2012 NCAA Football Mid-Major Conference Preview
NCAA Football- 2012 Mid-Major Conferences Overview
The start of the 2012 college football season is just about two months away, so it is time to start doing your homework to ensure a successful season wagering on the games. Many times there are golden opportunities to capitalize on bad lines for some of the lower profile matchups in the Mid-Major conferences, so these teams are definitely worth a second look. The following is a brief look at a couple of the top contenders for each of the five conferences.
This will be the final season before a major shake-up in this conference will usher-in a host of new teams while several others depart. For the sake of this year, the team that has the best shot at winning this conference is the Southern Mississippi Golden Eagles. They return half their starters from last season’s 12-2 squad and expected to easily repeat as East Division champions. Houston lost quarterback Case Keenum to the NFL so keep an eye on the SMU Mustangs to come out of the West Division this year after going 8-5 in 2011.
Temple was the only departure from the MAC this season as the Owls accepted an invitation to join the Big East. While the Massachusetts Minutemen were brought in to take their place, the team to watch in this conference is last season’s champion Northern Illinois. The Huskies return a decent amount of talent from last year’s 11-3 squad and have consistently done a good job at reloading through their recruiting efforts. Look for Ohio to once again win the East Division, especially with Temple out of the picture.
This conference adds a couple of powers from the WAC this season in Fresno State, Nevada, and Hawaii, but also loses its biggest draw in TCU. It also appears that this season will be Boise State’s swan song with the MWC as it has plans to move the Big East in 2013. The Broncos finished last season 12-1 overall with its only loss of the year coming to the Horned Frogs. Quarterback Kellen Moore is off to the NFL, but there should be enough returning players to carry Boise State to one last MWC title.
The Sun Belt adds South Alabama this season before experiencing some significant changes in 2013. Arkansas State was the big story in the conference last season after going from 4-8 in 2010 to the top of the heap at 10-2. The Red Wolves should once again be one of the top teams in the conference but keep an eye on North Texas and Troy, which are both poised to rebound from disappointing seasons. Another team in the conference that could make some noise this season is the Florida International Golden Panthers, who have gotten progressively better over the past three seasons.
This conference has been decimated with defections over the past few seasons and this year is no different with the loss of three teams to the MWC. The WAC added Texas State and UT-San Antonio as a stop-gap for this season, but unless it can attract a handful of quality Division IAA schools that are looking to move up in the ranks, the MWC will cease to exist past 2012. Turning to the 2012 season, the two teams to watch are the Louisiana Tech Bulldogs and the Utah State Aggies. With only seven teams remaining in the conference, these two are clearly the cream of a very thin crop.
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