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Ranking the best non-conference MAC matchups: An Introduction

There will be a ton of non-con clashes for the 12 member teams of the MAC. We’re going to rank them all.

Kent State v Penn State Photo by Joe Sargent/Getty Images

The offseason is finally over. And what a wait it’s been. Summer is that long, impossible season where there isn’t quite no football (the CFL season starts in June) but at the same time, there’s no football of real relevance. The NFL doesn’t report to training camps until the final week of July. The ten conferences of collegiate football have media days, but nothing really more.

That ends in August, our current month, and the best month of the year for college football.

Teams are reporting back for fall camps, and the countdown ticker finally hits the 20s, a fairly significant digit. Fans finally can see the light. Players and coaches start to feel the preseason jitters. Staffs across the country go aflutter in preparation for a major travel day or an important hosting job.

These games have been anticipated for years, having been in the cards for years in advance. For teams like the ones we cover, it’s a unique opportunity to show what they’ve got to bring to the table.

Each Mid-American Conference team will get four chances to collect an all-important non-conference win. These games are the opportunity for these MAC sides to prove something heading into the season, whether it’s to show development of a young team or show the college football landscape they belong in the national conversation for the best teams in the country.

The MAC will get 48 collective attempts to collect a W and bring that pride back to both their respective campuses and the conference as a whole. Not every game is a strong match, but there are certainly some interesting ones to consider marking the calendar for.

We’re here to celebrate #MACtion and make your rooting lives a lot easier, so what better way to do that than with a five-part rank-a-palooza?! Over the next two days we’ll be unveiling where we shake out in terms of what games in the MAC out of conference schedule are the ones you’ll want to be at, be mindful of, or be on the lookout for.

There’s myriad reasons why a game might be high on the list. Perhaps it’s because it’s going to be a great game of strength versus strength. Perhaps it’s because it’s a great upset possibility for the MAC. Maybe it’s because of what it might mean for either team involved. There’s a ton of possibility spread out amongst 48 games.

And while there will likely be debate on what we got right and what we got wrong, what isn’t up for debate is the relative strength of the non-conference schedule this year. It’s a challenging slate that was extremely hard to slot, for no other reason than the quality of the opponents on the slate. So sit back and get your schedule ready for the definitive list of what games are MUST SEE this fall in the Mid-American Conference.