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Central Michigan Chippewas Football Preview Picks and Schedule 2011

After having won 3 MAC Championships in 4 years between 2006-2009, which also saw records of 10-4, 8-6, 8-5 and 12-2, it goes without saying that last seasons 3-9 mark was a major disappointment. However, different kinds of 3-9 seasons. There are 3-9 seasons where teams aren't competitive and are a long ways away, and there are 3-9 seasons where, a little improvement here and there along with a break or two and the team is right back in the thick of things.

Central Michigan's 3-9 season is actually one that showed some promise and should have this team confident going forward. Yes, 3-9 looks bad, but of you go game by game through that 3-9 season, there are plenty of encouraging signs. There were several close losses and they played tough MAC teams like Temple and Miami Ohio close. They lost to Temple in OT and lost to Miami Ohio by a TD. They went toe to toe with Northwestern from the Big 10 and lost by a point to Navy 38-37. Aside from an out of conference loss to ACC giant Virginia Tech, the biggest gap they have to close is a 33-7 loss at 11-3 Northern Illinois.

If I'm head coach Dan Enos, entering my 2nd season with the Chippewas, I'm very content and excited about the future. All you can ask for as a coach is to have some building blocks. Knowing that they were competitive in most of their conference games is a big confidence builder. He has a young team that returns 8 offensive starters and 5 or 6 on the defense.

The early part of the Central Michigan schedule is brutal. After opening up at home against South Carolina State they have 3 consecutive road games at Kentucky, conference rival Western Michigan and Michigan State before returning home to face Northern Illinois. They then head out on the road again to face NC State. It's hard to imagine more than 2 wins in their first 6 games. 3 wins would be a major accomplishment.

The 2nd half of their schedule is where they need to make hay and from a betting standpoint this is where we can capitalize. Their last 6 games are all winnable. Eastern Michigan, at Ball State, Akron and Kent State, finishing up with Ohio and Toledo at home. Should they take a beating in some of those early non conference games like Michigan State, Kentucky and NC State that would set up some nice value for the 2nd half of the season. They may head into those games with a 2-4 or worse record, and look terrible on paper, but we already know they can play with the 2nd half of their schedule.

2011 Central Michigan Chippewas Football Schedule

9-1-11 SOUTH CAROLINA STATE (Thur.)
9-10-11 at Kentucky
9-17-11 at Western Michigan
9-24-11 at Michigan State
10-1-11 NORTHERN ILLINOIS
10-8-11 at North Carolina State
10-15-11 EASTERN MICHIGAN
10-22-11 at Ball State
10-29-11 at Akron
11-4-11 at Kent State (Fri.)
11-10-11 OHIO (Thur.)
11-18-11 TOLEDO (Fri.)

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