MAC Pre-Spring Preview - Why To Be Fired Up
Ohio QB Tyler Tettleton
Ohio QB Tyler Tettleton
CollegeFootballNews.com
Posted Feb 8, 2012


2012 MAC Pre-Spring Preview - Why Every MAC Team Should Be Fired Up

2012 Pre-Spring Preview   

Why To Be Excited - MAC


East   Akron | Buffalo | Kent State | Massachusetts | Miami Univ. | Ohio | Temple
West  Ball State | CMU | Bowling Green | EMU | Northern Illinois | Toledo | WMU

2012 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 
2012 Recruiting Rankings - MAC East | MAC West 

East
 
Akron

There’s a reason Akron has beaten just one FBS team in the last two seasons. The talent level isn’t close to where it needs to be to make any sort of instant impact in the MAC East, even with Terry Bowden ready to change everything up. The defensive line needs work with both tackles gone, and four starters have to be replaced on the offensive line.

Buffalo

It might not have seemed like it with problems over the second half of the season, but the defense got better and it’s on the verge of being among the MAC’s best. Coach Jeff Quinn has been working hard in his recruiting classes to upgrade the defensive side, and now there’s decent depth to go along with the eight returning starters. Khalil Mack is one of the nation’s most productive all-around linebackers and should be in the hunt for MAC Defensive Player of the Year honors.

Kent State

The Golden Flashes have been this close to finally turning a corner, and it seems like it’s going to happen sooner than later under coach Darrell Hazell. Ken State has gone 5-7 three years in a row, and it came close to the magical six-win mark despite the offense tanking and with the defense not always up to snuff. If the offense that returns eight starters can start to do something, anything, the first winning season since 2001 is possible.

Massachusetts

New coach Charley Molnar isn’t inheriting a bare cupboard. The offensive line gets four starters back while the defensive front did a nice job of getting into the backfield and returns most of the key parts. The young secondary of last year is loaded with veterans with all four starters returning. The fundamentals of the program are strong, and Molnar appears ready to make a big splash right away in the MAC.

Miami University

The Red Hawks might have slipped back into mediocrity after winning the 2010 conference title, but it’s not like it’ll take a major overhaul to get back into the fight for the East championship. The team two years ago won plenty of games by the skin of its teeth, but last year’s team didn’t get the same breaks with four losses by seven points or fewer including the final three losses of the season by a total of 13 points. This is a veteran team that should be among the favorites to win the loaded East.

Ohio

The defending East champs have one of the league’s most exciting players, QB Tyler Tettleton, and he should be able to carry the attack. The offensive line gets back everyone on the inside and there’s just enough depth overall to overcome some huge losses at the skill spots. The defense, that was second in the conference in points allowed, gets back five starters on the front seven and gets back all four starters in the secondary.

Temple

Steve Addazio took what Al Golden put together and ran with it. He actually gave the Owls an efficient passing game while making the ground attack even stronger. The defense was great under Golden, and it was even better at times under Addazio with a stellar run defense. There are holes to fill, but everything is in place to do even more, especially on the defensive front, and it shouldn’t take that much to get over the hump. The Owls lost four games, with three of them coming by a grand total of 11 points.

West 

Ball State

The Cardinals came up with a terrific season under coach Pete Lembo, even though they gagged down the stretch, losing three of the last four games. Now the team comes back with just enough good parts to do even more. Keith Wenning is a veteran quarterback who knows what he’s doing, and running back Jahwan Edwards is showing good upside. Ball State went 6-6 last year with a defense that did nothing. If there’s any sort of production, it should be enough to push the way to a winning season.

Bowling Green

Even with WR Kamar Jorden gone, the passing game should be able to shine with QB Matt Schilz throwing the ball all over the field. The offensive front did a decent job in pass protection, and now it gets back four starters up front and all the young backs brought in over the last few recruiting classes to beef up the ground attack. The defense made some nice strides, and it should be even stronger with ten starters returning. Brian Schmeidebusch is one of the nation’s top punters.

Central Michigan

After a few rough seasons, coach Dan Enos has had enough time to rebuild. Now it’s time for it all to pay off with nine starters back on offense eight back on defense. The Chippewas might have only won three games, but they showed signs of improvement with the passing game. With all five starters back on the offensive line, the pass protection that was one of the team’s biggest strengths last season should be even stronger. There’s depth, experience, and just enough talent to be three games better and be in the hunt for a winning season.

Eastern Michigan

Eastern Michigan went 6-6 in 2011 and after years of being among the nation’s worst programs, it showed signs of life under coach Ron English with the best season in decades. Getting any sort of positive momentum means everything after so many problems, and it could be just the beginning with QB Alex Gillett leading a veteran offense and with more quality depth than the program has had in a long time.

Northern Illinois

Coach Dave Doeren is still around. He might be a rent-a-coach and probably won’t make the next round of coaching hires at bigger schools, but after finally getting the program over the hump and winning the MAC title game, he didn’t leave. The defensive front gets back three starters and all four are back in the secondary. Perez Ashford and Martel Moore lead a good looking receiving corps that could help make up for the few major offensive losses.

Toledo

The offense that finished ninth in the nation in yards and eighth in points in 2011 gets back quarterbacks Austin Dantin and Terrance Owens after they each showed they could lead the offense. The quality depth is in place to fill several holes, and there shouldn’t be much loss in continuity with new coach Matt Campbell simply moving up from his assistant’s spot. This should still be one of the MAC’s most explosive and exciting offenses – eventually.

Western Michigan

QB Alex Carder is back after finishing fifth in the nation in total offense and leading the high-octane passing attack. Even with some of the star targets gone, it’ll still be bombs away. Four starters are back on the offensive line, and while the running game was mostly along for the ride, all the top backs return. Defensively, the back seven should be terrific with six starters coming back, including leading tackler Johnnie Simon at Rover and veteran corner Lewis Toler.   

East   Akron | Buffalo | Kent State | Massachusetts | Miami Univ. | Ohio | Temple
West  Ball State | CMU | Bowling Green | EMU | Northern Illinois | Toledo | WMU

2012 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 
2012 Recruiting Rankings - MAC East | MAC West