with Football now just over a month away and scheduling completed. Here is how I see the league shapping up this season.

1. UW-Whitewater ( The Warhawks enter the season ranked No. 12 in the country. Make no mistakes about it, they will not have another start like they did last season. Despite that they finished strong with their lone conference loss on the road to UWO. This year they will be much more experienced and hungrier than ever.

2. UW-Oshkosh ( The Titans enter as teh only other top 25 team at No. 4, but are losing a ton of weapons especially on the offensive side of the ball in Brett Kasper, Dylan Hecker and Sam Mentkowski. Still, they have plenty of players returning that could make for a much easier transition. The biggest question mark will be who fills in at quarterback. The Titans also have a brutal schedule with only three home games and zero until October. if they beat the teams they should beat shouldn't be any reason they are not competing in the post season again.

3. UW La Crosse: (The Eagles are on the rise and looked as if they finally figured things out last season. With close losses to Whitewater and Oshkosh, the Eagles could be that sleeper team this season that sneaks into the top two in the league.

4. UW-Platteville: ( Much like the Eagles, the Pioneers were bitten by several close losses and fell to 4-3 in conference for their worst finish in nearly a decade. Make no mistakes about it, as Coach Mark Emendorfer should once again field a team with top 25 potential and playoffs on the mind give or take how the league falls behind.

5. UW-River Falls: (The Falcons have been stuck in the bottom third of the league for a while now, but this season could change. Even with their 2-5 record in conference a season ago, the 31-28 loss to Oshkosh stands out in their mind as it may be the turning point moving forward. Not only was that game on the road in which they had a chance to win, but they controlled the game for 55 minutes only to allow the Titans to steal it late. If River Falls can consistently play the way they did in that game, wins are sure to follow.

6. UW-Stevens Point: ( Last season was a rough one for the Pointers in which head coach Tom Journell stepped down from the program. Looking to get back to respectability, the Pointers bring in a new head coach hoping to change the cultural attitude of the program. Although it may take a few years to get going, the rebuilding of this program starts now as Stevens Point should soon be contending.

7. UW-Stout: (A strong start to the season including an upset win over St. Thomas turned into a fifth place finish once the big boys in the league got to the Blue Devils. you could look at the beginning of last season and say it was a fluke based on how they played down the stretch. The question this season is who is the real Stout team and how many wins can they get as the middle of the league should be competitive.

8. UW-Eau Claire: ( Another year and same story for the BlueGolds as they continue to struggling winning games. Not much will change this season as they are clearly the worst team in the conference. After another winless season in league play, the goal for Eau Claire should be to win at least one game because after all that would be a step in the right direction.
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