It's something about flipping the calendar to August that just puts a glimmer in your eye knowing football is coming, and coming fast. You wait all summer to finally get back on the gridiron and once you do it moves so fast you blink and before you know it, it's a freezing cold Tuesday night and you got 3 screens going for MAC games sweating out spreads, totals, and screaming at sophomores who just dropped another pass. It's glorious.
Let's head to social media's favorite conference for this week's win total. The MAC.
Northern Illinois OVER 6.5 WINS -134
As you see in the video above this is the conference defending champion who shocked the conference after a winless 2020 campaign. The Huskies almost seem disrespected with their win total. This is a team who returns 9 on each side of the ball, the defense does need to be the one big area of improvement (33.7 ppg allowed last year). I do think experienced starters will make a difference this year. Safety CJ Brown and CB Jordan Gandy are both predicted as pre-season first team all conference.
The offense is anchored by QB Rocky Lombardi 2500+ passing yards, 500+ rushing yards and 9 rushing touchdowns last season. RB Harrison Waylee had a great freshman year last year (114.8 yards per game) and will now be the feature back as Jay Ducker has transferred. 4 of the top 5 WR's from last season return , and Head Coach Thomas Hammock has said the Offensive Line depth chart has "10 quality players", with 4 starters back.
The schedule is always a factor in picking Overs and Unders and although challenging, I like what I see on paper for the Huskies.
The No Doubt, Must Win Games: Eastern Illinois, @ Ball St, @ E.Michigan, Akron
The Likely Will Be Favored In Games: Vandy (analysts say don't be surprised if N.Ill is as much as a touchdown favorite), @ Ohio, C.Michigan, Miami OH
Even a split in the Favored Games puts me at 6 wins with the 4 Must Win Games.
Swing Games: Toledo and @ W.Michigan
The For Sure Loss: @ Kentucky
I love this Over because of this schedule. Miami OH, Toledo, and C.Mich are all contenders in The MAC and they get all of them at home.
This next stat can go both ways. Northern Illinois was 7-2 in one score games last year. Now that shows me they can succeed in a dog fight, but worries me a little they caught a few bounces the right way.
Regardless, I do believe they are at the top of this conference, and will exceed their win total.
Bonus : Northern Illinois +850 To Win The MAC is a play also. Wayyyyyyyy too high a number for a team that could repeat as champions.
Obligatory #MACTION video (ALL TIME VIDEO)