THE FAVORITE Bowling Green returns the most starters in the MAC, including its entire set of skill-position players on offense and the entire secondary on defense. That bodes well in a league where offenses tend to outpace defenses.
THE HOPEFULS Central Michigan is the two-time defending champ and will be in the hunt for an unprecedented third consecutive title. Miami ( Ohio) and Ball State have playmakers.
GAMES TO WATCH Minnesota at BGSU, Sept. 6
Western Michigan at Central Michigan, Oct. 18
Miami (Ohio) at BGSU, Oct. 18
BSU at C. Michigan, Nov. 19
Miami at Toledo, Nov. 21
PLAYERS TO WATCH Offense | Eugene Jarvis, RB, Kent State
Defense | Barry Church, SS, Toledo
PREDICTIONS EastWest1. B. Green1. C. Michigan2. Miami (Ohio)2. W. Michigan3. Temple3. N. Illinois4. Buffalo4. Toledo5. Kent State5. Ball State6. Akron6. E. Michigan7. OhioRUNNING BACK Another little-known running back among the most productive ever is Miami of Ohio's Travis Prentice, who owns the NCAA record for rushing TDs (73) and is sixth all-time in rushing yards (5,596).
RUNNING FORWARD Kent State's Eugene Jarvis is the nation's leading returning rusher with 1,669 yards. Matching that will be a challenge as he will be the focus of opposing defenses.