Only two for Saturday, but that's because weeknight MACtion returns. And that's a good thing. Your Week 10 MAC picks:
Central Michigan at Eastern Michigan (+15)
You know what's fun? Look ahead on the schedule and Central Michigan (5-4, 3-2) may be playing Western Michigan on November 22nd for the right to go to a bowl game. Before that showdown however, the Chips must travel to The Factory, which is definitely a tougher place to play since the new moniker and field colors were adopted. Central hasn't been much to watch the last couple of weeks. Two weeks ago they fell at home against Ball State thanks to a Scott Secor 55 yard field goal in the final minute. Last week it took a Cooper Rush to Titus Davis fourth quarter touchdown pass to edge a disappointing Buffalo team, 20-14. Chips kicker Brian Eavey likes drama though, so he missed the extra point to keep things interesting. To this point, CMU looks like the team that struggled to put away Buffalo, and not the team that handled Northern Illinois 34-17 on October 11th.
I think this is a huge game for Eastern Michigan (2-6, 1-3). If the Eagles can get a win, head coach Chris Creighton can say that things are headed in the right direction. Last week EMU held a fourth quarter lead over Northern Illinois before Huskie touchdown runs from Joel Bouagnon and Cameron Stingily put away the Eagles 28-17. Regardless of what the records may read at the end of the season, one thing must be acknowledged, Eastern Michigan is a tougher out. Does that mean that I'm predicting the Eagles to run the table the rest of the way to get to 6-6? No, it does not. It does mean however, that I'm not prepared to accept that they are a two touchdown home dog against a lukewarm team like Central Michigan. Saturday, give me the Eagles and the points.
Western Michigan at Miami (+7)
A bowl game seems like a very real possibility this season for the SS Fleck, though Western Michigan (5-3, 3-1) needs to ensure they don't fall victim to the dreaded "trap game" in the next couple weeks. The Broncos travel to Miami, are back in Kalamazoo to host Eastern Michigan on November 15th, then travel to Central Michigan before a home finale with Northern Illinois on November 28th. Program defining game against the Huskies? I'll bet that's how P.J. is selling it. SLOW DOWN. WMU is rolling though, winners of three in a row, with each victory more impressive than the last. A week ago the Broncos made short work of the Ohio Bobcats, cruising, 42-21. To date, Western Michigan has scored 40 or more points in four of five victories this season.
Miami (2-7, 2-3) will definitely be thinking upset on Saturday. The RedHawks may not have the wins to show for it, but they've demonstrated they can hang with the MAC's top tier. Their last two losses were to Akron and Northern Illinois, both on the road. The RedHawks trailed just 15-13 against the Zips at the half, before falling 29-19. A week later, at Northern Illinois, Miami stormed back from a 23 point first half deficit to pull within nine with six minutes remaining in the third before coming up short 51-41. Andrew Hendrix is the real deal under center, and Miami's 288 passing yards a game rank 26th in all of college football. That said, while I have no doubt the RedHawks make this a game until the very end, I do think that Western is able to pull away by more than a touchdown. Let's call it 10. Saturday, take the Broncos, lay the 7.