MAC Conference West Division Football Preview for 2020:
Heading into the first week of November 2020 only two conferences have yet to get underway in this unusually scheduled 2020 football season that has been impacted by the pandemic. One of those two conferences is the MAC. Below I give a quick hitter report on each of the six teams in the Mid-American Conference West Division:
Ball State – The Cardinals have a lot of talent but their last 3 losses last season came by a combined 8 points. They struggle to win close games and one of the concerns coming into this season is they appear thin at defensive line and this is a Ball State team which had a rough season on defense last year.
Central Michigan – A lot of talent on the offensive side of the ball but will a solid quarterback be able to step up? There is certainly a ton of talent at the other skill positions on offense. Might be good to look at overs in the Chippewas games as the defense lost a lot of starters from last year.
Eastern Michigan – This team lost a ton of talent from last year’s team. The players the Eagles lost were key players so this may seem hard to believe but an Eastern Michigan team that won 6 games last season and went to a bowl is truly in rebuild mode this season. I expect them to finish near or at the very bottom of the MAC West.
Northern Illinois – This team is likely to finish near the bottom of the division this season. The Huskies are coming off back to back years where they simply have suffered a lot of key losses from their roster. This is the season it catches up with them.
Toledo – Mediocre the last two seasons but the Rockets should be soaring again this season. At least in terms of being the top team in the West Division. Toledo had a great ground attack on offense last season but it was the defense that let this team down. Now this season the Rockets return a lot of veteran experience on defense and that should pay off with a much stronger season on that side of the ball.
Western Michigan – The Broncos are a tough team to call because they do appear to be solid in the trenches as both lines look strong. But, on offense, they lost key pieces at quarterback and running back and that could hold this team back. If Western Michigan finds some answers there, this is a team that could challenge the Rockets for the top spot in the West. However, if they struggle in those areas this team could easily drop down to as low as 4th too. In a short 6-game MAC season this is something to watch closely in the early going.