Just in case you needed proof that the college football season is indeed nearly upon us, here it is: Tuesday was Media Day for the MAC’s football programs. Miami’s new head coach Don Treadwell was up in Detroit for the event held at Ford Field along with two of the team’s stars: junior QB Zac Dysert and junior DL Austin Brown.
The RedHawks were given quite the honor through the media’s preseason poll, in which Miami was picked to repeat as MAC East Division champion. The RedHawks narrowly edged out the rival Ohio University Bobcats by a single point (97 to 96), though the Bobcats actually received eight first-place votes to Miami’s four. Temple received the other four first-place votes in the East, while Toledo was named the West Division’s favorite, claiming eight first-place votes and 83 total points. The Rockets were also named the favorite to win the MAC Championship by five voters. Miami and Northern Illinois each received three votes.
Another thing we can take away from Tuesday’s event is that there apparently is no quarterback controversy in the mind of Coach Treadwell. The presence of Dysert at Media Day would seem to be an endorsement of him as the starter over sophomore Austin Boucher. No doubt you recall that while Dysert led the ‘Hawks to a 6-4 start in 2010, he missed the end of the season due to a lacerated spleen. Boucher then stepped in and won Miami’s last four games (including the Marathon MAC Championship and the GoDaddy.com Bowl).
Different releases through the MAC’s media partners solidified the broadcast schedule for the 2011 season. SportsTimeOhio will be broadcasting five MAC contests in total, including one Miami game (10/29 vs. Buffalo). ESPN Regional Television will also have a six-week package of weekly games, but unfortunately it will not feature any Miami games.
However, the RedHawks will be available for remote viewing for most of the season, as only three games (9/24 vs. Bowling Green; 10/15 @ Kent State; & 10/22 @ Toledo) are not scheduled for broadcast in one market or another. The season opener against Missouri (9/3) will be shown on FoxSportsNet, and the following week at Minnesota will be shown on the Big Ten Network. Five different games will be shown on the ESPN family of networks: 10/1 vs. Cincinnati (ESPN3.com); 11/3 vs. Akron (ESPNU); 11/9 @ Temple (ESPN2);11/16 vs. Western Michigan (ESPN2/ESPNU); & 11/22 @ Ohio (ESPN2). The October 8th home game against Army will be shown on ONN. So it looks like you’ll have plenty of opportunities to watch the RedHawks even if you can’t get down to Yager Stadium this year.
In case you’d forgotten, here’s a very recent piece on just how incredible the 2010 season was for the RedHawks. With a brand new, enthusiastic head coach in place and expectations at the highest they’ve been in a long while, how can you not be anxious for September 3rd?