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September 21, 2012

BroncoBlitz picks the MAC: Week Four

Overall, it was a down week for us. David went 10-0 on straight up picks, but overall the staff ended up at just 12-15 against the spread and a comparatively weak 24-6 straight up. We did get a pretty wide variety of records for the first time this year as games become harder to pick.

SU = Straight up
ATS = Against the spread

David James: 31-4 SU (10-0 last week), 15-11-1 ATS (5-4)
D.J. Duckett: 26-9 SU (6-4), 14-13 ATS (3-6)
Brian Persky: 29-6 SU (8-2), 15-11-1 ATS (4-5)

Bowling Green at Virginia Tech (-17.5)

David: Virginia Tech's loss to lowly Pitt was a shocker to say the least. Bowling Green has enough to hang around, but my bet is that VT is fired up to show that last week wasn't the real Hokie team. Tech by 24

D.J.: Bowling Green is facing a tough test this week, and I don't foresee this one being very close. Virginia Tech is just too much to handle for Bowling Green. The Hokies will be looking to take their frustrations from last week out here. Tech will score early and often in this one. Tech by 18

Brian: Bowling Green is nearly the MAC's mirrored image of Virginia Tech this season. This is an intriguing matchup, but after watching Bowling Green against Toledo last week, I cannot confidently pick an upset here. The Hokies are just too strong on defense and special teams. Tech by 20

Central Michigan at Iowa (-14.5)

David: Iowa certainly doesn't look like world-beaters. Between their struggles with supposedly lesser opponents and the Chippewas coming off a bye week, this one stays close the whole way. Iowa by 10

D.J.: Iowa may have been watching the MSU vs. CMU game last week, and even if they weren't, there's certainly tape on how to take down the Chips. I think Iowa will coast to a victory as Central's woes continue this week. One thing of note: CMU is the only team in the NCAA who has not been penalized. Iowa by 17

Brian: A very winnable game for the Chips. Dan Enos and company has had two weeks to prepare for a familiar Big Ten opponent. Despite Central Michigan's early season struggles, I expect the Chips to battle Iowa every step of the way. Iowa has had their fair share of struggles also against relatively weak opponents. If this game isn't close, Dan Enos' seat gets even warmer. I think CMU keeps it interesting, but in the end, Iowa's defense is just too strong and physical. Iowa by 7

UMass at Miami (-24.5)

David: The first MAC game in UMass history comes at a Miami team that is still looking to get their aerial game going. I haven't been overly impressed with the RedHawks, but I don't have any confidence in UMass at this point. Miami by 28

D.J.: UMass travels to Fred C Yager Stadium looking for the W this week, and I don't see them coming home with one. Massachusetts has struggled since their big move, and I don't see this being the game where they get on track. Miami by 21

Brian: The Redhawks have a friendly MAC home opener in Oxford and I expect them to roll offensively against an unconfident UMass squad. We may not find the Minutemen in a close game until the month of November. Miami by 28

Eastern Michigan at Michigan State (-32)

David: EMU looks totally lost right now, and MSU will have some edge to their game coming off a rough loss to Notre Dame. MSU by 40

D.J.: MSU will beat up on another MAC team this week and the Eagles fall victim. I think the Spartans will continue to impress at home and leave no doubt that they are one of the top teams in the nation. MSU by 28

Brian: If you thought the Central Michigan game was bad... this one's at home for Sparty. Ron English might want to just wave the white flag now. MSU by 42

Kansas at Northern Illinois (-9)

David: I would normally be very wary of a line that favors a MAC team by more than a score over a BCS opponent. But NIU at home against a struggling Jayhawk squad? It sounds about right. NIU by 13

D.J.: This game should be very close. I don't know if Jordan Lynch can lead the Huskies to victory, but I think they will be able to keep it close. I expect a high scoring affair, with the Jayhawks pulling ahead late to take home the win. Kansas by 7

Brian: Finally, a MAC "upset" pick this week that I'm feeling (sort of) confident about. The Jayhawks are really struggling this year and the Huskies have looked better than advertised. These two teams match up pretty well, but I like the Huskies at home in this one. NIU by 10

South Florida (-9) at Ball State

David: I don't know that USF is anything special this year, but I don't like Ball State's recent history against BCS teams not named Indiana. USF by 17

D.J.: Ball State might be thinking upset at home but I don't see them having the tools to get it done. USF is looking to bounce back after a disappointing loss to Rutgers, and I think they do so in this match up. USF by 10

Brian: This is a tough matchup for a Ball State team that is probably feeling very confident coming off an emotional win against IU last weekend. I think the Bulls are just too athletic and too talented for the Cardinals to handle. This should be a relatively easy one for South Florida. USF by 24

Akron at Tennessee (-33)

David: Akron is playing better already this year, but I don't like the matchup on the road in SEC country. Tennessee is a bit better than the past couple years. Tennessee by 38

D.J.: The Zips travel to SEC country this week and hope they will come out alive. I see the Vols putting on quite a passing show in front of its home fans. Tennessee by 35

Brian: Tennessee should have no problems with the Zips. The Vols will jump out to a huge early lead and I don't expect them to look back. Tennessee by 31

Coastal Carolina at Toledo (no line)

David: Toledo is flying high and should end this one early against an overmatched FCS team. Toledo by 40

D.J.: No chance CC threatens the strong Rockets team. Rockets in a landslide. Toledo by 40

Brian: I expect Toledo to "coast" to an easy victory against the Chanticleers. This is essentially a tune-up game for the Rockets before MAC play begins next weekend in Kalamazoo. Toledo by 25

Norfolk State at Ohio (no line)

David: There's a potential for Ohio to take a week off here, but I don't think it even matters that much. NSU hails from maybe the worst conference in FCS and isn't going to dominate it, either. Ohio by 45

D.J.: Ohio's quest for an unbeaten season continues… and I don't see them having trouble this week. The Bobcats will run all over. For a more important prediction, Tyler Tettleton will set the all-time school TD record this week. Stamp it. Ohio by 35

Brian: A potential let-down 1st half for the Bobcats if they overlook the Spartans here but I think they'll quickly overcome that and win big. Ohio by 24

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