The MAC Conference might not have teams that expect to compete for a National Title but applaud them for not backing down this upcoming season. Four of the conference’s most notable schools will be facing elite teams on September 2nd. And regardless of the outcomes, it will no doubt go a long way at showcasing what the MAC has to offer.
With the success of Western Michigan, the MAC Conference was put on the map last season. While we won’t get another Cinderella WMU run this year, there are a select group of MAC schools that want to shake things up.
On college football’s opening weekend, Akron, Kent State, Bowling Green, and WMU will all play Power Conference schools.
It’s a big test for any team to go up against such elite competition. Akron, who plays Penn State, went 5-7 last year. They will be playing a team that almost made the College Football Playoff. Kent State will play National Champion, Clemson. Bowling Green travels to Lansing for a game against Michigan State. And last season’s Cinderella, Western Michigan, goes to Los Angeles for a game against USC.
Of the four schools, I’d suspect that Western Michigan has the best shot at winning going by their impressive record from a season ago. However, with head coach P.J. Fleck leaving for Minnesota, and star WR, Corey Davis NFL-bound, the chances of the Broncos pulling an upset are slim.
You can’t count out Kent State, Bowling Green, or Akron. But it’s a real longshot for any of them to pull the upset on September 2nd. All three teams finished with a losing record last season. It also doesn’t help that none of them have a stable quarterback presence.
Kent State used a small army of Quarterbacks last season. Three players threw for more than 350 yards. Akron will be without last season’s starting QB, Tommy Woodson, until June, as he recovers from shoulder surgery. And Bowling Green featured redshirt freshman, James Morgan, last year, who managed to throw 16 touchdowns to 15 interceptions.
Things won’t be easy for the MAC Conference on September 2nd. It’s highly unlikely any get a win. The positive is that each of the four teams will gain valuable playing time against top-tier competition, only helping them in the long run.
While things might not go exactly the way the MAC wants them, it’s still great for the strength of the Conference down the road.
Follow Daniel James Gentile on twitter @dgentleman9288