Editor's note: This story was updated in late July to reflect the latest projections and changes to teams and rosters.
Eleven of the MAC's 12 current teams have reached the conference championship game at some point. Nine have won it. If you are a fan of raw and ridiculous parity, the Mid-American Conference is the league for you. While FBS non-independents played an average of 3.6 conference games that were decided by one score last season, MAC teams averaged 4.8. Those midweek MACtion games we all love in November? Eleven of 17 finished within a touchdown. This is a conference based on drama and evenness, and that might have never been more true than in 2022.
Mind you, the MAC could stand to be a little better. It has had the worst average SP+ rating for five straight years, and MAC teams went just 2-19 against power-conference opponents last season. (Their victims were Arizona State and Northwestern, which combined to go 4-20.) Smallish budgets and a packed-in recruiting area force teams to make great hires to stand out, but those great hires leave, and when their replacements are merely decent, the product suffers.
Mediocre or no, the product could be pretty even again in the East in 2023. But if there's a standout, the best odds are on either Miami, Buffalo or defending champ Ohio. Let's preview the MAC East!
Every week through the offseason, Bill Connelly will preview another division from the Group of 5 and Power 5 exclusively for ESPN+, ultimately including all 133 FBS teams. The previews will include 2022 breakdowns, 2023 previews and burning questions for each team.