Day 2.13: Northern Illinois Huskies
Location: DeKalb, Illinois
Introduction: Started play in 1899, became a Division 1 independent in 1968 then joined the MAC in 1975. They are the only current MAC members ever to have left the conference, leaving in 1986 after 11 seasons, they would return in 1997 and have remained their ever since.
Biggest achievement: 2010-2014, they put together 5 consecutive seasons of 11+ wins, being ranked at various points in 3 of those seasons, winning 3 MAC conference championships (2011, 2013 and 2014) their 2nd, 3rd and 4th in history, finishing a season ranked (2012 #22) and even reaching a BCS bowl in 2012 (the Orange Bowl vs Florida State, which they lost 31-10). They would go on a 25 game win streak from 2011-2013. Their overall record of 57-13 would be the 4th best 5 year period in MAC history, and the best since Central Michigan's 45-9-1 in 1976-1980.
Biggest failure: 1991-1999, over the 9 years they would play in 2 different conferences, along with 3 seasons as an independent, they would combine for 26-73, with no winning seasons. Interestingly they would stick by their HC for the last 4 years of that 9 year period, despite him taking them to a 8-36 record and 4 losing seasons, the next season he would get his first winning season, the first of a 7 year streak, which would see them win their first bowl game in 21 seasons.
Rivals: Ball State, "The Bronze Stalk Trophy", despite the schools being located nearly 300 miles apart the two schools have come to develop a rivalry, stemming back to 1941, the two have meet every year since 1997 when NIU re-joined the MAC. NIU currently lead the series 22-20-2, having won the last 8 and 15 of the last 18.
Head coach: Rod Carey, the former Indiana Centre, started coaching as an assistant at a Minnesota high school, got his first coaching gig at NIU in 2012, after taking over as the interim coach from Dave Doeren (who left for NC State), guided them to 4 straight bowl loses, and their first losing season in 8 years in 2016. But also a 36-19 overall record, so it's not all bad.
Notable current players: Max Scharping, OL, 2016 first team All MAC.
Notable former players: Kenny Golladay, WR, 2016 first team All MAC, considered a potential day 3 selection by CBS.
Chandler Harnish, 2011 MAC offensive player of the year, 2012 Mr Irrelevant.
Jordan Lynch, 2012 and 2013 MAC offensive player of the year, accounted for 91 TDs in 2012 and 2013 combined.
LeShon Johnson, RB, the school's only All American, 1993.
Larry English, DE, 3 time All MAC, 2 time MAC MVP, 2009 16th overall draft pick
Jimmie Ward, 2 time first team All MAC, 2014 30th overall pick.
Michael Turner, first team All Pro, Falcons all time rushing TD leader.
Stadium: Huskie Stadium, opened 1965, capacity 46,000.
4 MAC teams
12 MWC teams
12 American teams
10 Big 12
12 Pac 12
14 Big Ten
96 total teams to go, 149 (156 proper) days to go until the start of the season, I'm on track still.
Day 3.1: Miami (OH) RedHawks
Location: Oxford, Ohio
Why Miami: Miami is named after a local Native American tribe. There is also a Miami river which runs near to the town. There was probably also some trepidation over being confused with the University of Oxford, unfortunately for them a university would start up in Florida over 100 years later to cause confusion anyway.
Why RedHawks: The team was originally the Redskins, apparently the name comes from when "[a] student referred to their team as the Big Red-Skinned Warriors." despite the (if the story is to be believed) non-racist origin it was decided in 1997 (with the support of the Miami tribe) to rename the team to something with less racist connotations.
Introduction: Started play in 1888, the earliest of any MAC team, they joined the MAC in 1947, one year after it's foundation, they joined Division 1 in 1962, and have played at the top level since.
Biggest achievement: From 1971 to 1975 they would put together a 5 year record of 46-7-1, the second best 5 year record in MAC history (if you exclude an abysmal 1976 season where they went 3-8 then from 1973-1978 they would have the best 5 year record in MAC history), which included a 3 year period where they went 32-1-1, winning 3 MAC conference championships, 3 Tangerine Bowls (now the Citrus Bowl) vs Florida, Georgia and South Carolina, they were ranked for 21 of their 34 games, and were ranked in all 3 post season polls.
In 2003 with QB Ben Roethlisberger leading the O they would field the number one scoring offence in the country, scoring 43.0 points per game, to power them to a 13-1 record, with their only loss coming in week 1 @ Iowa. They would face Louisville in the GMAC Bowl, coming out victors 49-28, to finish the season ranked in the top 10 (#10) for only the second time in school history, and to date only the 2nd time in MAC history.
In their entire history they have been crowned MAC champions 15 times, with the last coming in 2010, the most in MAC history, and 3 more times than 2nd place Bowling Green.
Biggest failure: 10 of the last 11 seasons, other than a 2010 season where they managed double digit wins (10-4) they have put together 10 losing seasons, with a 30-92 record (40-96 including the 2010 season). Crowned by a 2013 season in which they went 0-12.
Rivals: Ohio, "The Battle of the Bricks" The two schools joined the MAC conference within a year of each other (Ohio joining a year earlier). The two have meet every year since 1928, with only a brief 2 year hiatus due to World War 2, they also meet 6 times at irregular intervals prior to 1928, for a grand total of 93 meetings. Miami leads 52-39-2, but Ohio have taken 10 of the last 11 meetings.
Cincinnati "The Victory Bell", they first meet in 1888, in the first college game ever played in the state of Ohio. the rivalry is the 5th most played in college football history with 121 meetings. Miami leads 59-55-7, however Cincinnati have won the last 11.
Head coach: The school has seen a few notable HCs through it's years, including Ohio State greats Woody Hayes and Jim Tressel, Michigan great Bo Schembechler, Super Bowl winning coaches Sean Payton (OC) and John Harbaugh (player), along with the man who many Florida fans will tell you played a big hand in their 2006 NC Ron Zook (player).
Their current HC is Chuck Martin, the former Millikin (Division 3) safety and kicker. Started his coaching career as a graduate assistant at Minnesota State (Division 2), before becoming HC at Grand Valley State where he won 2 Division 2 National Championships. He would eventually leave for the DB job at Notre Dame, where he worked his way up to OC with his first year in the job resulting in a BCS Championship appearance (where they would be slaughtered by Alabama). He would get his first FBS HC job in 2014 at Miami. In his 3 years he has taken them to an 11-26 record, and 3 seasons, however he has improved every year (2-10, 3-9, 6-7), even taking them to a bowl game in 2016.
Notable current players: Heath Harding, DB, 2016 first team All MAC.
Notable former players: Bob Babich, LB, college football HoF.
Weeb Ewbank, QB, Pro Football HoF, won the AFC's first Super Bowl as HC.
Paul Brown, QB, Pro Football HoF, founder of the Cleveland Browns, team named after him.
Sid Gillman, End, Pro Football HoF, College football HoF, Pro football HoF.
Ben Roethlisberger, 2003 MAC offensive player of the year, 2 time Super Bowl champion, 5 time Pro Bowler.
Stadium: Fred C. Yager Stadium, opened 1982, capacity 24,000. Named for Fred C. Yager, who was the lead financer in the building of the stadium.
Day 3.2: Ohio Bobcats
Location: Athens, Ohio
Introduction: Started play in 1894, they joined the MAC in 1946 as a founding member, along side Wayne, Butler, Cincinnati, and Case, they are the only founding members still in the conference, they joined Division 1 in 1962, and have played at the top level since.
Biggest achievement: The 1968 season. They would go 10-1, win their 5th (and so far final) MAC championship, and finish ranked #20, the only time they have finished ranked, despite losing their bowl game to Richmond.
The 2011 season, only their second season with double digit wins (10-4), they would win the MAC East (losing the conference championship game), and go to their 6th bowl game in school history, and achieve their first win, 24-23 over Utah State.
Biggest failure: 1983-1995, they would put together 13 consecutive losing seasons, with one zero win season and five 1 win seasons, for a total record of 27-110-6.
Rivals: Miami (OH), see above.
Marshall, See here
Head coach: Frank Solich, former Nebraska FB, became a HC for a Nebraska HS in 1966, and coached the University of Nebraska from 1998-2003, where he won one Big 12 title, 2 Big 12 coach of the year awards, and one national coach of the year award. He would be fired after a 9-3 2003 season, and a 58-19 total record.
He would sit out for one season, then return to head coaching at Ohio in 2005, in his time at Ohio he has won one MAC coach of the year award, and had 8 winning seasons in 12 seasons, for a combined 88-67 record. He is the only Ohio HC to have won a bowl game.
Notable current players: Javon Hagan, DB, MAC freshman of the year.
Louis Zervos, K, 2016 first team all MAC.
Quentin Poling, ILB, 2016 first team all MAC.
Notable former players: Tarell Basham, DE, 2016 MAC defensive player of the year, projected to get drafted tonight by CBS.
Blair Brown, ILB, 2016 first team All MAC, projected to get drafted tomorrow.
Mike Mitchell, S, 2nd round pick in 2009, scum bag **** that guy.
Stadium: Peden Stadium, opened 1929, capacity 24,000.
Day 3.3: Toledo Rockets
Location: Toledo, Ohio
Introduction: Started play in 1917, they joined the MAC in 1950, they joined Division 1 in 1962, and have played at the top level since.
Biggest achievement: 1967-1971, they put together the best 5 year record in MAC history, going 9-1, 5-4-1, then three consecutive undefeated seasons of 11-0, 12-0 and 12-0. During the 5 year period they won 4 MAC championships, went to the tangerine bowl 3 times, winning all 3, and finishing ranked in 1970 (#12) and 1971 (#14).
Biggest failure: 1975-1978, they put together 4 consecutive losing seasons, for a 14-32 record.
Rivals: Bowling Green State, "Battle of I-75" located just 20 miles apart, the two schools have meet 81 times, with BGSU leading the series 39-38-4, with Toledo having won the last 7 games. The two originally played from 1948 to 2010 for a Native American style "peace pipe" [apparently nothing to do with drugs], and later a miniature replica of one (the original was 10 foot long), however with the NCAA wishing to distance themselves from anything being even potentially offensive to Native Americans the two agreed to discontinue the trophy, replacing it with the far more boring "Battle for I75 trophy".
Toledo has a genuine US Army rocket (decommissioned) outside their stadium, which is positioned so that if it were to be fired it would land on the 50 yard line of BGSU's stadium.
Head coach: Jason Candle, the former Geneva and Mount Union (both Division 3) WR, started coaching as the WR coach at Mount Union, joined Toledo as Res coach in 2009, and worked his way up to HC. Was named interim HC for the bowl game in 2015, after former HC Matt Campbell left for Iowa State, and was given the full HC job in 2016.
Won his first game as HC, the Boca Raton Bowl vs #24 Temple. Went 9-4 in his first full season, with a Camellia Bowl loss.
Notable current players: Logan Woodside, QB, 2016 first team All MAC.
Cody Thompson, WR, 2016 first team All MAC.
Notable former players: Kareem Hunt, RB, 2 time first team All MAC, selected last night by the Chiefs.
Storm Norton, OL, 2016 first team All MAC, potential day 3 selection.
Michael Roberts, TE, 2016 first team All MAC, potential day 3 selection.
Eric Page, All Purpose, 2010 first team All American.
Mel Long, DL, 1971 first team All American, college football HoF.
Emlen Tunnell, DB, 4 time first team All Pro, 1950s All Decade, NFL 50th anniversary team, Pro Football HoF. Broke his neck whilst at Toledo, and was rejected by both the army and navy when he attempted to enlist during WW2.
Stadium: Glass Bowl, opened 1936, capacity 26,000. Was built as part of FDR's New Deal.