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MAC Picks, Week 1

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In case you haven't heard, it's the start of the college football season. That means it's time for the weekly installment of Mid-American Conference picks.

As always, these are for recreational purposes only. Games are picked straight up, not against the spread. My pick for the NIU game every week will appear in a separate post on the day of the game.

One more thing to remember: I'm awful at picking games, so much so that NIU President Dr. John Peters told me last year that he enjoyed reading my picks so he knew which teams not to go with. Touché, Dr. Peters.

That's why I'm out to avenge my record from last season. Without further ado, my picks for this week.

Today:
Troy at Bowling Green, 6 p.m:

Troy knows how to win these games and I like Troy's skill players to put up big numbers. Pick: Troy 31, Bowling Green 17

Coastal Carolina at Kent State, 6 p.m:

More and more college football coaches are bemoaning the fact that they don't have a preseason like the NFL. They can't get their teams properly prepared, they say. Kent State seems to have found a way around this. Pick: Kent State 38, Coastal Carolina 10

Villanova at Temple, 6 p.m:

I like this game much more on the hardwood. Pick: Temple 28, Villanova 14

North Texas at Ball State, 6:30 p.m:

A lot of people are putting the Cardinals on upset alert here. I like North Texas quarterback Riley Dodge and his background suggests he'll be a winner. Ball State wins, but it's close. Pick: Ball State 28, North Texas 24

Saturday:
Miami (Ohio) at Kentucky (at Paul Brown Stadium, Cincinnati), 11 a.m:

Forget the result, I want to know the paychecks these two programs are walking away with. Pick: Kentucky 34, Miami (Ohio) 14

Akron at Penn State, 11 a.m:

One of the easiest games to pick here. Pick: Penn State 51, Akron 10

Toledo at Purdue, 11 a.m:

NIU fans will be very interested to watch how this one plays out. I'm going with the Boilermakers at home. Pick: Purdue 27, Toledo 17

Western Michigan at Michigan, 2:30 p.m:

Last week, I would have said Michigan starts its climb back to credibility with a win to open the season. But with multiple allegations from multiple fronts on Michigan coach Rich Rodriguez this week, it's too much of a distraction. Don't forget that Michigan is still figuring out its quarterback situation, while Tim Hiller is ready to go. Broncos in an upset. Pick: Western Michigan 21, Michigan 20

Connecticut at Ohio, 6 p.m:

This could turn into one of the better games on the schedule. Ohio makes it close. Pick: Connecticut 35, Ohio 31

Army at Eastern Michigan, 6 p.m:

I think the Ron English era starts off in the right direction, but it will be one of only a few victories for the Eagles this season. Pick: Eastern Michigan 34, Army 27

Buffalo at UTEP, 8 p.m.

A month ago, Buffalo was a lock for this game. Without running back James Starks, I still think the Bulls win, but it's going to be by a razor-thin margin. Pick: Buffalo 14, UTEP 13

Central Michigan at Arizona, 8 p.m:

I've gone back-and-forth on this one a few times. Arizona is certainly beatable, but I'm going to take the team that doesn't have the long flight to the game.Pick: Arizona 38, Central Michigan 35

By the way, sign up for our college football Pick 'Em. The winner receives a Bears lounger valued at $599.99.

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