Western Michigan

2017 Prespring Rankings: No. 82 Western Michigan Broncos

2017 Prespring Rankings: No. 82 Western Michigan Broncos


The 2017 prespring college football rankings, taking the first look at the Western Michigan Broncos


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No. 82: Western Michigan Broncos

Western Michigan Broncos Prespring Status

Is the staying power there? Western Michigan came up with the dream season, and almost made it even more amazing in a close loss to Wisconsin in the Cotton Bowl, but now the program needs to see if it’s remotely possible to keep it all going. After losing an NFL starting receiver in Corey Davis, a heady veteran quarterback in Zach Terrell, and boat-rowing head coach P.J. Fleck – among other key parts – it’s not going to be easy.

Tim Lester is yet another young, smart head coaching prospect – not as young as Fleck, or as maniacal, but almost as promising – who once cranked up the Western Michigan offense and now gets a shot to gear it all back up. He’s got a long, long way to row with most of the key parts not coming back on offense.

Western Michigan Broncos Biggest Issue

You don’t just replace Corey Davis. It’s not all doom and gloom for the Bronco offense – three starters are back on the line to pave the way for the great running back tandem of Jarvion Franklin and Jamauri Bogan – but the team’s top three receivers are gone, with Davis the biggest problem.

All Davis did was catch 97 passes for 1,500 yards and 19 scores, but Michael Henry and Carrington Thompson were fantastic, too. Now, 29 of the 33 touchdown catches from last season have to be replaced, and Terrell – who threw all 33 of them, with just four picks – is done after his magnificent four-year run.

Western Michigan Broncos Biggest Positive

Western Michigan had a defense last year, too. The Broncos finished 26th in the nation in total D, and now they get back nine starters including everyone in the back seven. DE Keion Adams was a good one, and David Curle anchored things on the nose – they’re gone – but the top five tacklers return including the entire linebacking corps. The offense doesn’t have to be as good as last year’s for WMU to be great.

Really, Why Are The Western Michigan Broncos Ranked Here?

This might be a big overreaction – WMU might still be the favorite to win the MAC. Give it a few months and the ranking could be far higher considering how good the D is supposed to be. Tom Flacco should be more than fine taking over for Terrell, and the running game will take over the offense early on.