Tag: Ball State
Tomorrow’s Ultimate NCAAF Fantasy Picks from QB to Flex.
QB – Preston Hutchinson – Eastern Michigan (vs Toledo)
QB – Eli Peters – Toledo (vs Eastern Michigan)
RB – Caleb Huntley – Ball State (vs Northern Illinois)
RB – Bryant Koback – Toledo (vs Eastern Michigan)
WR – D’Wayne Eskridge – Western Michigan (vs Central Michigan)
WR – Justin Hall – Ball State (vs Northern Illinois)
WR – Tyrice Richie – Northern Illinois (vs Ball State)
TE – Bryson Cannon – Eastern Michigan (vs Toledo)
UT – Kobe Lewis – Central Michigan (vs Western Michigan)
RB – Lew Nichols III – Central Michigan (vs Western Michigan)
Complete preview for the MAC in 2018.
The MAC hasn’t had a repeat champion since 2011-12, and it’s likely that streak extends to five years in a row in 2018. That’s due to Ohio taking the top spot in the 2018 MAC predictions as the favorite to win the league. The Bobcats fell just short of reaching the league title game last season and are a heavy favorite in the East Division. Buffalo and Miami aren’t far behind the Bobcats, with Akron in the next tier. The picture is a little cloudier at the top of the West Division. Toledo is the defending conference champion but must replace standout quarterback Logan Woodside. Northern Illinois returns one of the MAC’s top defenses, while the development of quarterback Marcus Childers could help coach Rod Carey’s team win the West once again.
This year, Akron seems to have some pieces in place, but the Zips could have a tough time getting back to the league title game as the top teams in the East should be vastly improved. Ohio looks to be the class of the division, and both Miami and Buffalo will be in the hunt. The Zips could finish anywhere from first to fourth in what figures to be an intriguing season of MACtion.
Defensive coordinator Carl Pelini has some decent building blocks with Bowling Green’s veteran secondary and athletic linebackers. QB Jarret Doege has the confidence of his coaches and teammates after making five starts as a freshman, while Scott Miller provides a clear No. 1 target on the outside. The first month of the season will be rough, with Oregon, Maryland and Georgia Tech all on the schedule, so a break-even year will require a strong conference showing.
Coach Lance Leipold won five Division III national championships at Wisconsin-Whitewater but has not reached the postseason in three years at Buffalo. With so much firepower returning, anything less than a trip to a bowl game will be a major disappointment.
If nothing else, the team will be much more fun to watch in 2018, with head coach Sean Lewis calling the shots in a fast-paced attack. His system will breed a star or two per usual, and if one of them is a quarterback, the Flashes could pull off a few surprises in 2018 — and set the stage for much bigger and better things in the years to come.
Despite the numerous and costly mental breakdowns, coach Chuck Martin saw his contract extended for two years, through the 2020 season. He has spent the first four seasons building up the roster, both in talent and physicality, and he feels now that the RedHawks are in an enviable position with experienced players who are better able to physically compete in the MAC.
Miami will be tested by a challenging schedule that includes only five true home games. The RedHawks are due to play archrival Cincinnati at the Bengals’ Paul Brown Stadium, and they face a grueling stretch of three road trips to Army, Buffalo and Northern Illinois in the second half of the season.
Coach Frank Solich has the Bobcats poised for a run at the MAC East title. “This is a team that could easily win the division — and the league — this year if they get more of the same kind of play from the quarterback position,” says one opposing MAC assistant coach.
The Cardinals should show significant improvement across the board — assuming they don’t suffer a similar rash of injuries. That, however, might not be enough for them to make a significant move in the MAC West, the more challenging of the league’s two divisions.
A lot of what Central Michigan does this season will tie in with the development of QB Tony Poljan and the inexperienced wide receiver group. Every other position group should be satisfactory to strong, so those could be the final pieces of the puzzle in taking another step forward. The Chippewas have a fairly difficult schedule with three Power 5 opponents in addition to the MAC slate, which is bookended by road games at Northern Illinois and Toledo. At least rival Western Michigan is a home game.
There are plenty of reasons for optimism this year with so much back in the fold on defense and on the offensive line, but the name of the game in football is quarterback play, and there is a serious question mark there. It’s hard to imagine anyone living up to the standard set by Brogan Roback. If Eastern Michigan is to win more games than it loses this season, it will be due a running game that controls the clock and a defense that limits big plays. It won’t be long before EMU figures out where it stands in the MAC as it opens league play at home against Northern Illinois, travels to Western Michigan and is back home versus Toledo in the first three weeks of the conference season.
The Huskies have not won more than eight games in any of the last three seasons, and although the talent level, especially on defense, would indicate a possible 10-plus-win team, the schedule is a big obstacle. The good news is that the Huskies possess significant talent on both sides of the ball, enabling them to make a run at the West Division title.
If either Mitchell Guadagni or Eli Peters emerges as a viable replacement for Logan Woodside at quarterback, then it’s all systems go. But if the offense struggles a bit, the defense will have to do its part. And that defense will be tested early with non-conference dates against Miami (Fla.), Nevada and Fresno State. The Rockets do catch a break in league play by not having to face either Ohio or Miami, the two favorites in the East.
By the end of last season, WMU had lost a whopping 21 players to season-ending injuries, including five safeties, five running backs and five receivers. “It started getting ridiculous,” head coach Tim Lester says. It did, however, create a good dynamic entering this season — an experienced roster, devoid of a large senior class. The Broncos have only nine seniors on a team with realistic designs on competing for a MAC championship, meaning this should be a two-year group.
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NCAA Football 2017 Season
MAC West Preview
The Broncos have some significant personnel losses to address, but new coach Tim Lester still has enough talent to guide Western Michigan to a division title. The Broncos’ top competition in the West is Toledo, which is led by a dynamic offense and senior quarterback Logan Woodside. The new season of fantasy college football kicks off Saturday August 26 at FanPicks.
A schedule that includes Tulsa at home and the Miami Hurricanes on the road presents its challenges, but the Rockets have the league’s best quarterback in Logan Woodside, a tremendous depth and talent at wide receiver and a stable of productive running backs that never seems to thin. The defense doesn’t have to be great for this team to succeed; another middle-of-the pack finish in the MAC stats should suffice. The Rockets have won at least nine game five times in the last six seasons yet have not played in the MAC Championship Game since 2004. That drought should end in 2017.
Western Michigan Broncos
This is first-year head coach Tim Lester’s dream job. He starred as a quarterback at WMU in the late 1990s, later briefly coached QBs at the school under Bill Cubit and applied for the job in 2012, when P.J. Fleck got it. Lester understands the program, the MAC and the challenges ahead. This is a league known for bringing success back down to earth. It’s also a fan base that just experienced the greatest year in school history and doesn’t want to go back to reality. Lester inherits a roster that had completely bought into his predecessor. As long as the players also buy in to him, there’s enough talent to compete for another league title in 2017.
Northern Illinois Huskies
Head coach Rod Carey enters a pivotal year, as some of the luster of NIU’s BCS Orange Bowl berth is starting to wear off after the Huskies’ school-record run of eight straight bowl appearances came to a disappointing end with a 5–7 record. Even though a third straight season with a series of injuries at the quarterback position is unlikely, the in-house candidates lack the star power or dual-threat ability of past signal callers.
Overall, the defense should be improved, especially the front four, but with the lingering issues on offense, the Huskies could be in store for a difficult season battling a non-conference schedule that features Boston College, Nebraska and San Diego State to go with league road games at Toledo and Central Michigan.
On the positive side, if the Huskies can finish 5–3 in the conference utilizing three different starters at quarterback — like they did last season — anything is possible.
Central Michigan Chippewas
John Bonamego guided the Chips to a surprising 6–2 record in league play in 2015, his first season as the head coach at his alma mater, but slumped to 3–5 in Year 2. Still, CMU has been to two straight bowl games. Making it three straight will be a challenge.
Gone is four-year starting quarterback Cooper Rush, the second-most prolific passer in conference history. There are proven talents on both sides of the ball, but there are still areas of concern — the new QBs, the running game, the pass defense, to name a few. A middle-of-the pack finish in the MAC West would be a success.
Eastern Michigan Eagles
Eastern Michigan played in its first bowl game in 29 years last year, a major step forward for a program known mostly for its futility. Was it a one-year mirage or a sign of what is to come? Coach Chris Creighton has revamped the entire image of the program, and he heads into his fourth year hoping to turn the Eagles into a MAC West contender. The returning pieces are talented enough for it to be a possibility — though the West is by far the tougher of the MAC’s two divisions. The feeling around Eagles camp is that they will go as far as their revamped offensive line can take them.
Ball St. Cardinals
Ball State boasts just 12 seniors, so the Cardinals need help from head coach Mike Neu’s first two recruiting classes. In particular, the highly touted class of 2017 will have to make an immediate contribution if Ball State is to make a move in the MAC West.
NCAA Preview 2016
NCAA Mid-American Football
The 2016 College Football season is almost upon us, so get pumped and ready to play some College Fantasy Football at FanPicks (click to play).
With the season kicking off on August 27th in Sydney, FanPicks will be covering every NCAA conferences and their teams for the 2016 season. If you’ve missed the Independants CFB preview, click here. Now let’s get to the NCAA Mid-American Football.
With UMass’ departure from the Mid American Conference, things may get very interesting this year. Will Norther Illinois win its seventh West division in a row?
Northern Illinois has won six consecutive West Division championships but will need to hold back a rising Western Michigan squad and an always-troublesome
After a disappointing 0-2 start last season, QB Thomas Woodson took over in Week 3 and immediately ignited the Zips. He tossed for 2,202 yards and rushed for 677, connecting on 19 TDs as Akron went on to record its first 8-win season. It culminated with a 23-21 upset win over Utah State in the Idaho Potato Bowl, the Zips’ first FBS bowl victory. Woodson returns as the team’s leading rusher and passer. He’ll benefit from the arrival of Utah State transfer JoJo Natson, who caught 108 passes and rushed for 612 yards at USU in 2013-14.
Bowling Green Falcons
Head coach Mike Jinks begins his first season as Bowling Green’s head coach in 2016. Prior to joining the Red Raiders, Jinks was a National Coach of the Year finalist while at San Antonio powerhouse, Steele High School. He inherits a team that ran the table for the third straight season against all NCAA Mid-American Football East opponents on their schedule, winning two MAC championships the past three seasons. Victorious in 36 games the past four seasons, a new era of winning starts in 2016.
Head coach Lance Leipold came to Buffalo as the fastest coach to win 100 games in NCAA history. They will have to bare with the loss of their QB Joe Licata, the Bulls’ all-time leading passer who started 40 consecutive games. Former Iowa State QB Grant Rohach has transferred in to replace Licata. Their Defensive Line unit is the most experienced in the league.
Ken State Golden Flashes
The Golden Flashes at a tough time last year in many departments. It could all change this year since unlike some of their competition, they will have an abundance of returning starters back in 2016.
Miami (OH) RedHawks
Miami has signed 6’4″, 304 LB OL Jordan Diamond, a fifth year transfer from Auburn. After 2 tough years in which nearly half of their 19 losses were by a touchdown or less, head coach Chuck Martin has a made a top recruiting class in the NCAA Mid-American Football the past 2 seasons, including 29 three-star recruits. He also welcomes 10 starters back on offense from a team that was the 4th youngest in the nation last year.
After playing through a rash of injuries in 2014, last year’s Bobcats benefited mightily from the force-feeding of young replacements when they won 8 games and a berth in the Camellia Bowl. We do know that the Bobcats have not had a losing season since 2006 and Solich is the active coach with the most wins in the NCAA Mid-American Football conference right now.
Ball State Cardinals
After being the only team in the nation to have upped its season win totals every year from 2010 to 2013 as well as re-signing Pete Lembo, to a new 5-year deal that made him the highest paid coach in the NCAA Mid-American Football. Mike Neu, former quarterback with the Cardinals and most recently QB coach with the New Orleans Saints will take over.
Central Michigan Chippewas
The Chippewas somehow came within 2 points of winning the MAC West despite tons of injuries, while battling mighty Michigan State and Oklahoma State right down to the wire. With four wide receivers back who gathered in over 500 passing years apiece in 2015, look for Rush to be in league MVP talks this campaign.
Eastern Michigan Eagles
The Eagles set out to become very tough under head coach Chris Creighton. According to Creighton, the wealth of experience led by high-ceiling QB Brogan Roback and explosive RB Shaq Vann, plus an entire cast of returning linemen on both sides of the ball should help their squad get back on the proper lane.
Northern Illinois Huskies
With 6 MAC West titles in a row, the Huskies have learned to win games consistently. Lurry lead the nation in interceptions last season and will be a Jim Thorpe award contender in 2016.
Fueled by 28 winning seasons in the last 35 years, the Rockets have gone 6-2 or better in conference clashes 5 of the last 6 years. However, despite winning 7 or more games in each of those years, they haven’t played in a MAC title game in 12 years. Brutal losses to Northern Illinois and Western Michigan denied them once again.
Western Michigan Broncos
QB Zach Terrell and his top target, WR Corey Davis each will return to action this week. Davis is currently the active leading receiver with 33 career receiving TDs and could possibly end up being one of the best to ever play the position in the NCAA Mid-American Football.
CFB 2016 Other Previews