Team preview: Middle Tennessee State

Blue Ribbon Illustrated previews the 2004-05 college football season, exclusively on Insider.

Originally Published: July 28, 2004
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In five years as the head coach at Middle Tennessee State, Andy McCollum has seen the highs and lows of competing on college football's highest level.

McCollum's first team went 3-8 in 1999, but the Blue Raiders then reeled off records of 6-5 and 8-3 the next two seasons. The success led to McCollum being voted the 2001 and 2001 Tennessee Sports Writers Association Coach of the Year.

The 8-3 team in 2001 earned a share of the Sun Belt Conference championship, set 46 team and individual records, and defeated a team from the SEC (Vanderbilt).

In 2002, the Blue Raiders dipped to a disappointing 4-8. They suffered the same fate last season, but that record could easily have been reversed. Middle suffered five losses by eight points or less, including two that went to overtime. And the Blue Raiders' schedule including four games against bowl teams.