Every team in the MAC that had at least a 37.5% win percentage in MAC play last year had 7 players on the Steele preseason list, except Buffalo.
Every team in the MAC that won 50% of their MAC games had at least 10 players on the list except CMU.
Buffalo finished 2014 8th in the MAC, although a probable win over Kent would have moved them to a tie for 6th. UB is a bad truck driver and a bad drive in Bowling Green away from a MAC East division championship in 2014. That said, perception in the MAC is that UB will not be very good. The Steele ratings put the Bulls in the company of Eastern Michigan, Kent State and Miami.
Quarterback: Licata Disrespect Season Begins
Blake Frohnapfel continues to get accolades for his 335 yards/game output last year, however Licata threw for more yards per attempt than Blake (7.67 to 7.65). In the meantime, Licata has a stellar +18 TD/INT ratio while Blake's ratio is only +13.
MAC writers continue to prop up Frohnapfel for throwing 60 times a game and penalize UB for having a solid run game and a more balanced offense.
Zach Terrell probably had the best season last year, Hare won the championship, Licata should be #3, and Frohnapfel if ranked, should be fourth. Matt Johnson, who spent all of last year injured, does not belong on the team.
UB Offense Recognized
Ron Willoughby, Matt Weiser, John Kling, and Anthone Taylor were all recognized for their offensive prowess, while Devin Campbell was recognized as a return man.
UB Defense Left Bare?
Gill left Quinn with Domonic Cook, Davonte Shannon, Justin Winters, Josh Thomas, Steven Means and Khalil Mack. Quinn and Tepper leave Lance Leipold with a lot of questions. Every team in the MAC placed at least two defensive players on Steele's preseason All-MAC team, EXCEPT Buffalo who had ZERO.
Under Tepper last year, UB allowed 34 points per game. However in the final two games, the defense only allowed 38 points. That leaves me with hope that there was talent there behind an awful defensive gameplan.
Also interesting how Steele justifies putting six Akron defenders on his teams after Akron surrendered 55 points to UB late in 2014.
Great News for Leipold
If you were to select a coaching job, you would want one where potential exceeds expectations. It is clear that right now, outside of the 716 expectations for the 2015 Bulls are going got be low; the MAC preseason poll will probably confirm this, I strongly assume UB will finish no better than 5th in the MAC East.
That said, UB has potential. The defense has no where to go but up, the offense is criminally underrated: the trio of Willoughby, Taylor and Licata put up 96 points in their final two games in 2014.
The MAC doesn't know it yet, and they will continue to disrespect until the games are played, but this could be a very fun season for New York's team.