Monday, July 31, 2017

MAC 2017 Projections

The MAC has some opportunities available now that PJ Fleck has left Western Michigan for greener pastures. Still, the power players are still the power players, and Ohio will still likely rule the rosst in the East. Who will take over in the West?

1. Ohio: Frank Solich returns the Bobcats to the top of the East heap, but could be getting pushed by a resurgent Miami team. The Pistol is gone on offense. Will the Bobcats be able to hold together and hold off the RedHawks?

2. Miami (Ohio): The RedHawks had a terrible start last season, but got on a red hot streak in conference play, and nearly beat SEC team Mississippi State. With QB play calmed down, Miami appears ready to make a play for the division.

3. Bowling Green: The Falcons are top three in the division only because the division overall is fairly weak aftet the top two spots. Mike Jinks is still trying to get a groove with this roster, and he may find it fairly challenging to get the Falcons over the top this year.

4. Akron: Picked last by some, I do not see the Zips as being worse than the bottom two that I have selected. They do lose offensive mega-weapon Jerome Lane, and injuries mounted last season. IF they can stay healthy and find another weapon or two on offense, this team will be better than many project.

5. Kent State: I ma not certain how Paul Haynes held onto his job after last season, but if all goes the way I see it going, he won't after the next. I would place him as a candidate for one of the first fired in 2017.

6. Buffalo: Lance Leipold hardly ever lost at Wisconsin-Whitewater. Now he can hardly ever win here. The Bulls will have to give it all they have to stay out of the division cellar in 2017.

1. Toledo: The Rockets got PJ Fleck out of their way, and now they have an open door to the West title with Logan Woodside, one of the best QBs in FBS football, running the show on offense.

2. Western Michigan: Fleck may have moved on, and a new QB and star WR must be found, but there is still talent around in Bronco camp. WMU may not win the West, but they aren't falling very far.

3. Central Michigan: John Bonagamo is slowly building a winner at CMU, and the Chippewas appear ready to climb another rung of the West ladder in 2017.

4. Northern Illinois: Rod Carey took a ton of heat last season when the Huskies came up short. He needs consistency and health at the QB position, and if those things can be found, the Huskies may leap as many as two spots above this.

5. Eastern Michigan: Some people project EMU fading back this season, but I do not see that as an option. Chris Creighton did a remarkable job last season in getting this team to their first bowl game since they were known as the Hurons, and there is enough talent left over to go bowling once again.

6. Ball State: Mike Neu is in year two, and we should probably be happy to just sit back and let this team develop for one more season before expecting anything serious, like a bowl bid.

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