2019 College Football Season

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Hachiko
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Re: 2019 College Football Season

Post by Hachiko » Thu Aug 01, 2019 1:03 pm

Image In a sport like college football, with an increasing disparity between haves and have-nots, there can be great power in zigging when everyone else is zagging. Without the zig, this sport wouldn’t be what it is today. The air raid, the option, thousands of tiny innovations in between: all zigs.

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Re: 2019 College Football Season

Post by Hachiko » Thu Aug 01, 2019 1:07 pm

Image By the end of 2018, Leipold had done most of what he had set out to do when he left comfortable surroundings for an unfamiliar venture.

At the age of 50, having just won his sixth Division III title in eight years at Wisconsin-Whitewater, Leipold had jumped to the MAC. He had spent two seasons stripping the Bulls down to the studs, but late in a rickety third season — lose two in a row, win three in a row, lose four in a row — things clicked. And it very much continued in year four.

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Re: 2019 College Football Season

Post by Hachiko » Thu Aug 01, 2019 1:11 pm

Image I say something similar in virtually every Kent State preview: this is a really hard job. There are quite a few — UTEP, New Mexico State, ULM, UL-Lafayette, Eastern Michigan, UConn, UMass, etc. — but Kent State has appeared to be the hardest.

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Hachiko
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Re: 2019 College Football Season

Post by Hachiko » Thu Aug 01, 2019 1:16 pm

Image One fact of life that becomes more true to me with each passing year is that we are all paradoxes in some way. The factors that give us our best traits also give us our worst.

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Re: 2019 College Football Season

Post by Hachiko » Thu Aug 01, 2019 1:23 pm

Image During last year’s preview series, I talked myself into 2018 being when the Bobcats became not only the best team in the MAC East — they’ve won four division titles under Frank Solich and were almost unquestionably the best in the division in 2017 despite losing the title to Akron — but also the best team in the conference.

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Re: 2019 College Football Season

Post by Hachiko » Thu Aug 01, 2019 1:28 pm

Image “Last year’s pain is this year’s gain.” That was my positive spin in 2018’s Ball State preview. Mike Neu’s Cardinals got waylaid by injuries in a way few teams ever experience, and after showing a bit of promise during a 2-2 start in 2017, they got outscored by an average of 48-12 in eight conference losses. It felt like every starter got hurt and every freshman was thrust into action before he was ready. It was a mulligan season if ever one existed.

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Re: 2019 College Football Season

Post by Hachiko » Thu Aug 01, 2019 1:33 pm

Image CMU’s offense, the lesser of Bonamego’s units, wasn’t “lesser” in 2018 — it was the worst in FBS. The Chippewas’ 9-point adjusted scoring average in S&P+ is the worst college football has seen since 2013, 1.6 points per game worse than the second-worst in that span (2015 Kent State).

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Re: 2019 College Football Season

Post by Hachiko » Thu Aug 01, 2019 1:40 pm

Image He took Ottawa to the NAIA playoffs, took Wabash to the Division III quarterfinals, and won two conference titles at Drake. When Creighton took the job that no one else wanted in 2014, he had already proved he could build steady programs at the lower levels.

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Re: 2019 College Football Season

Post by Hachiko » Thu Aug 01, 2019 1:44 pm

Image After six seasons, Rod Carey left to take the Temple job when it opened for a second time this offseason. He left accomplishments that any successor would do well to match: two MAC titles, four division crowns, 52 wins. He held the fort as NIU had to deal with its third coaching change in seven years and offered some stability. NIU’s last four hires have each enjoyed at least one season of double-digits wins and a brief stay in the AP top 25. Carey continued that. He even won the MAC on his way out the door.

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Hachiko
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Re: 2019 College Football Season

Post by Hachiko » Thu Aug 01, 2019 1:51 pm

Image The Rockets tend to recruit better than their conference peers, and while many MAC schools struggle to come anywhere close to the FBS minimum of 15,000 in attendance per game, Toledo is regularly over 20,000.

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Hachiko
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Re: 2019 College Football Season

Post by Hachiko » Thu Aug 01, 2019 1:55 pm

Image Your lot can change quickly in the Mid-American Conference. Western Michigan knows that as well as anyone. In the last 20 years, the Broncos have seen as many up and downs as anyone in this up-and-down league.

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Hachiko
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Re: 2019 College Football Season

Post by Hachiko » Thu Aug 01, 2019 1:59 pm

Image The draws of a triple-option system for a service academy are obvious. It helps to negate built-in size and speed disadvantages, for one. It shrinks the games so that those size- and speed-advantaged opponents also get fewer chances to separate themselves. It makes them terrifying underdogs, and it’s a great way to overachieve against what your stats think you should have achieved.

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Hachiko
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Re: 2019 College Football Season

Post by Hachiko » Thu Aug 01, 2019 2:03 pm

Image So much of football is about giving yourself margin for error, and even in a resurgent Mountain West, Boise State has more of it than anyone else.

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Hachiko
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Re: 2019 College Football Season

Post by Hachiko » Thu Aug 01, 2019 2:08 pm

Image The most encouraging thing about Colorado State’s 2018 season is that the depth of the stumble doesn’t always matter — the strength of the rebound is all that counts.

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Hachiko
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Re: 2019 College Football Season

Post by Hachiko » Thu Aug 01, 2019 2:13 pm

Image Frustrated by a lack of support and diminishing win totals, New Mexico head coach Rocky Long resigned following the 2008 season, and Mike Locksley replaced him. Locksley attracted decent talent to Albuquerque but had no idea what to do with it, and the Lobos went an incredible (for all the wrong reasons) 1-11 in 2009, 1-11 in 2010, and, after he was fired four games in, 1-11 in 2011.

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Hachiko
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2017 Female Favorite: Katō Megumi
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Wish: An awesome 2019 ISML.
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Re: 2019 College Football Season

Post by Hachiko » Thu Aug 01, 2019 2:18 pm

Image For your perusal, here’s a list of FBS coaches that left a given school for whatever reason (retirement, bigger and better things) and then returned for a second tenure later on. I’m including their (FBS-only) records in both stints.

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Hachiko
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Wish: An awesome 2019 ISML.
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Re: 2019 College Football Season

Post by Hachiko » Thu Aug 01, 2019 2:24 pm

Image It’s been a theme of many of my MWC previews thus far: this conference improved rapidly in 2018. San Jose State improved in S&P+ but went 1-11, UNLV improved but fell to 4-8, Air Force improved but remained 5-7, etc.

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Hachiko
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2017 Female Favorite: Katō Megumi
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Wish: An awesome 2019 ISML.
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Re: 2019 College Football Season

Post by Hachiko » Thu Aug 01, 2019 2:30 pm

Image When it comes to college football hires, I often get caught up in the aesthetics, in the feel of the hire, in whether the right process was followed. I’m often right to do so, but if there’s anything we’ve learned through the years, it’s that no matter what, any hire can work, and any hire can fail.

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Hachiko
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2017 Female Favorite: Katō Megumi
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Wish: An awesome 2019 ISML.
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Re: 2019 College Football Season

Post by Hachiko » Thu Aug 01, 2019 2:35 pm

Image Your performance as an assistant coach doesn’t tell us much about your eventual performance as a head coach. Our reflex reactions to head coaching hires almost always have to do with our impressions of the guy as an assistant.

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Hachiko
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2017 Female Favorite: Katō Megumi
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Re: 2019 College Football Season

Post by Hachiko » Thu Aug 01, 2019 2:40 pm

Image On November 10, 2018, SDSU hosted UNLV. The 7-2 Aztecs had some cracks in their armor, and the offense was far less explosive than it had been in previous years. But it was mid-November, when SDSU tends to shine.

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