If you’re a fan of the UFC, you know “It’s time!” is when you have to start paying attention. Sure, before then there may have been social interaction, some snack breaks, likely a trip or four to the bar or the refrigerator pending your choice of imbibement, but when Bruce Buffer hits those two magic words, your eyes go up and your mouth goes shut. It’s science.
Such is the case on this lovely Monday as the calm before the midweek MACtion storm comes to an end. Tuesday and Wednesday bring five MAC games going, all with conference title implications. Granted, the Northern Illinois Huskies are on the verge of running away with the MAC West, currently undefeated in conference with a two-game lead, but quite a bit can happen in the final homestretch.
Every year this is the time for the MAC to shine. These midweek games fuel a sport-starved collective fanbase as baseball ends, the NBA is just getting going, and college basketball has yet to really hit its high gear. We have the eyes of the nation on us as a conference and now is the time to show folks what most of us already know: that the MAC football experience is unlike any other.
The burning questions for me as we wind down the season and go midweek mania:
- Which MAC East team is going to come away at the top of the pile? The Kent State Golden Flashes and the Miami RedHawks are currently tied and won’t play each other until the finale on 11/27. Good job, MAC schedule! Between now and then are three games apiece that may make that a moot point.
- Can NIU run the table? Though undefeated, NIU has been far from dominant. Winning their four conference games by a combined margin of only 18 points and needing two last-second wins, the final stretch will tell us whether the Huskies are a team of destiny or a team of luck.
- Does the MAC expand, and if so, who? The latest rumor mill is that the Western Kentucky Hilltoppers and the Middle Tennessee State Blue Raiders may be knocking on the door and looking for an invitation to the party as Conference USA collapses. There are pluses and minuses to both that we’ll expand on later, but it’s good to at least be mentioned as a potential destination, no matter how short term it may be.
So it’s with a hopeful eye we turn now to midweek MACtion to help us get through the changing of the seasons. Like your old trusty fleece blanket or your favorite hooded sweatshirt, midweek MACtion is there to pick you up on the random Tuesday or Wednesday when there’s nothing else to do and nothing else to watch. It’s home. And it’s time.