The Mid-American Conference will have a tight race in 2020 as six teams are tightly bunched ananas makers Futures board, with the buffalo bulls tagged as the +275 favorite but the next five teams are all between +600 and +800 making this one of the most tightly contested conferences in the Group of 5.
Buffalo finished last season 8-5 overall and 5-3 in the MAC and will have quarterback Kyle Vantrease and running back Jaret Patterson returning as the top offensive players while linebacker James Patterson, defensive end Malcolm Koonce and free safety Tyrone Hill return to anchor the defense. Last season as a sophomore Patterson averaged 186 yards per games rushing and gained a phenomenal 298 yards with six touchdowns against Bowling Green. Patterson finished the season with 1,799 yards. The ground game will once again dominate the Bulls offense.
Toledo has the second best odds to win the MAC title at +600 and in 2019 was 6-6 overall and 3-5 in conference play. The top players returning for the Rockets on offense are running back Bryant Koback and wide receiver Bryce Mitchell, while on defense cornerback Sam Womack and Nickle back Saeed Holt anchor that side of the ball. Although Toledo must replace its quarterback, the offense will rely on running back Kobach who rushed for 1,187 yards last season while two returning wide receivers combined for 1,294 yards. Toledo's defense will be a weak link but should be good enough to allow the Rockets to outscore most of their opponents.
The Central Michigan Chippewas are one of four teams in the MAC with odds of +600 to win the conference title. In 2019, the Chippewas were 8-6 overall and 6-2 in the MAC. On offense the top returning player is wide receiver JaCorey Sullivan, while the defense has returning stars in linebacker Troy Brown, defensive tackle Robi Stewart and defensive end LaQuan Johnson. Due to injuries and suspensions Central Michigan could play its entire non-conference schedule without a tested quarterback but Colby Lewis returns at running back after averaging 5.9 yards-per-carry in 2019 and the receiver corps has four talented returning players from a season ago. Nevertheless, the Chippewas will rely on a defense that should be one of the best in the conference.
The odds for the remaining teams in the Mid-American Conference are Western Michigan (+600), Miami-Ohio (+600), Ohio (+800), Ball State (+900), Northern Illinois (+1000), Kent State (+1200), Eastern Michigan (+2500), Bowling Green (+10000) and Akron (+15000).
Buffalo has the best shot at winning the Mid-American Conference thanks to an array of returning players on a strong offensive unit led by Quarterback Kyle Vantrease and running back Jaret Patterson. The Bulls schedule outside of the MAC includes trips to Ohio State and Kansas State which will help the Bulls when they face their conference schedule in the East Division including a road trip to Ohio, its biggest rival in the east. In December, the Buffalo Bulls will be crowned the Mid-American Conference champions.