It may not be as prominent as some of the other football conferences, but the Mid-American Conference produces quality teams and players on a yearly basis and will gear up for another exciting season on July 24 as it holds its annual media day. Players and coaches from across the MAC will step to the podium at Ford Field in Detroit to discuss what the 2012 season has in store.
The MAC always utilizes an entertaining brand of football, so it will be interesting to hear from the coaches in particular as they may offer a glimpse into their overall philosophies for the upcoming season. A new school in the form of UMass will also be welcomed to the conference this year, so there will be no shortage of conversational topics.
Here is your complete guide to the MAC football media day, including when and where to watch it, who is scheduled to appear and a preview of the 2012 MAC season.
Where: Ford Field in Detroit, Mich.
When: Tuesday, July 24 from 8:30 a.m. — 12 p.m. ET
Live Stream: ESPN3.com
Participant List (via MAC-Sports.com)
Head Coach Terry Bowden
Head Coach Pete Lembo
Travis Freeman, Linebacker, Senior, Cleveland, Ohio
Keith Wenning, Quarterback, Junior, Coldwater, Ohio
Head Coach Dave Clawson
Chris Jones, Defensive Tackle, Senior, Brownsburg, Ind.
Matt Schilz, Quarterback, Junior, Arcadia, Calif.
Head Coach Jeff Quinn
Khalil Mack, Linebacker, Junior, Fort Pierce, Fla.
Branden Oliver, Running Back, Junior, Miami, Fla.
Head Coach Dan Enos
Jahleel Addae, Defensive Back, Senior, Valrico, Fla.
Eric Fisher, Offensive Lineman, Senior, Rochester, Mich.
Head Coach Ron English
Justin Cudworth, Linebacker, Senior, Monte Nido, Calif.
Korey Neal, Offensive Lineman, Senior, Bowie, Md.
Head Coach Darrell Hazell
Roosevelt Nix, Defensive Tackle, Junior, Reynoldsburg, Ohio.
Brian Winters, Offensive Lineman, Senior, Hudson, Ohio
Head Coach Charley Molnar
Darren Thellen, Safety, Senior, Brockton, Mass.
Quinton Sales, Center, Senior, Fort Washington, Md.
Head Coach Don Treadwell
Zac Dysert, Quarterback, Senior, Ada, Ohio
Austin Brown, Defensive Line, Senior, Woodbridge, Va.
Head Coach Dave Doeren
Jordan Lynch, Quarterback, Junior, Chicago, Ill.
Sean Progar, Defensive End, Senior, Glenview, Ill.
Head Coach Frank Solich
Tyler Tettleton, Quarterback, Junior, Norman, Okla.
Travis Carrie, Defensive Back, Senior, Antioch, Calif.
Head Coach Matt Campbell
Austin Dantin, Quarterback, Senior, Tallahassee, Fla.
Terrance Owens, Quarterback, Junior, Cleveland, Ohio
Head Coach Bill Cubit
Alex Carder, Quarterback, Senior, Shawnee, Kan.
Freddie Bishop, Defensive End, Senior, Inkster, Mich.
Top Players to Watch This Season
Branden Oliver, RB, Buffalo
As a sophomore last season, Buffalo running back Branden Oliver became the most prolific, single-season rusher in school history, and he promises to build upon that performance during his junior year. Oliver surpassed current Green Bay Packers running back and former Bulls standout James Starks as he touted the rock 306 times for 1,395 yards and also added 38 for 365 yards to go along with 13 total touchdowns.
UB didn't have a particularly great season in 2011, but Oliver was a bright spot and should be the star once again in 2012. He was named to the All-MAC first team last season and is a consensus All-Mac preseason pick this year, so Oliver is a guy who definitely bears watching as he is one of the favorites to take home conference player of the year honors.
Tyler Tettleton, QB, Ohio
After redshirting as a sophomore in 2010, nobody was quite sure what to expect from Ohio quarterback Tyler Tettleton last season. He was thrust into a starting role, however, and managed to thrive from the get-go. Tettleton ended the season with 3,306 passing yards and 28 touchdowns as opposed to just 10 interceptions.
Perhaps more impressive, though, was his prowess as a runner. Tettleton racked up an additional 435 yards with his legs along with 10 rushing scores, making him one of the most complete players in the MAC last season. He was only an All-MAC third team selection, but he is being touted as the conference's best quarterback along with Western Michigan's Alex Carder for 2012. If Tettleton continues his vast improvement, then he should light up the MAC once again.
Khalil Mack, LB, Buffalo
Who will be the MAC's best player this season?
Linebacker Khalil Mack came from essentially out of nowhere to become a key playmaker on the Buffalo defense last season. As a sophomore, the athletic outside linebacker tallied 65 tackles, 5.5 sacks and an interception. He was a jack of all trades for the Bulls and was given All-MAC first team honors at the conclusion of the season.
Hopes are high for Mack to do even greater things as a junior as he is an All-MAC first team preseason selection and is on both the Bronco Nagurski Award watch list and the Rotary Lombardi Award watch list. Despite the fact that the Bulls are coming off a miserable season, they may very well have the best offensive and defensive players respectively in the MAC, so it will be interesting to see how Mack develops and how Buffalo fares.
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