Head coach: Tom Amstutz
Last season: How much you wanna bet Toledo could've won more games last year? Oops. Nevermind. Looking at the stats, the Rockets are about middle of the pack in every category in the MAC. They beat Kansas and McNeese State at home before losing four straight conference games. They finished at 5-7. Rising above the mediocrity were junior running back Jalen Parmele and freshman safety Barry Church. Parmele trailed only Garrett Wolfe for rushing yards in the conference. Church registered 71 tackles and four sacks en route to a First Team All-MAC selection. Clint Cochran and Aaron Opelt shared time at quarterback and played OK.
Best returning player: Senior running back Jalen Parmele
Offense: Amstutz said Opelt and Cochran will start fresh this fall. The better player will win the job. Toledo is inexperienced at receiver, but they will bring back All-MAC tight end Chris Hopkins, who scored seven touchdowns last season. The offensive line appears to be steady, led by All-MAC left tackle John Greco.
Defense: Toledo has depth and experience at every position. They will have to display better results this season, however, if Toledo is to challenge Central and Western Michigan. It couldn't hurt to get more pressure on the quarterback. As much as the media guide props up his linebackers and defensive line, that shouldn't be a problem.
Season outlook: This schedule is a real gem. Toledo opens the season playing Purdue at home, and I think they'll win. Then they return last year's game at Kansas and at home against Iowa State. The only losses I can see are at Central Michigan and at Kansas. Toledo's record should be much better, even if the talent isn't.
Crucial game: vs. Western Michigan on Sept. 29
Predicted record: 10-2 (including a win vs. WMU)