There are plenty of obvious hazards to starting a full offseason preview series in February. Players get hurt, players transfer, things change. But at least coaching changes usually don't play a role.
When I wrote the MAC East preview last March, Lance Leipold's Buffalo Bulls and Frank Solich's Ohio Bobcats appeared to be the most proven entities. The Bulls were 24-10 over the previous three seasons, and while the Bobcats barely had a chance to play the year before (they went 2-1 in 2020), they had finished over .500 for five straight seasons and returned most of a young core.
In April, however, Leipold moved to Kansas. He ended up taking quite a few players with him. And in July, the 76-year-old Solich retired. Maurice Linguist (Buffalo) and Tim Albin (Ohio) took over those teams and went a combined 7-17, sending Kent State and Miami (Ohio) to the front of the MAC East race.
Assuming no further coaching changes this time around, it appears Miami starts this season atop the pile with four other rivals jockeying for second. Let's very tentatively preview the eastern half of the home of MACtion.
Every week through the offseason, Bill Connelly will preview another division from the Group of 5 and Power 5 exclusively for ESPN+, ultimately including all 131 FBS teams. The previews will include 2021 breakdowns, 2022 previews and burning questions for each team.