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The Race to the MAC Championship Game: Week 12

We’re getting down to the last few regular season games. What are the remaining scenarios?

The road to Detroit is alot clearer, even if the one in the picture isn’t.
Kenneth Bailey

EDITOR’S NOTE on Nov. 19, 2022: The Mid-American Conference clarified protocols for the MAC East division title race should Buffalo have only 11 games on their calendar, after their scheduled contest vs. Akron was cancelled on Saturday morning.

The basic scenarios can be found here. Any information below the line is current as of the original publication date.

The Toledo Rockets have already clinched their MAC West championship berth with their victory last week, so there’s no more analysis to be had there.

A few teams lost their slim chances at bowl eligibility last week as well, with CMU and Kent State both exhausting their season hopes. Miami is still alive after a win vs. NIU, but must win out to have that chance. Ball State and Buffalo are also are seeking their sixth victory.

With two games to go, we’re guaranteed to decide the MAC East at the gun. Currently, the race is between three teams:

Rufus hopes that Falcon tastes like chicken.
Kenneth Bailey
The Falcons hope they can down the Bobcats.
Kenneth Bailey
The Bulls are rooting for Bowling Green
Kenneth Bailey

The scenarios for the first two teams are actually fairly simple at this point.

Ohio stands on top of the heap with their 6-1 record. If they beat Bowling Green next weekend they are in. If they lose against Bowling Green, they are still in if Buffalo loses either of their next two games.

Bowling Green is currently in second place with a 5-2 record. The Falcons are in if they beat Ohio and Buffalo loses one of their next two games.

It’s a bit more complicated for the gang from Buffalo. The Bulls trail their Ohio-based peers at 4-2, and are yet to play this week, and their situation has a lot of uncertainty attached to it after a historic lake-effect blizzard forced a postponement of their upcoming game vs. Akron.

Putting it plainly, the Bulls need a bunch of things to happen.

First, they need to beat Akron and Kent State in their final two games. At 1-9, Akron shouldn’t be any trouble for the Bulls, but you never know if this is the week which AKron finally pulls it all together after some tough-fought results. Kent State gave Eastern Michigan a brief scare this week despite the loss, so they might fight Buffalo pretty close as well.

If they win both of their games, they need Bowling Green to beat Ohio. That would cause a three-way tie at the top. Buffalo, with a win against Bowling Green, would have the necessary tie-breaker to be the MAC East champion.