Before the new recruits get in and offseason ratings boosts take effect I'd like to give just a little preview of the East division from Coach Redd's perspective. I'm unfamiliar with the West so I left them alone for now. Every team gets one question going into the season and one thing to look forward to. Teams are in reverse order of predicted finish. Last season Record: 1-11 (0-8) Key Player(s) Lost:C - Jamil Daniels Key Player Returning: QB - Richard Graham (last season - 135.7 QB Rating 87-135 [56%] 1303 Yards 7 TD 6 INT Question that needs answered: Can EMU find the right offensive scheme? EMU finished dead last in the league in scoring last year. The run first approach that Crumb used seemed to be the right answer to help shorten games and give his defense a rest, but scoring has got to be priority #1 this year. Thing to most look forward to: QB Richard Graham is 81 overall(pre offseason training) and should be able to really take a step forward this year and become the player EMU needs if he stays healthy. Last season Record: 9-4 (5-3) Key Player(s) Lost: RB Sam Tanner, QB Richard Lundy Key Player Returning: TE Ray Fisher (1st Team all-CUSA) Question that needs answered: Now that MTSU doesnt have 80+ overalls to lean on at QB and RB, can the Blue Raiders sustain the success and field a competitive offense? The backup QB went 2-20 last year with 2 INTS. I think a 5th place finish in the East is the right prediction considering everyone but Ray Fisher left the offense. Thing to most look forward to: Ray Fisher scoring TD's and wreaking havoc on CUSA defenses for one more year. Last Season Record: 10-3 (5-3) Key Player(s) Lost: TE Gerald Johnson, DE Adam Carter Key Player Returning: RB John Newby, QB Charlie Denman Question that needs answered: Coach Qwon has been quoted as saying the offense ran thru GJ with his superior blocking and receiving skills and his defense was lead by Carter's consistent pressure. Without his two anchors on both sides of the ball, can Kent State compete in the toughest divsion in the NCAA? Thing to most look forward to: The two headed monster that is Denman and Newby. They return 328 yards per game passing and 110 yards per game rushing, respectively. Last Season Record: 9-4 (5-3) Key Player(s) Lost: WR Shaun Griffin (NCAA records in receiving) Key Player(s) Returning: QB E.J. Hayden , SS Eddie Lewis(64 total tackles, 8 INT) Question that needs answered: Can WKU get past the East's elite and jump to the top spot? WKU seems to have the roster and coaching to contend for the East title but WMU and Army both defeated the Hilltoppers last year. Until WKU can find a way to beat his CUSA East opponents, they will continue to finish in the middle of the East Pack. Thing to most look forward to: QB E.J. Hayden throwing to 4 returning receivers with 400+ yards receiving. Hayden threw for a ridiculous amount of yards last year and the aerial attack should be back in full force this year. Last Season Record: 10-3 (5-3) Key Player(s) Lost: SS Patrick Sherman Key Player(s) Returning: QB Derrick Gates (220-310 3238 Yards 26 TDs) Question that needs answered: Can Army avoid the late season collapse of a year ago? Army was chugging along as a top ten team, with only one loss to WMU. Then, Army was upset twice by teams he shouldve beat. If Army can avoid the upset bug this year and win the games they are supposed to win, they should have a top 10 team. Thing to most look forward to: As with most other CUSA East Teams, Army returns a great QB in Derrick Gates. Gates connected on a ridiculous 70% of throws last year. Last Season Record: 14-0 (9-0) Key Player(s) Lost: QB Adrian Pollock (1st team all-CUSA) Key Player(s) Returning: RB Travis Ruffin (2016 CUSA MVP) Question that needs answered: Is coach Nikpin able to keep WMU motivated and avoid the slipup? With WMU's dominance of CUSA of late, it will be easy to get complacent and slipup in a game or two this year. Whether WMU can avoid the let down is the key to the season because they will be favored in every game this year. Thing to most look forward to: This one is easy. 2016 CUSA MVP RB Travis Ruffin. Ruffin coming back a year stronger and faster will cause D-coordinators in CUSA to have nightmares. He is the leading candidate to retain MVP honors and if he avoids serious injury, should have a great year.