College Football preview: MAC, SunBelt and C-USA edition

August 09, 2010 |

 

     I know everyone here is focused on the Ravens; but we are also, only about twenty days away from the start of the college football season. As I’ve stated before, growing up in a college area with no pro sports teams, my sports clock revolves around the NCAA seasons. I am gearing up for what should be another great football season. I will begin the previews with the lesser known conferences and work my way up the the ones you care most about.

     Today we will look at the MAC, Conference USA, and the home of my hometown team (WKU) the Sun Belt. None of these teams will be playing in any important BCS games, but that doesn’t mean they won’t be in some exciting games in October and November.

 

                                 FINAL SUN BELT STANDINGS

1.    Middle Tennessee State

2.   Troy

3.  Florida Atlantic

4.  Florida International

5.  Arkansas State

6.  North Texas

7.  Louisiana-Lafayette

8.  Western Kentucky

9.  Louisiana- Monroe

 

       Middle Tenn and Troy will fight it out for the league title. They are head and shoulders above the rest of the league. The two Florida schools will fight it out for third and one may possibly sneak into a bowl game. It won’t happen immediately, but new Western Ky coach Willie Taggart is bringing a new level of recruit onto campus. Watch out for the Toppers in 2012.

Offensive MVP:    Dwight Dasher, QB Middle Tenn St.

Defensive MVP:   Marcus Bartels, SS   Florida Atlantic

Best TE in the league:   Jack Doyle,  Western Kentucky

Best ILB in the league:   Michael Lockley,  Florida Atlantic

Top Assistant:   Jeremy Rowell,   DC   Troy

    Dwight Dasher is the top spread option QB’s you’ve never heard of. If he can play all season like he did in the New Orleans Bowl, you’ll hear about him. I had to give some props to Jack Doyle. Now that my Toppers have an actual throwing QB in Matt Pelasasa, Doyle will blossom into a star.

 

 

                                             MAC FINAL STANDINGS

                    EAST                                                              WEST

1.    Bowling Green                                            Central Michigan

2.   Ohio U.                                                           Northern Illinois

3.   Temple                                                            Western Michigan

4.   Miami (OH)                                                        Toledo

5.   Buffalo                                                            Ball State

6.   Kent State                                                           Eastern Michigan

7.   Akron

    Championship Game:     Bow. Green   over   C. Michigan

    

            Dan Enos will be dropped into pressure immediately. Central Michigan expects to win now, and they have a deep and talented team. What they don’t have is Dan LeFevour. I think he can get them through his division, but will be kept from the conference crown by the Falcons. I think Dave Clawson is one of the best non-BCS coaches in the country and he  will get the best out of his Bowling Green program in his second season at the helm.

Offensive MVP:    Chad Spann, RB    Northern Illinois

Defensive MVP:   Noah Keller, LB     Ohio U.

Best TE in the league:   David Blackburn, Central Michigan

Best SS in the league:  Davonte Shannon,  Buffalo

Top Assistant:  Mark D’Onofrio,  DC   Temple

      Noah Keller is a beast in the middle of the field for Bobcat coach Frank Solich. He hits like a train and may find a place for himself on Sundays. Temple DC D’Onofrio has assembled a scary defense at former wasteland Temple. It’s his defense that allowed the Owls to make their first bowl game in about 3,000 years last season.

 

                                     FINAL C-USA STANDINGS

              EAST                                                                WEST

1.  Southern Miss                                           Houston   

2.  Central Florida                                              UTEP

3.  Marshall                                                       Tulsa

4.  East Carolina                                                  SMU

5.  Memphis                                                          Rice   

6.   UAB                                                              Tulane

Championship Game:   Houston  over    Southern Miss      

 

           Case Keenum is tired of playing in lesser bowl games. This year he won’t have East Carolina standing between him and at least the Liberty Bowl ( maybe more if they are 12-1). Houston is the easy pick for league champs, but after that it is very dicey. Once you throw out the riff raff like Tulane, UAB, Memphis, and Rice. The other seven teams all can make a case for second best in the conference. A key will be how Marshall and East Carolina react to their new coaches.

Offensive MVP:   Case Keenum,  QB  Houston

Defensive MVP:  Bruce Miller,  DE  Central Florida

Best TE in the league:   Clay Sears,   Tulsa

Best ILB in the league:  Marcus McGraw,  Houston

Top Assistant:   Herb Hand,   OC  Tulsa

   I see some deja vu in the individual awards. Keenum and Miller picked up this hardware last year and I see them continuing their excellence. Keenum will likely have some all-time NCAA records by the time his season is through. Keenum wins this easily, but it should be noted that C-USA has some other quite good QB’s at Tulsa, UTEP, C.Florida, Southern Miss and Marshall. They just didn’t throw for 5,671 yards and 44 TD’s last year.

 

   We’ll head out West for the next edition. See you then.

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