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College Football Odds: MAC Football Week 11

MACtion in its truest form returns.

Mike McGinnis

Bowling Green (+7) at Akron

Here's your first of the divisional championship games. The winner here is alone in first place atop the MAC East. It's been an up and down season for Bowling Green (5-3, 3-1), marred by injuries and blowouts, but the Falcons have played well enough to put themselves in a position to get to Detroit. If they are able to get by Akron, they get a gimme at home against Kent State, followed by a trip to Toledo, and a home finale against a rejuvenated Ball State squad. James Knapke has established himself as a top tier MAC quarterback, and he could feast against an Akron defense that's becoming increasingly hard to gauge.

The wheels may be coming off in Akron (4-4, 2-2). On October 11th the Zips were 4-2 overall and 2-0 in league play. Back to back losses followed, and now Bowden's bunch finds themselves fighting for bowl eligibility. It's a kind schedule after Bowling Green for Akron. Buffalo, UMass and Kent State will close out the season for the Zips. This is a fascinating game, because a win here and Akron's thinking Detroit. A loss, and they may be looking at staying in Akron for the month of December. I think the Zips can handle their business in the final three. I do think the Falcons get the best of them here. Give me Bowling Green and the points.

Toledo (-14) at Kent State

The MAC's last team undefeated in league play gets a tune up before the final push for a division championship. Toledo (5-3, 4-0) travels to Kent State (1-7, 0-4) before the MAC game of the year with Northern Illinois, then wrapping up with Bowling Green and at Eastern Michigan. A couple of plays go the other way, and Toledo's season could look considerably different at this point. Central Michigan is the only team they've beaten by two touchdowns or more. Western Michigan was one point overtime win, and they were only a touchdown better than UMass. Still, win out, and the Rockets will be MAC West champs.

Unless the Golden Flashes smack Toledo with a handful of MACtion this week. Seems unlikely. In fact, it seems very likely that Kent State ends up going winless in MAC play. After Toledo it's Bowling Green, Buffalo, and Akron the rest of the way for KSU, a tough schedule for even a middling MAC team. A basement dweller like Kent State will be hard pressed to find that first conference win. I think last week's 10-3 loss to Miami was as close as the Golden Flashes will get to tasting MAC victory in 2014. Want an interesting Kent State stat, though? Sorry, don't have any. Give me the Rockets, lay the points on Tuesday.

Buffalo at Ohio (-3)

Buffalo (3-5, 1-3) I feel like I don't even know you. I liked the Bulls to compete for the MAC East crown when the season began, and today's team barely resembles the squad I was thinking of in August. The Bulls have now dropped three consecutive games, most recently at home, 20-14 against Central Michigan last week. After the Bobcats, it's Akron, Kent State, and UMass, meaning the Bulls are likely looking at about a 6-6 effort, and a bowl-free conclusion to their season.

Minus the preseason expectations, Ohio (4-5, 2-3) finds themselves in a similar position. After Buffalo, the Bobcats get Northern Illinois and Miami. If the Bobcats win here, then split the final two, it means 6-6 for 2014. All this means is that again, the balance of power is heavily tilted in favor of the MAC West. At the beginning of the year this was a game that I thought would hold heavy significance in determining the course of the MAC East. Still, it's weeknight MACtion, so you can be sure that both teams will do their very best to break scoreboards. Wednesday I'll take the Bobcats and lay the 3.

Northern Illinois at Ball State (+3)

You throw the records out the window when these two get together! The latest installment of the Bronze Stalk game is perhaps the most unpredictable. Of course being the fiercely loyal Ball State alum I am, I won't be picking the game. Here's a couple of things to keep in mind though. Northern Illinois (6-2, 3-1) finds themselves in a very unfamiliar position entering Wednesday's game. They're not alone at the top of the MAC West. NIU still controls its own destiny. Win out, and the Huskies will earn a spot in the MAC Championship Game. The road is a tough one, though. After Ball State it's a de facto MAC West championship game in DeKalb against Toledo. Then a road trip to Ohio before closing the season out with believe it or not, another potential de facto championship game at Western Michigan.

In what can easily be described as a disappointing season to this point, there's a huge positive the Cardinals (3-5, 2-2) can build upon for 2015. After lukewarm results from Ozzie Mann to open the season, Jack Milas has gotten the Cardinals back on track, leading the Cardinals to a pair of wins in his three starts. There are four games left on the 2014 slate. Win out and the Cardinals will be 7-5, an achievement that seemed like an impossibility when they were sitting at 1-5 with nothing cooking on October 11th. 7-5 is unlikely, but a win against NIU on Wednesday and this Ball State team can do something that hasn't been done since 2008, bring the Bronze Stalk back to Muncie. A one possession difference sounds about right. Enjoy the shootout on Wednesday.