The 2018 spring college football rankings, taking the first look at the Central Michigan Chippewas.
No. 106: Central Michigan Chippewas
Central Michigan Spring Status
It’s been a nice run over the last few seasons, but now comes the rebuild after an 8-5 season that ended with a thud, losing 37-14 in a turnover-fest to Wyoming in the Famous Idaho Potato Bowl.
It’s still going to be an okay team, but it’s an improved season in the MAC and with a whole lot of big parts missing. Just four starters are back on offense, and five starters are missing from the defensive side.
Unlike last offseason, this one is about getting everyone up to speed – it’s going to take some work.
Central Michigan Biggest Depth Chart Battle
Wide receiver. It’s ugly. Corey Willis and Mark Chapman were the team’s top two wide outs, and Tyler Conklin turned in an all-star caliber season. Throw in Eric Cooper, and throw out RB Jonathan Ward from the equation, and just three of the 27 touchdown catches from last season return.
Central Michigan Biggest Issue
Third down conversions. Turnovers – statistically – were the biggest problem, but that’s a bit skewed by the eight given away to Wyoming to close things out. The third down conversions, though, were a problem throughout the year. And now, again, CMU has to do it with a new receiving corps and with a new quarterback, losing Shane Morris.
Central Michigan Biggest Positive
The linebacking corps. It’ll be one fo the best in the MAC, starting with the return of Malik Fountain, and helped by Alex Briones and Michael Oliver on the outside. That means three of the top five tacklers are back, along with some solid backups to help the rotation.
Really, Why Are The Central Michigan Chippewas Ranked Here?
It’s a good team, but can all the new guys mesh right away? Experience mattered in a big way in the nasty MAC West last year, but it’ll be a grind this time around. The turnovers have to stop, the penalties have to go away, and the offense has to be more effective – inexperienced teams don’t generally improve in those areas.