Most of the MAC, except Akron, will be back in play on week 3 (seriously Western, why have a week 2 bye?) and the match-ups ratchet up in intensity as the conference season looms over the horizon. The MAC will continue to go for the big names in big conferences with Buffalo hosting a top 10 team, and Kent State match-up against a top 25 team as well this week. Who does your team play next week, and where can you find it?
|Date/Time||Home||Away||Where To Find It|
|Friday 9/12, 7 p.m.||Cincinatti (0-0)||Toledo (1-1)||ESPNU|
|Friday 9/12, 8 p.m.||Buffalo (1-1)||#8 Baylor||ESPN|
|Saturday 9/13, 12 p.m.||#22 Ohio State (1-1)||Kent State (0-2)||ABC or ESPN2|
|Saturday 9/13, 12 p.m.||Bowling Green (1-1)||Indiana (1-0)||ESPNU|
|Saturday 9/13, 12 p.m.||Marshall (2-0)||Ohio (1-1)||CBS Sports Network|
|Saturday 9/13, 12 p.m.||Central Michigan (2-0)||Syracuse (1-0)||ESPN News|
|Saturday 9/13, 12 p.m.||Vanderbilt (0-2)||Massachusetts (0-2)||ESPN3, ESPNGP, FSN|
|Saturday 9/13, 3:00 p.m.||Ball State (1-1)||Indiana State (1-1)||ESPN3|
|Saturday 9/13, 3:00 p.m.||Michigan (1-1)||Miami (0-2)||Big Ten Network/BTN2|
|Saturday 9/13, 5 p.m.||Idaho (0-1)||Western Michigan (0-1)||ESPN3|
|Saturday 9/13, 6 p.m.||Old Dominion (1-1)||Eastern Michigan (1-1)||COX 110 (check local listings)|
|Saturday 9/13, 7 p.m.||UNLV (1-1)||Northern Illinois (2-0)||Mountain West Network (stream)|
In my highlighted games, it went as expected. Akron and Toledo lost to superior competition, while Bowling Green and Northern Illinois rolled, bringing the MAC to 3-4 in my selected non-conference match-ups. This week offers a lot of matchups, so it will be hard to choose. But you can always tell me what I left out afterwards in the comments. (Hint, hint.)
No. 7/8 (Coaches'/AP) Baylor Bears at Buffalo Bulls
Of course I'm going to include a nationally spotlighted game on a Friday night. That just screams #MACtion football! The Baylor Bears are cruising in Big XII play, even with the status of Robert Griffin III's replacement Bryce Petty (back) in question. Meanwhile, the Bulls have struggled in a close victory over an FCS squad and a surprising loss to the Army Black Knights. With the MAC East opening up after the twin disasters in Toledo and Bowling Green, can the Bulls pull off an all-time upset and assert themselves the new leader?
I've tried my hardest to be impartial on here, but it's finally time to include the Chippewas in the highlighted games section. The Chippewas are 2-0 for the first time since 2002, with a top 15 rusher in Michigan transfer Thomas Rawls, and one of the nation's top pass defenses. Coming off the win in West Lafayette, they will look to establish a name for themselves at home as they honor the 1974 national championship team. They face an Orange squad that struggled against FCS foe Villanova and looked lost throughout, winning only as a result of a failed two-point conversion. If Central wins this match, it's not outside the realm of possibility to consider them as a contender in the MAC West behind Northern Illinois.
Massachusetts was that close to a victory at home against the Colorado Buffalos, and Vanderbilt was that close to being shut out by the Ole Miss Rebels. The Commodores look like they miss James Franklin, now coach at Penn State. Double digit losses to Temple and Ole Miss do nothing to help morale, and the fans will probably not come out in droves now that Vanderbilt football is back to its old self again. Massachusetts, while not solving all of its problems, did look much improved on both sides of the ball against Colorado. I'm not saying that Massachusetts will win in enemy territory. But somebody has to win here. Why not them?
Miami RedHawks at Michigan Wolverines
Okay so this is most likely a blowout. But put on your optimistic #MACtion fan hat for a moment: Chuck Martin and his fellow Notre Dame transfers look to seek revenge for the now-defunct rivalry against hated Michigan and the RedHawks play inspired football as they seek to pull off an Appalachian State-like upset against the reeling Wolverines, winning the game on an improbable last-minute drive by Andrew Hendrix, snapping what feels like a 157-year losing streak. Besides, who doesn't love cheering against the B1G?
Well, that's it for this week. Agree? Disagree? Somewhere in-between? Holler at me in the comments and tell me what the game of the week should be!