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MAC Bandwagon Podcast, ep. 56: Watchlists and Eagles and Zips, oh my!

As the regular season draws another week closer, Zach and Steve break down the Eagles and the Zips.

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

Happy Friday folks! Another week of the offseason is behind us, and we are a month away from football!

Kicking off the show this week, Zach and Steve quickly breakdown the potential implications of Texas and Oklahoma’s pending move to the SEC. Where is college football headed? How will the ripple effects of this move impact the MAC? It’s certainly been a wild week in the college football world, and we’ll all be watching to see how this potential realignment plays out.

Also in the news this week, the boys take a quick look at the pre-season awards watch lists that have been released. The MAC placed four offensive lineman on the Outland Award Watch List, and six (!!) punters on the Ray Guy Award Watch List. The conference has certainly been well represented this off-season, and it’s great to see some of the best athletes in the conference get some pre-season recognition.

Moving into our season previews, Zach and Steve first take a look at Eastern Michigan. Chris Creighton has done a phenomenal job in his time in Ypsilanti, and this year he may just have his most talented group yet. Though they were picked fifth in the west, 21 starters return, and this offense could be one of the best in the conference. Will the defense improve enough to get the Eagles back to a bowl game? That is the million dollar question. Regardless, the boys think that the Eagles have enough talent this year to compete for a post-season spot.

In the East division, we take a look at Akron. The Zips program was a mess when Tom Arth was hired three years ago, and he has done a lot to solidify the roster. The offense found some good pieces last year, namely RB Teon Dollard. If the Zips young offensive line can show improvement this year, the offense could take a big step forward. On the defensive side of the ball, a lot of questions remain. Zips fans can take solace in their strong linebacking core, led by Bubba Arslanian and Brandon Bischof. The Zips may not be ready to compete for a bowl berth just yet, but things seem to be moving in the right direction in Northeast Ohio.

As always, thanks for stopping by this week folks. Next week, we’ll continue our season preview series and take a look at Central Michigan and Ohio. Have a great weekend, and we’ll see you back here next Friday!