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A comprehensive neutral-field game wishlist for every MAC football program

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NIU always gets the cool stuff, so we're gonna spread the wealth and make (hypothetical) neutral field matchups for every MAC football school.

Rick Osentoski-USA TODAY Sports

NIU seems to have a monopoly on neutral-field games of late, with a series of games at Soldier Field in recent years. This past week, they also announced a one-off stadium series game at US Cellular Park in Chicago with the Toledo Rockets, in what I'm sure has to be a first in terms of regular season games. And Ball State fans know they get to be excited to play at Lucas Oil Stadium in 2019 against Indiana.

Well, we got a little inspired here at the Belt, and decided NIU and Toledo don't deserve all the fun of playing on a neutral site. So, what makes a perfectly good neutral field game? Well, you need a big brand opponent in the region, a gameday-ready stadium, enthusiasm in the alumni base, and in the case of some, a tiny bit of imagination.

Here's a list of potentially awesome games for every MAC football program in alphabetical order:

Akron

vs. Indiana at FirstEnergy Stadium (Cleveland)

vs. Kent State at Progressive Field (Cleveland)

vs. Ohio at Great American Ballpark (Cincinnati)

Ball State

vs. NIU at US Cellular Field (Chicago)

vs. Indiana State at Victory Field, as part of a recurring rivalry series (Indianapolis)

Bowling Green

vs. Western Kentucky at Paul Brown Stadium (Cincinnati)

vs. Memphis at Honda Stadium (Nashville)

vs. Vanderbilt at Bristol Motor Speedway (Bristol)

vs. Toledo at Ford Field, as part of a legacy doubleheader* (Detroit)

Buffalo

vs. Syracuse or Rutgers at MetLife Stadium (New Jersey)

vs. Army West Point at Ralph Wilson Stadium (Buffalo)

vs. UConn at Citi Field (Queens)

vs. Maryland at RFK Stadium (Washington, DC)

vs. Eastern Michigan at Rogers Centre (Toronto)

Central Michigan

vs. Western Michigan at Ford Field, as part of a legacy doubleheader* (Detroit)

vs. NIU at Wrigley Field or US Cellular Field (Chicago)

vs. Michigan State at Comerica Park (Detroit)

vs. Michigan at Ford Field (Detroit)

vs. Eastern Michigan at Dow Diamond (Midland)

Eastern Michigan

vs. Michigan State at Michigan International Speedway (Irish Hills)

vs. Central Michigan at Dow Diamond (Midland)

vs. Buffalo at Rogers Centre (Toronto)

vs. Wayne State or Kent State at Keyworth Stadium (Hamtramck)

Kent State

vs. Akron at Progressive Field (Cleveland)

vs. Cincinatti at Paul Brown Stadium (Cincinatti) or FirstEnergy Stadium (Cleveland)

vs. Miami at Crew Stadium (Columbus)

vs. Kent State at Keyworth Stadium (Hamtramck)

Miami

vs. UMass at Progressive Field (Cleveland)

vs. Cincinnati at Paul Brown Stadium or Great American Ballpark (Cincinnati)

vs. Kent State at Crew Stadium (Columbus)

Northern Illinois

vs. Central Michigan at Wrigley Field or US Cellular Field (Chicago)

vs. Ball State at US Cellular Field (Chicago)

vs. Northwestern, Illinois, or Michigan State at Soldier Field (Chicago)

vs. Missouri at Arrowhead Stadium (Kansas City)

Ohio

vs. Marshall at Paul Brown Stadium (Cincinnati)

vs. Akron at Great American Ballpark (Cincinnati)

Toledo

vs. Bowling Green at Ford Field, as part of a legacy doubleheader* (Detroit)

vs. Kansas at Arrowhead Stadium (Kansas City)

vs. Arkansas at War Memorial Stadium (Little Rock)

vs. SMU at The Ballpark At Arlington (Arlington)

vs. Jacksonville State at Regions Field (Birmingham)

Western Michigan

vs. Western Kentucky at Churchill Downs (Louisville)

vs. USF at Daytona International Speedway (Daytona Beach)

vs. Central Michigan at Ford Field, as part of a legacy doubleheader*(Detroit)

All Mid-American Conference teams (rotating)

Black Friday Doubleheader at Ford Field (rotating based on conference schedule and television flexing)

*-- every four years, March Madness doubleheader-style ticket purchase: two games, one ticket, games to be played back-to-back.