Barely here a year, but I guess I'm a homer already.
I believe a team with 16 returning starters, a stable and promising quarterback situation and a league title under its belt shouldn't be picked third in its division.
But here we are. At MAC Media Days today, the Huskies were selected behind Toledo and Western Michigan in the MAC West. This despite five straight West titles. This despite winning the league last year. This despite bringing back, by all accounts, a better team than last year.
Generally, I hate the theory a lot of pollsters use - they're the champs until someone beats them. That's usually crap. But how exactly is NIU weaker here? What am I missing? I guess I truly bleed red.
Toledo and Western Michigan have some high profile, widely loved coaches. They have more recognizable (in the MAC world anyway) quarterbacks. They're the pretty, trendy picks.
But the Huskies win this year after year after year. A team with a track record, and the same (or greater) talent of a year ago shouldn't be seen as a drop of two wins or so.
I'm not saying NIU is going to get the Group of 5 bowl berth (they're not), or that they're going to beat Ohio State (they're also not). But I am saying the Huskies deserve to be the preseason favorites. And that's because they're probably the ones who are going to win the division.
If that makes me a homer, boy that happened quick.