MACwood Squares is our summer reading series on the best athletes in Mid-American Conference sports history. This week features Central Michigan. Looking for your MAC school? Consult our schedule for other teams and please submit your nominees as well.
There is no question about Dan LeFevour as the top CMU player in football history. It's kind of hard to argue otherwise when a four-year quarterback also has the school record on rushing touchdowns. He's also synonymous with the rebirth of a once-proud program.
When Herb Deromedi coached the maroon and gold from 1978-1993, he had two non-winning seasons: his last two. Since then, the Chippewas were never able to put together back-to-back winning seasons. They were also never able to win a bowl game in the Deromedi era, or since then (0-2). Under LeFevour, they went 2-2 and played the two losses down the wire as well.
They'll also remember the victory at Michigan State, which LeFevour helped orchestrate. It may have been an onside kick + field goal to win, but those were two drives that the quarterback created with both his legs and arm.
We also remember the 12,905 passing yards, although maybe not every single pass. We remember the 47 rushing touchdowns — a CMU record. Twice he won MAC Offensive Player of the Year, as well as the Vern Smith. The 15,853 career total offensive yards is not just a MAC record but also second best in FBS history and fourth among all NCAA divisions. His 150 career touchdowns is also tops in the FBS.
Fans around the MAC probably knew what sort of pain they were going to feel in 2006 when they won the MAC Championship. They repeated in 2007 and then capped off the title in 2009. LeFevour actually lost just four MAC games in his four years. Oddly enough, two of those losses came against EMU, despite averaging 48.5 points in those contests.
You can make your mark in the MAC by becoming a big fish in a small pond. But stack his career numbers up against anyone else's in the subdivision, and you're going to be hard-pressed to find other players who individually accomplished more. There were better, deeper teams. They didn't have LeFevour. And in four years, he brought Mount Pleasant 36 wins.
There were role players who helped LeFevour get to this point, as well as coaches like Brian Kelly and Butch Jones for facilitating the fabled offense which led to four straight bowl games. But the era will be marked by one resounding name.
Who are your nominees for Central Michigan's MACwood Squares? Comment below, tweet us at @HustleBelt or submit a FanPost making your case. The final nine will be revealed Friday.