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2011 Spring Preview - MAC Spring Attitude
Temple RB Bernard Pierce
Temple RB Bernard Pierce
CollegeFootballNews.com
Posted Mar 5, 2011


The attitude for each MAC team going into spring practices.


2011 MAC Spring Preview

The Spring Attitude

Click for each team's 2011 spring preview
East   Akron | Bowling Green | Buffalo | Kent State | Miami Univ. | Ohio | Temple
West  Ball State | Central Mich | Eastern Mich | Northern Illinois | Toledo | West Michigan

2011 MAC Spring Preview
- 2011 MAC Team-By-Team Schedules 
- 2011 MAC Composite Schedule & Week Rankings 
- 2011 MAC Spring Attitudes  
- 2011 MAC Early Buzz 
- 2011 MAC Positions To Watch 
- 2011 MAC Spring Rankings 

2011 MAC Pre-Spring Preview
- MAC Pre-Spring Rankings
- Why Every Team Should Be Excited
- Why Every Team Should Be Grouchy
- What Every Team Needs To Work On 

East

Akron
The adjustment period is over. Beating Buffalo to close out the year wasn’t exactly special, but at least Rob Ianello’s first season wasn’t winless. The team was competitive over the last part of the year and battled hard and well in a 19-14 loss to eventual MAC champion Miami, and the team has to keep pushing and hope that Ianello is far, far better in his second year. It’ll take some surprising performances this offseason from some new players to hope for an improvement.

Bowling Green
There’s plenty of excitement and a lot of hope considering last year was a disastrous after a strong first season under Dave Clawson. With a slew of veterans returning and one of the MAC’s strongest recruiting classes, the needle is pointing up. With seven starters back on each side of the ball, the complete clunker of 2010 won’t be acceptable. BGSU has the potential to make one of the biggest instant turnarounds in the MAC.

Buffalo
Things can’t be any worse. The defense only returns four starters, but the coaching staff is good enough to get defensive production with some decent prospects returning. The offense that was among the worst in America gets seven starters back and can’t help but be better with a little more time and experience. The goal this spring is to keep improving and to find one thing the O can do well.

Kent State
Get to six wins. Kent State has been close for the last few years, but it could never get over the hump under Doug Martin and it was time to try something else. Considering the returning experience, anything less than five wins will be a disaster and getting to six, or coming up with a winning season, will be considered an attainable goal. There will be little grace period for Darrell Hazell, and it’ll be Game On from the start of spring ball.

Miami University
This was supposed to be the year that the program rocked. Don Treadwell won’t have any grace period after inheriting a loaded team. MU was way, WAY ahead of schedule after a disastrous 2009 season and was one of the nation’s most shocking teams of 2010. Now comes the good part … 2011 was supposed to be when the production was supposed to come. With nine starters back on each side of the ball, along with punter Zac Murphy, the RedHawks are loaded.

Ohio
The East is still there for the taking. It might be the better of the two MAC divisions, but Ohio should be one of the favorites and will look to make amends after blowing it last year. The Bobcats lost their final two games of the season to close out a great year on a sour note, and while there’s some rebuilding to be done on defense, and Phil Bates has to show he can run the offense, Ohio has to expect nothing less than another bowl appearance and a run to the MAC title game.

Temple
It’s not like Al Golden won anything. Yeah, he came up with one of the greatest turnaround in college football history, but he never got Temple over the hump. The program was good enough to win the MAC in each of the last two seasons, and it didn’t even get to the title game and it only played in one bowl game. There’s room to improve and get over the hump, and Steve Addazio has the pieces in place to take what Golden did and do even more.

West 

Ball State
Turn things around right away. Ball State ended the season well winning two of its last three games to finish 4-8, and with eight starters returning on each side of the ball, not including running back where David Brown and Eric Williams will take over for MiQuale Lewis, there’s no reason to shoot for anything less than a six-win season. This was supposed to be the year the program became decent again, and Pete Lembo will benefit.

Central Michigan
Win the close games. There were so many big replacements and so many big changes that there was no way CMU could’ve been the killer in 2010 that it had been. This year, though, the Chippewas have enough experience, and Dan Enos is in his second year as the head man, and the wins have to start coming. CMU lost five games by a touchdown or less and had chances to pull off all of them. Had it just won three of the five, it would’ve been a solid 6-6 campaign.

Eastern Michigan
Be more explosive. EMU has had a hard time merely executing the basics over the last few years, much less doing anything special. QB Alex Gillett is a good-looking, do-it-all playmaker, but he needs help and he could use a few home run hitters around him. Defensively, there have to be more takeaways and there has to be more big plays from all spots. There hasn’t been anything that scares opponents, and that has to change.

Northern Illinois 
Win the MAC. Northern Illinois didn’t win the MAC title, but it was the best team in the conference. With nine starters back on offense, including likely preseason MAC Offensive Player of the Year, QB Chandler Harnish, and with some good-looking young players ready to step up on defense, the bar is set ridiculously high. Anything less than an appearance in the MAC Championship will be a disappointment, and there’s enough in the bag to win it all … finally.

Toledo
Win the MAC title. The Rockets were one of the MAC’s nicest surprises last year, and this year the experience, the attitude, and the desire is there to take a next step up. Nine starters are back on offense, eight return on defense, and both kickers are back, so there’s no excuse to not have a more consistent season. The battles at several positions should be intense, and there’s a lot to work on – most notably the special teams – but it’s all there to win the West.

Western Michigan
It’s time to get back to a bowl game and it’s time to be a player in the MAC West race again. The Broncos haven’t gone to a post-season game since 2008 and haven’t made for the MAC title since 2000 despite being one of the league’s most consistently solid teams. With nine starters back on defense, seven on offense, both kickers, and QB Alex Carder, all the pieces are in place to come up with a huge season. Seven wins is a must, but being in the thick of the title chase has to be the goal in the strong division.

Click for each team's 2011 spring preview
East   Akron | Bowling Green | Buffalo | Kent State | Miami Univ. | Ohio | Temple
West  Ball State | Central Mich | Eastern Mich | Northern Illinois | Toledo | West Michigan

2011 MAC Spring Preview
- 2011 MAC Team-By-Team Schedules 
- 2011 MAC Composite Schedule & Week Rankings 
- 2011 MAC Spring Attitudes  
- 2011 MAC Early Buzz 
- 2011 MAC Positions To Watch 
- 2011 MAC Spring Rankings