2016 College Football Preview: MAC

Day 3 of THE USB’s 2016 College Football Preview continues with a look at perhaps the most underrated conference in college football. Yes, I’m talking about the MAC.

The MAC never gets the respect it deserves. Sure, it’s a smaller college football conference, but every year there seems to be a team from the MAC that could play with the big boys of the sport if they had an invitation to the table.

What team will that be this season?

Let’s go ahead and find out.

READY.

SET.

MAC-TION!!!!!!!

 

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12. Eastern Michigan Eagles

eastern-michigan-eagles-logo

Last Year’s Record: 1-11 (0-8)

Last Year’s Bowl: No bowl game

Head Coach: Chris Creighton (3-21 at Eastern Michigan)

Top Returning Players: Cody Tuttle (TE), Andrew Wylie (OT), Luke Maclean (DT), Pat O’Connor (DE), Anthony Zappone (LB), DaQuan Pace (DB), Austin Barnes (P), Chris O’Risky (LS)

Top Incoming Players: Todd Porter (QB), Isaac Stiebeling (QB), Sam Girodat (TE)

Toughest Games (for 2016): @Missouri, @Bowling Green, Toledo, @Ohio, @Western Michigan, Northern Illinois

Predicted Record (for 2016): 3-9 (0-8)


 

11. Kent State Golden Flashes

1280px-kent_state_athletic_logo-svg

Last Year’s Record: 3-9 (1-7)

Last Year’s Bowl: No bowl game

Head Coach: Paul Haynes (9-26 at Kent State)

Top Returning Players: Wayne Scott (OG), Terence Waugh (DE), Jon Cunningham (DT), Nate Holley (DB), Demetrius Monday (DB)

Top Incoming Players: Derek Adams (K)

Toughest Games (for 2016): @Penn State, @Alabama, Ohio, Western Michigan, @Bowling Green, Northern Illinois

Predicted Record (for 2016): 3-9 (1-7)


 

10. Miami (OH), Redhawks

miamioh

Last Year’s Record: 3-9 (2-6)

Last Year’s Bowl: No bowl game

Head Coach: Chuck Martin (5-19 at Miami)

Top Returning Players: Rokeem Williams (WR), Sam McCollum (OG), J’Terius Jones (DE), Heath Harding (DB)

Top Incoming Players: Noah Wezensky (QB), Andrew Horner (TE), Trent Maynard (OL)

Toughest Games (for 2016): @Iowa, WKU, @Cincinnati, Ohio, @Bowling Green

Predicted Record (for 2016): 3-9 (2-6)


 

9. Buffalo Bulls

7131_buffalo_bulls-secondary-2011-0-0

Last Year’s Record: 5-7 (3-5)

Last Year’s Bowl: No bowl game

Head Coach: Lance Leipold (5-7 at Buffalo)

Top Returning Players: Jordan Johnson (RB), Marcus McGill (WR), Mason Schreck (TE), James O’Hagan (C), Max Perrise (DT), Brandon Berry (LB), Jarrett Franklin (LB), Boise Ross (DB), Corbin Grassman (LS)

Top Incoming Players: Zac Levebvre (TE), Taylor Sheets (K), Kameron Pickett (RB)

Toughest Games (for 2016): @Nevada, @Boston College, @Northern Illinois, @Ohio, @Western Michigan, @Bowling Green

Predicted Record (for 2016): 4-8 (2-6)


 

8. Ball State Cardinals

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Last Year’s Record: 3-9 (2-6)

Last Year’s Bowl: No bowl game

Head Coach: Mike Neu (0-0 at Ball State)

Top Returning Players: KeVonn Mabon (WR), Joshua Posley (DE), Darnell Smith (DT), Sean Wiggins (LB), Zack Ryan (LB), Morgan Hagee (K), Kyle Schmidt (P), Corey Lacanaria (PR)

Top Incoming Players: Nolan Given (TE), Dylan Koch (TE)

Toughest Games (for 2016): @Indiana, Northern Illinois, Western Michigan, @Toledo

Predicted Record (for 2016): 5-7 (2-6)


 

7. Akron Zips

akron-zips-logo-dbb49e6a1bdcd751

Last Year’s Record: 8-5 (5-3)

Last Year’s Bowl: Idaho Potato Bowl vs. Utah State

Head Coach: Terry Bowden (19-30 at Akron)

Top Returning Players: Thomas Woodson (QB), Warren Ball (RB), Jerome Lane (WR), JoJo Natson (WR), Jamal Marcus (DE), Se’Von Pittman (DE), DeAndre Scott (DB), Zach Guiser (DB), Michael Buddenberg (LS)

Top Incoming Players: Kato Nelson (QB), Jerry Fitschen (K/P)

Toughest Games (for 2016): @Wisconsin, @Marshall, Appalachian State, Western Michigan, Toledo, Bowling Green, @Ohio

Predicted Record (for 2016): 6-6 (4-4)


 

6. Central Michigan Chippewas

cmu

Last Year’s Record: 7-6 (6-2)

Last Year’s Bowl: Quick Lane Bowl vs. Minnesota

Head Coach: John Bonamego (7-6 at Central Michigan)

Top Returning Players: Cooper Rush (QB), Jesse Kroll (WR), Austin Doan (C), Kenny Rogers (OG), Kelby Latta (DT), Nathan Ricketts (LB), Tony Annese (DB), Amari Coleman (DB), Brian Eavey (K)

Top Incoming Players: Tony Poljan (QB), Kumehnnu Gwilly (RB), Kaden Keon (K)

Toughest Games (for 2016): @Oklahoma State, @Virginia, Western Michigan, @Northern Illinois, @Toledo, Ohio

Predicted Record (for 2016): 7-5 (5-3)


 

5. Bowling Green Falcons

bowling_green_falcons_logo

Last Year’s Record: 10-4 (7-1)

Last Year’s Bowl: GoDaddy.com Bowl vs. Georgia Southern

Head Coach: Mike Jinks (0-0 at Bowling Green)

Top Returning Players: Ronnie Moore (WR), Jacob Bennett (OT), Ryan Hunter (OG), Tim McAuliffe (C), Austin Valdez (LB), Trenton Greene (LB), James Sanford (LB), Alfonso Mack (DB), Joe Davidson (P)

Top Incoming Players: Elijah Cunningham (QB), Darrion Landry (WR)

Toughest Games (for 2016): @Ohio State, @Memphis, @Ohio, @Toledo, @Northern Illinois

Predicted Record (for 2016): 8-4 (6-2)


 

4. Ohio Bobcats

ohiobobcats

Last Year’s Record: 8-5 (5-3)

Last Year’s Bowl: Camellia Bowl vs. Appalachian State

Head Coach: Frank Solich (80-61 at Ohio)

Top Returning Players: A.J. Ouellette (RB), Sebastian Smith (WR), Troy Mangen (TE), Durrell Wood (OG), Tarell Basham (DE), Tom Strobel (DT), Casey Sayles (DT), Quentin Poling (LB), Blair Brown (LB), Toran Davis (DB), Papi White (PR)

Top Incoming Players: Austin Conrad (TE), Aidan O’Neill (K)

Toughest Games (for 2016): @Tennessee, Bowling Green, @Toledo, @Central Michigan

MAC Championship Game: vs. Western Michigan (L)

Predicted Record (for 2016): 9-4 (6-2)


 

3. Toledo Rockets

toledorockets

Last Year’s Record: 10-2 (6-2)

Last Year’s Bowl: Boca Raton Bowl vs. Temple

Head Coach: Jason Candle (0-0 at Toledo)

Top Returning Players: Kareem Hunt (RB), Terry Swanson (RB), Cody Thompson (WR), Corey Jones (WR), Michael Roberts (TE), Mike Ebert (OG), Storm Norton (OT), Elijah Nkansah (OT), Treyvon Hester (DT), Ja’Wuan Woodley (LB), DeJuan Rogers (DB), Trevon Mathis (DB), Jameson Vest (K), Nick Ellis (P), Brad Spelman (LS)

Top Incoming Players: Nate Swart (TE)

Toughest Games (for 2016): @Arkansas State, @BYU, Bowling Green, Central Michigan, Ohio, @Akron, Northern Illinois,. @Western Michigan

Predicted Record (for 2016): 9-3 (6-2)


 

2. Northern Illinois Huskies

northernillinois

Last Year’s Record: 8-6 (6-2)

Last Year’s Bowl: Poinsettia Bowl vs. Boise State

Head Coach: Rod Carey (31-12 at Northern Illinois)

Top Returning Players: Drew Hare (QB), Joel Bouagnon (RB), Kenny Golladay (WR), Josh Ruka (OG), Levon Myers (OT), Max Scharping (OT), Sean Folliard (LB), Jamaal Payton (LB), Shawun Lurry (DB), Brandon Mayes (DB), Christian Hagan (K), Aregeros Turner (KR), Chad Beebe (PR)

Top Incoming Players: Anthony Thompson (QB), Mitchell Brinkman (TE), Justin Knauf (K)

Toughest Games (for 2016): San Diego State, @Western Michigan, Central Michigan, Bowling Green, Toledo

Predicted Record (for 2016): 9-3 (7-1)


 

1. Western Michigan Broncos

1280px-western_michigan_broncos-svg

Last Year’s Record: 8-5 (6-2)

Last Year’s Bowl: Bahamas Bowl vs. Middle Tennessee

Head Coach: P.J. Fleck (17-21 at Western Michigan)

Top Returning Players: Zach Terrell (QB), Jamauri Bogan (RB), Jarvion Franklin (RB), Corey Davis (WR), John Keenoy (C), Taylor Moton (OT), Chukwuma Okorafor (OT), Keion Adams (DE), Robert Spillane (LB), Asantay Brown (LB), Darius Phillips (DB)

Top Incoming Players: Matt Little (QB), Matt Falcon (RB), D’Wayne Eskridge (RB), Brett Borske (TE), Mitchell Heimbuch (TE), Spencer Kanz (OL), Eric Rogers (LB), Tristan Pipp (LB), Dontre Boyd (DB)

Toughest Games (for 2016): @Northwestern, @Central Michigan, Northern Illinois, Toledo

MAC Championship Game: vs. Ohio (W)

Predicted Record (for 2016): 10-3 (7-1)

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