I'm not sure when this became a tradition, if it ever was, but finishing the day with games on Friday is a pretty sweet way to go. Five games, some of 'em with things that matter, are in the leftover bin:
11:00 p.m. — EMU at NIU (ESPNU)
They picked a good one to witness on national television. Too bad they're staggered like this; if the Huskies win (as they should), then it doesn't matter what Toledo does; Northern wins the MAC West for the second straight year. We said this last year about their Ball State game, but they really pulled out the victory in inexplicable ways. EMU is playing not only to be a spoiler, but to also get that seventh win and bowl eligibility (both wins over FCS opponents cannot count). You're going to see, perhaps, 70 percent run plays.
12 noon — BGSU at Buffalo (MAC Sports Livestream)
The Falcons do not want to finish the season on a four-game losing streak and lose seven of their last eight. Nobody does. Only way to avert that is to finish with a win in UB Stadium, where the Bulls seem to play just well enough not to get destroyed. Although UB laid a 51-spot on the board against Akron last week, the most they've done since their Division III days. Eh, watch if it's close.
12 noon — Kent State at Temple (MAC Sports Livestream)
A win for the Owls gives 'em eight on the year, matching 2010's campaign, although for some reason that wasn't attractive enough to get them into a bowl. They should go this year, win or lose. For the Golden Flashes, they've capitalized on the soft part of their schedule to win four straight after discovering an untapped well of actual offense (hidden in ancient catacombs) and one more crazy victory squats them right at 6-6. It may not be enough to win a bowl, but it's a non-losing season after starting 1-6.
1:00 p.m. — Akron at WMU (MAC Sports Livestream)
Rob Ianello will coach this game with a heavy heart as his mother passed away this week. He'll also have to worry about his job and future with the Zips post-game should they finish with their second straight one-win campaign. The Broncos have won six straight home games dating back to last year, and an almost-certain victory will put them at 7-5, certainly improving their bowl resume.
2:00 p.m. — Toledo at Ball State (ESPN3)
It may be well decided right around kickoff if this game really has MAC West implications. The Rockets will be cheering on the Green and White until their gametime, at which point LemboBall is their main concern. Can Ball State finish on a positive note with a win over this tricky offense? Can they too impress some bowl committee looking for an at-large opponent? Other than their egg-laying 42-0 loss to Temple, every home game has been competitive for the Cardinals.
And then it's just the MAC Championship, the bowl games, and the season lookbacks. Let's make the most of the time we have left together.