The Central Michigan Chippewas have swung like a pendulum between success and something less so under head coach Jim McElwain during the last four seasons. How will that success pendulum swing in the 2023 college football campaign? Our Central Michigan season predictions hold all the answers.
Central Michigan Season Predictions: Predicting the Game-By-Game Results
Using groupthink, College Football Network analysts have painstakingly gone through every game for every team in the MAC and across the country.
Find Every MAC Season Prediction per team: Ball State | Central Michigan | Eastern Michigan | Northern Illinois | Toledo | Western Michigan | Akron | Bowling Green | Buffalo | Kent State | Miami (OH) | Ohio
Picking these games straight up with a projected score using the rosters as up-to-date as the last spring practice, the Central Michigan season predictions raise some concerns for the Chippewas in 2023.
Week 1 – Central Michigan @ Michigan State: Loss, 11-32
There’s no easing into the 2023 college football season as the Chippewas begin the year with an out-of-conference trip to East Lansing. Central Michigan has won just three of their battles with the Spartans and is currently on a four-game losing streak that dates back to 2009. Even with a new QB under center due to Peyton Thorne’s departure, Michigan State is too strong.
Week 2 – Central Michigan vs. New Hampshire: Won, 33-12
Central Michigan hasn’t lost to a non-FBS team since their defeat to FCS powerhouse North Dakota State in 2007. They beat New Hampshire in 2013, and ten years later, the Chippewas get their first win of the 2023 season in comfortable fashion against the Wildcats. Expect to see a healthy dose of the ground game against a team that hemorrhaged rushing TDs last season.
MORE: MAC RB Rankings 2023
Week 3 – Central Michigan @ Notre Dame: Loss, 8-37
It’s another tough assignment for the Chippewas in Week 3 as they travel to South Bend to take on a Notre Dame team led by transfer QB Sam Hartman. Central Michigan recorded the fewest interceptions in the MAC last fall, and Hartman has the capability to carve up a defense ruthlessly and relentlessly if given the opportunity.
Week 4 – Central Michigan @ South Alabama: Loss, 19-33
Our pick to make the 2023 Sun Belt Championship Game, South Alabama has a multifaceted offense and the components to be a difficult defensive unit to break down. Central Michigan is outmanned and outgunned on both sides of the ball as their nightmare out-of-conference schedule concludes with a defeat in Mobile.
Week 5 – Central Michigan vs. Eastern Michigan: Loss, 22-29
Central Michigan hasn’t lost at home to Eastern Michigan since 2011 and holds a 63-31-6 head-to-head advantage over their in-state rivals. However, the Eagles flexed their superiority last fall, and our season predictions forecast consecutive Eastern wins for the first time since 2007-2008. The return of running back Samson Evans proves too much for the Chippewas.
Week 6 – Central Michigan @ Buffalo: Loss, 19-29
Although Central Michigan buried the Bulls as one of their three conference wins last fall, Buffalo’s combination of home-field advantage, one of the most talented running back rooms in the MAC, and ascending QB Cole Snyder should ensure Maurice Linguist’s team isn’t troubled by the Chippewas in Week 6.
Week 7 – Central Michigan vs. Akron: Won, 25-13
According to our season predictions, Central Michigan is in line for just one MAC win during the 2023 college football season, and that comes against the Akron Zips in Week 7. Watch for third-year defensive end Michael Heldman to assert himself on an anemic Akron offense as the Chippewas bully their way to a comfortable win.
Week 8 – Central Michigan @ Ball State: Loss, 19-26
Although Ball State lost a substantial amount of their 2022 production on both sides of the ball to the transfer portal and the NFL Draft, the presence of transfer running back Marquez Cooper gives the Cardinals a significant advantage in this battle of two teams that could be battling near the bottom of the MAC West during the 2023 college football season.
Week 10 – Central Michigan vs. Northern Illinois: Loss, 23-24
After a difficult season one year ago, Northern Illinois is well positioned for a bounce-back year in the MAC. The Huskies flip the script after losing to Central Michigan in DeKalb last fall, emerging victorious in a tight game thanks to the presence of running back Antario Brown and the return from injury of electric receiving weapon Trayvon Rudolph.
Week 11 – Central Michigan @ Western Michigan: Loss, 22-23
Nothing says MACtion more than Bert Emanuel Jr. dashing through the snow for a 60-yard touchdown in what was one of the highlights of the 2022 college football season.
We’re likely to see another closely fought encounter like these two rival teams dished up last November. Sadly for Central Michigan, the result — a narrow defeat — is also likely to be the same.
MORE: MAC QB Rankings 2023
Week 12 – Central Michigan @ Ohio: Loss, 17-33
There’s a reason why we’re projecting a return to the MAC Championship Game for the Ohio Bobcats. In fact, there are multiple reasons, and you can pick your poison as to which one explains why Tim Albin’s team breeze past the Chippewas at home, ending a six-game streak.
An inability to prevent star quarterback Kurtis Rourke from slicing the Central Michigan defense to shreds feels like a good place to start.
Week 13 – Central Michigan vs. Toledo: Loss, 20-34
Central Michigan starts their 2023 college football campaign with a tough out-of-conference schedule, and they finish with a ludicrously difficult MAC schedule. The Chippewas face the two best teams in the conference, including reigning champions Toledo who, with Dequan Finn under center, are just too offensively potent for Jim McElwain’s team to keep up with in the season finale.