Central Michigan is back, not that they were ever really terrible for too long. Under Jim McElwain’s three years of leadership, the Chips have won a share of two division titles, went to two bowls, and are 15-7 clip in conference play.
But of all the strong teams in the west this season Central Michigan may have the most rebuilding to do.
The main focus of rebuilding for the Chips is their offensive line. Last season Central Michigan was 24th in the nation in total offense and their passing attack was the second-best in the MAC. This year they are trying to do that without two tackles, Bernhard Raimann and Luke Goedeke, who are both at this moment on NFL rosters. They also lost their two top receivers.
They will be led on the ground by Lew Nichols who racked up 1,848 yards and 16 touchdowns and the passing game will be managed by Daniel Richardson who put up 2,583 yards and 24 touchdowns with just six picks last year.
The Defense also has a ton of rebuilding to do, mainly because of the portal. More than hald their starters are gone to other colleges.
- S Devonni Reed (South Carolina)
- LB Troy Brown (Ole Miss)
- LB George Douglas (SMU)
- LB Greg Kreski (Led the team in tackles)
- DL Troy Hairston (Houston Texans)
- DL Amir Saddiq (Charlotte).
The unit's strength was the front seven, hence the heavy poaching up front. Their secondary was not great but do return most of what they did have for rebuilding.
For Buffalo to really have a chance here the UB defense needs to stich together a strong pass rush and not be sloppy when tackling after Nichols. The Chips are as picked apart as Buffalo so it’s a rebuild for both teams.