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CUSA East: A look back at the year that was with an eye forward on the year to come: 2017-2018

Discussion in 'The Dirty Dozen' started by CoachRedd, Apr 2, 2011.

  1. CoachRedd

    CoachRedd I come through in something real foolish

    Jan 23, 2011
    Rather than just doing a C-USA East Primer this year, I thought I'd reflect back on last year first so that I can get a better feel of what is expected from the 6 different members this year. All rankings and records in the writeup are in relation to CUSA East(which explains being ranked 1-6 in categories instead of 1-12) because well, the East is the only division that matters. Keep in mind the team stats are Pre-bowl games.

    Total Offense: PPG: Total Defense: Pts All: Turn Diff:

    2017 CUSA East Final Standings

    western michigan.gif 1. Western Michigan 14-0 - National Champion
    5-0 vs the East
    CUSA East Rankings(between 1-6)
    Total Offense: 3rd(6th Pass, 1st Rush) PPG: 1st Total Defense: 1st(3rd vs Pass, 1st vs Rush) Pts All: 1st Turn Diff: +27(1st)

    WMU lived up to the hype by not only winning another CUSA Title, but claiming the top spot in the nation as well. All discussions about CUSA supremacy must start and end with WMU. The Broncos success clearly stemmed from the ability to shut opposing offenses down. While H4Y has been described as a passing league, the champions seemed to take an opposing "run first" approach which lead to first in points per game in the division.

    wku.gif 2. Western Kentucky 12-1 Final Ranking: #2
    4-1 vs the East
    CUSA East Rankings(between 1-6)
    Total Offense: 1st(4th Pass, 3rd Rush) PPG: 2nd Total Defense: 3rd(6th vs Pass, 3rd vs Run) Pts All: 3rd Turn Diff: +11 (2nd)

    Western Kentucky surprised everyone this year suffering only one loss at the hands of Nik en route to a final AP ranking of #2 in the nation. A key to success for the Hilltoppers was winning the turnover battle, but the strength of the team seemed to be the high powered offense of WKU. With more attention on the running game this year, WKU powered through CUSA defenses at an amazing clip.

    kent state.gif 3. Kent State 10-3 Final Ranking: #17
    2-3 vs the East
    CUSA East Rankings(between 1-6)
    Total Offense: 2nd(2nd Pass, 4th Rush) PPG: 3rd Total Defense: 2nd(5th vs Pass, 2nd vs Run) Pts All: 2nd Turn Diff: -5(5th)

    Kent State had another strong season under Qwon. The Golden Flashes ranked in the top half of the division in virtually every category except for turnover difference. Kent State is known as a strong defensive program, and this year was no exception. The Flashes were 2nd in points allowed and are constantly developing new talent. Freshman DE Ty Holden showed promise as a future HOFer. Unfortunately for Kent State fans, the program continued an ugly trend this year losing to the top CUSA East programs(WMU, Army, WKU).

    army.gif 4. Army 9-4
    3-2 vs the East
    CUSA East Ranking(between 1-6)
    Total Offense: 4th(3rd Pass, 5th Run) PPG: 4 Total Defense: 4th(2nd vs Pass, 4th vs Run) Pts All: 4th Turn Diff: +5(3rd)

    What may be considered a very successful season at most programs has to be considered a bit of a disappointment at West Pointe. Army came into the season expected to contend for an East division crown and instead finished in the bottom half of the division. Army's inability to generate a consistent ground game and stop opposing ground games seemed to be the difference. While Army finished in the bottom half of the division in most statistical categories, their ability to take care of the ball and cause more turnovers than their opponents clearly masked other deficiencies. Coach Hammerhead must be proud to have created such a strong program that 9 wins is considered a disappointment.

    emu.gif 5. Eastern Michigan 5-7
    1-4 vs The East
    CUSA East Ranking(between 1-6)
    Total Offense: 5th(5th Pass, 2nd Run) PPG: 5th Total Defense: 6th (4th vs Pass, 5th vs Run) Pts All: 5th Turn Diff: -1(4th)

    EMU had another tough year as they continued their history of finishing in the bottom half of the division. However, they did manage a conference victory and have to be a little optimistic at the baby steps the program is taking. EMU's sore toe had to be the defense, which surrendered more yards than any other team in the division. The offense wasnt much better, even though they did produce the divisions 2nd best ground game. This year could be looked back on the beginning stages of a program turnaround because of the conference win or it could be remembered as the year of false hope. Only time will tell.

    mtsu.gif 6. Middle Tennessee State 4-8
    0-5 vs The East
    Total Offense: 6th(1st Pass, 6th Rush) PPG: 6th Total Defense:5th(1st vs Pass, 6th vs Run) Pts All: 6th Turn Diff: -16(6th)

    If 2016 was one step forward, 2017 was two steps back. MTSU was horrible in almost every statistical category. The few categories they did excel in were facades as they lead the league in passing because they were constantly playing catchup, and lead the division in pass defense because opposing offenses were constantly chewing clock. Who knows what to expect from the Blue Raiders in the future, but this year was clearly as bad as it gets.

    Up Next: Previews for next year.
    • Like Like x 3
  2. DirtycashDylan

    DirtycashDylan I came here to scheme and chew bubblegum...

    Jul 10, 2009
    that's some title...

  3. Bl0ndeRedHead

    Bl0ndeRedHead Official TSO Pothead

    Jul 31, 2010
    lol the title is a short story in and of itself

    but good job
  4. CoachRedd

    CoachRedd I come through in something real foolish

    Jan 23, 2011
    As with last years primer, this is an unbiased look at the teams before off-season progression and new recruits. Teams are in reverse order of predicted finish.

    Record last season: 4-8 (0-8)
    Key Player(s) Lost: TE Ray Fisher
    Key Player(s) Returning: Sophomore DT Josh Brown
    Predicted Conf. Wins: 1

    Question that needs to be answered: Do the Blue Raiders have the talent to compete in the toughest conference in nation? 2016 was a great year that shocked everyone, including Coach Redd himself. However, that shock quickly faded when the Blue Raiders were plowed over in conference play. In Redd's third year the Blue Raiders will almost certainly be picked to finish last in the conference by anyone with half a brain and will still have glaring holes in talent all over the roster. Will the Blue Raiders be able to get back to the success of two years ago?

    Thing to most look forward to: The Blue Raiders stagnant offense should get a kick as Coach Redd introduces the FleXbox One in Murfreesboro. With the right trigger man at QB, this offense could be a success as it is hard to prepare for because it is ran by so few teams in the nation. Will the foreign plays of the new offense be enough to trick opposing defenses this year?

    Record last season: 9-4 (4-4)
    Key Player(s) Lost: QB Derrick Gates, RE Dan Hayward, MLB Michael White
    Key Player(s) Returning: RB Victor Harrison
    Predicted Conf Wins: 2

    Question that needs to be answered: What has happened to this roster? The Army roster has been cleaned of most of its talent through graduation. While last year was a huge disappointment for a talented team and senior class, this year could be even worse as Army's talent has fallen below the conference average. While Hammer can make up for some of the lack of talent with his coaching abilities, it will be hard to compete with the East's elite with this roster.

    Thing to most look forward to: While most of the talent has left, RB Victor Harrison's 19 total TDs remain. He should be the focal point of the offense. Coach Hammerhead has shown the ability to generate a solid running game in the past and with Harrison to work with the Army offense should show signs of a mean ground game.

    Record last season: 5-7 (1-7)
    Key Player(s) Lost: QB Richard Graham
    Key Player(s) Returning: DE Robert Thomas, OLB Rory Brown
    Predicted Conf Wins: 2

    Question that needs to be answered: Can EMU gain some momentum in the East? With Army expected to be down a little and MTSU in full rebuilding mode, can Eastern Michigan get multiple conference wins and finish higher than last year's 5th place in the division? Now is as good a time as ever for Crumb to take his program to a higher level and start being a factor in the East.

    Thing to most look forward to: The playmaking abilities of the defense. Rory Brown and Robert Thomas return to the defense and should be able to provide some stout opposition to CUSA offenses this year. With the window of opportunity wide open for EMU, the Eagles should ride the defense to a good year.

    Record last season: 12-1(7-1)
    Key Player(s) Lost: HB Corey Douglas, MLB Adam Landry
    Key Player(s) Returning: WR Larry Grigsby
    Predicted Conf Wins: 5

    Question that needs to be answered: Who is going to Quarterback the Hilltoppers this year? WKU returns two QBs to this years squad and both can be described as subpar at best for the job. WKU can really move the ball on offense(as evidenced by their finishing 1st in total offense in the conf last year), but without a reliable QB this offense might experience some turbulence. The lack of a QB drops the HIlltoppers to third best in the division in my eyes.

    Thing to most look forward to: The Linebacking core leading a stingy defense. Western Kentucky will return three LBs next year who all figure to be 80+ overalls. While the offense will certainly take a hit in production from a year ago, the defense is primed to have a tremendous year. Could one school boast all three first team all-CUSA linebackers next year?

    kent state.gif
    Record last season: 10-3 (5-3)
    Key Player(s) Lost:
    Key Player(s) Returning: RB John Newby, DE Tyjuan Holden
    Predicted Conf Wins: 6

    Question that needs to be answered: Will Kent State ever be considered as a serious contender for the East crown? Kent State seems to have a solid year annually but still has questions as to whether they can compete vs the East elite. From the history I've read, WKU, Army, and WMU have all held the upper hand vs Kent State and the program is at a crossroads this year to see whether they will stay in mediocrity or rise to the top of the division.

    Thing to most look forward to: The Star power. Last years freshman stud Tyjuan Holden. John Newby, although he mightve taken a step back last year, had a monster year two years ago. QB's Jermaine Howard and Kevin Davidson. The options are limitless with this roster and Coach Qwon really needs to prove his worth by making a run at the East crown this year with a clear advantage in roster over every team not named Western Michigan in the East.

    western michigan.gif
    Record last season: 14-0(9-0)
    Key Player(s) Lost: CB Akeem McCray, WR Anthony Jones
    Key Player(s) Returning: QB Bill Allford
    Predicted Conf Wins: 7

    Question that needs to be answered: Ok so NOW where does the motivation come from? In a year where some thought Nik might slip up and get complacent, the Broncos proceeded to prove all the doubters wrong and win not only the league title but the national title as well. With a couple of early defections and the fact that everyone will now be looking to land the knock out blow against WMU, will the Broncos be able to keep the streak alive?

    Thing to most look forward to: The Roster is loaded. The system is proven. The coach is experienced. This year as a whole will be another one for Broncos fans to look forward to. Coach Nikpin is favored to win the crown and conference again.

    The 4 games I'm most looking forward to this year
    kent state.gif army.gif
    1. Kent State- Army

    Anytime people are excited to see the post game handshake(if their is one) as much as the game itself, that makes for an electric atmosphere and a hell of a game. Will Army continue their dominance over Kent State? I say they do as they pull the upset and beat a heavily favored Kent State team as Hammer seems to have Qwons number.

    western michigan.gif kent state.gif
    2. Western Michigan - Kent State

    Qwon seems to give Nik a run for his money every year(as far as I can tell from reading H4Y history). I predict that this year is the year Qwon gets over the hump and pulls off the streak ending upset. However, if Qwon slips up against WKU and Army, it should seal WMU's East championship.

    wku.gif mtsu.gif
    3. WKU - MTSU

    Things have gotten heated in the press as of late between these two rival coaches. IThe programs have had only two meetings between MTSU and WKU while Redd has been at the helm. Both of those meetings have been blowouts by the Hilltoppers. Will this post game handshake top the one between Qwon and Hammer?

    emu.gif army.gif
    4. EMU - Army

    If Crumb is to ever make a leap in the East standings, this is the year and more precisely the game to do it. With a down Army squad I'm predicting a mildly shocking upset by The Eagles.
    • Like Like x 1
  5. DirtycashDylan

    DirtycashDylan I came here to scheme and chew bubblegum...

    Jul 10, 2009
  6. CoachRedd

    CoachRedd I come through in something real foolish

    Jan 23, 2011
  7. DirtycashDylan

    DirtycashDylan I came here to scheme and chew bubblegum...

    Jul 10, 2009
    #1 WMU vs #2 WKU isn't one of the top 4 games to watch...in the division? haha
  8. CoachRedd

    CoachRedd I come through in something real foolish

    Jan 23, 2011
    It was a good game last year when you two met up with top 5 rankings... Not so sure it will include two highly rated teams this year. But you are right.. I completely whiffed on that one.
  9. hammerhead1010

    hammerhead1010 Walk On

    Jul 22, 2010
    I was gonna tell you to lick my balls Redd, but damn, my roster has gotten pretty shitty now that I look...
  10. nikpin

    nikpin Universitas Brunensis

    Apr 14, 2010
    I like it. You've really done your HW on some of the history of the league. FWIW I'm used to the bitches chasing me.
  11. JQwon13

    JQwon13 Walk On

    Apr 15, 2010
    Also, I have actually beaten Nik. So i haven't always come up just short.

    And the reason John Newby took a step back was cuz he got hurt week 3 and didn't return til the bowl game. But he'll be ready for this season.

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