MAC Football Week 10 Overview: Wheelin' And Cannonin'

Jim Brown-US PRESSWIRE

The price of weeknight football: Saturdays are a little thin on games. But Week 10 does feature two storied rivalry games as well as a closer game than expected, followed by the two teams furthest from each other geographically — and competitively.

Time (ET) Away Home Watch It
12 p.m. Miami (OH) 4-4, 3-1 Buffalo 1-7, 0-4 TWC Sports Net/MACDN

For the near future, Ohio will refer to Miami as Wet Blanket University. Yeah, they beat the Bobcats good and hearty, but what of their perfect season? Well, perfect seasons are for dreamers. If Miami knows anything, it's that records can be misleading anyway. Ohio wasn't beat by a .500-strength team. Having drawn three tough OOC opponents and missing Nick Harwell for many games, they're playing as solid as many other teams.

Buffalo's similar in schedule but completely different in results. Many of their opponents have been quality — heck, ALL of them were difficult — but they have no FBS wins to show for it. NIU was the only team who fully steamrolled them. Bill Connelly's F/+ picks actually have Buffalo favored. If Miami wins this, it won't look like a great victory but it'll be well-earned.

1 p.m. WMU 3-6, 1-4 CMU 3-5, 1-3 ESPN3

It's about time the Michigan Compass starts playing each other. They all need the wins. CMU's three wins matches their total from each of the last two years, but what happened to WMU? Do you know? You actually don't know. SOME HELP YOU ARE.

Some of it may be the Alex Carder injury but I'll posit that just turnovers on the whole is costing WMU games. The schedule didn't help either. They should've had the Ball State victory, but no use pining over it. Their next three games are entirely winnable, including this one.

Central is just struggling, period. They kept an FBS team to under 30 points for the first time last week (Akron) so maybe things are looking up. A victory would not only put the Cannon in Mount Pleasant but knock WMU out of bowl contention (and possibly Bill Cubit out of Kalamazoo) and get Dan Enos two wins away from a bowl. Sh'yeah.

2 p.m. Akron 1-8, 0-5 Kent State 7-1, 4-0 SportsTime Ohio/ESPN3

This has to be the most lopsided Wagon Wheel matchup in Wagon Wheelin' history. I can say that because this will probably be Kent State's eighth win. And since Akron joined Division I-A in 1987, neither team has won eight games in a season. The closest I can imagine is when Akron won the MAC in 2005 at 7-5, Kent State was 1-10 and the Zips waltzed over KSU 35-3 in the finale. That score seems about right for this one.

But if Akron can pull off a victory, then consider the rivalry game verily renewed. That would be a fitting way for the conference to eat itself, now that I think about it.

3:30 p.m. UMass 0-8, 0-4 NIU 8-1, 5-0 MAC Digital Network

Then there's this one. Oh lord. UMass has faced some stiff competition this year, but NIU might be the toughest game of the schedule — including Michigan. I want to give hope to the Minutemen, because it's what I like to do. But there's not much here that indicates UMass comes close to winning. Maybe the Huskies get complacent. Maybe they get fumble-happy. Perhaps Jordan Lynch gets dinged up, causing him to miss the game. Maybe UMass scores early, and NIU is forced into passing down situations, and if anything the Minutemen is competent at stopping the pass.

But Northern Illinois knows better. Much like Ohio kept running at EMU on third and long, so can the Huskies move the chains should the situation arise. My only hope is this isn't a 70-7 laugher, and that UMass commits as few turnovers as possible.

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