The Pi-Rate Ratings

August 10, 2022

Mid-American Conference Preview

The MAC has been up and down for many years, rarely a middle of the pack conference among the non-elite. There was a time when Toledo and Miami of Ohio were regulars in the major polls. Miami actually beat Florida, Georgia, and South Carolina in three consecutive bowl games. The MAC has produced the New Year’s Day Bowl team that was guaranteed to the top Group of 5 team.

There have been years where this league was considerably weaker than the better Group of 5 conferences, and there have been a couple teams that have come and gone from the league. Over the Winter, the MAC appeared to be expanding to 14 teams with the additions of Western Kentucky and Middle Tennessee State. The two Conference USA schools and rivals chose to remain where they were.

Here is the official media poll for the Mid-American Conference

Mid-American Conference
Votes
#East1st PlaceOverall
1Miami (O)20139
2Kent St.3116
3Buffalo078
4Ohio072
5Bowling Green171
6Akron028
#West1st PlaceOverall
1Northern Illinois11122
2Toledo9120
3Central Michigan4112
4Western Michigan056
5Eastern Michigan052
6Ball St.042
ChampionshipOverall
Northern Illinois9
Toledo6
Miami (O)5
Central Michigan4

Here are the preseason PiRate Ratings for the MAC.

Mid-American Conference
East Division
TeamPiRateMeanBiasAverage
Miami (Ohio)91.594.594.393.4
Kent St.87.390.187.688.3
Bowling Green87.786.486.887.0
Ohio84.286.986.485.8
Buffalo83.085.784.784.4
Akron78.279.277.878.4
West Division
TeamPiRateMeanBiasAverage
N. Illinois97.898.298.398.1
Central Mich.93.095.396.394.9
Toledo93.494.695.394.4
Western Mich.92.193.493.593.0
Eastern Mich.88.388.988.088.4
Ball St.84.685.984.785.0
MAC88.489.989.589.3

The PiRate Ratings are predictive in nature. However, they are only designed to look forward one week. Nevertheless, here are the predicted won-loss records for the MAC.

EastMACOverall
Miami (O)7-18-5
Kent St.5-36-6
Ohio3-55-7
Bowling Green3-54-8
Buffalo1-73-9
Akron0-81-11
WestMACOverall
Northern Illinois8-011-2
Toledo6-28-4
Central Michigan6-28-4
Western Michigan5-37-5
Ball St.2-64-8
Eastern Michigan2-64-8

Northern Illinois picked to beat Miami (O) in the MAC Championship Game.

Coming Tomorrow: The Sun Belt Conference

August 14, 2021

Mid-American Conference Preview

There wasn’t much MACtion in the Mid-American Conference in 2020.  Covid limited MAC play to a minimum number of games with two teams playing just three games, one other playing four times, one team playing eight games, and the rest playing five to seven times.

In the end, two teams emerged as the clear cut best in the league–Buffalo in the East and Ball State in the West.  Ball St. defeated the 5-0 Bulls in the MAC Championship Game, and then both teams won their bowl games, Buffalo over Marshall in the Camellia Bowl, and Ball St. over San Jose St. in the Arizona Bowl.

Buffalo faced a minor rebuild on the offensive end with four new starters needed to replace the best receiving corps in the league, but the Bulls were hit with a very late blow in the Spring.  Coach Lance Leipold had been a candidate for multiple Power 5 coaching gigs in December, but he came up short on all of them.  Then, after Kansas fired Les Miles, Leipold was offered and accepted the job in Lawrence.  Former Dallas Cowboys secondary coach and Michigan co-defensive coordinator Maurice “Mo” Linguist has developed a reputation for being an incredible recruiter, and he should bring some fine talent to The Queen City.

There’s an additional irony to the MAC East, as co-favorite Ohio U had a late head coaching change.  Legendary coach Frank Solich stepped down due to health concerns, and offensive coordinator Tim Albin takes over.  Albin has not been a head coach since 1999, but that Northwestern Oklahoma State team finished 13-0 and won the NAIA football championship.

Kent State and Miami of Ohio have the same head coaches they had last year.  Fans of Kent State are excited about Coach Sean Lewis’s up-tempo offense.  In their abbreviated season, The Golden Flashes averaged almost 50 points per game and more than 600 total yards per game.  Miami’s season ended after playing just three games, but the Redhawks penned the lone loss on the conference champs, topping Ball State by a touchdown. 

Akron and Bowling Green bring up the rear in the East.  Akron won the head-to-head matchup last year, but the two teams combined to go 1-10, both giving up more than 40 points per game.

The race in the MAC West should be one of the most competitive races of any FBS division.  A case could be made for five of the six teams to earn a piece of the first place this year, and only Northern Illinois figures not to challenge for supremacy.

Defending champs Ball State returns the bulk of its starting 22 players from last year, but the Cardinals won four of their five regular season games by seven points or less.  Rarely does a team repeat that feat from year to year.  Usually, if the team isn’t vastly better, they lose a couple of the types of games they won the year before.

Central Michigan and Toledo figure to be much improved in 2021.  Both schools return almost their entire starting lineups on both sides of the ball.  Keep an eye out for these very experienced and talented squads in September games against Power 5 opponents.  CMU plays Missouri, while Toledo takes on Notre Dame.  

Western Michigan and Eastern Michigan return a majority of their 2020 starters but with every player getting a free extra year, having 16 returning starters is almost below average.

Northern Illinois, once the best Group of 5 program in America, has fallen on hard times.  The Huskies went 0-6 last year and figure to be underdogs in almost every game against FBS competition this year.

Here is how the MAC media voted in the preseason poll:

2021 MAC Football Preseason Poll

(First Place Votes in Parentheses)

East Division

1. Kent State (11) – 112 points

2. Ohio (2) – 96 points

3. Miami (5) – 94 points

4. Buffalo (4) – 93 points

5. Akron – 39 points

6. Bowling Green – 28 points

West Division

1. Ball State (11) – 114 points

2. Toledo (7) – 104 points

3. Western Michigan (4) – 103 points

4. Central Michigan – 68 points

5. Eastern Michigan – 44 points

6. Northern Illinois – 29 points

MAC Football Championship Game Winner: Ball State (7), Toledo (5), Kent State (4), Western Michigan (3), Buffalo (2), Miami (1)

The preseason PiRate Ratings differ somewhat.

Mid-American Conference
East Division

TeamPiRateMeanBiasAverage
Miami (Ohio)101.999.298.199.7
Buffalo98.597.597.998.0
Ohio92.294.494.093.5
Kent St.91.393.490.591.7
Akron81.879.678.179.8
Bowling Green71.672.168.870.8

West Division

Team
PiRateMeanBiasAverage
Central Michigan100.599.199.599.7
Ball St.98.498.395.597.4
Toledo97.596.795.896.7
Eastern Michigan93.191.289.891.4
Western Michigan91.291.690.191.0
Northern Illinois89.387.086.187.5

MAC Averages92.391.790.491.4

The PiRate Ratings are not designed to pick seasonal won-loss records, but we use them any way to make predictions just for fun.

MAC EastConf.Overall
Miami (Ohio)6-28-5*
Buffalo5-37-5
Ohio5-37-5
Kent St.4-45-7
Akron1-72-10
Bowling Green0-81-11

MAC WestConf.Overall
Central Michigan6-28-5
Toledo6-29-3
Ball St.6-28-4
Eastern Michigan5-38-4
Western Michigan2-63-9
Northern Illinois2-63-9
* Miami (Ohio) picked to win MAC Championship Game

March 5, 2021

PiRate Ratings College Basketball Spreads

Friday, March 5, 2021

HomeVisitorSpread
St. BonaventureDuquesne7.3
Saint LouisMassachusetts6.2
VCUDayton4.6
DavidsonGeorge Mason4.4
Miami (Fla.)Boston College0.4
Wake ForestGeorgia Tech-10.3
LibertyStetson10.6
North AlabamaFlorida Gulf Coast-1.4
Montana St.Sacramento St.3.8
Eastern WashingtonIdaho State11.8
UC DavisHawaii0.3
Cal St. NorthridgeUC Riverside-10.2
Long Beach St.UC Irvine-9.8
UC San DiegoCal St. Fullerton3.2
UC Santa BarbaraCal Poly22.6
Florida AtlanticMiddle Tennessee9.1
MarshallCharlotte14.2
Western KentuckyOld Dominion8.3
North TexasUAB6.4
QuinnipiacSaint Peter’s-2.0
RiderMonmouth-4.7
ManhattanFairfield4.7
SienaCanisius6.8
Central MichiganNorthern Illinois7.1
BuffaloKent St.4.3
AkronMiami (O)5.8
ToledoBall St.9.7
Western MichiganEastern Michigan3.2
Delaware St.Morgan St-11.3
Loyola (Chi.)Southern Illinois16.3
Indiana St.Evansville6.1
DrakeNorthern Iowa9.7
Missouri St.Valparaiso7.8
NevadaColorado St.-2.0
BelmontJacksonville St.6.2
Morehead St.Eastern Kentucky1.9
Arkansas St.Georgia Southern1.5
South AlabamaLouisiana Monroe4.6
Appalachian St.Little Rock-0.1
UT ArlingtonTroy3.9
The CitadelWestern Carolina-0.5
MercerSamford7.3
Mississippi Valley St.Arkansas-Pine Bluff-10.3
UT Rio Grande ValleyTarleton5.3
Dixie St.New Mexico St.-10.4
Grand CanyonUtah Valley8.3
California BaptistSeattle2.3
Loyola MarymountSan Francisco-0.5
PacificSanta Clara2.9

August 9, 2019

2019 Mid-American Conference Football Preview

The Mid-American Conference has been quite competitive in recent years with multiple teams competing in both divisions for their division title.  2019 should be no different in the West Division, but this could be a year where Ohio easily wins the East.  After the Bobcats, the other five teams have glaring weaknesses that can easily be exploited by a roster and coaching staff at Ohio, and the Western Division competitors.

The West Division is a four-team race.  Western Michigan returns more starters than any other team in the FBS Football.  The Broncos finished a game behind division winner Northern Illinois, and WMU is the team to beat in the West.  However, Toledo, Eastern Michigan, and Northern Illinois have enough talent to get a piece of the division flag, and all four teams could finish at 6-2 or 5-3 if they beat up on each other.

Here is the way the MAC Media representatives voted at the preseason media poll.

 

Mid-American Conference Media Poll
 

 

East Division
Pos. Team 1st Place Votes Overall Votes
1 Ohio 24 144
2 Miami (O) 0 107
3 Buffalo 0 100
4 Kent St. 0 62
5 Akron 0 54
6 Bowling Green 0 37
 

 

West Division
Pos. Team 1st Place Votes Overall Votes
1 Toledo 15 127
2 Western Michigan 5 112
3 Northern Illinois 3 103
4 Eastern Michigan 0 83
5 Ball St. 0 43
6 Central Michigan 1 36

 

Championship Game Winner
Ohio 13
Toledo 7
Western Michigan 2
Northern Illlinois 1
Central Michigan 1

 

Here are our preseason PiRate Ratings for the MAC.

Preseason PiRate Ratings–Mid-American Conference
East Division
Team PiRate Mean Bias Average
Ohio U 96.3 95.2 97.8 96.5
Miami (O) 90.5 89.0 90.9 90.1
Buffalo 88.0 89.0 89.0 88.6
Kent St. 84.8 85.5 85.0 85.1
Akron 83.1 83.4 83.3 83.2
Bowling Green 78.3 78.5 78.7 78.5
 

 

West Division
Team PiRate Mean Bias Average
Western Michigan 99.4 98.2 99.7 99.1
Northern Illinois 94.3 93.2 94.4 94.0
Toledo 91.2 90.8 92.3 91.4
Eastern Michigan 88.8 89.2 89.6 89.2
Ball St. 85.6 85.4 85.1 85.4
Central Michigan 78.3 79.2 78.4 78.6
 

 

MAC Averages 88.2 88.1 88.7 88.3

Note:  These preseason ratings are accurate as of August 1, 2019, and subject to change before the first week of the season due to personnel changes prior to the first week of the season.

Predicted Won-Loss Records

The PiRate Ratings were not created to forecast won-loss records like other ratings might attempt.  Our ratings are valid for just the next game on the teams’ schedules, and we have pre-set adjustments built into our ratings on many teams.  For instance, if a team has exceptional starting talent but little depth, their rating has a pre-set reduction per week of the season, so that even if they win or lose a game by the exact expected margin, they will lose some of their power rating due to their depth issues.

If a team has exceptional, but inexperienced talent, their rating will have a pre-set addition per week of the season, and even if their performance may be exactly what was expected, their power rating will rise.

What you see in these predicted won-loss records are our opinion and not calculated from the ratings.  These are the estimated records based on a vote, with the Captain having 50% of the vote and the crew having the other 50%.  The Captain then rounded up or down those teams picked to have an average wins that were not whole numbers.

 

PiRate Members Predicted Won-Loss
East Division
Pos Team MAC Overall
1 Ohio 7-1 9-4
2 Miami (O) 5-3 6-6
3 Buffalo 5-3 6-6
4 Akron 3-5 4-8
5 Kent St. 3-5 4-8
6 Bowling Green 1-7 2-10
 

 

West Division
Pos Team MAC Overall
1 Western Michigan 7-1 10-3*
2 Toledo 6-2 8-4
3 Eastern Michigan 5-3 7-5
4 Northern Illlinois 5-3 6-6
5 Ball St. 1-7 2-10
6 Central Michigan 0-8 2-10
 

*

 

Western Michigan picked to win MAC Championship Game

 

Bowl Predictions
Bahamas Western Michigan
Boca Raton Ohio
Camellia Eastern Michigan
Dollar General Northern Illinois
Idaho Potato Toledo

 

Also Bowl Eligible
Buffalo
Miami (O)

 

Coaches That Could Move To FBS Power 5 Conferences

Lance Leipold, Buffalo

Chris Creighton, Eastern Michigan

Jason Candle, Toledo

Tim Lester, Western Michigan

 

Coaches On The Hot Seat

Mike Neu, Ball St.

 

Top Quarterbacks

Nathan Rourke, Ohio

Jon Wassink, Western Michigan

Mitchell Guadagni, Toledo

 

Best Offense

Western Michigan

Toledo

Ohio

Best Defense

Northern Illinois

Ohio

Buffalo

 

Coming Tomorrow: The Sun Belt Conference

 

 

 

 

 

August 12, 2018

2018 Mid-American Conference Preview

Note: The preseason ratings you see in the previews may not be the same as the ratings you see for the first game. We update every team’s rating based on player injuries, changes to the depth charts, and other factors that may change during preseason practice.

Some of our Group of 5 Conference won-loss predictions were figured before the beginning of August preseason practices. Thus, it could be that a player or players on some teams have already suffered season-ending or multiple game injuries or have left their teams, and these won-loss predictions no longer accurately reflect our ratings. We hope that by the time we preview the Power 5 conferences, we will know who is not going to be available (players and head coaches).

They call it “Maction.” The Mid-American Conference frequently produces teams capable of beating the lower half of the Big Ten and occasionally a weaker upper echelon team from their Big Brother rival conference. Additionally, the MAC has produced some star players that became NFL stars. It has also successfully placed its champion in the New Year’s 6 bowl that is reserved for a Group of 5 team.

2018 should be no different in these respects. The MAC has some strong teams, two or three of which are talented enough to make a run at the NY6 Bowl bid. On the other hand, these teams are good enough to beat each other and prevent the champion from running the table. Additionally, both divisions have more than one really good team, so it may be difficult to have either division champion go 8-0 in the league.

2018 could be another Year of the Quarterback in this league. Buffalo’s Tyree Jackson led the league in passing last year as a sophomore. Jackson missed four games, but when he was healthy, he was the top quarterback in the league. Against Bowling Green he topped 400 passing yards and three touchdowns versus no interceptions. He threw four TD passes the next week against Ball State, and he finished the year with 294 yards and two scores in a win over Ohio. If he stays healthy, Jackson could pass for 3,000 and run for 1,000 yards this year.

Another junior quarterback, Nathan Rourke makes Ohio’s offense potent. Rourke is also a dual-threat QB; his passing arm isn’t quite up to Jackson’s quality, but he is a little better runner and has a considerably better offensive line in Athens.

The MAC-East is rich with quality quarterbacks. Miami of Ohio’s Gus Ragland is the senior statesman of the division. Ragland became a star in the second half of the 2016 season, when he orchestrated a 6-0 finish after the Red Hawks began the season 0-6. He’s more of a move the pocket passer than Jackson or Rourke and will not beat opponents with his legs. Miami’s much improved offensive line should give Ragland a chance to compete for top passer in the MAC.

The West Division will have the best defensive team this year. Northern Illinois should have the best pass defense in the entire league, as their pass rush and pass coverage both rank as the tops in the MAC. NIU will face competition from Toledo, Western Michigan, Central Michigan, and even Eastern Michigan. The Huskies probably have the best chance at going 8-0 in the league, because the West is a little down compared to recent years.

One reason why no MAC team may qualify for the NY6 Bowl this year is a much tougher slate of non-conference schedules. Every team faces a tough Power 5 opponent, and the ratings call for the MAC to lose all of these games.  Northern Illinois could easily lose all four non-conference games having to play at Iowa, Florida State, and BYU and host Utah. Of course, our ratings cannot select upsets out of a hat, and usually there is always an upset or two, which is why we only rely on our ratings for picking the next game on the schedule for each team.

Here is how the MAC media voted in the preseason poll.

Mid-American
Team Votes
East Division 1st Place Total
1. Ohio 21 140
2. Buffalo 1 112
3. Miami (Ohio) 2 95
4. Akron 0 74
5. Bowling Green 0 58
6. Kent State 0 25
West Division 1st Place Total
1. Northern Illinois 15 133
2. Toledo 7 125
3. Western Michigan 1 87
4. Eastern Michigan 0 67
5. Central Michigan 1 58
6. Ball State 0 34

Picked to win 2018 MAC Championship Game
Ohio 13
Toledo 5
Northern Illinois 4
Miami 1
Central Michigan 1

The PiRate Ratings differ minimally from the media’s preseason opinions.

Mid-American Conference
East Division
Team MAC Overall PiRate Mean Bias Average
Ohio U 0-0 0-0 95.1 96.5 96.4 96.0
Buffalo 0-0 0-0 94.3 96.7 95.4 95.5
Miami (O) 0-0 0-0 91.5 93.9 93.4 92.9
Akron 0-0 0-0 90.5 92.1 90.7 91.1
Bowling Green 0-0 0-0 85.1 85.4 85.7 85.4
Kent St. 0-0 0-0 80.2 81.6 79.5 80.4
West Division
Team MAC Overall PiRate Mean Bias Average
Toledo 0-0 0-0 96.3 98.4 96.4 97.0
Northern Illinois 0-0 0-0 96.3 97.9 96.6 96.9
Western Michigan 0-0 0-0 91.5 93.8 92.9 92.8
Eastern Michigan 0-0 0-0 89.1 90.5 89.8 89.8
Central Michigan 0-0 0-0 84.8 88.5 85.2 86.2
Ball St. 0-0 0-0 77.7 80.4 77.4 78.5
MAC Averages 89.4 91.3 90.0 90.2

 

New Coaches

Kent State: Sean Lewis has some history in the MAC.  He was the offensive coordinator for Dino Babers at Bowling Green, when the Falcons torched MAC defenses for 45.6 points per game in 2015.  Lewis followed Babers to Syracuse, where he helped lead the Orangemen to new passing heights.  He played for Brett Bielema at Wisconsin, so he could incorporate some of his alma mater’s power game with the Baylor-style spread offense.

Predicted Won-Loss Records

East
Team Conference Overall
Ohio 7-1 10-3
Buffalo 6-2 8-4
Akron 4-4 5-7
Miami (O) 4-4 4-8
Bowling Green 1-7 3-9
Kent St. 0-8 1-11
West
Team Conference Overall
Northern Illinois 8-0 9-4 *
Toledo 7-1 9-3
Western Michigan 4-4 6-6
Eastern Michigan 4-4 5-7
Central Michigan 2-6 3-9
Ball St. 1-7 2-10
* Northern Illinois picked to win MAC Championship Game

Bowl Tie-ins
The MAC does not have a set bowl pecking order. They send teams to bowls to create the best overall games. These are the bowls tie-ins for 2018.

Boca Raton Bowl in Boca Raton, FL
Camellia Bowl in Montgomery, AL
Dollar General Bowl in Mobile, AL
Frisco Bowl in Frisco, TX
Idaho Potato Bowl in Boise, ID

There is a secondary bowl agreement with the Quick Lane Bowl in Detroit if it needs an at-large alternate.

Coming Tomorrow–The Mountain West Conference

August 15, 2017

2017 Mid-American Conference Preview

Today, the PiRate Ratings kicks off its annual college football conference previews with the Mid-American Conference.  Last year, the MAC was a sneaky little league.  Very few so-called experts picked this league to produce the automatic New Year’s 6 Bowl participant, but when Western Michigan ran the table in the regular season, and then the Broncos beat Ohio in the MAC title game, it was WMU that ventured down to Jerry World to play in the Cotton Bowl.

There is a slight chance that this league could produce the special Group of 5 team again this season, but we won’t expect it this time around.  Not only is there no overpowering team in this league. the schedule for the best team just won’t allow for an undefeated season and most likely not a one-loss season.

2017 looks to be the year where college football begins to look more and more like the NFL, and the teams with experienced and talented quarterbacks, quick receivers, quick defensive backs, and above-average linemen in that order will dominate the land.  It is certainly true in this league, where the top two QBs belong to the two teams we are picking to win the divisional races–Logan Woodside at Toledo and Gus Ragland at Miami of Ohio.

Because the Poinsettia Bowl went bust, there is one less bowl game this season.  The MAC figures to be the league that suffers the most from this cancellation.  We believe there will be two bowl eligible teams in the league that do not receive bowl bids.  At least, we do not foresee a 5-7 team having to fill in as an at-large, at least until another bowl replaces the defunct Poinsettia.  There could be one set for Wrigley Field in Chicago in the future, and that most assuredly would be good news for this league.

Here is how the MAC Media picked the teams to finish the season.

MAC East Division
# Team 1st Pl. Total Champ.
1 Ohio U 11 131 0
2 Miami (O) 12 129 1
3 Bowling Green 1 88 1
4 Akron 0 79 0
5 Buffalo 0 41 0
6 Kent St. 0 36 0
         
MAC West Division
# Team 1st Pl. Total Champ.
1 Toledo 22 142 21
2 Western Michigan 1 107 1
3 Northern Illinois 1 89 0
4 Eastern Michigan 0 74 0
5 Central Michigan 0 62 0
6 Ball St. 0 30 0

The PiRate, Mean, and Bias Ratings differ slightly, but not all that much.  Remember that the PiRate Ratings are really only predictive for the next week’s schedule, and they cannot be used to look forward past that week.  Because, we set certain factors into each teams’ future to account for depth or lack thereof, these ratings can change even if a team wins by the exact amount predicted.

Here are the PiRate, Mean, and Bias Ratings for the pre-season

Mid-American Conference
East Division        
Team PiRate Mean Bias Average
Miami (O) 94.3 96.6 96.8 95.9
Ohio U 90.3 92.0 91.2 91.2
Akron 84.3 88.5 84.5 85.8
Kent St. 83.7 85.3 84.9 84.6
Bowling Green 82.4 82.6 83.7 82.9
Buffalo 79.7 83.7 81.6 81.7
         
West Division        
Team PiRate Mean Bias Average
Western Michigan 102.1 98.4 103.8 101.4
Toledo 99.3 99.1 100.9 99.8
Eastern Michigan 93.5 93.1 93.6 93.4
Central Michigan 90.4 90.6 90.8 90.6
Northern Illinois 85.7 85.8 85.9 85.8
Ball St. 78.2 80.5 79.7 79.5
         
MAC Averages 88.7 89.7 89.8 89.4

This is our not so scientific attempt to predict the won-loss records and bowl projections.  As we stated above, our ratings do not look past the next week’s schedule.

Mid-American Conference Projected Standings
Team Conference Overall Bowl
East Division      
Miami (O) 6-2 9-4 Camellia
Ohio U 5-3 8-4 Idaho Potato
Akron 4-4 5-7  
Kent St. 2-6 3-9  
Bowling Green 2-6 3-9  
Buffalo 2-6 3-9  
       
West Division      
Toledo 8-0 11-2 Bahamas
Western Michigan 6-2 8-4 Dollar General
Eastern Michigan 5-3 6-6 eligible
Central Michigan 5-3 6-6 eligible
Northern Illinois 2-6 4-8  
Ball St. 1-7 3-9  
       
Toledo to win MAC Title Game

Coming tomorrow–Conference USA

 

 

 

 

 

August 16, 2016

2016 Mid-American Conference Football Preview

The Mid-American Conference has been for years breeding grounds for rising head coaches. Miami of Ohio was once referred to as the “Cradle of Coaches” for producing incredible future stars such as Woody Hayes, Bo Schembechler, Paul Brown, Sid Gillman, Ara Parseghian, and more than a dozen additional coaches that achieved fame and championships elsewhere.

In recent years, the MAC has sent multiple head coaches to power five conferences, such as: Dave Clawson to Wake Forest; Dave Doeren to North Carolina St.; Dino Babers to Syracuse; Matt Campbell to Iowa St.; and Darrell Hazzell to Purdue.

There is a reason for the coaching promotions. MAC teams have a storied history of beating Power Conference teams, especially their big brothers of the Big Ten. In the last four seasons alone, MAC teams have 16 wins over Power 5 teams, 11 of those 16 against current Big Ten members.

The MAC is the only league with a change in membership this year, as Massachusetts has left and become an independent school. That makes the league balanced again with six teams in both divisions.

The West had the most exciting race among any divisions in FBS football last year, as Northern Illinois, Western Michigan, Central Michigan, and Toledo tied for the division flag with 6-2 conference marks. NIU won the tiebreaker and fell to East Division champ Bowling Green in the MAC title game.

Babers has left BGU for Syracuse, but new coach Mike Jinks comes in and promises to keep the wide-open up-tempo offense that allowed the Falcons to average better than 42 points and almost 550 total yards per game. Jinks comes from a similar style at Texas Tech.

Frank Solich begins his 12th season at Ohio U, and the Bobcats should contend in the East with BGU. The Bobcats have been bowl eligible for seven consecutive seasons, and they should make it eight this year.

The West should be another interesting affair this season, as last year’s quartet of co-champions should compete again, and another co-championship is highly likely. The top three quarterbacks in the league belong to Central Michigan (Cooper Rush), Northern Illinois (Drew Hare), and Western Michigan (Zach Terrell). Brogan Roback at Eastern Michigan might be as good as this group, but playing for the Eagles can be hazardous to a QB’s health.

The MAC Media believe the East Division is a toss-up, while the West Division is rather cut and dry.

Official MAC Media Preseason Poll

MAC East Division
# Team 1st Pl. Total Champ.
1 Bowling Green 12 136 1
2 Ohio U 10 134 0
3 Akron 4 107 1
4 Buffalo 0 75 0
5 Miami (O) 0 52 0
6 Kent St. 0 42 0
MAC West Division
# Team 1st Pl. Total Champ.
1 Western Michigan 19 144 19
2 Toledo 2 113 2
3 Northern Illinois 3 112 2
4 Central Michigan 2 98 1
5 Ball St. 0 44 0
6 Eastern Michigan 0 35 0

The PiRate Ratings agree closely with the media to start the season.

Initial PiRate Ratings for the Mid-American Conference

Mid-American Conference
East Division        
Team PiRate Mean Bias Average
Bowling Green 96.7 94.7 97.3 96.2
Ohio 88.7 98.2 90.1 92.4
Akron 84.8 92.6 86.5 88.0
Buffalo 80.8 90.1 82.2 84.4
Miami (O) 82.2 84.0 82.9 83.0
Kent St. 82.3 84.5 82.2 83.0
         
West Division        
Team PiRate Mean Bias Average
Western Michigan 101.8 100.7 103.7 102.1
Toledo 101.8 99.7 102.6 101.4
Central Michigan 98.7 101.7 99.7 100.1
Northern Illinois 97.1 98.7 98.2 98.0
Ball St. 83.5 85.5 83.7 84.3
Eastern Michigan 78.0 83.5 79.4 80.3
         
MAC Averages 89.7 92.9 90.7 91.1

The PiRate Ratings are best used just to look forward to the next week game schedule.  These ratings cannot really be used to predict won-loss records, so with that caveat, here are the projected won-loss records based on the ratings alone.

Mid-American Conference Projected Standings
Team Conference Overall Bowl
East Division      
Bowling Green 6-2 8-5 Idaho Potato
Ohio U 5-3 7-5 GoDaddy
Akron 4-4 5-7  
Buffalo 3-5 4-8  
Miami (O) 2-6 3-9  
Kent St. 0-8 2-10  
       
West Division      
Western Michigan 7-1 10-3 * Miami Beach
Toledo 7-1 8-4 Bahamas
Central Michigan 6-2 8-4 [Boca Raton] ^
Northern Illinois 6-2 8-4 Camellia
Eastern Michigan 1-7 4-8  
Ball St. 1-7 2-10  
       
* WMU wins MAC Title      
^ CMU’s  bowl is at-large       

Next Preview: Thursday, August 18–Mountain West Conference

 

 

 

 

 

August 12, 2015

2015 Mid-American Conference Preview

It’s been three years since Northern Illinois sneaked into a BCS Bowl, losing to Florida State in the 2013 Orange Bowl, and since that time, the Mid-American Conference has fallen a few spots in the conference ladder, just barely beginning the 2015-16 season ahead of Conference USA and the Sun Belt Conference.

There are talented teams in both MAC divisions, but overall, the league has gotten a few points weaker in recent years.  In the past three seasons, this league is just 4-13 in bowl games, many of those losses to mediocre opponents.  And, last year, MAC teams went 4-20 against teams from Big 6 conferences.  Those four beaten big boys were Pittsburgh, Indiana, Purdue, and Northwestern.  Among the 20 losses were Big Six Conference lightweights Colorado and Vanderbilt, as well as the aforementioned Purdue Boilermakers.  Additional losses to the likes of Eastern Kentucky and Army (twice) knocked this league down a few more notches.

2015 brings a new outlook for the Big Ten’s stepbrother.  The league will produce a few future NFL players, and we believe this might be the season where the MAC breaks even or even finished above .500 in the bowl picture.

The East Division figures to be four deep in contenders, with Bowling Green leading the way.  Second year coach Dino Babers won the division in his first year at the helm, as the Falcons found a way to win close games.  However, a three-game losing streak to close out the regular season spoiled a possible repeat of 2013.  This year, Babers’ squad is loaded on offense and should score up to 35 points per game, but the defense may be just as generous.  The key is the BGU secondary, which is thin to start the season.

Frank Solich once had his alma mater, Nebraska, at the number one spot in the nation and on the cusp of becoming another national champion like the 1997, 1995, 1994, 1971, and 1970 teams.  An unbelievable upset blowout loss at Colorado on Black Friday of 2001 basically started the ball rolling to his dismissal in Lincoln, and led to his arrival in Athens, Ohio, where Solich has guided the Ohio Bobcats to a 72-56 record and six bowl trips in his ten-year tenure.  Solich’s Bobcats figure to be right on Bowling Green’s heels this year, and the Wednesday night, November 4 game at BGU could determine which East team will play in the MAC Championship Game.

Our sleeper team in the league this year is UMass.  The Minutemen have yet to challenge in their first three years in the league, but we have a sneaky suspicion that Coach Mark Whipple’s crew is going to matter in the East Division race this year.  The UMass offense is going to be lethal at times this season with the league’s top quarterback and two of the top receivers.  Whipple’s Minutemen will not be a one trick pony.  The defense should improve by as much as a touchdown per game, and we believe UMass will be bowl eligible.  The bowl invitation may not arrive, but a 6-6 season would be enough to create a lot more support in Amherst.

Akron has become a “sexy” pick among the MAC Media, as they believe Coach Terry Bowden is about to turn the corner in the land of rubber.  We believe the Zips will vie with UMass for third place, but any of the top four in this division could make it to the Championship Game.  Former Louisville wideout Michaelee Harris could be the added ingredient that proves the media to be a modern day Nostradamus.

Kent State is not that far behind the four contenders, but the Golden Flashes have a killer schedule that includes road games against Illinois, Minnesota, Toledo, Ohio, and Akron, and a home game against Marshall.  Basically, to make it to .500, the Flashes will have to win the rest of their games, and since the rest of their games include Bowling Green, there is not a path to bowl eligibility this season.

Buffalo and Miami (O) will fight it out in an attempt to avoid the cellar, as these two teams will be out of bowl contention before November.  Buffalo actually has some decent talent, but the Bulls don’t have enough to compete with the top four in the MAC East.  Miami must be fortunate to draw an opening home game against Presbyterian.  A loss to the Blue Hose would mean the Redhawks would be 0-9 when Eastern Michigan comes to Oxford.

The West Division has three very talented squads that are no more than a field goal apart in our ratings to start the season.  Any of the top three could state an excellent case as to why they are the best of the trio.

To start 2015, we rate Western Michigan as the best in the division and the league.  Coach P. J. Fleck was on a possible hot seat after a 1-11 innaugural season.  In year two, the Broncos put together a six-game winning streak that finally ended in the season finale against Northern Illinois in a game that had WMU won, would have been enough to take a piece of the division title.  With the bulk of the team that surprised with an 8-4 regular season mark returning, including quarterback Zach Terrell, star runnning back Jarvion Franklin, and just about every receiver that caught a pass last year, look for WMU to be the team to beat in the MAC and possibly one to scare Michigan State for a half in the season opener.

Toledo is not as talented as WMU, but the Rockets have a huge advantage over the Broncos.  TU hosts WMU as well as Northern Illinois, while WMU must finish out the regular season with back-to-back road games against the other two contenders.  Running back Kareem Hunt may be the best back in the league, and he returns as well as quarterback Phillip Ely.  The one problem with the Toledo offense is a green blocking quintet.  If the young offensive linemen improve enough by November, then TU will become the favorite to win the division flag.  If the group never puts it together, then even hosting the other two contenders may not matter.

As for Northern Illinois, the Huskies may have the best defense of the three contenders, but the offense is the weakest of the three contenders.  It could be trouble for NIU having to play at Ohio State and at Boston College in back-to-back weeks, and injuries could accumulate and cause the Huskies trouble the following week, when they continue their road trip at Central Michigan.

Ball State coach Pete Lembo has done an admirable job in Muncie, Indiana, in his four years there.  He took over a program that had dropped to the cellar in the West Division, even falling below Eastern Michigan, and he has produced 6-6, 9-4, 10-3, and 5-7 records.  This year’s Cardinals squad should be considerably better than last year’s team, but the schedule is not all that favorable.  Among their four non-conference games, BSU plays at Texas A&M and at Northwestern.  There is still a good chance that Lembo can guide this squad back to bowl eligibility.

There was a time when Central Michigan was the class of the league under former coaches Butch Jones and Brian Kelly.  The last three years, Coach Dan Enos took the Chippewas to two bowl games and had a bowl eligible team the other year.  However, Enos did not receive a lot of support in Mt. Pleasant, so after last year’s 7-6 season, he resigned to accept the offensive coordinator’s position at Arkansas.  New coach John Bonamego has the unenviable task of starting over with a thinned group of Chippewas, and we believe CMU will fall back in the pack just barely ahead of perennial cellar-dweller Eastern Michigan.

Eastern Michigan has suffered through three consecutive 2-10 seasons, and a rebuilding offense will keep the Eagles at two or even fewer wins this year.

Here is a look at the MAC Media Preseason Poll.

Mid-American Conference Media Poll
Pos. Team 1st Place Total
MAC East Division
1 Bowling Green 18 160
2t Akron 2 118
2t Ohio U 1 118
4 Massachusetts 3 113
5 Buffalo 0 70
6 Miami (O) 0 47
7 Kent St. 0 46
MAC West Division
1 Toledo 11 121
2 Western Michigan 8 120
3 Northern Illinois 4 113
4 Ball St. 0 66
5 Central Michigan 1 56
6 Eastern Michigan 0 28
2015 MAC Championship Game Winner: Toledo (9);
Western Michigan (8); Northern Illinois (6); Central Michigan (1).

The MAC Media did not vote on an official preseason All-Conference Team, so we have included the highest-rated players at each position according to our PiRate Ratings formula.

Conference USA Preseason All-Conference Team
Offense Player School
Quarterback Blake Frohnapfel Massachusetts
Running Back Kareem Hunt Toledo
Running Back Javion Franklin Western Michigan
Running Back Anthone Taylor Buffalo
Running Back Travis Greene Bowling Green
Wide Receiver Roger Lewis Bowling Green
Wide Receiver Tajae Sharp Massachusetts
Wide Receiver Corey Davis Western Michigan
Wide Receiver Ron Willoughby Buffalo
Tight End Rodney Mills Massachusetts
Offensive Line Andrew Ness Northern Illinois
Offensive Line James Kristof Western Michigan
Offensive Line Alex Huettel Bowling Green
Offensive Line Willie Beavers Western Michigan
Offensive Line Steven Bell Ball St.
Defense Player School
Defensive Line Trent Voss Toledo
Defensive Line Tarell Basham Ohio U
Defensive Line Perez Ford Northern Illinois
Defensive Line Pat O’Connor Eastern Michigan
Defensive Line Orion Jones Toledo
Linebacker Great Ibe Eastern Michigan
Linebacker Jatavis Brown Akron
Linebacker Jovan Santos-Knox Massachusetts
Defensive Back Paris Logan Northern Illinois
Defensive Back Randall Jette Massachusetts
Defensive Back Ronald Zamort Western Michigan
Defensive Back Nate Holley Kent St.
Defensive Back Tony Annese Central Michigan
Defensive Back Marlon Moore Northern Illinois
Special Teams Player School
Kicker Tyler Tate Bowling Green
Punter Anthony Melchiori Kent St.
Kick Returner Darius Phillips Western Michigan
Punt Returner Ryan Burbrink Bowling Green
Long Snapper Wyatt Pfeifer Western Michigan

Here is how our three PiRate Ratings and the average of the three look to begin the season.

Mid-American Conference
East Division
Team PiRate Mean Bias Average
Bowling Green 93.6 100.1 95.7 96.5
Ohio 89.7 94.1 91.0 91.6
Massachusetts 86.5 90.1 88.3 88.3
Akron 82.2 89.6 83.7 85.2
Kent St. 83.3 87.1 84.6 85.0
Buffalo 78.6 86.1 80.6 81.8
Miami (O) 75.8 83.1 75.9 78.3
West Division
Team PiRate Mean Bias Average
Western Michigan 96.7 98.1 97.9 97.6
Toledo 95.7 94.1 96.6 95.5
Northern Illinois 91.8 95.1 92.2 93.0
Ball St. 87.4 89.8 88.6 88.6
Central Michigan 80.1 86.6 81.9 82.9
Eastern Michigan 72.7 84.1 72.6 76.5
MAC Averages 85.7 90.6 86.9 87.7

Here is our PiRate Rating Predictions and Bowl Projections.

PiRate Ratings Predicted Records
Pos Team Conf. Overall Bowl
East Division
1 Bowling Green 7-1 7-6 ^ Boca Raton
2 Ohio U 5-3 7-5 Idaho Potato
3 Massachusetts 5-3 6-6 Bowl Elig.
4 Akron 5-3 6-6 At-Large
5 Kent St. 3-5 4-8 None
6 Buffalo 1-7 2-10 None
7 Miami (O) 1-7 2-10 None
West Division
1 Western Michigan 7-1 10-3 * GoDaddy
2 Toledo 6-2 9-3 Bahamas
3 Northern Illinois 6-2 8-4 Camellia
4 Ball St. 4-4 6-6 Bowl Elig.
5 Central Michigan 2-6 3-9 None
6 Eastern Michigan 0-8 1-11 None
* Wins Title Game
^ Loses Title Game
Bowl Elig. means the team will probably be left out of the bowls.

Coming up next: The Mountain West Conference

 

August 16, 2013

2013 Mid-American Conference Football Preview

2013 Mid-American Conference Preview

 

The MAC achieved special status last season, with two schools challenging for a BCS Bowl bid.  Kent State moved into prime position to grab that bowl with an 11-1 regular season that brought the Golden Flashes into the top 20 and just inside the parameters needed to steal a bid.

 

At the same time, Northern Illinois won 11 games in a row after an opening one-point loss at Iowa, and the Huskies moved into the top 20 as well.

 

In the MAC Championship Game, NIU bested Kent State in one of the most exciting conference championship games of all time.  The game went to double overtime, before the Huskies emerged victorious.  They earned an Orange Bowl bid to face Florida State, where they showed they really did not belong in a BCS Bowl.

 

Now, both of the two powers from 2012 must replace successful coaches who received nice pay increases to move to the big time.  Former NIU coach Dave Doeren now calls the shots at North Carolina St., while Kent State’s Darrell Hazell is the new man at Purdue.

 

2013 looks to be a typical year for the MAC, not one where one team should make a run toward a BCS Bowl bid, but one where as many as six teams could find themselves in a bowl at the end of the year.

 

This is one league that experiences no additions or departures.

 

Pre-season PiRate Ratings

 

Mid-American Conference  
East Division  
Team

Conf.

Overall

PiRate

Mean

Bias

 
Bowling Green

0-0

0-0

98.7

100.3

99.8

 
Buffalo

0-0

0-0

92.8

95.2

93.2

 
Ohio

0-0

0-0

91.9

97.8

93.4

 
Kent St.

0-0

0-0

89.5

93.8

90.1

 
Miami (O)

0-0

0-0

83.5

85.1

82.9

 
Akron

0-0

0-0

80.8

89.3

80.2

 
Massachusetts

0-0

0-0

70.6

81.1

70.2

 
     

 

 

 

 
West Division
Team

Conf.

Overall

PiRate

Mean

Bias

 
Toledo

0-0

0-0

98.6

98.3

99.2

 
Northern Illinois

0-0

0-0

97.8

97.0

99.6

 
Ball St.

0-0

0-0

97.1

99.3

98.3

 
Western Michigan

0-0

0-0

85.2

86.7

86.5

 
Central Michigan

0-0

0-0

84.4

89.9

84.6

 
Eastern Michigan

0-0

0-0

79.5

83.6

79.2

 
     

 

 

 

 
League Averages    

88.5

92.1

89.0

 

 

Official Pre-season Media Poll

 
MAC-East      

Pos

Team

Votes

1st Place

 

1

Ohio

164

15

 

2

Bowling Green

154

8

 

3

Kent St.

119

1

 

4

Buffalo

101

1

 

5

Miami (O)

78

0

 

6

Akron

53

0

 

7

Massachusetts

29

0

 
         
MAC-West      

Pos

Team

Votes

1st Place

 

1

Northern Illinois

138

16

 

2

Toledo

122

5

 

3

Ball St.

108

3

 

4

Central Michigan

67

1

 

5

Western Michigan

61

0

 

6

Eastern Michigan

29

0

 
         
MAC Championship Game Winner    

1

Northern Illinois

14

   

2

Toledo

3

   

3

Ohio

3

   

4

Bowling Green

2

   

5

Ball St.

2

   

6

Central Michigan

1

   

 

 

The Mid-American Conference does not announce a preseason All-MAC team.  In lieu, here are key players for each team:

 

MAC East

Akron: Cody Grice—DL, Malachi Freeman—DB, Jawon Chisholm—RB, Jerron Dillard—WR

 

Bowling Green: Matt Schilz—QB, Chris Gallon and Shaun Joplin—WR, Dominic Flewellyn—OL, Gabe Martin—LB

 

Buffalo: Branden Oliver—RB, Alex Neutz—WR, Khalil Mack—LB, Colby Way—DL, Najja Johnson—DB

 

Kent St.: Dri Archer and Trayion Durham—RB, Pat McShane—OL, Luke Wollet—DB, Roosevelt Nix—DL, Anthony Melchiori—P

 

Massachusetts: Mike Wegzyn—QB, Rob Blanchflower—TE, Colter Johnson—P

 

Miami (O): Dawan Scott—WR, Steve Marck—TE, Chris Wade—LB, Brison Burris and Dayonne Nunley—DB

 

Ohio: Tyler Tettleton—QB, Beau Blankenship—RB, Donte Foster—WR, John Prior—OL, Keith Moore—LB, Travis Carrie—DB

 

MAC West

Ball St.: Keith Wenning—QB, Jahwan Edwards—RB, Willie Snead and Jamill Smith—WR, Zane Fakes—TE, Jordan Hansel—OL, Jonathan Newsome and Nathan Ollie—DL, Eric Patterson and Jeffery Garrett—DB

 

Central Michigan: Zurlon Tipton—RB, Titus Davis—WR, Nick Beamish—OL, Justin Cherocci and Shamari Benton—LB

 

Eastern Michigan: Tyler Benz—QB, Bronson Hill—RB, Campbell Allison—OL, Donald Coleman—DB

 

Northern Illinois: Jordan Lynch—QB, Tommylee Lewis—WR, Tyler Loos, Jared Volk, Aidan Conlon, Andrew Ness, and Ryan Brown—OL, Jimmie Ward—DB, Jamaal Bass—LB, Mathew Sims—K

 

Toledo: Terrance Owens—QB, David Fluellen—RB, Bernard Reedy and Alzono Russell—WR, Greg Mancz—OL, Cheatham Norrils—DB, Trent Voss–LB (Reedy in return game)

 

Western Michigan: Tyler Van Tubbergen—QB, Jaime Wilson—WR, Johnnie Simon—LB/DB hybrid, Justin Currie—DB, Desmond Bozeman–LB

 

PiRate Ratings Summary

 

About Grades

93-100         A+

86-92           A

79-85           A-

72-78           B+

65-71           B

58-64           B-

51-57           C+

44-50           C

37-43           C-

30-36           D

0-29             F

 

About Predictions

Predictions are based on the PiRate Ratings with home field advantage factored in.  The PiRate Ratings use different home field advantages for every game, since the opponent factors into the equation.

 

EAST DIVISION

Team

Bowling Green Falcons

               
Head Coach

Dave Clawson

               
Colors

Orange and Brown

               
City

Bowling Green, OH

               
2012 Record              
Conference

6-2

Overall

8-5

               
Grades              
Run Offense

61

Pass Offense

72

Run Defense

63

Pass Defense

58

               
Ratings              
PiRate

98.7

Mean

100.3

Bias

99.8

               
Rankings              
PiRate

63

Mean

61

Bias

60

               
Prediction              
Conference

8-0

Overall

11-2 (win MAC title game)

 

 

Team

Buffalo Bulls

               
Head Coach

Jeff Quinn

               
Colors

Royal Blue and White

               
City

Buffalo

               
2012 Record              
Conference

3-5

Overall

4-8

               
Grades              
Run Offense

57

Pass Offense

62

Run Defense

58

Pass Defense

54

               
Ratings              
PiRate

92.8

Mean

95.2

Bias

93.2

               
Rankings              
PiRate

85

Mean

82

Bias

86

               
Prediction              
Conference

5-3

Overall

7-5

 

 

Team

Ohio Bobcats

               
Head Coach

Frank Solich

               
Colors

Hunter Green and White

               
City

Athens, OH

               
2012 Record              
Conference

4-4

Overall

9-4

               
Grades              
Run Offense

63

Pass Offense

67

Run Defense

52

Pass Defense

46

               
Ratings              
PiRate

91.9

Mean

97.8

Bias

93.4

               
Rankings              
PiRate

88

Mean

67

Bias

85

               
Prediction              
Conference

6-2

Overall

9-3

 

 

Team

Kent St. Golden Flashes

               
Head Coach

Paul Haynes

               
Colors

Blue and Gold

               
City

Kent, OH

               
2012 Record              
Conference

7-1

Overall

11-3

               
Grades              
Run Offense

75

Pass Offense

44

Run Defense

62

Pass Defense

44

               
Ratings              
PiRate

89.5

Mean

93.8

Bias

90.1

               
Rankings              
PiRate

94

Mean

88

Bias

94

               
Prediction              
Conference

4-4

Overall

6-6

 

 

Team

Miami (O) Redhawks

               
Head Coach

Don Treadwell

               
Colors

Red and White

               
City

Oxford, OH

               
2012 Record              
Conference

3-5

Overall

4-8

               
Grades              
Run Offense

36

Pass Offense

64

Run Defense

41

Pass Defense

48

               
Ratings              
PiRate

83.5

Mean

85.1

Bias

82.9

               
Rankings              
PiRate

111

Mean

116

Bias

112

               
Prediction              
Conference

3-5

Overall

3-9

 

 

Team

Akron Zips

               
Head Coach

Terry Bowden

               
Colors

 

               
City

Akron, OH

               
2012 Record              
Conference

0-8

Overall

1-11

               
Grades              
Run Offense

37

Pass Offense

59

Run Defense

38

Pass Defense

45

               
Ratings              
PiRate

80.8

Mean

89.3

Bias

80.2

               
Rankings              
PiRate

116

Mean

104

Bias

117

               
Prediction              
Conference

1-7

Overall

2-10

 

 

Team

Massachusetts Minutemen

               
Head Coach

Charley Molnar

               
Colors

Maroon and White

               
City

Amherst, MA

               
2012 Record              
Conference

1-7

Overall

1-11

               
Grades              
Run Offense

27

Pass Offense

40

Run Defense

35

Pass Defense

38

               
Ratings              
PiRate

70.6

Mean

81.1

Bias

70.2

               
Rankings              
PiRate

124

Mean

122

Bias

123

               
Prediction              
Conference

0-8

Overall

0-12

 

 

WEST DIVISION

Team

Toledo Rockets

               
Head Coach

Matt Campbell

               
Colors

Midnight Blue & Gold

               
City

Toledo, OH

               
2012 Record              
Conference

7-1

Overall

9-4

               
Grades              
Run Offense

62

Pass Offense

77

Run Defense

60

Pass Defense

54

               
Ratings              
PiRate

98.6

Mean

98.3

Bias

99.2

               
Rankings              
PiRate

65

Mean

65

Bias

64

               
Prediction              
Conference

6-2

Overall

8-4

 

 

Team

Northern Illinois Huskies

               
Head Coach

Rod Carey

               
Colors

Red and Black

               
City

DeKalb, IL

               
2012 Record              
Conference

8-0 (won MAC title game)

Overall

12-2

               
Grades              
Run Offense

71

Pass Offense

65

Run Defense

66

Pass Defense

52

               
Ratings              
PiRate

97.8

Mean

97.0

Bias

99.6

               
Rankings              
PiRate

70

Mean

74

Bias

61

               
Prediction              
Conference

7-1

Overall

9-4 (lose MAC title game)

 

 

Team

Ball St. Cardinals

               
Head Coach

Pete Lembo

               
Colors

Cardinal, Black, and White

               
City

Muncie, IN

               
2012 Record              
Conference

6-2

Overall

9-4

               
Grades              
Run Offense

64

Pass Offense

78

Run Defense

50

Pass Defense

54

               
Ratings              
PiRate

97.1

Mean

99.3

Bias

98.3

               
Rankings              
PiRate

73

Mean

63

Bias

69

               
Prediction              
Conference

7-1

Overall

10-2

 

 

Team

Western Michigan Broncos

               
Head Coach

P. J. Fleck

               
Colors

Brown & Gold (also Black & Silver)

               
City

Kalamazoo, MI

               
2012 Record              
Conference

2-6

Overall

4-8

               
Grades              
Run Offense

38

Pass Offense

69

Run Defense

39

Pass Defense

49

               
Ratings              
PiRate

85.2

Mean

86.7

Bias

86.5

               
Rankings              
PiRate

107

Mean

110

Bias

101

               
Prediction              
Conference

3-5

Overall

4-8

 

 

Team

Central Michigan Chippewas

               
Head Coach

Dan Enos

               
Colors

Maroon and Gold

               
City

Mt. Pleasant, MI

               
2012 Record              
Conference

4-4

Overall

7-6

               
Grades              
Run Offense

53

Pass Offense

57

Run Defense

40

Pass Defense

46

               
Ratings              
PiRate

84.4

Mean

89.9

Bias

84.6

               
Rankings              
PiRate

109

Mean

102

Bias

109

               
Prediction              
Conference

2-6

Overall

3-9

 

 

Team

Eastern Michigan Eagles

               
Head Coach

Ron English

               
Colors

Dark Green and White

               
City

Ypsilanti, MI

               
2012 Record              
Conference

1-7

Overall

2-10

               
Grades              
Run Offense

58

Pass Offense

35

Run Defense

39

Pass Defense

48

               
Ratings              
PiRate

79.5

Mean

83.6

Bias

79.2

               
Rankings              
PiRate

119

Mean

118

Bias

120

               
Prediction              
Conference

0-8

Overall

1-11

 

December 26, 2010

PiRate Ratings College Football Bowl Preview, Part Two

We are posting three bowl previews this year; this is the second preview.  We will give you the current odds for each game, the PiRate, Mean, and Bias spreads for each game, and the results of our 100 computer simulations for each game.

 

Today, we cover the bowls from Boxing Day through New Year’s Day.  Next week, we will preview the bowls from January 2 to the Championship Game. 

 

Sunday, December 26

Little Caesar’s Bowl

Detroit, MI

8:30 PM EST on ESPN

Toledo (8-4)  vs. Florida Internationl (6-6)

Vegas: Toledo by 1

Totals: 57

PiRate: Toledo by 3.3

Mean: Toledo by 2.8

Bias: Toledo by 16.8

100 Sims: Toledo 67  Florida International 33

Avg. Sim Score: Toledo 33.6  Florida International 25.7

Outlier A: Toledo 49  Florida International 19

Outlier B: Florida International 37  Toledo 24

 

Monday, December 27

Independence Bowl

Shreveport, LA

5:00 PM EST on ESPN

Air Force (8-4)  vs.  Georgia Tech (6-6)

Vegas: Air Force by 2 ½  

Totals: 56

PiRate: Georgia Tech by 1.7

Mean: Air Force by 5.2

Bias: Air Force by 5.9

100 Sims: Air Force 55  Georgia Tech 45

Avg. Sim Score: Air Force 29.2  Georgia Tech 26.9

Outlier A: Air Force 41  Georgia Tech 23

Outlier B: Georgia Tech 34  A Force 23

 

Tuesday, December 28

Champs Sports Bowl

Orlando, FL

6:30 PM EST on ESPN

West Virginia (9-3)  vs. North Carolina State (8-4)

Vegas: West Virginia by 2 ½

Totals: 49

PiRate: West Virginia by 6.8

Mean: West Virginia by 2.3

Bias: West Virginia by 3.0

100 Sims: West Virginia 53  North Carolina State 47 (6 games decided by OT)

Avg. Sim Score: West Virginia 25.8  North Carolina State 25.2

Outlier A: West Virginia 27  North Carolina State 10

Outlier B: North Carolina State 28  West Virginia 12

 

Insight Bowl

Tempe, AZ

10:00 PM EST

Missouri (10-2)  vs.  Iowa (7-5)

Vegas: Missouri by 2 ½

Totals: 46 ½

PiRate: Even

Mean: Missouri by 4.1

Bias: Missouri by 12.6

100 Sims: Missouri 58  Iowa 42

Avg. Sim Score: Missouri 25.6  Iowa 22.3

Outlier A: Missouri 31  Iowa 13

Outlier B: Iowa 21  Missouri 7

 

Wednesday, December 29

Military Bowl

Washington, D.C.

2:30 PM on EST

Maryland (8-4)  vs. East Carolina (6-6)

Vegas: Maryland by 7 ½

Totals: 68 ½

PiRate: Maryland by 18.4

Mean: Maryland by 11.2

Bias: Maryland by 13.8

100 Sims: East Carolina 51  Maryland 49

Avg. Sim Score: Maryland 34.4  East Carolina 34.1

Outlier A: East Carolina 47  Maryland 31

Outlier B: Maryland 42  East Carolina 20

 

Texas Bowl

Houston, TX

6:00 PM EST on ESPN

Baylor (7-5)  vs. Illinois (6-6)

Vegas: Baylor by 1

Totals: 62 ½

PiRate: Baylor by 2.4

Mean: Illinois by 1.6

Bias: Baylor by 6.9

100 Sims: Illinois 54  Baylor 46

Avg. Sim Score: Illinois 32.1  Baylor 28.6

Outlier A: Illinois 34  Baylor 17

Outlier B: Baylor 28  Illinois 18

 

Alamo Bowl

San Antonio, TX

9:15 PM EST on ESPN

Oklahoma State (10-2)  vs. Arizona (7-5)

Vegas: Oklahoma State by 5 ½

Totals: 66

PiRate: Oklahoma State by 1.1

Mean: Oklahoma State by 6.1

Bias: Oklahoma State by 9.6

100 Sims: Oklahoma State 61  Arizona 39

Avg. Sim Score: Oklahoma State 38.0  Arizona 29.1

Outlier A: Oklahoma State 51  Arizona 27

Outlier B: Arizona 34  Oklahoma State 28 (and one other 6-point spread)

 

Thursday, December 30

Armed Forces Bowl

Dallas, TX

12:00 Noon EST on ESPN

S M U (7-6)  vs. Army (6-6)

Vegas: S M U by 7

Totals: 52

PiRate: S M U by 7.7

Mean: S M U by 3.2

Bias: S M U by 10.6

100 Sims: S M U 64  Army 36

Avg. Sim Score: S M U 28.2  Army 20.6

Outlier A: S M U 34  Army 10

Outlier B: Army 24  S M U 16

 

Pinstripe Bowl

New York, NY

3:20 PM EST

Syracuse (7-5)  vs. Kansas State (7-5)

Vegas: Pick’em

Totals: 47 ½

PiRate: Syracuse by 1.5

Mean: Kansas State by 4.6

Bias: Syracuse by 2.3

100 Sims: Syracuse 53  Kansas State 47

Avg. Sim Score: Syracuse 20.1  Kansas State 18.6

Outlier A: Syracuse 24  Kansas State 7

Outlier B: Kansas State 17  Syracuse 3

 

Music City Bowl

Nashville, TN

6:30 PM EST

Tennessee (6-6)  vs. North Carolina (7-5)

Vegas: North Carolina by 1 ½  

Totals: 50 ½

PiRate: North Carolina by 6.8

Mean: North Carolina by 1.5

Bias: Tennessee by 6.6

100 Sims: Tennessee 50  North Carolina 50

Avg. Sim Score: Tennessee 24.5  North Carolina 23.9

Outlier A: Tennessee 30  North Carolina 14

Outlier B: North Carolina 27  Tennessee 12

 

Holiday Bowl

San Diego, CA

10:00 PM EST

Nebraska (10-3)  vs. Washington (6-6)

Vegas: Nebraska by 14

Totals: 52 ½

PiRate: Nebraska by 11.8

Mean: Nebraska by 11.5

Bias: Nebraska by 5.3

100 Sims: Nebraska 57  Washington 43

Avg. Sim Score: Nebraska 26.1  Washington 19.3

Outlier A: Nebraska 27  Washington 6

Outlier B: Washington 23  Nebraska 14

 

Friday, December 31

Meineke Car Care Bowl

Charlotte, NC

12:00 Noon EST

South Florida (7-5)  vs. Clemson (6-6)

Vegas: Clemson by 5 ½

Totals: 40 ½

PiRate: Clemson by 5.1

Mean: Clemson by 3.7

Bias: South Florida by 6.1

100 Sims: South Florida 58  Clemson 42

Avg. Sim Score: South Florida 25.1  Clemson 19.2

Outlier A: South Florida 31  Clemson 12

Outlier B: Clemson 28  South Florida 16

 

Sun Bowl

El Paso, TX

2:00 PM EST on CBS

Notre Dame (7-5)  vs. Miami (Fl) (7-5)

Vegas: Miami by 3

Totals: 47

PiRate: Miami by 6.3

Mean: Notre Dame by 1.2

Bias: Miami by 6.0

100 Sims: Notre Dame 52  Miami 48

Avg. Sim Score: Notre Dame 23.4  Miami 23.2

Outlier A: Notre Dame 30  Miami 14

Outlier B: Miami 35  Notre Dame 14

 

Liberty Bowl

Memphis, TN

3:30 PM EST on ESPN

Central Florida (10-3)  vs. Georgia (6-6)

Vegas: Georgia by 6 ½

Totals: 55 ½

PiRate: Georgia by 12.8

Mean: Georgia by 5.3

Bias: Georgia by 11.3

100 Sims: Georgia 72  Central Florida 28

Avg. Sim Score: Georgia 28.6  Central Florida 17.3

Outlier A: Georgia 38  Central Florida 10

Outlier B: Central Florida 24  Georgia 19

 

Chick-fil-A Bowl

Atlanta, GA

7:30 PM EST on ESPN

South Carolina (9-4)  vs. Florida State (9-4)

Vegas: South Carolina by 3

Totals: 55

PiRate: Florida State by 0.4

Mean: South Carolina by 0.5

Bias: Florida State by 1.6

100 Sims: Florida State 52  South Carolina 48

Avg. Sim Score: South Carolina 26.7  Florida State 26.6

Outlier A: Florida State 30  South Carolina 16

Outlier B: South Carolina 44  Florida State 17

 

Saturday, January 1

TicketCity Bowl

Dallas, TX

12:00 Noon EST on ESPN-U

Texas Tech (7-5)  vs. Northwestern (7-5)

Vegas: Texas Tech by 10

Totals: 60

PiRate: Texas Tech by 12.5

Mean: Texas Tech by 7.3

Bias: Texas Tech by 9.6

100 Sims: Texas Tech 86  Northwestern 14

Avg. Sim Score: Texas Tech 34.6  Northwestern 21.2

Outlier A: Texas Tech 45  Northwestern 17

Outlier B: Northwestern 30  Texas Tech 24 (3 other by 6)

 

Outback Bowl

Tampa, FL

1:00 PM EST on ABC

Florida (7-5) vs. Penn State (7-5)

Vegas: Florida by 7 ½  

Totals: 48

PiRate: Florida by 13.2

Mean: Florida by 5.1

Bias: Florida by 5.5

100 Sims: Florida 54  Penn State 46

Avg. Sim Score: Florida 22.6  Penn State 19.8

Outlier A: Florida 28  Penn State 13

Outlier B: Penn State 21  Florida 10

 

Capital One Bowl

Orlando, FL

1:00 PM EST on ESPN

Michigan State (11-1) vs.  Alabama (9-3)

Vegas: Alabama by 10

Totals: 52 ½

PiRate: Alabama by 15.5

Mean: Alabama by 10.4

Bias: Alabama by 3.2

100 Sims: Alabama 59  Michigan State 41

Avg. Sim Score: Alabama 27.6  Michigan State 24.7

Outlier A: Alabama 31  Michigan State 12

Outlier B: Michigan State 35  Alabama 25

 

Gator Bowl

Jacksonville, FL

1:30 PM EST on ESPN2

Mississippi State (8-4)  vs.  Michigan (7-5)

Vegas: Mississippi State by 5 ½

Totals: 61

PiRate: Mississippi State by 10.3

Mean: Mississippi State by 6.3

Bias: Mississippi State by 4.8

100 Sims: Mississippi State 52  Michigan 48

Avg. Sim Score: Mississippi State 33.7  Michigan 30.1

Outlier A: Mississippi State 38  Michigan 20

Outlier B: Michigan 36  Mississippi State 27

 

Rose Bowl

Pasadena, CA

5:00 PM EST on ESPN

T C U (12-0)  vs. Wisconsin (11-1)

Vegas: T C U by 3

Totals: 58 ½

PiRate: T C U by 7.9

Mean: T C U by 5.8

Bias: Wisconsin by 6.6

100 Sims: Wisconsin 54  T C U 46

Avg. Sim Score: Wisconsin 30.4  T C U 28.8

Outlier A: Wisconsin 40  T C U 24

Outlier B: T C U 34  Wisconsin 24

 

Fiesta Bowl

Glendale, AZ

8:30 PM EST

Oklahoma (11-2)  vs. Connecticut (8-4)

Vegas: Oklahoma by 16 1/2

Totals: 55

PiRate: Oklahoma by 19.7

Mean: Oklahoma by 16.2

Bias: Oklahoma by 20.7

100 Sims: Oklahoma 91  Connecticut 9

Avg. Sim Score: Oklahoma 35.3  Connecticut 14.8

Outlier A: Oklahoma 49  Connecticut 7

Outlier B: Connecticut 27  Oklahoma 23

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