Central Michigan Chippewas 2021 College Football Preview
Created July 10, 2021
Record – 3-3
ATS – 4-2
The defending MAC West champs got off to a 2-0 start with wins over Ohio and Northern Illinois but dropped three of their final four games to finish with a mark of 3-3. Two of those three losses came vs good competition (Broncos, Cardinals), and all things considered, it wasn’t a bad season given the overall environment in 2020.
Central Michigan 2021 Outlook
FIRE UP CHIPS have had a fine ground game over the past two seasons (218, 181 YPG) and there’s no reason to think anything will be different this year with the return of their excellent 1-2 RB combo of Lew Nichols and Kobe Lewis who combined for close to 1,000 yards and 10 TDs in the TRUNCATED plandemic campaign. All five starters are back on the OL that paved the way for 5.0 YPC (#4 MAC) and allowed 14 sacks in 6G (#7 MAC sacks allowed per game). Starting QB Daniel Richardson returns (64%, 4-2 TD to INT, 7.7) but backup Ty Brock is gone. Washington (!) transfer Jacob Sirmon will compete for the starting gig during fall camp. The WR group looks like one of the best in the MAC with the return of almost everyone including ALL-MEGALOCKS team member Kalil Pimpleton (26-277, 2 TD; time as wildcat QB) and Dallas Dixon (20.2 YPC LY). This should be one of the best offenses in the MAC despite working with a new OC.
Central Michigan has allowed 27+ PPG every year since 2015 and will need to step up their game a notch if they want to challenge in a tough MAC West. Nine starters are back to a stop unit that allowed 400+ YPG for the first time since 2013 LY and we expect improvement. They were #3 in the MAC in sacks per game and return star DE Troy Hairston who booked 5.5 sacks and 12 TFL in a shortened season. 2nd leading tackler and 1st Team MAC honoree Troy Brown is back at LB as is leading tackler LB George Douglas. FIRE UP CHIPS allowed a MAC-worst 297 YPG through the air LY but were acceptable in terms of pass efficiency D (58%, 15-8 TD to INT, 9.4). Every starter returns on the back-end including their excellent safety Willie Reid. This looks like an above-average unit on paper and definitely has some upside.
Things are in good shape with the return of PK Marshall Meeder (8-8 FG LY), 1st Team MAC punter Luke Elzinga, and PR/WR/QB Kalil Pimpleton.
Overall – It’s pretty nasty. They face LSU and Missouri on the road, but at least their other two non-MAC tilts should be wins (Robert Morris, FIU). The schedule-makers DID THEM DRY by making them face Ohio, Miami Ohio and Kent St. The November 17th game at Ball St LOOMS LARGE.
Potential ATS Trouble Spot – September 25th (at Florida International)
The Panthers don’t look to be anything special but this game pops up after a MEAT GRINDER (at LSU) and before conference play begins (at Miami Ohio).
Season Win Total
per 5Dimes July 10
Over 6.5 +115
Under 6.5 -135
The schedule doesn’t do them any favors but this squad looks loaded and they’ll very likely just need to go 5-3 in MACtion to get to seven wins. Plus money is nice.
Central Michigan has lost five consecutive bowl games (3-9 all time).
Jim McElwain has turned this ship around pretty quickly and has these guys loaded to contend for MAC Championship every year. Also note that COACH JIM has an impressive 14-6 record vs the Vegas number in Mount Pleasant. If they can split the early road games with the Bobcats and Redhawks, and then take care of Toledo at home the following week, IT’S ON LIKE DONKEY KONG.
Want more Central Michigan football ?
Hashtag – #FireUpChips
Accounts to follow