Can't wait to see these things this fall

Originally Published: May 3, 2005
By Ivan Maisel and Pat Forde |

Three Things I Can't Wait To See This Fall In the MAC
Ivan Maisel
Pat Forde
1. Bowling Green quarterback Omar Jacobs is an exciting player, and his arm and athleticism make the Falcons the MAC's best chance to break through the BCS barrier.

2. Shane Montgomery moves up from offensive coordinator to head coach at Miami. If the RedHawks can improve on ball security (minus-10 in turnover margin), they'll get to the top of the MAC East.

3. MAC teams have 12 games scheduled against Big Ten teams this fall. Biggest upset chances: Bowling Green at Wisconsin on Sept. 3 and Northern Illinois at Northwestern on Sept. 10. You have to wonder, though, now that I-AA games will count toward bowl qualification, whether MAC teams will have trouble making deals with the bigger schools.

1. Omar Jacobs at the controls of Gregg Brandon's high-octane offense at Bowling Green. Few MAC players get a chance to start a season as a first-tier Heisman Trophy candidate, but this guy has earned it.

2. Bruce Gradkowski at the controls of Tom Amstutz's high-octane offense at Toledo. Don't look now, but the MAC has a better 1-2 quarterback punch than the Big 12, and a few other leagues.

3. Remember Frank Solich, the guy who led Nebraska to the national championship game in 2001 then won 9 games in 2003 before being fired? He sat out last season waiting for the right gig to open and decided Ohio was it. Be interesting to see how this marriage works.

Ivan Maisel | email

Senior Writer,