1. MIDDLE TENNESSEE WIN TOTAL PREDICTION: WHAT’S GOING TO HAPPEN
There’s a whole lot missing.
The offensive line isn’t gutted, but it’s close. The skill spots are weaker, the defense is missing both corners, and in all, 14 starters are done from the group that got to the Conference USA title game.
Even so, there are just enough good parts returning to push for a fifth straight bowl appearance with at least five potential all-stars on the defensive side, and with just enough talent returning on offense to not fall off a cliff, so …
Set The Regular Season Win Total At … 6
It’s not going to be easy, though.
The Blue Raiders have to do on the road to deal with Michigan, Iowa, Florida Atlantic and North Texas, and they host Marshall and Duke – and that all comes before having to deal with possibly the league’s best team, FIU.
The last four games are against teams that didn’t go bowling, and Middle Tennessee is just good enough to win a few of those nasty games on the slate. It might take wins over Old Dominion and at Western Kentucky late in the season to get there, but it’ll get bowl eligible.