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2002 MAC Preview
Official MAC Website
Southern College Sports

TEAM SCHEDULES
AKRON
BALL STATE
BOWLING GREEN
August 31
at Iowa
September 7
at Maryland
September 14
C Mich
September 21
at Virginia
September 28
Miami,Oh
October 5
at E Mich
October 12
Liberty
October 26
at UCF
November 2
Marshall
November 9
at Ohio
November 16
Buffalo
November 23
at Kent St
September 7
at Missouri
September 14
Indiana St
September 21
at Clemson
September 28
at UConn
October 5
N Illinois
October 12
at Toledo
October 19
E Mich
October 26
at BGreen
November 2
W Mich
November 16
at C Mich
November 23
Bufffalo
November 30
at Marshall
August 31
TN Tech
September 14
Missouri
September 21
at Kansas
October 5
Ohio
October 12
at C Mich
October 19
W Mich
October 26
Ball St
November 2
at Kent St
November 9
at N Illinois
November 16
at S Florida
November 23
E Mich
November 30
at Toledo
















BUFFALO
CENTRAL MICHIGAN
EASTERN MICHIGAN
August 29
Lehigh
September 7
at Rutgers
September 14
UConn
September 21
at Minn
September 28
at Ohio
October 5
W Mich
October 12
at Marshall
October 19
Miami,Oh
October 26
Kent St
November 9
UCF
November 16
at Akron
November 23
at Ball St
August 29
Sam Hou St
September 7
Wyoming
September 14
at Akron
September 21
at Indiana
September 28
at BC
October 12
BGreen
October 19
at N Illinois
October 26
Marshall
November 2
at E Mich
November 9
at Toledo
November 16
Ball St
November 23
W Mich
August 31
at Mich St
September 7
Toledo
September 14
SE MO St
September 21
at Maryland
September 28
S Illinois
October 5
Akron
October 12
at Ohio
October 19
at Ball St
November 2
C Mich
November 9
at W Mich
November 16
N Illinois
November 23
at BGreen
















KENT STATE
MARSHALL
MIAMI (OHIO)
August 29
New Hamp
September 7
at Ohio St
September 14
Cal Poly
September 21
at Miami,Oh
September 28
at N Illinois
October 5
Marshall
October 19
Ohio
October 26
at Buffalo
November 2
BGreen
November 9
at UConn
November 16
at UCF
November 23
Akron
August 31
App St
September 12
at VA Tech
September 20
UCF
October 5
at Kent St
October 12
Buffalo
October 19
Troy St
October 26
at C Mich
November 2
at Akron
November 12
Miami,Oh
November 23
at Ohio
November 30
Ball St
August 31
at UNC
September 7
Iowa
September 14
at LSU
September 21
Kent St
September 28
at Akron
October 5
at Cincy
October 12
N Illinois
October 19
at Buffalo
October 26
at Toledo
November 2
Ohio
November 12
at Marshall
November 23
UCF
















NORTHERN ILLINOIS
OHIO
TOLEDO
August 29
WF
September 7
at S Florida
September 14
at Wisc
September 21
W Illinois
September 28
Kent St
October 5
at Ball St
October 12
at Miami,Oh
October 19
C Mich
October 26
at W Mich
November 9
BGreen
November 16
at E Mich
November 23
Toledo
August 31
at Pitt
September 7
NE’trn
September 14
at Florida
September 21
at UConn
September 28
Buffalo
October 5
at BGreen
October 12
E Mich
October 19
at Kent St
November 2
at Miami,Oh
November 9
Akron
November 23
Marshall
November 30
at UCF
August 29
Cal Poly
September 7
at E Mich
September 14
at Minn
September 21
UNLV
September 28
at Pitt
October 12
Ball St
October 19
at UCF
October 26
Miami,Oh
November 9
C Mich
November 16
at W Mich
November 23
at N Illinois
November 30
BGreen
















UCF
WESTERN MICHIGAN
August 31
at Penn St
September 7
at AZ St
September 20
at Marshall
September 28
Liberty
October 12
at W Mich
October 19
Toledo
October 26
Akron
November 2
Syracuse
November 9
at Buffalo
November 16
Kent St
November 23
at Miami,Oh
November 30
Ohio
August 29
Indiana St
September 7
at Michigan
September 14
at Purdue
September 28
VA Tech
October 5
at Buffalo
October 12
UCF
October 19
at BGreen
October 26
N Illinois
November 2
at Ball St
November 9
E Mich
November 16
Toledo
November 23
at C Mich
















Rating the MAC Schedules
Miami (OH)
Akron
Western Michigan
UCF
Northern Illinois
Toledo
Eastern Michigan
Ohio
Ball State
Central Michigan
Bowling Green
Bufffalo
Marshall
Kent State


MAC Out-of-Conference Opponents
Akron
at Iowa, at Maryland, at Virginia, Liberty
Ball State
at Missouri, Indiana State, at Clemson, at Connecticut
Bowling Green
Tennessee Tech, Missouri, at Kansas, at South Florida
Buffalo
Lehigh, at Rutgers, Connecticut, at Minnesota
Central Michigan
Sam Houston State, Wyoming, at Indiana, at Boston College
Eastern Michigan
at Michigan State, SE Missouri State, at Maryland, Southern Illinois
Kent State
New Hampshire, at Ohio State, Cal Poly, at Connecticut
Marshall
Appalachian State, at Virginia Tech, Troy State
Miami (OH)
at North Carolina, Iowa, at LSU, at Cincinnati
Northern Illinois
Wake Forest, at South Florida, at Wisconsin, Western Illinois
Ohio
at Pittsburgh, Northeastern, at Florida, at Connecticut
Toledo
Cal Poly, at Minnesota, UNLV, at Pittsburgh
UCF
at Penn State, at Arizona State, Liberty, Syracuse
Western Michigan
Indiana State, at Michigan, at Purdue, Virginia Tech


MAC Coaching Changes
There were no coaching changes in the MAC.


Projected MAC Standings

EAST
TeamOverallConference
Marshall
9-2
7-1
UCF
7-5
6-2
Miami (OH)
6-6
6-2
Kent State
6-6
3-5
Akron
4-8
3-5
Ohio
3-9
2-6
Buffalo
3-9
1-7

WEST
TeamOverallConference
Bowling Green
8-4
6-2
Northern Illinois
7-5
5-3
Ball State
6-6
4-4
Toledo
5-7
4-4
Western Michigan
5-7
4-4
Central Michigan
5-7
4-4
Eastern Michigan
3-9
1-7

MAC Championship Game
Marshall over Bowling Green


Individual Team Coverage
AKRON
Probable Wins
Liberty, Buffalo
Probable Losses
Iowa, Maryland, Virginia, Miami, UCF, Marshall, Kent St
Toss-Ups
C Michigan, E Michigan, Ohio
Returning Starters
Offense: 3…..Defense: 5
Projected Record
4-8 / 3-5
Official Site
GoZips.com

The Zips are coming off a 4-7 season and fifth place finish in the MAC in 2001. With only 3 starters from the offense and five from the defense returning, this season doesn’t look much better. The OOC schedule is a tough one with three trips to teams from major conferences. Only five of Akron’s twelve games are at home, which will make the road that much tougher. I expect the Zips to have a record about the same or a little worse than their results in the 2001 season.


BALL STATE
Probable Wins
Indiana St, Connecticut, E Michigan, Buffalo
Probable Losses
Missouri, Clemson, Toledo, Bowling Green, Marshall
Toss-Ups
N Illinois, W Michigan, C Michigan
Returning Starters
Offense: 9…..Defense: 5
Projected Record
6-6 / 4-4
Official Site
BallStateSports.com

The Cardinals are coming off a decent season in 2001 in which they finished tied for second in the Western Division. Nine offensive starters and five defensive starters, along with both kickers, return for the 2002 campaign. They non-conference slate is not overly difficult, with all of the games winnable with the exception of a trip to Death Valley in Clemson. With seven of their twelve games on the road, the Cardinals will have to be victorious away from home at least a couple of times to have a winning season, but I think BSU will be .500 overall and in MAC play.


BOWLING GREEN
Probable Wins
Tennessee Tech, Ohio, E Michigan
Probable Losses
Kansas
Toss-Ups
Missouri, C Michigan, W Michigan, Ball St, Kent St, N Illinois, S Florida, Toledo
Returning Starters
Offense: 7…..Defense: 4
Projected Record
8-4 / 6-2
Official Site
BGSUFalcons.com

The Falcons had a successful 2001 season, going 8-3 and tying for third place in the Western Division of the MAC. Only eleven total starters return from that team, though; seven are on the offense and four on the defense. All four of the non-conference games are winnable. Two Big XII games are on the slate, but both of them (Missouri, at Kansas) are against two of the weakest teams in the conference. Half of the Falcons’ games are in Bowling Green which should help the Falcons have another winning season and challenge for the 2002 MAC title.


BUFFALO
Probable Wins
Lehigh
Probable Losses
Minnesota, W Michigan, Marshall, Miami (OH), Kent St, UCF, Ball St
Toss-Ups
Rutgers, Connecticut, Ohio, Akron
Returning Starters
Offense: 8…..Defense: 4
Projected Record
3-9 / 1-7
Official Site
BuffaloBulls.com

The Bulls had yet another tough season in 2001, winning only three games and finishing tied for sixth in the MAC East. Eight offensive starters will be back for 2002, but only four from the defense will return. The OOC schedule is extremely easy compared to the rest of the conference. Only one game, a road contest against Minnesota, is a sure-loss. The other three games, one of which is on the road, are all a possible win for Buffalo. However, I don’t expect the Bulls to win more than a few games on the season and only one or two in the conference, putting them at or near the bottom of the MAC again.


CENTRAL MICHIGAN
Probable Wins
Sam Houston St
Probable Losses
Indiana, Boston College, N Illinois, Marshall
Toss-Ups
Wyoming, Akron, Bowling Green, E Michigan, Toledo, Ball St, W Michigan
Returning Starters
Offense: 8…..Defense: 8
Projected Record
5-7 / 4-4
Official Site
CMUChippewas.com

The Chippewas won only three games last season and finished fifth in the West, but they have sixteen starters returning from the ’01 squad, eight from each side of the ball. The non-conference schedule has a couple of easy home contests and two road trips to major conference teams (Indiana and Boston College). In expect CMU to fare well enough in the MAC to be in position to have a .500 season if they split their non-conference games. A winning record is not totally out of the question for Central Michigan.


EASTERN MICHIGAN
Probable Wins
Southern Illinois
Probable Losses
Michigan St, Toledo, Maryland, Ball St, W Michigan, N Illinois, Bowling Green
Toss-Ups
SE Missouri St, Akron, Ohio, C Michigan
Returning Starters
Offense: 4…..Defense: 4
Projected Record
3-9 / 1-7
Official Site
www.EMich.edu/GoEagles

The Eagles are hoping to break out of the cellar of the MAC in 2002, after suffering through a 2-9 season in 2001. With only four starters from each side of the ball returning (and both kickers), this may not be the year that EMU climbs to the top of the conference. Tough OOC road games at Michigan State and Maryland will be almost impossible to win though EMU should be capable of winning home non-conference matchups with SEMO and Southern Illinois. I think Eastern Michigan will fare about the same in ’02 as in ’01, with just a few wins overall and maybe one or two in the MAC.


KENT STATE
Probable Wins
New Hampshire, Cal Poly, Ohio, Buffalo, UConn, Akron
Probable Losses
Ohio St, Miami (OH), N Illinois, Marshall, UCF
Toss-Ups
Bowling Green
Returning Starters
Offense: 5…..Defense: 8
Projected Record
6-6 / 3-5
Official Site
www.Kent.edu/athletics

The Flashes had a winning season in 2001 while finishing tied for third in the MAC East and will try to continue their winning ways in ’02. Five starters from the offense along with eight from the defense return to tackle the 2002 schedule. The OOC games are fairly easily, the only tough one being a trip to Ohio State. Two of the other three are in Kent. Half of KSU’s games are at home this season, and I expect this to help the Flashes to a .500 season overall and six wins for the second straight season.


MARSHALL
Probable Wins
App St, Buffalo, Troy St, C Michigan, Akron, Ohio, Ball St
Probable Losses
VA Tech
Toss-Ups
UCF, Kent St, Miami (OH)
Returning Starters
Offense: 7…..Defense: 3
Projected Record
9-2 / 7-1
Official Site
HerdZone.com

Marshall, without a doubt, appears to be the class of the MAC in 2002. After an 11-2 season (and going undefeated in MAC play) and a miraculous Mobile Bowl victory, nine offensive starters and three defensive starters return for 2002. QB Byron Leftwich is a legitimate Heisman Trophy candidate this season. The OOC games are all winnable, and the Herd’s trip to Virginia Tech will be watched by the whole nation, as it will be a chance for the Herd to climb high into the polls. I expect the Herd to be a dominant force in the MAC, slipping up only once in conference action and losing only two games overall. If everything goes right, they would be my pick for a team like Fresno State in ’01 who could sneak up and challenge for a BCS Bowl (though their weak schedule would limit those possibilities).


MIAMI (OH)
Probable Wins
Kent St, Akron, Buffalo, Ohio
Probable Losses
UNC, Iowa, LSU, Cincinnati, Marshall
Toss-Ups
N Illinois, Toledo, UCF
Returning Starters
Offense: 6…..Defense: 7
Projected Record
6-6 / 6-2
Official Site
MURedHawks.com

Six offensive and seven defensive starters return from last season’s Red Hawk team that went 7-5 overall and finished second in the MAC East. I expect this year’ team to be as good as last year’s, though the non-conference games are extremely tough. Trips to North Carolina, LSU, Cincinnati, along with a visit from the Iowa Hawkeyes, make up the toughest OOC slate in the MAC. If the Red Hawks can pull out one or more of these non-conference contests, they’ll be well on their way to a successful season and possibly a bowl game if they play well in the conference games.


NORTHERN ILLINOIS
Probable Wins
W Illinois, C Michigan, E Michigan
Probable Losses
Wisconsin
Toss-Ups
Wake Forest, S Florida, Kent St, Ball St, Miami (OH), W Michigan, Bowling Green, Toledo
Returning Starters
Offense: 5…..Defense: 8
Projected Record
7-5 / 5-3
Official Site
www.NIU.edu/athletics

I though Northern Illinois had a chance to be successful last season, and they were, winning six games and finishing tied for second in the MAC West. Five offensive starters and eight defensive players are back from that team to go for a winning season again. The OOC slate is fairly difficult with a visit from improving-Wake Forest as well as trips to South Florida and Wisconsin. A game against Western Illinois should be a win as well. A split of these four OOC games could set the Huskies sights on a winning season again, and I think they’ll get it, plus-.500 overall and in the MAC.


OHIO
Probable Wins
Northeastern
Probable Losses
Pitt, Florida, Bowling Green, Kent St, Miami (OH), Marshall, UCF
Toss-Ups
UConn, Buffalo, E Michigan, Akron
Returning Starters
Offense: 6…..Defense: 3
Projected Record
3-9 / 2-6
Official Site
OhioBobcats.com

Ohio had a bad season in 2001, winning only one game all season and finishing tied for sixth in the MAC East, and the future doesn’t look much brighter. A total of nine starters, six from the offense and three from the defense, are all that return for the Bobcats. The non-conference schedule has two tough games at Pittsburgh and Florida. The other two OOC games are winnable. I think Ohio will struggle again in ’02 and will have basically no shot at a .500 season either overall or in conference play.


TOLEDO
Probable Wins
Cal Poly, C Michigan
Probable Losses
Minnesota, UNLV, Pitt, UCF, N Illinois
Toss-Ups
E Michigan, Ball St, Miami (OH), W Michigan, Bowling Green
Returning Starters
Offense: 4…..Defense: 4
Projected Record
5-7 / 4-4
Official Site
UTRockets.com

After an extremely successful 2001 campaign in which the Rockets went 10-2 and won the MAC West, only eight starters will be returning for the 2002 season (four on each side of the ball). The departure of TB Chester Taylor will hurt the offensive production, and the OOC schedule is in the middle of the pack in the conference. Road trips to Minnesota and Pitt will be tough, as will a home contest with the UNLV Rebels. A winning season is definitely not out of the question, but I feel that as the MAC gets tougher, the Rockets will slide to just under .500 overall aand be in the middle of the pack in the standings at season’s end.


UCF
Probable Wins
Liberty, Toledo, Akron, Buffalo, Ohio
Probable Losses
Penn St, Arizona St, Syracuse
Toss-Ups
Marshall, W Michigan, Kent St, Miami (OH)
Returning Starters
Offense: 8…..Defense: 2
Projected Record
7-5 / 6-2
Official Site
UCFAthletics.com

UCF is in it’s first year in the MAC and should step in and be one of the best teams in the conference. Now that they are part of a conference that has bowl tie-ins, they have a chance for postseason play. Eight offensive but only two defensive starters return from the Knights team that went 6-5 in 2001. The OOC schedule is extremely tough, with road games at Penn State and Arizona State as well as a home contest with the Syracuse Orangemen. The Knights should be able to handle the MAC schedule, so the non-conference games will determine if UCF has an average season with about a .500 record or a really good season and nearly double-digit wins. Marshall is probably not catchable, but the Knights should be a close second.


WESTERN MICHIGAN
Probable Wins
Indiana St, Buffalo, E Michigan, C Michigan
Probable Losses
Michigan, Purdue, VA Tech, Bowling Green
Toss-Ups
C Florida, N Illinois, Ball St, Toledo
Returning Starters
Offense: 4…..Defense: 6
Projected Record
5-7 / 4-4
Official Site
WMUBroncos.com

After several consecutive successful season, the Broncos have fallen back to the middle of the pack in the MAC. Four starters from the offense and six defensive starters return from the WMU team that went 5-6 overall in ’01 and finished fourth in the MAC West. The non-conference games are very tough; the Broncos have games at Michigan and Purdue as well as a visit from Big East member-Virginia Tech. With the difficulty of the OOC schedule, I don’t see the Broncos exceeding the .500 mark overall in 2002.



MAC Projections by Jonathan.
Southern College Sports
MAC
Quick Links


Team Schedules

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Rating the Schedules

OOC Opponents

Coaching Changes

Projected Standings

Individual Team Coverage…
  Akron
  Ball State
  Bowling Green
  Buffalo
  Central Michigan
  Eastern Michigan
  Kent State
  Marshall
  Miami (OH)
  Northern Illinois
  Ohio
  Toledo
  UCF
  Western Michigan