Oh man. This slate of games will be huge.
Central Michigan (5-4, 4-1 MAC) is in the title hunt for the first time since 2009, and looks to cause chaos in the MAC West standings with a strong game against the Rockets. Central absolutely has to win out in order to have any chance of going to Detroit with (some) semblance of control. Cooper Rush looks to shake off the rust after two average showings against Akron and Ball State, while Jahray Hayes should be a fully healthy option in the backfield.
Meanwhile, Toledo (7-1, 4-1 MAC) will most likely be shoved out of the College Football Playoff Rankings (although they did garner eight votes in the Coaches Poll) after a loss to what was essentially NIU's second string offense. Phillip Ely has not looked sharp in his last two games, between a rocky three-interception night against UMass and a game vs. NIU where he was pressured into bad play. Surely, the Rockets will carry bad blood coming into this game.
The loser of CMU-Toledo is essentially out of the MAC West, due to tiebreaker scenarios.
Oh, and don't forget about a MAC East matchup for the ages. Ok, it's not that great. But it does have a say in the future of the East division.
Ohio (5-4, 2-3 MAC) seems to be in their classic second-half decline, as the Fighting Soliches has given up 49, 41, and 62 points in their last three games, while scoring 55 combined points. Derrius Vick is an unsure decision with a bum ankle, but Daz'Mond Patterson and Sebastian Smith have been key contributors despite a limited offensive output. The defense must have a good showing. Otherwise, the 'Cats will be in danger of losing bowl eligibility.
Kent State (3-6, 2-3 MAC) has to win out to keep their bowl eligibility alive, but have a tough row to hoe to get there. They have to out play Ohio, Central Michigan, and Akron in order to get to that magical 6-6. That would be a miracle season, considering the losses and injuries that KSU has suffered. Their highly vaulted defense has been decimated the last two weeks, and the Flashes have to find their spark again. Look for Jon Cunningham and Nate Terhune to cause pressure in the backfield.
Here's the schedule for tonight:
|Time (in Eastern)||Home||Away||TV/Streaming|
|8:00 PM||Central Michigan (5-4)||Toledo (7-1)||ESPN2|
|8:00 PM||Ohio (6-4)||Kent State (3-6)||ESPNU|
Remember: take a drink in the spirit of #MACtion, and don't be that guy in the comments.
Here are the high/lows and the game predictors from MAC Pick 'Em for today's slate of games:
Toledo Rockets (68%) at Central Michigan Chippewas
Kent State Golden Flashes at Ohio Bobcats (70%)
Central Michigan (8.5%)
Kent State did not receive a single vote.
Kent State (11%)
Central Michigan (1%)