The Mid-American Conference released its 2019 football schedules on Wednesday morning, highlighting Saturday rivalry games, a fourteen-week cycle and its cooperation with the NCAA on the 150th anniversary of college football.
Commissioner John Steinbrecher said in a media conference call the schedule had been worked upon since “last October” and that the schedule was made in mind anticipating a 14 week set-up, a departure from years prior, where the MAC only had 13 weeks to fit in 12 games. This, Steinbrecher noted, “allows the mid-week cycle to flow seamlessly.”
Rivalries are a major emphasis in the MAC schedule, with four of the conference’s marquee matchups featured on Saturdays. The Wagon Wheel game between Akron and Kent State (Oct. 12), the Battle for the Victory Cannon between Central and Western Michigan (Sept. 28), and the Battle of I-75 between Toledo and Bowling Green (Oct. 12) are all guaranteed Saturday matchups, while the Redbird Rivalry between Miami and Ball State has a flexible date option for Friday/Saturday Nov. 29/30, depending on national television considerations.
The 96th Battle of the Bricks between Miami and Ohio will be played in Athens, Ohio, and be featured as part of the NCAA’s 150th Anniversary of College Football Celebration, with the game scheduled for Wednesday, Nov. 6, as the only football game to be played that evening. It will be nationally televised on ESPN2.
“We are extremely excited for the opportunity to celebrate 150 years of college football and to be the only conference playing on the actual anniversary date of November 6th,” Steinbrecher said via press release.“The MAC has such a rich history in college football and we have the opportunity to join our programs and great fans to celebrate this 2019 season.”
The MAC Championship Game, once again to be played at Ford Field in Detroit, Michigan, will be televised on Saturday, December 7. This move was necessitated by ESPN’s obligation to the PAC-12 Conference to air that conference’s championship game on Friday, per Steinbrecher.
As a result of the 14-week schedule, no MAC member will be forced to deal with a five-day turnabout, a common complaint amongst the fanbases. There will also be five guaranteed Saturday games in November, with one other potentially added mid-season. Steinbrecher stated the 14-week schedule offered the MAC the ability to be flexible when constructing the 2019 schedule, and allowed many of the institutions to keep their protected games.
Per Steinbrecher, 10 of the MAC’s 12 members were able to keep their primary protected game, with the other two programs able to keep a secondary date. Last season under the 13-week schedule, he explained, those numbers were four keeping their primary, four keeping their secondary, and four getting neither requested date.
The complete schedule can be found below in this interactive chart. TV channels and times will be updated in June 2019, with further updates expected before the start of the season.
|Week||BALL ST||CMU||EMU||NIU||TOLEDO||WMU||AKRON||BGSU||BUFFALO||KENT ST||MIAMI||OHIO|
|8/29/2019||Th||1||4||..||Albany||..||..||..||..||..||Morgan State||Robert Morris||at Arizona St.||..||..|
|8/31/2019||Sa||1||6||Indiana^||..||at C. Carolina||Illinois St.||at Kentucky||Monmouth||at Illinois||..||..||..||at Iowa||Rhode Island|
|9/7/2019||Sa||2||13||Fordham||at Wisconsin||at Kentucky||at Utah||..||at Michigan St.||UAB||at Kansas St.||at Penn St.||Kennesaw St.||Tenn. Tech||at Pitt|
|9/14/2019||Sa||3||20||Fla. Atlantic||AKRON||at Illinois||at Nebraska||Murray St.||Georgia St.||at CMU||Louisana Tech||at Liberty||at Auburn||at Cincinnati||at Marshall|
|9/21/2019||Sa||4||27||at NC State||at Miami-Fla||C. Conn. St.||..||at Colorado St.||at Syracuse||Troy||at KENT ST||Temple||BGSU||at Ohio St.||La-Lafayette|
|9/28/2019||Sa||5||34||..||at WMU||..||at Vanderbilt||BYU||CMU||at UMass||..||at MIAMI||..||BUFFALO||..|
|10/5/2019||Sa||6||41||at NIU||EMU||at CMU||BALL ST||WMU||at TOLEDO||..||at Notre Dame||OHIO||at Wisconsin||..||at BUFFALO|
|10/12/2019||Sa||7||48||at EMU||N. Mexico St||BALL ST||at OHIO||at BGSU||MIAMI||KENT ST||TOLEDO||..||at AKRON||at WMU||NIU|
|10/19/2019||Sa||8||55||TOLEDO||at BGSU||WMU||at MIAMI||at BALL ST||at EMU||BUFFALO||CMU||at AKRON||at OHIO||NIU||KENT ST|
|10/26/2019||Sa||9||62||OHIO||at BUFFALO||at TOLEDO||AKRON||EMU||BGSU||at NIU||at WMU||CMU||MIAMI||at KENT ST||at BALL ST|
|11/2/2019||Sa||10||69||..||NIU||BUFFALO||at CMU||..||..||at BGSU||AKRON||at EMU||..||..||..|
|11/5/2019||Tu||11||at WMU||KENT ST||BALL ST||at TOLEDO|
|11/12/2019||Tu||12||at AKRON||at OHIO||EMU||WMU|
|11/13/2019||We||12||at TOLEDO||NIU||at MIAMI||BGSU|
|11/14/2019||Th||12||at KENT ST||BUFFALO|
|11/16/2019||Sa||12||83||CMU||at BALL ST||..||..||..||..||..||..||..||..||..||..|
|11/19/2019||Tu||13||at NIU||EMU||OHIO||at BGSU|
|11/20/2019||We||13||at BUFFALO||at Miami||TOLEDO||AKRON|
|11/23/2019||Sa||13||90||at KENT ST||..||..||..||..||..||..||..||..||BALL ST||..||..|
|11/26/2019||Tu||14||WMU||at NIU||OHIO||at AKRON|
|11/29/2019||Fr||14||97||MIAMI||TOLEDO||KENT ST||..||at CMU||..||..||at BUFFALO||BGSU||at EMU||at BALL ST||..|
^ = denotes neutral field game at Lucas Oil Stadium in Indianapolis, Indiana