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MAC Bandwagon Podcast, ep. 55: NIU and BGSU kick off our football previews!

It’s finally time! The long offseason is over, and Steve and Zach celebrate by diving right into prognosticating NIU and BGSU.

Illustration: James H. Jimenez; photos courtesy of Wikipedia Commons, James H. Jimenez, Kenneth Bailey

Happy Friday folks! We’re only six weeks from football. It’s so close! With the season drawing nearer, we’re starting our team previews this week. We have a PACKED episode this week!

Before starting the previews, we open up the a block with a recap of this weeks’ MAC Media Days at Ford Field in Detroit. The media voted on how they see the divisions playing out this year, with Kent State being picked to win the East and Ball State repeating in the West. Zach and Steve discuss their thoughts on each division. Did the media get it right? Let us know!

Also in the news, we’ve reached the stage of the pre-season where the annual awards watch lists are being released. The MAC placed SIX running backs on the annual Doak Walker Award watch list, which is a heck of an accomplishment for the conference. Elsewhere, Kent State QB Dustin Crum was named to the Davey O’Brien Award watch list for the nations best signal caller.

In the B block, we dive into our first team preview of the year, taking a deep dive on the Northern Illinois Huskies. The boys recap NIU’s performance last year, while looking at the make up of the roster. This is still an incredibly young team, though there are some good pieces left from last years squad. New QB Rocky Lombardi will have a number of weapons on offense, with Tyrice Richie and Trayvon Rudolph on the outside and Harrison Waylee in the backfield. The defense also returns some nice pieces, especially in the secondary. Huskie fans, how do you feel about NIU’s chances this year? What type of season will constitute enough “progress” for you? Let us know!

To close out the show, the boys take a look at Bowling Green. Falcon fans...we’re sorry. It has been a sharp decline for the Falcons since the 2015 MAC Championship season, and things don’t seem to be getting any better. Coach Scott Loeffler still has an incredibly young team after losing a number of players to the transfer portal this past offseason. Zach and Steve discuss some of the newcomers on offense (two P5 transfers at the skill positions) and what type of season to expect from QB Matt McDonald. On defense, the Falcons switch from a 4-3 to a 3-4 scheme with the hope of improving last year historically bad defense. They say that rock bottom is a good place to push off from, and it seems as if the Falcons are embodying that ethos right now. Signs of improvement this year are necessary, and would certainly be welcomed by the Falcons fan base.

As always, thanks for stopping by this week folks. Have a great weekend, and we’ll see you back here next week!