The Central Michigan Chippewas are designed to test Missouri, but hardly a threat to beat them.
Central Michigan has a rough September, starting the season against Missouri and then a meeting with LSU two weeks later. That is not the Tigers’ problem though; their goal is to use the Chippewas and prepare for Kentucky the following week.
Opening games can be rough to watch sometimes, between the offseason rust, sloppy play, or the thought of Missouri losing to a Mid-American Conference opponent.
But, usually, the superior team pulls away in the end and it looks like a decisive win at the end of the day. Nothing wrong with starting the season off and getting younger players’ feet wet before the real tests of the season begin.
The Tigers look to lean more on their offense compared to their defense, and Central Michigan fields a solid defense to match up against. The front seven is experienced and supports a lacking secondary. The team landed 14th nationally in sack percentage in 2020, a testament to defensive coordinator Robb Akey‘s scheme.
If that name sounds familiar, it is probably for this clip.
And then there is old friend and current Central Michigan head coach Jim McElwain.
Let’s skip past his three seasons as Florida’s head coach and strange fall from grace in 2017. McElwain took over the Chippewas in 2019 and holds an 11-9 record overall, after a 3-3 season in 2020.
Not terrible for his first two years, but Central Michigan is hardly the recruiting hub that he once experienced at Alabama, Michigan, and of course Florida.
Central Michigan is on this list for a reason. Compared to the conference rivals, the Chippewas are not a bad team. Compared to SEC competition though, they are. Look for a close first half but an absolute beatdown in the second half.