Handicapping the MAC West race

4 teams are still in the race to win the West Division of the Mid-American Conference:


Ball State (7-7)
Remaining games: @ WMU, vs EMU

Both BSU and WMU are in must-win situations right now, so I'm going to have to give the Broncos the advantage.  They return home to play, while Ball St plays their 2nd straight road game in Kalamazoo.

The question becomes, "Can EMU beat Ball State on the road?"  Well, anything is possible in the MAC and the Eagles had a recent victory over BG on the road and just beat CMU yesterday on the road.  I'll give BSU the benefit of the doubt against the worst team currently in the MAC.

Western Michigan (6-8)
Remaining games: vs Ball St, vs CMU

WMU already beat CMU on the road and should take care of their rivals at their emotional home finale against the Chips.

Central Michigan (5-9)
Remaining games: vs Toledo, @ WMU

Even though Toledo beat CMU earlier in the season, I just don't think they can do it again coming off an emotional victory over Western.  Central knows that they are still in this thing and will bounce back from their home loss to EMU.

Northern Illinois (5-9)
Remaining games: @ EMU, @ Toledo

EMU will be a little too full of themselves after upsetting CMU on the road when they get the on-fire Huskies who have won 4 out of their last 5 games.  The finale against Toledo will be a tough one on the road, but by then the Huskies will have the resolve and the motivation to beat the rockets.  We absolutely dominated them earlier in the season.  Our defense has been very good as of lately.


Now I'm not a professional handicapper by any means, but here are the final MAC West standings that I came up with:

Ball State (8-8)
Western Michigan (8-8)
Northern Illinois (7-9)
Central Michigan (6-10)
Toledo (4-12)
Eastern Michigan (4-12)


I don't know what it is about Western Michigan, I just like their chances with the schedule that they have.  The Ball St-WMU game on Wednesday is turning out to be one of the more pivotal games this entire season.  If Ball State wins that game they will end up winning the division, but I don't think they can win on the road against Western.

Ball State already has one win against WMU 50-44 at home.  Another feather they have in their cap is their win against Buffalo.  If the UB Bulls end up winning the East, that becomes the second tie-breaker for the #2 seed in the MAC Tourney reserved for the MAC West Champ.

Although I am disappointed by NIU not having a good chance at becoming champions after all of this, but if everything goes well their expectations for this season will be surpassed.  All of this is gravy until the MAC Tourney seedings are announced after the regular season is over.

So who needs to lose for NIU to become MAC West co-champs?

Ball State (twice, @ WMU & EMU) and WMU (once, against CMU).  CMU also has to lose to Toledo.  Not very likely at all that this will all happen, but hey anything can happen in this wacky MAC.

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