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2006 MAC Football Preview

Continuing Trend of Talented Quarterbacks Lead Way in ‘06

The future MAC superstar arm likely to be the next NFL first rounder resides in Akron. Luke Getsy leads the Zips and playing for the Conference title and winning it is a strong possibility. This kid runs the offense to perfection and all five of his offensive line returns to block and create room for Getsy to pick apart defenses. Akron’s defense was second best in the MAC in 2005, but turnover differential plagued this team, finished 90th at -7.

Establishing itself as a constant fixture in the MAC, Northern Illinois is ready to earn its first league title since 1983. 2006 should be its seventh winning season in a row behind head coach Joe Novak. With stars in quarterback Phil Horvath and explosive runner Garrett Wolfe, ’06 should be another good attempt to find itself at the top of the conference.

The Toledo Rockets have proven to be an offensive juggernaut in the MAC, 2006 will mark the first time in Four years they cannot rely on its quarterback. The Rockets have been around the top of the MAC over the past five years but a record close to 2005’s 9-3 seems a bit unrealistic. The defense returns enough starters to again be a successful group, and it might be forced to do so if the offense fails to get going early.

Miami Ohio, Western Michigan, and Ohio will play the role of sleeper, but talent is simply not comparable. The Redhawks lost too much talent to compete for a Conference title this year and depth will too be an issue. At 7-4 last year, the Broncos of Western Michigan can certainly make another stride this year. Quarterback Ryan Cubit will again be the key to the offense along with number one wide out Joe Chapple. Ohio has not won a Conference title since 1968 and this dubious streak will continue in 2006. Former Nebraska Frank Solich will have to come to grips that he is not getting similar stature recruits from his days in Omaha and that this process will be lengthy.


2006 MAC FOOTBALL Schedule

Aug. 31 – Thursday
*Eastern Michigan at Ball State
Temple at Buffalo
Boston College at Central Michigan – ESPN2, 6:00
Minnesota at Kent State
Northwestern at Miami -ESPN Classic or ESPNU, 7:30
Toledo at Iowa State

Sep. 2 – Saturday
Akron at Penn State
Bowling Green vs. Wisconsin (at Cleveland Browns Stadium)
Northern Illinois at Ohio State
Western Michigan at Indiana

Sep. 9 – Saturday
Akron at North Carolina
Indiana at Ball State
*Buffalo at Bowling Green
Central Michigan at Michigan
Eastern Michigan at Michigan State
Kent State at Army
Miami at Purdue
*Ohio at Northern Illinois
Louisville at Temple
*Toledo at Western Michigan

Sep. 15 – Friday
Kansas at Toledo – ESPN2, 8:00

Sep. 16 – Saturday
*Akron at Central Michigan
Ball State at Purdue
Bowling Green at FIU
* Buffalo at Northern Illinois
Eastern Michigan at Northwestern
*Kent State at Miami
Temple at Minnesota
Western Michigan at Virginia

Sep. 23 – Saturday
North Texas at Akron
North Dakota State at Ball State
*Kent State at Bowling Green
Buffalo at Auburn
*Central Michigan at Eastern Michigan
Miami at Syracuse
Indiana State at Northern Illinois
Temple at Western Michigan
McNeese State at Toledo

Sep. 30 – Saturday
*Akron at Kent State
*Northern Illinois at Ball State
*Bowling Green at Ohio
Central Michigan at Kentucky
Eastern Michigan at Louisiana-Lafayette
Miami at Cincinnati
Temple at Vanderbilt
Toledo at Pittsburgh

Oct. 7 – Saturday
Akron at Cincinnati
*Ball State at Buffalo
Bowling Green at Ohio State
Central Michigan at Toledo
Kent State at Temple
*Northern Illinois at Miami
*Western Michigan at Ohio

Oct. 12 – Thursday
Temple vs. Clemson (at Charlotte, N.C.)

Oct. 14 – Saturday
*Ball State at Central Michigan
*Eastern Michigan at Bowling Green
*Miami at Buffalo
*Toledo at Kent State
*Northern Illinois at Western Michigan

Oct. 19 – Thursday
* Bowling Green at Central Michigan – ESPNU, 7:30

Oct. 21 – Saturday
*Miami at Akron
*Western Michigan at Ball State
*Buffalo at Ohio
*Toledo at Eastern Michigan
Temple at Northern Illinois

Oct. 28 – Saturday
*Akron at Toledo
*Ball State at Miami
Bowling Green at Temple
Buffalo at Boston College
*Eastern Michigan at Western Michigan
*Ohio at Kent State
Northern Illinois at Iowa

Nov. 4 – Saturday
*Bowling Green at Akron
*Ball State at Michigan
*Kent State at Buffalo
Central Michigan at Temple
*Ohio at Eastern Michigan
* Miami at Western Michigan

Nov. 7 – Tuesday
*Toledo at Northern Illinois – ESPN2, 7:30

Nov. 9 – Thursday
*Buffalo at Akron – ESPNU, 6:00

Nov. 10 – Friday
Western Michigan at Central Michigan – ESPN Classic or ESPNU, tba

Nov. 11 – Saturday
Navy at Eastern Michigan
Kent State at Virginia Tech
Temple at Penn State

Nov. 14 – Tuesday
*Ball State at Toledo – ESPN2, 7:00

Nov. 15 – Wednesday
*Miami at Bowling Green – ESPN2, 7:30

Nov. 16 – Thursday
*Akron at Ohio – ESPNU, 7:30

Nov. 17 – Friday
Central Michigan at Northern Illinois – ESPNU, 8:00

Nov. 18 – Saturday
Buffalo at Wisconsin
* Eastern Michigan at Kent State
Temple at Navy
Western Michigan at Florida State

Nov. 21 – Tuesday
*Bowling Green at Toledo – ESPN2, 7:00

Nov. 24 – Friday
*Western Michigan at Akron
*Kent State at Ball State
*Central Michigan at Buffalo
*Northern Illinois at Eastern Michigan
*Ohio at Miami

Nov. 30 Thursday, 7:30 (or) Dec. 3 Sunday, 8:00 – ESPN
Marathon MAC Championship Game at Ford Field in Detroit


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