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MAC Football Week 8 Overview: The Big East Wants Some

The newly-ranked Ohio has the week off, as does Miami. But the MAC hosts three nonconference opponents — two from the Big East — and the most anticipated game may not be on television.


12:00 p.m. — Bowling Green at UMass (MAC Digital Network)

What else is left to say other than, probably a Falcons win? UMass is coming off a bye and they're 0-6 so this is the start to their second half. But a load of injuries and suspensions probably wasn't what they were looking for. If BGSU's front seven keeps beating up on the opposition, it may not be close.

12:00 p.m. — Northern Illinois at Akron (ESPN Plus/Game Plan/ESPN3)

NIU will score. A lot. The question remains if they can withstand Akron aerial attack which performed admirably in Athens last week. Even if they get four touchdowns and 400 yards out of Dalton Williams, it may not be enough to keep up with Jordan Lynch's profound season thus far. It's been a quiet ride in an undefeated MAC season so far, but the Huskies just need to keep rolling onward.

1:00 p.m. — Army at Eastern Michigan (ESPN3)

It's not a stretch to say that EMU can finally throw a win on the board. They need to build some confidence as they hit the final leg of their season: BGSU, OHIO, CMU, WMU and NIU, with three of those on the road. Keep the turnovers down and tackle somebody in the third quarter, and EMU may be able to proclaim a win over the best quarterback name in the country.

3:30 p.m. — Pittsburgh at Buffalo (ESPN Plus/Game Plan/ESPN3)

A week ago I'd have said, yeah, UB can win this. I suppose they still have a shot at topping the Panthers, who looked miserable to start the season and is now leveling off. I'll say that with UB's defense they can at least keep the score down and make it close, but based on last week's beatdown at the hands of NIU, their offense is starting to sputter without the services of Mr. Branden Oliver.

3:30 p.m. — Ball State at Central Michigan (ESPN3)

It'll be entertaining, because Ball State doesn't know how to play a boring game, but ultimately this outcome will not be deciding much other then effectively knocking one team out of MAC West contention. And that is the epitome of a MAC football game: little is at stake (I'm sure both teams still have division hopes) but through their pipe dream will emerge a thrilling game, even if between two teams forever entrenched in the middle of the pack.

3:30 p.m. — Western Michigan at Kent State (MAC Digital Network)

It's a good thing that online TV is online TV. The ESPN3 module has a few more features but in many ways I prefer the MACDN setup: everything you need and nothing you don't. The local radio guys may be a bit homeriffic but they're more intuitive about the teams when compared to a cookie-cutter ESPN3 crew. The camera work is sturdy enough to understand what's going on, and it's not contingent on a cable provider.

I only go on this tangent because WMU-KSU is one of the top games, if not THE top, MAC game of the week, and it ain't on your classic TV. It's the toughest one to pick, in my mind. I am waiting for Kent State to start roughing up other MAC teams to gauge just how much a threat they are to the MAC East traditional powers. I

7:00 p.m. — Cincinnati at Toledo (ESPNU/ESPN3)

Probably the one to watch, if you had to pick one out of the bunch. A combined one loss between them (and it was an overtime loss at Arizona). Cincinnati, a founding MAC member, has enjoyed a rather MAC-ish schedule, with big wins over Pittsburgh and Virginia Tech, and you could imagine a top-of-the-line MAC team doing that. They pasted Miami, filled up on wins over Fordham and Delaware State, and now go into the Glass Bowl.

BYE: OHIO, Miami (OH)