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2013 Western Michigan

College Football

Betting Preview

Schedule and Odds

Western Michigan finished 2012 with two conference wins and in second-to-last place in the MAC West. They decided to make some changes and brought in P.J. Fleck as head coach. He has numerous stints as a wide receivers coach, most recently in the NFL with the Tampa Bay Buccaneers. Fleck doesn't inherit a whole lot with just nine starters returning total on offense and defense.

The good news is that his quarterback won't be completely new with Tyler Van Tubbergen. The senior took over at QB midway through last season and wasn't all that bad. In six starts he totaled 15 touchdowns, but also 11 interceptions. The top two receivers from a year ago also return in Jaime Wilson and Josh Schaffer so he'll have some familiarity to build on. Running back Dareyon Chance (176 carries) was supplanted in the spring by Brian Fields (68 carries) who looked like the better back. Even with some quality players returning, it's going to be up to the line if this offense wants to improve. Only one starter returns from last year's unit and he's moving from tackle to center. If Van Tubbergen doesn't get protection and if Fields doesn't get enough holes, this offense will have trouble.

The Broncos are even a bigger question mark on the defensive side where they've had to deal with transfers and a slew of injuries. They lost a lot of guys as it was and are currently returning only five starters. Johnnie Simon is an all-conference talent, but he's making a transition from safety to linebacker which should be interesting as he gained 20 pounds in the offseason and is still only 197. They also get a new defensive coordinator that will run a 4-3 scheme with the secondary being the strength of the unit.
 

2013 Western Michigan Football Schedule

Aug. 30 at Michigan State
Sept. 7 vs. Nicholls State
Sept. 14 at Northwestern
Sept. 21 at Iowa 
Sept. 28 vs. Kent State
Oct. 5 at Toledo
Oct. 12 vs. Buffalo
Oct. 19 vs. Ball State
Oct. 26 at Massachusetts
Nov. 9 at Eastern Michigan 
Nov. 16 vs. Central Michigan
Nov. 26 at Northern Illinois


Fleck knows he has a tall order in his first season at Western Michigan and the schedule isn't too kind to him. Three of their first four games will be on the road at Big Ten opponents. It's unlikely they win any of them as they lost to Illinois handedly last season.

The Broncos don't have it much easier in MAC play with Kent State and Toledo being the first teams on their schedule. That could easily mean a 1-5 start for WMU. Ball State will be another tough one, but the games they have to focus on for wins will be Buffalo, UMass, EMU and CMU. Their only two conference wins last year came against UMass and CMU, but those other two are in the same class. If the Broncos can get three wins out of those four games, it would be considered a success for Fleck.

At least with the experience they have at skill positions on the offensive side, Western Michigan should be able to come up with four or five wins this season. If their defense can stay strong, maybe more.

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