Rejuvenated defense sparks Broncos' MAC rise

From Western Michigan shutting down Garrett Wolfe and NIU to Notre Dame getting healthy for UCLA, the non-BCS and independents are covered here.

Updated: October 19, 2006, 5:49 PM ET
By Adam Rittenberg | Special to ESPN.com
His surname would suit a great mathematician, but it took time for Bill Cubit to solve the mid-major numbers game.

Like every coach taking over a non-BCS program, Cubit faced obstacles involving scholarship losses and overall depth when he arrived at Western Michigan in December 2004. The team had gone 1-10 in Gary Darnell's final season and finished 115th out of 117 Division I-A teams in total defense.

When Cubit surveyed his leftover personnel on defense, he found one upperclassman cornerback on scholarship, one scholarship player recruited to play linebacker and three defensive ends on scholarship. That was about it.