The computer picks Northern Illinois to claim back-to-back conference titles by taking down Miami in the championship game at Detroit. Last year, NIU downed Kent State for the title to add to the school's trophies from 2021, 2018, 2014, 2012 and 2011.
The Congrove Computer Rankings indicate that the West is, by far, the stronger division with five of the six teams potentially qualifying for the postseason. Only Bowling Green is expected to join Miami as a bowl eligible member among the six East division programs.
If Bowling Green does manage to achieve the projected 6-6 record, it would be that school's first year over .500 since Dino Babers won consecutive East division titles in 2014 and 2015 in his only two seasons with the Falcons. That 2015 team also won the MAC Championship by defeating NIU.
Kent State enters the season on a 9-game home winning streak, but loses 12 starters. The departures include QB Dustin Crum who passed for 3,187 yards and 20 TD's, and ran for 967 yards and 12 TD's. The FlashFAST offense does return its top two rushers and leading receiver from a year ago.
Kent State opens with a brutal non-conference slate that features visits to Washington, Oklahoma and Georgia in September. Their conference slate isn't kind, either, with visits to Miami, Toledo and Bowling Green.
Akron is the only MAC school with a new head coach in 2022. Tom Arth was fired on November 4 after he spent just 27 games as head coach. Akron was 2-7 at the time and finished 2-10, losing its final three games under interim head coach Oscar Rodriguez, Jr. When Oregon offensive coordinator Joe Moorhead was named as his replacement on December 4, he was fresh off a second crushing loss to Utah in three weeks, falling 38-10 in the PAC-12 title game after losing 38-7 two weeks prior. Moorhead has had two previous stints as a head coach, spending just two seasons in that position at Mississippi State where he was 14-12 over-all and 3-9 in the SEC in 2018-2019, and four seasons at FCS member Fordham where he had a sterling 38-13 record with an 11-1 mark in the Patriot League and 3 FCS playoff appearances.
|*Northern Illinois defeats Miami (O) in the MAC Championship game in Detroit|