FOX Sports Exclusive
MAC preview: Who will be this year's Buffalo?
Share This Story
Team that will surpriseBowling Green: The team wasn't all that bad last season, and while the defense should be average and the running game needs work, and there's a new coaching staff taking over, this should grow into a good enough squad to win the mediocre East and get to Detroit. If QB Tyler Sheehan keeps improving, the Falcons could win the whole thing.
Team that will disappointBuffalo: Will the Bulls be able to force all the same big turnovers they did last year? Will the loss of a strong leader like Drew Willy at quarterback mean a step back? Yes and yes, but there won't be all the same breaks two years in a row (good luck getting another Hail Mary win like last year's classic against Temple), and the schedule is rough, getting Central Michigan and Western Michigan from the West. However, the Bulls have an NFL back in James Stark, exciting playmakers like Naaman Roosevelt, and three of the league road games are at Temple, Kent State, and Miami. They're all winnable.
Game of the Year
Five big-time players who deserve a bigger spotlight1. DT Andre Neblett, Temple
2. C Eddie Adamski, Northern Illinois
3. FS Brian Lainhart, Kent State
4. DE Frank Zombo, Central Michigan
5. DT Almondo Sewell, Jr., Akron
Coach on the hot seatDoug Martin, Kent State: With so much coaching turnover last year, it was a slight miracle that Martin survived after going 19-39 in five years. Akron's J.D. Brookhart might have to come up with a winning season to save his job and Ohio's Frank Solich could use a big year, but it's Martin who has to show that things are pointed in the right direction to be around in 2010. There are decent pieces in place, but the team needs a little luck after failing to get many positive breaks over the last few seasons.
Five non-conference games MAC opponents had better take seriously1. Central Michigan at Michigan State, Sept. 12
2. Pitt at Buffalo, Sept. 12
3. Northern Illinois at Wisconsin, Sept. 5
4. Western Michigan at Michigan, Sept. 5
5. Central Michigan at Boston College, Oct. 31
Bold predictionComing up with the first-team All-MAC quarterback will turn out to be tougher than it appears to be at the moment. Of course Dan LeFevour is the star of the conference, right? The Central Michigan star has a loaded receiving corps to work with and should put up phenomenal numbers. However, Bowling Green's Tyler Sheehan should also be in for a big year, even if his passing numbers won't quite be up to LeFevour's snuff. Western Michigan's Tim Hiller could lead the conference in passing, but he needs to take the team to the MAC title game and he has to beat Central Michigan along the way. Throw in Eastern Michigan's Andy Schmitt, Akron's Chris Jacquemain, Toledo's Aaron Opelt, and Ohio's Boo Jackson, and the MAC has an excellent lot of quarterbacks.
Five best pro prospects1. RB James Starks, Sr. Buffalo
2. WR/KR Antonio Brown, Jr. Central Michigan
3. SS Barry Church, Sr. Toledo
4. QB Dan LeFevour, Sr. Central Michigan
5. C Eddie Adamski, Sr. Northern Illinois
Five biggest shoes to fill1. QB Kelly Page for Nate Davis, Ball State
2. DE Jake Coffman for Larry English, Northern Illinois
3. QB Zach Maynard for Drew Willy, Buffalo
4. DE Kenny Rowe for Louis Delmas, Western Michigan
5. RB Alex Allen for Dennis Kennedy, Akron