Teams & Conferences

2017 Prespring Rankings: No. 105: Central Michigan Chippewas

2017 Prespring Rankings: No. 105 Central Michigan Chippewas


The 2017 prespring college football rankings, taking the first look at the Central Michigan Chippewas


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No. 105: Central Michigan Chippewas

Central Michigan Chippewas Prespring Status

Just when it seemed like the Chippewas were about to become a major factor last year after a 5-2 start and an epic win over Oklahoma State, they couldn’t get the offense going, losing five of their last six games including a 55-10 bowl embarrassment to Tulsa. Now, there’s plenty of hope to be at least as good with most of the defensive parts back along with just about everyone of note on the offensive side, except for …

Central Michigan Chippewas Biggest Issue

Quarterback. Defensive tackle is the other big problem after losing both Jabari Dean and Kelby Latta from the interior, but losing star QB Cooper Rush could be the team’s killer. With 3,540 yards and 23 touchdowns last season, the four-year starter closed out with a good, but not sensational final campaign considering the finishing kick and bowl game. Even so, he was the one who made it all go – no other quarterback threw a pass. Former JUCO transfer Tommy Lazzaro will get the first look at the job, and fortunately, he – or whomever the starter is – will get the luxury of …

Central Michigan Chippewas Biggest Positive

All five starters returning to the O line. Fullback Joe Bacci is done along with Rush – that’s it. Everyone else returns including almost all the receiving production, leading rusher RB Devon Spalding, and everyone up front. The pass protection needs to improve, and the ground game needs to be stronger, but the offense that finished 26th in the nation in passing should be a bit more balanced and far more consistent. It might not be as reliant on Rush.

Really, Why Are The Central Michigan Chippewas Ranked Here?

The second half of the season was really lousy, and even with all the experience returning, there’s still plenty of work to do to get a whole lot better inside the red zone, improving turnover margin, and starting to score a big more after cranking up more than 24 points just once over the final six games. Just how much will the loss of Rush hurt? Can the running game improve? Can the secondary make more big plays? The pressure is on to improve.