The 2019 MAC Preview with the Game of the Year, Players of the Year, top pro prospects, big-time players who deserve a bigger spotlight, and more.
Are you a MAC is half-good sort of a fan, or a pessimistic MAC is half-empty type?
After last season, it depends on what division you like better.
Four teams in the West finished with seven wins or more, and Buffalo, Miami University, and Ohio all battled it out in the East.
But the have-nots were way too lousy – there were too many easy games to fatten up on.
Overall, the league keeps having its big moments. From PJ Fleck’s boat-rowing Western Michigan team of 2016, to the 2017 Northern Illinois squad that took down Nebraska two years ago and BYU last season, to the Big Ten stunners – Buffalo bombing Rutgers, Akron shocking Northwestern, and Eastern Michigan beating Purdue – there’s been reason to chirp.
It would be nice if more teams could step it up and there wasn’t such a big disparity.
Every conference has its dead weight from year to year, but last season, Central Michigan, Bowling Green, Kent State and Akron all finished with three or more fewer wins than anyone else in the conference. Changes were made, though, to try bumping up the bottom-feeders in a hurry with a slew of big new coaching moves.
Akron (Tom Arth), Bowling Green (Scot Loeffler), and Central Michigan (Jim McElwain) are all bringing in their new ideas and energy, second-year man Sean Lewis is trying to get his FlashFast attack going at Kent State, and Thomas Hammock is a fun new coach taking over defending champion Northern Illinois.
Even with the changes, Toledo, Northern Illinois and Western Michigan should be the stars of the West, and Ohio should have a lock on the East world.
But that’s the fun about the MAC. In no other league do teams rise up from the back of the pack to a contender role in a bigger hurry.
Or, if you’re Akron, go from the MAC title game to the outhouse in one season, too.
Will it be the stars up top coming through, or can there be a shocker somewhere from the pack?
MAC Team That Will Surprise
There are still a whole lot of concerns and question marks after a 1-11 season, and losing the stars in the secondary certainly doesn’t help. but 2018 might just be an aberration. The fundamentals of the program are still strong after going to four straight bowls and winning six games or more six seasons in a row before last year’s clunker.
Enter Jim McElwain. The former Florida and Colorado State head coach was a nice get, getting Houston and Tennessee transfer Quinton Dormady at quarterback is a help, and there should be an instant turnaround even through the schedule is going to be sneaky-tough.
– Central Michigan Team Preview
MAC Team That Will Disappoint
Last year’s team was the one that could’ve and should’ve won the MAC championship, but it got sacked by Northern Illinois and it all fell apart in the bowl loss to follow. QB Tyree Jackson left early for the NFL, WR KJ Osborn took off for Miami, and overall, this isn’t the same team that was so impressive in the ten-win 2018.
It’s a good UB squad, and it’s going to go bowling and be a factor in the MAC race, but it should be three to four wins worse.
– Buffalo Team Preview