SURVEY: How Confident are you in EMU Football's 2023 Season?
Make your picks, game-by-game, for how well EMU will fare in 2023. Survey results will be released hours before the team's season opener.
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Two more weeks and the season will finally be here. This is the time of year when “almost” meets “finally” and make our final predictions for what’s going to happen this football season. Preview magazines are purchased, player watch lists are finishing up, and now it’s time for you to say what you think is actually going to happen this year.
As far as what your pick for what Eastern Michigan, I want to know two things. What do you think the team’s record will be at the end of the year? And how confident are you in your pick?
I’ve created a survey via Google Form to ask each of you for your pick on how EMU will do this year. It’s a straight-up win/loss picker for each game on Eastern’s schedule, along with a 1-7 rating index for you to tell me how confident you are in the predicted win or loss — 1 being a low-confidence pick and 7 being a high-confidence pick.
This survey will be open for the next two weeks, up until Friday, Sept. 1 when EMU kicks off against Howard. My plan is to have the survey’s results published a few hours before kickoff.
My 2023 Picks
EMU vs. Howard: Win (7)
I don’t think this will be a complete blowout, but I’ve got to love Eastern’s odds of beating Howard here to start the season off at home. Howard’s got some firepower on offense, but EMU’s defense should be plenty strong out the gate.
EMU at Minnesota: Loss (2)
I’m totally cool with being wrong here, and it’s not like I’m quick to forget EMU’s memorable wins at Purdue and Illinois. Minnesota also lost to Bowling Green just last year, so a MAC upset is definitely in the realm of possibility! This is my least-confident pick of the schedule, but this is going to be one of those instances where a win is much more likely to happen if Austin Smith’s QB play makes early strides in 2023.
EMU vs. UMass: Win (5)
Last year’s game against UMass ended up in the win column, but it wasn’t a greatly-played game. Don Brown’s in his second year at UMass and brought over a former blue-chip QB that didn’t get things rolling at either Clemson or Georgia Tech. I’m still going to give this the “it’s UMass” treatment, but I don’t think this team will be much easier of a matchup this year.
EMU at Jacksonville State: Loss (4)
Rich Rodriguez and Jacksonville State had a ton of success last season, and could’ve had even more if it would’ve been allowed to participate in the playoffs. His quarterback is back for Year #7 of being in college, which has to be a big advantage for them. It’ll be the program’s first year as an FBS school, EMU might still be in for a tough time in this road contest.
EMU at Central Michigan: Win (7)
I have no confidence in Central Michigan this year. The QB room seems like it needs both Jase Bauer and Bert Emmanuel to make the offense run this year, and that’s probably a really bad sign. CMU’s going to stay in some games this year with its defense, but EMU’s just the better team.
EMU vs. Ball State: Win (6)
Ball State might be more dangerous this year than it gave off in 2022. Carson Steele is a tremendous loss through the transfer portal, but improved QB play from Thayne Hatcher and adding RB Marquez Cooper could be more than enough change to overhaul this team’s look. Ball State also might not be more dangerous, too, and I like EMU’s chances to win by double digits.
EMU vs. Kent State: Win (7)
Kent State’s in a horrible position with its roster and it’s going to need more than a few months with the transfer portal and its new head coach, Kenni Burns, to make me think this is any better than a winless team in 2023. EMU by a mile.
EMU at Northern Illinois: Win (4)
Northern Illinois embarrassed EMU last year at Rynearson on a very limited offense. Rocky Lombardi played injured and was an effective passer despite not being able to take off and scramble on a hurt leg. Lombardi’s back, but I don’t think NIU’s gotten any better as a program since the last time these two met up. Wouldn’t be surprised to see EMU get its first win in DeKalb since 2019 (second since 2007).
EMU vs. Western Michigan: Win (5)
If Western Michigan’s offensive renovation under head coach Lance Taylor and OC Billy Cosh, and with incoming QB Hayden Wolff (Old Dominion), is moving fast and dangerous, then I think this could be a tough get for EMU. WMU lost some talent to Minnesota, but not all of it. At this point in the year, we’ll have a good idea of just how good WMU could be, and I’m going to give the Broncos that benefit of the doubt.
EMU at Toledo: Loss (3)
EMU absolutely can beat Toledo on the road just like it did in 2021, but it’s not going to be easy. EMU’s certainly stocked up on defensive back depth this offseason to try to combat Toledo’s passing attack. If EMU pulls off another unlikely road win in the Glass Bowl, it’ll have to overwhelm Toledo in the trenches and some. This is my least-confident pick for an EMU game in the MAC slate this season.
EMU vs. Akron: Win (7)
Akron’s certainly bound to see more improvement this year, and last year’s EMU-Akron game was just a one-score finish. I doubt this will be an easier matchup, but I do think if both teams have to go to their bench because of injuries late in the year, I have to think EMU can take care of the Zips at home.
EMU at Buffalo: Win (5)
Buffalo absolutely creamed Eastern in Rynearson Stadium last year. I don’t think we’ll have a repeat of last year’s 50-31 final score, but I do expect things to get turned around for EMU this time. Instead of having UB as the home, MAC opener, it’ll be the road, MAC closer of the year. EMU tends to play well late in the year, and I’m not so confident in UB staying hot through November.
MAC East Champions: Ohio
To stay consistent with my already-published picks from July, Ohio’s my favorite team in the East this year. All of the key pieces come back and I think RB Seih Bangura could have an even bigger season than what he showed last year, which was over 1,000 rushing yards as a redshirt-freshman.
MAC West Champions: Toledo
Toledo’s probably not going to be perfect this year (I’ve got UT dropping the Miami road game this season), but I think it’d be a massive disappointment if it dropped more than one (1) MAC game this season considering how much talent this team has on both sides of the ball.
MAC Champions: Ohio
Last year’s MAC title game was a stinker, just a 17-7 final score. There was no Kurtis Rourke last time (injury), I’d love to see him take over in Detroit this time around.