Here is a great story about how J.D. Brookhart, a head coach with an offensive background, assembled the MAC's best defense.
It ran in today's USA Today.
- Zips will go 9-3: Or so Sports Illustrated says. Akron will still lose the MAC Championship to Northern Illinois. That will put the Zips in a Jan. 7 matchup against Tulsa in the GMAC Bowl, SI predicts.
- The Zips are SI's 56th best team. NIU is the MAC's highest ranking at 41st. The Zips and Huskies are followed by Toledo (61st), Miami (70th) and Bowling Green (74th).
- If you go strictly on SI's rankings, Akron will go 11-1 this season. The only opponent ranked higher is Penn State at 19.
- The Zips' second opponent, N.C. State, is 67th and expected to finish 3-9. SI lists the Wolfpack's coach, Chuck Amato, as one of the three coaches on the hot seat.
- SI also released a Big Man on Campus for each school. Not surprisingly, Luke Getsy is "it" on Buchtel Common. Out of morbid curiousity, I checked Kent State's BMOC (hoping it would be the trainer or waterboy). It's defensive end Danny Muir.
- Speaking of Kent State, it is the Flashes' fault that SI ranks the MAC 10th of 11 conferences: "The teams at the top can play with some of the big boys, but the league gets dragged down by its weak sisters."
- SI profiled Penn State wide receiver/running back/kick returner Derrick Williams, who runs a -- you might want to sit down for this -- 4.25 in the 40-yard dash. The lightning-fast sophomore sat out much of his freshman season with a broken arm, but he's healthy now. A lot of people focus on linebacker Paul Posluszny and tackle Levi Brown, but Williams could easily burn the Zips for a deep play.
- Not every publication loves Akron: No Zips are in CollegeFootballNews.com's top 200 players in the country. Northern Illinois has a few.