Should Eastern Michigan vs. Buffalo become the MAC's newest rivalry? (And why does the MAC not have rivalry matchups in the final week)

I was looking over the MAC schedule and for the final week each team had mostly a random matchup. This seems to be the case every single season. I started wondering why does the MAC not have it's big rivalry matchups in the final week like most power 5 teams do? Maybe it could be towards the fact that rivalries are not even that prominent in the MAC as games never reach full attendance. Or maybe it could be because of the cold weather that has arrived by the final week. In response to those reasons, I would say that first, you cannot grow rivalries without highlighting them, and second, other big rivalries are happening in this region in the cold like Michigan vs. Ohio State.

So, does anyone know why the MAC does not hold it's rivalry games in the final week? Do you think that the MAC should start making the final week host the rivalry matchups?

While I was thinking about this, I started to pair up the matchups in my head..

Northern Illinois vs. Ball State

Western Michigan vs. Central Michigan

Toledo vs. Bowling Green

Akron vs. Kent State

Ohio vs. Miami

And that meant there were just two teams leftover..

Eastern Michigan vs. Buffalo ???

I thought that must be wrong and that the matchups would have to get rearranged. While I tried to figure out if there was a way that Eastern Michigan could face off against one of the other Michigan universities I just could not deny the fact that Western Michigan and Central Michigan just have a larger rivalry than either does with Eastern Michigan.

While Eastern Michigan is getting third wheeled by their in-state rivals, Buffalo is a complete MAC outcast with no neighboring universities or true rivalries within the MAC. Perhaps what Eastern Michigan and Buffalo need are each other. Both lack a true trophy rivalry game (the Michigan MAC trophy hardly counts as a trophy). Now it's hard to foster a rivalry between two universities that are over five hours away from each other. While having MAC teams play at neutral site locations is often perceived as a pretty bad option, this could be a situation it could work.

What if Eastern Michigan vs. Buffalo took place in Canada? While, I will admit that I totally forgot that Canadian football fields are completely different from ours, I'm just thinking these ideas out (let's be honest, the idea of EMU and UB actually becoming rivals is very low). While Hamilton, Ontario has an actual stadium, London, Ontario would be a better location since its an equal distance from each university. While the stadium at London's Western University is not the largest, it should be enough for the number of fans that would actually travel out to this game. Not only could this be a popular game for young students to tailgate at with Canadas lower drinking age, but it could also draw in local attention from those wanting to watch some American football. It could also help boost name recognition for Eastern Michigan and Buffalo which are two of the closest American universities to Ontario.

While this is a pretty unrealistic idea, it is still an interesting idea to have. I just think Buffalo needs some more connection to the MAC while Eastern Michigan needs more outside of Western Michigan and Central Michigan (though EMU should have individual trophy games with both universities, and it seems way past due for this).

A possible way to rearrange this rivalry week could be to have..

Eastern Michigan vs. Toledo

Bowling Green vs. Kent State

Akron vs. Buffalo

But lets be real, these are all weaker matchups for the northern Ohio schools and are not their true rivalries.

So, for now I think that the MAC should have a rivalry week with the matchups first listed, but until something can be figure out, Eastern Michigan and Buffalo may just have to make that a BYE week.

This post was submitted by one of our esteemed readers and does not necessarily reflect the opinions or thoughts of Hustle Belt or SB Nation.