13 Teams/13 Days Countdown: Akron Zips

Updated 8/28/2013

Conference: MAC, East Division
Location: Akron, OH
Nickname: Zips
Returning starters: 14 (7 offense, 7 defense)
2012 record: 1-11 (0-8 MAC)
Aug. 29 -- at UCF, 7 p.m. (ESPN3)
Sept. 7 -- James Madison, 6 p.m. (ESPN3)
Sept. 14 -- at Michigan, Noon (BTN)
Sept. 21 -- Louisiana-Lafayette, 6 p.m.
Sept. 28 -- at Bowling Green, TBD
Oct. 5 -- Ohio, 2 p.m.
Oct. 12 -- at Northern Illinois, 5 p.m.
Oct. 19 -- at Miami , 1 p.m.
Oct. 26 -- Ball State, Noon (ESPN Regional)
Nov. 2 -- Kent State, 3:30 p.m.
Nov. 16 -- at Massachusetts, 1 p.m.
Nov. 29 -- Toledo, TBD (ESPNU/ESPN3)
SOCIAL MEDIA (Accounts to FOLLOW on Twitter if you are an Akron Fan)
University Accounts: @FollowTheRoo; @ZipsFB; @ZipsGregg
Media Coverage: @GeorgeThomasABJ
Fan Accounts: @TheAKRowdies
In a nutshell: The Zips have issues on offense and defense, not to mention a terribly difficult schedule, so it's difficult to envision a scenario where Akron leaps from one win to say, more than three. I feel secure in predicting one of those wins to come over UMass, unlike last season, and Akron should find a second victory against James Madison in September. The third is difficult to locate, however, especially given how Akron's MAC schedule breaks in October and November.
It doesn't seem fair, in a sense. The league's second-worst team – if not its worst team altogether – drawing the league's unquestioned top five teams in the span of eight games: Ohio, Bowling Green, Northern Illinois, Ball State and Toledo. Add in non-conference games against Michigan, Louisiana-Lafayette and UCF; there's eight losses. Akron has improved, but so has a team like Miami (Ohio) – and so has Massachusetts, for that matter. Victories, when they come, will be precious.
The offense is still finding its way despite last season's successful turn (all things considered). That the defense played well during the spring is a good sign, but it's also a sign of how far the offense needs to go before it can improve upon last season's production. In all, the Zips are not built to handle this season's schedule – in terms of personnel, player development and overall talent level. This rebuilding process will continue.
READ MORE of the USA Today's Preview (courtesy of Paul Myerberg) by CLICKING HERE