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Northern Illinois, Ohio expected to shine in the MAC

Carlos Osorio / Associated Press
Expectations are high for QB Jordan Lynch and Northern Illinois after an impressive 2012 season.

The teams with the best quarterbacks in the MAC were predicted Tuesday to meet for the league title.

Tyler Tettleton-led Ohio and Jordan Lynch-led Northern Illinois were the picks to win the East and West division titles, respectively, at MAC media day in Detroit. NIU was the pick to win the league's championship game.

Lynch led NIU to the conference crown and a Discover Orange Bowl berth last season, the first-ever BCS bid for a league school. NIU already has begun a Heisman campaign for Lynch -- called "Lynch for 6" -- and he is coming off a season in which he finished second in the nation in total yards (behind Johnny Manziel) and seventh in Heisman voting.

Lynch threw for 3,138 yards and 25 TDs and added 1,815 yards and 19 rushing TDs as a first-time starter. But he struggled in games against power-conference teams Iowa and Florida State, especially as a passer -- a combined 21-of-57 for 230 yards.

Tettleton, the son of former major-league catcher Mickey Tettleton, has thrown 46 TD passes and run for 15 scores in his career. He led Ohio to a 9-4 mark last season, including a rout of Louisiana-Monroe in the AdvoCare V100 Independence Bowl.

Toledo, which should have one of the best offenses in the league behind RB David Fluellen, was picked to finish second in the West -- the Rockets were 9-4 last season and closed the season with a loss to Utah State in the Famous Idaho Potato Bowl. Bowling Green was the pick to finish second in the East -- the Falcons return nine defensive starters from a squad that was 8-5 last season, including a loss to San Jose State in the Military Bowl.

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