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Sports News / College Football

Thursday, 22 July 2010 7:29 P.M.

Temple and Northern Illinois are Favored in 2010 MAC Conference

Logo courtesy of the Mid-American Conference (MAC)

by Raymond Rolak
gourmetsports@yahoo.com

 

DETROIT -- The head football coaches of the Mid-American Conference were all optimistic. The media voters predicted that Temple would win in the East and Northern Illinois would win the West. This was all part of Football Media Day at Ford Field where the MAC Championship will be played on Friday, December 3.

Central Michigan and Western Michigan will be competitive but it looks like a long season for Eastern Michigan. The Eagles failed to win a game last year and prospects look dim with a tough schedule on the horizon. EMU hosts Army on September 4, at 7:00 PM at Rynearson Stadium in Ypsilanti for their home opener.

Second-year quarterback Alex Gillett will share time with redshirt freshman Devontae Payne. Payne stands at 6’6” and is more of a traditional pocket passer than Gillett. The Eagles are expecting the defense to be led by senior Latarius Thomas.

Central Michigan finds itself in a rebuilding position this season. The Chippewas have had four consecutive outstanding seasons. They have played in four straight bowl games and have had a 27-4 record in MAC games. Former quarterback Dan LeFevour, is now with the Chicago Bears. His top two receivers have also moved on.

Are the Chippewas in a predicament this year? Not according to Central Michigan linebacker Nick Bellore. He said, "We know we have our work cut out for us, and people will think we won't have a great season because we lost so and so ... but we have a really talented group and a lot of parts left from the championship teams.” Bellore anchored the CMU defense last year.

Western Michigan returns 34 letterwinners, including four All-MAC selections. The Broncos also return 15 starters, with seven on offense and six on defense. It is a good core to build around. Wide receiver Jordan White and safety Jamail Berry are expected to be front and center.

Senior, Robert Eddins from Ball State was one of the featured student-athletes. He is a 6-3 defensive end from Detroit Crocket. Eddins started all 12 games last year.

Temple will feature sophomore running back Bernard Pierce who had 16 rushing touchdowns last year. Coach Al Golden has eight All-Mac selections returning this year. They are an experienced team with 16 starters coming back from a 9-4 year.

Northern Illinois has All-MAC runner Chad Spann highlighting the offense. The senior had 19 touchdowns last season. The Huskies will boast 17 starters from last year.

There will be three new head coaches this year, Rob Ianello at Akron, Dan Enos at Central Michigan and Jeff Quinn at Buffalo.

For the first time in its 64-year history, the MAC will have five bowl relationships—three primary and two secondary—for the next four football seasons (2010-2013). The MAC’s three primary bowl agreements are with the Little Caesar’s Pizza Bowl (Detroit, Mich.), GMAC Bowl (Mobile, Ala.) and Roady’s Humanitarian Bowl (Boise, Ida.). The primary agreement with the Roady’s Humanitarian Bowl replaces the International Bowl, which hosted the MAC’s No. 3 selection the past four years (2006-09) in Toronto, Ont., Canada. The Little Caesar’s Pizza Bowl will have the MAC’s No. 1 selection in 2010 and 2012, with the GMAC Bowl having the No. 1 selection in 2011 and 2013. The Roady’s Humanitarian Bowl will own the MAC’s third selection of bowl eligible teams all four years.

In addition, the MAC has secured two secondary agreements over the next four years with the Papajohns.com Bowl (2010-2013), the Dallas Football Classic (2010 and 2012) and the Kraft Fight Hunger Bowl (formerly the Emerald Bowl)/San Diego County Credit Union Poinsettia Bowl/New Mexico Bowl (2011 and 2013).

For the fourth consecutive season, ESPN Regional Television and the Mid-American Conference have announced a six-week regionally syndicated football package that will air in 24 television markets, including Chicago; Philadelphia; Detroit; Cleveland; Columbus, Ohio; Cincinnati; Indianapolis; Grand Rapids, Mich.; and Buffalo. The package will consist of six weeks of MAC conference and non-conference matchups, beginning Saturday, Sept. 18.

Detroit native Michael Reghi will call the action each week with analyst Doug Chapman. Chapman who was a running back for the Minnesota Vikings was the MVP in the 1999 Motor City Bowl with Marshall.

A game of great interest will be the CMU –EMU matchup on September 18, at 4:00 PM at Rynearson. EMU season tickets are available starting at $35, www.emueagles.com.

 

2010 MAC 'Game of the Week' Schedule (All Times Noon ET)

Date Matchup
Sat. Sept. 18 University of Connecticut at Temple
Sat. Oct. 2 Ohio University at Eastern Michigan
Sat. Oct 9

Temple at Northern Illinois -AND-

Western Michigan at Ball State (Split Network)

Sat. Oct 16 Miami (OH) at Central Michigan
Sat. Oct 23 Temple at Buffalo
Sat. Oct 30 Northern Illinois at Western Michigan

 

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