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Buffalo Bulls vs. Akron Zips football contest postponed indefinitely; MAC East tiebreaker protocols clarified

The game, originally scheduled for Saturday, had previously been moved to Sunday in anticipation of historic storms.

Buffalo v Miami Ohio Photo by Justin Casterline/Getty Images

The football contest between the Buffalo Bulls (5-5, 4-2 MAC East) and the Akron Zips (1-9, 0-6 MAC East), originally set to be played on Saturday afternoon, has been postponed indefinitely by the Mid-American Conference, the league offices announced Friday morning.

The game was previously postponed to a TBD time on Sunday afternoon, but conditions worsened throughout Friday.

“Despite the best efforts of all involved, it is not feasible to play the football game between Akron and Buffalo on Sunday,” MAC commissioner Dr. Jon Steinbrecher said via press release. “The game has been postponed indefinitely. The safety of the student-athletes and fans is paramount. We want to be respectful of the efforts of the emergency service personnel in the Buffalo area who are working to assist those in need.”

At current, the game itself was not cancelled outright, with the league reserving the right to revisit the postponement next week.

The MAC clarified in their statement they will be utilizing their “uneven number of games” tiebreaker policy if necessary, as Buffalo would only have 11 games should the contest stay cancelled. Ohio and Bowling Green, who the Bulls are facing for the MAC East division lead., play each other next week.

The policy is in place for situations when “multiple teams (a) have the same number of losses but different win totals, (b) have a total games played differential of no more than one (1) game, and (c) have played each other at least one time.”

The basic scenarios are thus:

  • Ohio wins the MAC East outright with a win vs. Bowling Green
  • Bowling Green wins the MAC East with a win vs. Ohio AND a Buffalo loss vs. Kent State
  • Buffalo wins the MAC East with a win vs. Kent State AND a Ohio loss to Bowling Green

In the Buffalo scenario, they would force the MAC to their second tiebreaker, record vs. common divisional opponents, as all three teams beat Miami, but only Buffalo would have a win against Kent State in the hypothetical (BGSU and Ohio both lost to Kent State earlier in the season.)

Buffalo’s MAC East chances are not the only thing on the line; they still need a sixth win to qualify for a bowl game as well, something they have not been able to clinch over the last two weeks. There is a chance if they lose to Kent State next week, their contest against Akron could be rescheduled to give them a chance at bowl eligibility.

If Buffalo wins the MAC East title, it is unlikely the contest gets rescheduled, as Buffalo would have their sixth win in hand, with a chance for a seventh in Detroit.