Team preview: Eastern Michigan

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(All information as of June 20, 2008)


It has been a steady, sometimes arduous, building process at Eastern Michigan during head coach Jeff Genyk's first four seasons. Entering his fifth, Genyk believes the program is ready to move beyond just competing and for the first time in recent memory, there is talk of competing for a championship.

How rare are football championships in Ypsilanti? The Eagles have won exactly one MAC title since joining the conference in 1976, in 1987 on their way to what also remains as their lone bowl berth, where they defeated San Jose State, 30-27, in the California Bowl. To put into perspective how long it has been, consider that an entire generation has come through the Eagles program since that time, as well as five head coaches.

But that doesn't faze Genyk.

"This team has undergone a complete change in work ethic," Genyk said. "We know we have a pretty good team and I truly believe that this team is poised to win a championship."

Pretty high expectations indeed for a team so unaccustomed to winning and coming off of a 4-8 campaign in 2007. But records can be deceiving.