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2012 MAC Football Pigskin Preview

VanDelay Sports is well known for its annualMAC football recruiting analysis, Pigskin Preview andweekly MAC football picks. With the 2012 college football season set to kick off shortly, we present our 2012 MAC football preview below. Our predicted 2012 MAC football standings are below and be sure to click on the team names to visit the individual team previews.

Conference realignment finally reached the MAC as Temple rejoined the Big East and U-Mass moves up from the FCS ranks keeping the league’s awkward 13-team format. The MAC is coming off of their most successful post season in league history after recording a 4-1 record during the past bowl season. This year there is no clear cut favorite but one fact that doesn’t change is the power is clearly in the west division. The west has posted a dominating 27-11 record during interleague play over the past two seasons and that trend should continue in 2012.

Toledo and Northern Illinois will once again battle for divisional and overall title supremacy. While Toledo must replace 13 starters, All-American receiver Eric Page and head coach Tim Beckman who left for Illinois, the Rockets are still a MAC heavy weight in this league. Several playmakers including Terrance Owens, David Fluellen and Bernard Reedy will keep UT contending for a MAC title. The Huskies must replace Chandler Harnish, their most decorated quarterback in school history, and like Toledo, the Huskies will be one of the MAC’s very best. Look for Jordan Lynch and a veteran receiving corps to keep NIU in the hunt.

Ball State and Eastern Michigan are two tremendously improved teams who may have break out seasons. Pete Lembo quickly led the Cardinals to six wins and bowl eligibility during his first season and just two years removed from a 2-10 campaign. Ron English continues to work wonders in Ypsilanti taking a program that was 0-12 in 2009 to 6-6 in 2011. The Eagles posted their first non-losing season since 1995 and were just 14 points shy of a 9-3 record.

Western Michigan must replace their entire receiving corps but have the luxury of returning splendid quarterback Alex Carder. If the Broncos can get their defense in order they will contend. Dan Enos has quickly eroded Central Michigan’s recent success built up by previous coaches Brian Kelly and Butch Jones. After winning 38 games from 2006-2009 the Chips are just 6-18 under Enos. Ryan Radcliffe leads a talented offense that needs a defense to match.

Ohio does nothing fancy under Frank Solich yet he has quietly built a consistent winner in Athens. The Bobcats are still beaming after recording their first bowl win in school history and now have their sight set on a MAC title, something that has eluded them since 1968. Look for Tyler Tettleton to lead OU back to that title game. Miami is the league’s most storied program and the RedHawks should return to prominence once again behind QB Zac Dysert, a solid NFL prospect.

Bowling Green and Kent State look to be spoilers. The Falcons have a better shot at a winning season due to quarterback Matt Schilz and linebacker Dwayne Woods while Kent State is looking for their first bowl birth since 1972. The Golden Flashes will once again be strong defensively but can they get any more production from their 119th ranked offense?

If you are looking for a sleeper to make some noise this year, look to Buffalo and talented running back Branden Oliver. The Bulls could make that quantum leap in the east standings much like Miami did in 2010. Tommy Bowden takes over a dreadful Akron program and he will make the Zips fun to watch, just not this year. U-Mass is fortunate to be on the weaker side of the MAC but lacks the talent and depth to complete especially with a non-conference slate consisting of U-Conn, Indiana, Vanderbilt & Michigan.

 

Predicted Finish

MAC WEST

  1. Toledo
  2. NIU
  3. Ball State
  4. Eastern
  5. Western
  6. Central

MAC EAST

  1. Ohio
  2. Miami
  3. Bowling Green
  4. Kent State
  5. Buffalo
  6. Akron
  7. U-Mass

Championship Game: Toledo over Ohio

 

VanDelaySports PreSeason All-MAC Team - 2012

OFFENSE

QB Zac Dysert Sr. Miami

RB Brandon Oliver Jr. Buffalo

RB Anthon Samuel So. Bowling Green

WR Nick Harwell Jr. Miami

WR Bernard Reedy Jr. Toledo

TE Garrett Hoskins Sr. Eastern Michigan

C Zac Kerin Jr. Toledo

OL Eric Herman Sr. Ohio

OL Dann O’Neill Sr Western Michigan

OL Eric Fisher Sr. Central Michigan

OL Brian Winters Sr. Kent State

 

FIRST TEAM SPECIALISTS

K Matthew Sims Jr. Northern Illinois

P Brian Schmiedebusch Jr Bowling Green

KR Jerry Boo Boo Gates Jr. Bowling Green

PR Demarius Reed So. Eastern Michigan

 

FIRST TEAM DEFENSE

DL Roosevelt Nix Jr. Kent State

DL Sean Progar Sr. Northern Illinois

DL Austin Brown Sr. Miami

DL Chris Jones Sr. Bowling Green

LB Khalil Mack Jr. Buffalo

LB Dwayne Woods Sr. Bowling Green

LB Dan Molls Sr. Toledo

CB Lewis Toler Jr. Western Michigan

CB D.J. Brown Sr. Miami

S Boo Boo Gates Jr. Bowling Green

S Jahleel Addae Sr. Central Michigan

 

By: Nick Gerogosian of VanDelaySports.com