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MAC Bandwagon Podcast, ep. 59: Kent State and Western Michigan are aiming to get to Ford Field

Two teams with high expectations entering the season, the Broncos and Golden Flashes both both have aspirations of a conference championship.

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

Folks, two weeks from this very moment we will be in the middle of week one. It’s been a long off season, especially after how last year played out. We know you’re all as excited as we are!

To open the show this week, Zach and Steve take a look at the AP pre-season poll. Ball State received six votes, making them the first MAC team to receive votes in the pre-season poll since Toledo in 2016. The Cardinals have certainly earned the recognition, with 20 starters returning from last years’ MAC Championship team.

Moving into the season previews, the boys start out this week by taking a look at Kent State. It is quite remarkable what Sean Lewis has done in his three years with the Golden Flashes, and he was rewarded with a contract extension through 2025. The Flashes have one of the best offenses in the country, led by Dustin Crum and a veteran offensive line. If the defense can improve upon it’s performance from last year, Sean Lewis’ squad will be a favorite to make it to Ford Field. Kent will have plenty of chances to prove themselves this year, with three power 5 teams included in their non-conference schedule. Expectations are as high as they’ve ever been for this team, and the boys discuss how they think the Flashes will fare this year.

Moving to the western division, Zach and Steve discuss the Western Michigan Broncos. Some WMU fans seem to be a bit unhappy with the direction of the program since 2013’s Cotton Bowl berth, but Tim Lester enters his 5th season in Kalamazoo with perhaps his most talented team yet. Kaleb Eleby, La’Darius Jefferson, Skyy Moore, and a veteran offensive line lead what could be a high powered offense. There are some questions on defense, and the boys discuss how the Broncos might be able to fill some holes on that side of the ball. This is a team that has the potential to challenge for the western division crown. Will this be the year Western gets over the hump?

We have only one more season preview left - we’ll be finishing out our pre-season coverage next week by taking a look at Ball State and Buffalo. After that, we’ll have actual, real, live football games to discuss! We can’t tell you how excited we are for that. As always, thank you for stopping by this week folks. Have a great week, and we’ll talk to you again next Friday!