4.) Same Faces, New Places?
The 2015 season isn’t even over yet and we are already seeing a bunch of head coaching vacancies around college football. So far, schools like USC, Virginia Tech, South Carolina, Missouri, Miami, Maryland, and Illinois have openings. Those numbers will likely grow when more coaches get the boot at the end of the season. Matt Campbell of Toledo and Dino Babers of Bowling Green will likely be candidates in the search for some of these teams. Babers led Bowling Green to a MAC East title and a bowl win last year in his first season at Bowling Green. The Falcons currently sit at 8-2 this year and undefeated in MAC play. With another MAC East title and the high flying offenses this season at Bowling Green and with Jimmy Garoppolo in his two seasons at Eastern Illinois, Babers will definitely be looked at by teams interested in a high powered offense. On the flip side, Matt Campbell has amassed a 34-14 record since taking over the team before their bowl game in 2011. The Rockets have not had a losing season under Campbell, including two seasons with nine wins and currently sit just one short of hitting that mark again. They’ve gone 2-1 in bowls and have been in the AP top 25 several times over the past couple seasons. Now is your chance to get a look at these coaches before they possibly depart to a power conference school.
5.) Potential MAC Championship Rematch
There is the possibility that these two teams can face each other again in a December game in Detroit for the MAC Championship. Bowling Green has already locked up their spot in the game by taking advantage of a weak East division. Toledo has had the challenge of facing off with Northern Illinois, Western Michigan, and Central Michigan for that top spot in the West. Currently all of these teams sit at 5-1 except for Central who is just behind them at 4-2. If Toledo can win out and Northern Illinois loses to either Western Michigan or Ohio than they will for sure go to the championship game. This is your chance to see a great game between arguably the top two teams in the MAC.
I expect nothing short of a shootout in this one. Bowling Green averages 45 points a game and Toledo 35, but I expect both teams to go over that mark in this one. Toledo has the better defense of the two. Toedo is 20th in the country allowing just under 19 points per game compared to Bowling Green who allows 28. Where Toledo really excels is the run defense behind their big guys Orion Jones and Treyvon Hester up front. They are 15th in the country in run defense. However both teams are extremely weak against the pass with both ranking in the 100s. With Bowling Green being such a pass happy team, Toledo’s great defense will be tested more by having to face its biggest weakness.
Suddenly the defenses should be a lot more even than Toledo having an advantage. The key for Toledo in this game will be to control the ball early and take long drives led by Hunt and Swanson to keep the ball out of Bowling Green’s hands. Toledo also cannot give up the big pass plays defensively that have hindered them throughout the year. For Bowling Green, the key is going to be to get off to a fast start. Toledo is a running team and in order to play catchup you need to throw the ball more than run it. Overall, I think that Toledo’s inability to stop the pass is what is going to be their downfall. Matt Johnson is going to be able to put up some big plays that lead to some quick scores for the Falcons but Toledo will find a way to keep them in it. It should be a high scoring close game. The line is currently Bowling Green -7.5 but my prediction is going to be Bowling Green 49 Toledo 45.
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