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2009 MAC Preview - Unit Rankings
Ohio LB Noah Keller
Ohio LB Noah Keller
CollegeFootballNews.com
Posted Jul 30, 2009


2009 CollegeFootballNews.com Preview - MAC Unit Rankings

2009 CFN MAC Preview

Unit Rankings

Team Previews & Predictions
East
- Akron
|
Bowling Green | Buffalo | Kent State | Ohio | Miami
|
Temple

West
- Ball St |
Central Mich | Eastern Mich | N Illinois |
Toledo | Western Mich

- 2009 CFN MAC Preview
- MAC Team-by-Team Capsules

- CFN All-MAC Team & Top 30 Players
-
MAC Unit Rankings
- MAC Schedules & Predictions

- 2008 CFN MAC Preview

Offenses

1. Central Michigan
Keep ... Dan LeFevour ... healthy. That's the difference between a MAC title and another disappointing conference finish. Dinged up throughout last year, the spread superstar was fine, but he wasn't quite the effective playmaker he was in his first two seasons. He has a tremendous tandem of receivers to work with led by Antonio Brown and Bryan Anderson, who'd be good enough to start at several BCS schools and will get long looks from the NFL. The passing game that finished 12th in the nation last year should be even more explosive and effective, while the running game will be along for the ride with small, quick backs in Bryan Schroeder and Carl Volny needing to prove they can produce on a regular basis. The line was a big problem last year, but it's more athletic, if inexperienced on the outside. The interior will has three decent starters returning, but there aren't any stars.

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

Quarterbacks

1. Central Michigan
If he can stay healthy, Dan LeFevour is the type of playmaker who can keep the Chippewas in games against almost anyone in America. He could be the best all-around quarterback in college football, or at least in the discussion. However, it'll be vital to get the backups some meaningful time so they don't go into 2010 cold.

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

Running Backs

1. Buffalo
James Starks is an elite talent who has to stay healthy. He'll be the workhorse back, but the coaching staff won't be afraid to use Brandon Thermilus more and more. Mario Henry and veterans Ike Nduka and Da'Von McCune will help carry the load, while the running of QB Zach Maynard will help take some of the attention away from Starks.

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

Receivers

1. Central Michigan
Bryan Anderson and Antonio Brown are a devastating tandem who can do it all. These two should be even better, if that's possible, while Kito Poblah should flourish. Jahleel Addae is a great talent who needs to be folded into the mix as soon as possible while Harris will be a deep threat who'll hit a few home runs.

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

Offensive Line

1. Northern Illinois
After a down year in 2007, the line came back with a fantastic season doing a fantastic job in pass protection while being better for the ground game. Now it could be better even after losing two starters. The left side will be a rock, and Eddie Adamski will be one of the MAC's best centers, but the right side will see two big battles throughout the fall. Even so, the situation is good at all five spots.

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

Defenses

1. Northern Illinois
After getting decimated by injuries two years ago, the defense stayed healthy and was night-and-day better finishing first in the MAC in total defense, scoring defense, and pass defense. However, the D broke down and struggled against the good offenses, getting ripped up by Ball State and Central Michigan in back-to-back games. This year, there's some rebuilding to be done, but it could be a situation of taking a step back to take a giant leap forward. The starting 11 will be great, and while there's a ton of promise among the reserves, there isn't much in the way of experience anywhere. The safeties will be among the best in the MAC, while the starting linebacking trio of Cory Hanson, Pat Schiller, and Alex Kube could be special. The biggest question is on the end where Larry English is gone and Brandon Bice has to be the new star. If the pass rush isn't as good as it was last year, the secondary that was so strong will struggle with new starting corners being broken in.

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

Defensive Line


1. Northern Illinois
The Huskies have to be a big stronger and a bit more consistent up front, and there has to be more of a pass rush from the periphery players who worked around Larry English, but this should be a good line that will be fantastic going into 2010. Of the ten top linemen there's only one senior, Brandon Bice, and he should be fantastic.

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

Linebackers

1. Northern Illinois
The linebackers should be fantastic. Former safety Alex Kube, Pat Schiller, and Cory Hanson will get to everything, and while they might have a problem against the bigger teams, they'll produce as well as any corps in the MAC. The backups are good enough to rotate in and produce, even though there's a big drop-off from the ones to the twos.

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

Defensive Backs

1. Ohio
Last year's secondary was excellent, and while there isn't a sure-thing NFL prospect like Mark Parson to rely on, there are several good veterans who could make this year's defensive backfield even better. The corners are deep and good while the safeties can hit.

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

Special Teams

1. Central Michigan
The special teams should be the best in the MAC if the coverage teams improve. Antonio Brown is a devastating kick returner, while the kicking game is rock-solid with PK Andrew Aguila and P Brett Hartmann.

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