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MAC Coaches Talk Anonymously About Conference Foes for 2017


It's not easy getting college football coaches to honestly comment on another coach, player or team. Most coaches don't want to give opposing teams billboard material, which is why there is a lot of coach speak or overused clichés used during the year.

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In order to get an accurate assessment of teams heading into 2017, Athlon asked coaches in the MAC to talk anonymously about their opponents.

Related: MAC Football 2017 Predictions

Note: These scouting reports come directly from coaching staffs and do not necessarily reflect the views of Athlon's editorial staff.

MAC Coaches Anonymously Scout Conference Foes

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“They had an injury problem down the stretch but that might have just masked some up-and-down play regardless.”

“The talent is there because [head coach Terry] Bowden’s staff really works recruiting with a SEC mindset.”

Related: MAC Football 2017 All-Conference Team

College Football Rankings: Ball State

Ball State

“Still a rebuilding project for one more year.”

“Mike Neu doesn’t have that explosive player you build an offense around.”

“Defensively they can be pushed around a lot.”

College Football Rankings: Bowling Green

Bowling Green

“Mike Jinks is a good transition coach from Dino Babers but the roster wasn’t in title shape.”

“He gets knocked for not being an Ohio guy but that hasn’t stopped other coaches from winning big at programs like theirs.”

Related: Ranking All 130 College Football Teams for 2017

College Football Rankings: Buffalo


“If Lance Leipold is under .500 again it will be interesting to see how much time he’s given.”

“Buffalo is a hard job and the recruiting is outside the usual paths in the league because of their location.”

“They have bright spots, you can see them developing in area on defense especially.

College Football Rankings: Central Michigan

Central Michigan

“Replacing QB Cooper Rush will be really big for them.”

“They slid down the stretch last season and could open this year the same way if they don’t shake some things up. But they’re also talented enough to compete in the division.”

Related: College Football Bowl Projections for 2017

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Eastern Michigan

“The success they’ve had doesn’t get the attention Chris [Creighton] and his staff deserve, but it’s because the program was such an afterthought for so long.”

“The school needs to invest in the future of the program soon, to be fair to the coaches and players.”

College Football Rankings: Kent State

Kent State

“They’re going to need a miracle for Paul Haynes to keep his job.”

“The players don’t look poorly coached on tape. The problems go deeper than changing a coaching staff, which will probably happen.”

Related: Ranking All 130 College Football Head Coaches for 2017

College Football Rankings: Miami (OHIO)


“Gus Ragland is one of the best quarterbacks in the league.”

“They’re going to be stronger this year, and it looked good for the conference when they almost beat Mississippi State.”

“This is a talented team.”

College Football Rankings: NIU

Northern Illinois

“They’ve come close to something like the Boise State of this conference, if that’s possible here.”

“They’re consistent with their coaching and development and they’re recruiting their home state the right way.”

“If they find the right QB they’ll be back at the top again.”

Related: Examining the Over/Under 2017 Win Totals for the MAC

College Football Rankings: Ohio


“Frank Solich doesn’t get the respect he deserves for how consistent the Bobcats are. Longevity isn’t rewarded in the MAC but he’s built a consistent winner.”

“You know you’re playing a hard, disciplined team.”

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“Everything seems to be in place for them to make a run at the [conference] title and maybe some national noise.”

“They’ve got the quarterback (Logan Woodside) to do it and most of that defense is in place from last year. They could be dangerous.”

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Western Michigan

“You can’t replace P.J. Fleck.”

“WMU won’t be undefeated this season but there’s still enough there to compete for the conference.”

“Tim Lester is a program guy, he played there, I think they want to recreate that energy Fleck had in a different way with him.”