Flashes picked 4th in East Division

Kali Price

The Mid-American Conference announced it will employ instant replay for the upcoming season while Kent State coach Doug Martin is looking for a replay of the end of last season.

The conference announced plans for instant replay at its annual media conference Monday and yesterday. This follows the recent trend of college football conferences using replays to ensure accuracy.

The preseason polls were also released. The Flashes, who went 5-6 overall last season, were predicted to tie for fourth place in the MAC East Division with long-time rival Akron in the 2005 MAC News Media Association Poll.

The MAC will be trying out instant replay during the season. The basic idea of instant replay is similar to what is used in the NFL, but the rules the MAC will use follow the precedent set by the Big East in 2004.

The biggest difference in the instant replay rules between the MAC and the NFL is the use of the coaches’ challenge. Only a replay official will be able to call for review of a play. Instant replay will be used simply on a trial basis for the 2005 season and will be announced later if it will continue to be used.

The Flashes ended the 2004 season with a 4-4 MAC record, finishing fourth in the MAC East division.

“We will continue where we left last season,” Martin said.

That wouldn’t be such a bad place to begin the season considering the Flashes ended last season with a four-game winning streak.

Martin emphasized the importance of positive attitudes and confidence this season.

The biggest change for the Flashes this season is the team’s offensive leadership.

“It’s the same offense, but it’s tweaked a bit,” Martin said. “Our running backs are becoming a lot more important. We’re going from one dynamic to the other.”

The Flashes’ offense is changing with the welcoming of to new quarterback Michael Machen to lead this season. Unlike former quarterback Joshua Cribbs, Machen is expected to be a passer.

The passing game will become increasingly important to the Flashes with the recruitment of more runners for the offense.

The Flashes will face a tough season with big games early and late in the season.

“Northern Illinois will be the toughest team for us,” Martin said, “and Bowling Green has an outstanding program.”

Toledo and Northern Illinois led the West Division polls while Bowling Green topped the east.

Bowling Green is also projected to be the MAC Championship winner, followed by last year’s champion, Toledo.

The MAC will also see the addition of a new team this season. Temple is now an affiliate member for this season and the 2006 season and will gain full membership in 2007. This season, Temple will be playing four league games, including Toledo, Western Michigan, Bowling Green and Miami.

The conference also announced that the MAC will continue its tie-in with the GMAC and the Motor City bowl games.

Contact general assignment reporter Kali Price at [email protected].