Preview 2018: Previewing and looking ahead to the Middle Tennessee season with what you need to know.
Preview 2018: Middle Tennessee Blue Raiders
It’s been a long time since Middle Tennessee won anything big.
Rick Stockstill is one of the longest-tenured current head coaches at one school – only five coaches have been around longer at their respective places – doing a strong job with the program since signing on in 2006. But it’s been a long, sustained level of being good, rather than rising up and being amazing.
The Blue Raiders tied for the Sun Belt title in Stockstill’s first season, and there was a ten-win campaign in 2009, but the program hasn’t played for a Conference USA championship, much less win a title.
But that’s okay considering all of the turnover and all of the issues so many Group of Five programs have sustaining any success. With six straight seasons with six wins or more, and with four bowl appearances in the last five years, Middle Tennessee football has been good.
In Stockstill’s 13th year, is this when another corner will be turned? With the team he has coming back, it needs to be.
The schedule isn’t all that bad – even with three road dates against the SEC, including a game at Georgia – as long as the Blue Raiders can beat the league’s better teams like FAU, Marshall, and WKU.
With eight starters returning on both sides of the ball, an explosive offense, and a dangerous defense that can get behind the line, this can and should be the season the program has been building towards. This is when the experience is about to match the talent and depth.
Assume another bowl appearance, and assume another very good season. But with this team, hope for something great.