MAC Season Overview

Randy Ziemnik


Bowling Green

Sixth-year coach Gregg Brandon may have silenced some critics last season with a high profile offense led by Sheehan. The senior led the offense with 27 touchdown passes and he looks to follow in the footsteps of former BG quarterbacks Josh Harris and Omar Jacobs.


The Redhawk offense was inconsistent last year, averaging just a shade over 19 ppg. The 2008 Miami offense should be much improved with healthy running backs and the big Texan Daniel Raudabaugh Redhawk coach Shane Montgomery and his offensive squad should be able to score points in bunches as long as the injury bug stays away.


Defense wins championships, and for Golden and the Owls, defense will be their only shot at winning a MAC Championship anytime soon. The Owls D gave up 26.3 points a game last season, but they are returning all 11 defensive starters, including third team All-MAC defensive tackle Terrance Knighton.


No doubt Turner Gill has made great strides while at Buffalo, but the Bulls will never be true contenders in the MAC until the D is addressed. The Bulls allowed nearly 30 ppg in 2007 and ranked 82nd in overall defense. Lineman Mike Thompson and safety Davonte Shannon are bright spots on the defense.


Solich went to Holy Name High School, five minutes from my home in beautiful Parma. This makes it extremely hard for me to pick against his Bobcats. The only way OU wins the MAC is if the defense plays lights-out football. The D has 7 returning starters on defense, including DL Jameson Hartke.


Five years ago, Brookhart came over from Pitt and began building a winning culture inside the Rubber Bowl. Brookhart has hit a huge snag the past two seasons, compiling a 9-15 record . However, QB Chris Jacquemain is returning at quarterback and looks to improve upon his decent 2007 season.

Ball State

Cardinals coach Brady Hoke enters his sixth season in Muncie as the sexy pick to win MAC coach of the year. Hoke has rebuilt BSU with an explosive offense but has struggled to put together a consistent D. The Cardinals defense allowed almost 30 ppg in 2007.

Central Michigan

After winning the MAC last season, Jones now has a big bull’s-eye on his back. With Dan “I got a” LeFevour throwing the ball, Jones and his squad should be in contention for back-to-back-to-back MAC titles. The defense is a bit questionable, but they’re returning eight starters, including linebacker Calvin Hissong.

Western Michigan

After a solid 2006, the Broncos underachieved severely last season, finishing their 2007 campaign with a 5-7 record, including a tough loss to lowly Eastern. Many are picking Western to compete for the MAC West title; however, with a young QB in Tim Hiller, the Broncos may find themselves struggling.

Eastern Michigan

Well, this may be a make-or-break year for coach Jeff Genyk. If so, it may make the Eagles dangerous. No one outside of Ypsilanti has any expectations for the Eagles’ 2008 campaign. Make no mistake about it, the Eagles overachieved last season and were competitive in most of their games.


After back-to-back nine-win seasons in 2004 and 2005, the Rockets have had two consecutive five-win seasons and the natives are getting restless. The offense averaged more than 30 points a game last season, but unfortunately the defense gave up almost 40.

Northern Illinois

After an awful 2007 season and the retirement of MAC coaching legend Joe Novak, things can only look up for the 2008 Huskies. Coach Jerry Kill has his work cut out for him, but does have 20 starters returning. Still, the Huskies should be MAC bottom-feeders for the foreseeable future.

Contact Randy Ziemnik at [email protected].