruise against CMU. Ball State can't let the Chips hang around.
Western Michigan (-2.5) at Eastern Michigan
Battle for the basement. Loser is firmly cemented in the cellar of the MAC West. Western was a strong candidate to go winless in 2013 before scoring easily the biggest victory of the PJ Fleck era, a 31-30 thriller at Massachusetts. Strange as it may be, I think a two win season would satiate Broncos fans in a season that began so miserably. They've Central Michigan and Northern Illinois coming up, so this is probably their best shot at getting in the win column again. Eastern Michigan can't wait for this season to wrap up. Ron English is inexplicably still employed, the only answer I can muster is that administration doesn't want to add further disruption to a season that's involved the death of a player. Either way he's out as soon as the season concludes. The Eagles have yielded at least 42 points in the last six games, being torched for 50 in five of them. Simply put, Western Michigan has a lot more to play for than Eastern does. Row the boat, take the Broncos, lay the points.