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2008 MAC Preview - Unit Rankings
Miami LB Joey Hudson
Miami LB Joey Hudson
CollegeFootballNews.com
Posted Aug 8, 2008


2008 CFN Preview - MAC Unit Rankings from top to bottom

2008 CFN MAC Preview

Unit Rankings

Team Previews & Predictions
East
Akron | Bo. Green | Buffalo | Kent St | Miami Univ. | Ohio | Temple
West Ball State | Central Mich | Eastern Mich | No Illinois | Toledo | Western Mich

- 2008 CFN MAC Preview
- CFN All-MAC Team & Top 30 Players

- MAC Team-by-Team Capsules

- MAC Schedules & Predictions

Offenses
1. Central Michigan
The Chippewa offense led the MAC in scoring and was second in total offense, and now it should be even better with all the key parts returning. The only significant loss is at right guard with Eric Tunney gone, but Iowa State transfer Joe McMahon could turn out to be even better. Dan LeFevour is the best all-around quarterback in college football not named Tim Tebow, the 1-2 receiving punch of Bryan Anderson and Antonio Brown combined for 192 catches last year and should hover around the 200-grab mark again, and the backfield is deep and talented with Carl Volny stepping up this off-season to combine with Ontario Sneed and Justin Hoskins to form a potentially devastating rotation. The line gets four starters back and should be among the MAC's best, but there's no developed depth.

2. Ball State
3. Toledo
4. Northern Illinois
5. Bowling Green
6. Miami
7. Western Michigan
8. Kent State
9. Akron
10. Ohio
11. Buffalo
12. Eastern Michigan
13. Temple

Quarterbacks  
1. Central Michigan
Dan
LeFevour is one of the nation's elite all-around quarterbacks and has the size, mobility, and skill level to start generating more attention from the NFL types. Brian Brunner is an excellent backup who'd start for several other MAC teams. This is a great situation, and as long as LeFevour stays healthy, the Chippewas have a puncher's chance against anyone.

2.
Ball State
3. Bowling Green
4. Toledo
5. Western Michigan
6. Kent State
7. Buffalo
8. Eastern Michigan
9. Northern Illinois
10. Miami
11. Temple
12. Ohio
13. Akron


Running Backs
1. Kent State
After finishing dead-last in the nation in rushing in 2005, the Golden Flashes turned it around in a big way averaging 158 yards per game in 2006 and then cranked out over 200 yards per game last season thanks to the incredible 1,669 yards from Eugene Jarvis. He's a unique weapon who'll be a guaranteed 100-yard day every time out, but Andre Flowers will get his share of carries to create a decent rotation. 

2. Northern Illinois
3. Central Michigan
4. Bowling Green
5. Ball State
6. Toledo
7. Akron
8. Western Michigan
9. Buffalo
10. Miami
11. Ohio
12. Temple
13. Eastern Michigan

Receivers
1. Ball State
Everything worked last year, and the corps should be better this season. A home-run hitter was needed, and Louis Johnson eventually stepped up. Darius Hill needed to be more consistent after disappearing too often in 2006, and he was. And then there was Dante Love, who went from a nice uber-possession receiver into a deadly mid-range-to-deep threat. With the emergence of Daniel Ifft and the return of Madaris Grant, this will be the MAC's deadliest corps.

2.
Central Michigan
3. Toledo
4. Miami
5. Western Michigan
6. Bowling Green
7. Northern Illinois
8. Akron
9. Ohio
10. Buffalo
11. Eastern Michigan
12. Temple
13. Kent State

Offensive Line
1. Northern Illinois
The Huskie line has been given the benefit of the doubt on reputation over the past two seasons, but now it should be on its way to being a major factor again. With four starters returning, a slew of depth, and big-time talents in Trevor Olson and Adam Kiel, there's reason to be excited.

2.
Toledo
3. Central Michigan
4. Ball State
5. Akron
6. Miami
7. Western Michigan
8. Ohio
9. Bowling Green
10. Buffalo
11. Eastern Michigan
12. Kent State
13. Temple

Defenses
1. Miami University
If this isn't the MAC's best defense, it'll be a close second with almost everyone returning. Nine regular starters and two with starting experience are back led by the dynamic linebacking trio of Clayton Mullins, Joey Hudson and Caleb Bostic. Mullins is the reigning MAC Defensive Player of the Year while Hudson and Bostic could be first-team all-stars. The defensive line has size and is great at getting into the backfield, but it needs to be a bit tighter against the run. The safety tandem of Robbie Wilson and Jordan Gafford is excellent, while the corners are just good enough to keep the MU pass defense among the best in the league. The big key will be stopping the spread offense, which it didn't do last year against Minnesota, Cincinnati or Central Michigan.

2. Western Michigan
3. Ohio
4. Kent State
5. Northern Illinois
6. Temple
7. Bowling Green
8. Toledo
9. Akron
10. Central Michigan
11. Buffalo
12. Ball State
13. Eastern Michigan

Defensive Lines
1. Western Michigan
Expectations are tempered a bit for a line that was supposed to blow up last year and was merely average. Even so, tackles Nick Varcadipane, Cody Cielenski and Cory Flom, and ends Zach Davidson and Greg Marshall, form one of the most experienced front fours in the MAC. With all the experience and all the returning production, there's no reason not to be the league's dominant line. The key will be to stop the run. Making plays behind the line isn't an issue, but holding up against good ground games was a problem.

2.
Miami
3. Kent State
4. Ohio
5. Temple
6. Bowling Green
7. Northern Illinois
8. Akron
9. Buffalo
10. Toledo
11. Central Michigan
12. Ball State
13. Eastern Michigan

Linebackers
1. Miami University
This could be the best unit in the MAC at any position. It's not a crazy stretch to think all three starters, Clayton Mullins, Caleb Bostic and Joey Hudson, could fill the top three MAC all-star linebacker spots. There's size, experience, toughness, and a whole bunch of talent. The only downside is a massive drop-off between the ones and the twos. Chris Shula is a nice player who'll fill in where needed, but Ryan Kennedy and David Davis need time, work, and a bit more bulk on the outside.  

2. Kent State
3. Northern Illinois
4. Ohio
5. Western Michigan
6. Temple
7. Akron
8. Bowling Green
9. Toledo
10. Ball State
11. Central Michigan
12. Eastern Michigan
13. Buffalo

Defensive Backs
1. Western Michigan
This group will be really, really good. Thrown to the wolves as freshmen and after taking their lumps as sophomores, the Bronco defensive backs stepped up as juniors and formed one of the MAC's best pass defenses. Now the starting foursome should be dominant. The reserves are good and ready to shine when given the chance.

2.
Ohio
3. Miami
4. Toledo
5. Buffalo
6. Kent State
7. Bowling Green
8. Temple
9. Northern Illinois
10. Central Michigan
11. Ball State
12. Eastern Michigan
13. Akron

Special Teams
1. Ball State
If the placekicking situation can be settled, and if there can be a bit more consistency from 30 to 39 yards, the special teams should be among the best in the MAC. Punter Chris Miller is a superstar, B.J. Hill and Dante Love are solid returners, and the placekickers, even with their flaws, combined to hit 18 of 28 field goals.

2.
Akron
3. Central Michigan
4. Miami
5. Eastern Michigan
6. Ohio
7. Bowling Green
8. Toledo
9. Western Michigan
10. Buffalo
11. Northern Illinois
12. Kent State
13. Temple