MAC football divided between the have, the have-nots

By Matt Hopkinson

Ball State:

Dropping its most recent game against NIU, Ball State has found itself in a bind. Sitting at 3-3 overall and 1-2 in the MAC, Ball State has no gimme’s at all, with tough-games against Central and Western Michigan. They also still have to play against two top caliber teams in Ohio and Toledo. The Cardinals will have to find a balance between passing the ball and running the ball, as they threw 71 times against NIU and came up short.

Western Michigan:

If the pattern is to hold true once more for the Bronco’s season, they will lose their upcoming game against Ball State. Western started the season with a loss, and has alternated a loss and a win, sitting at 3-3 overall and 1-1 in the MAC. They picked up a virtual freebie in their last game against the MAC punching bag, Massachusetts, but their schedule is much less favorable with games against the likes of NIU, Kent State and Central Michigan.

Central Michigan:

Sitting at 2-3 overall and 0-2 in the MAC, the Chippewa’s stock is starting to fall. Following a big program win against Iowa, Central has fallen in two consecutive MAC contests, against Toledo and NIU. While never good to get in an early hole, Central got its toughest opponents over with early. The Chippewa’s has some favorable match-ups down the road which they can make some hay against the likes of Eastern Michigan, Akron and UMass.

Eastern Michigan:

At 0-5 overall and 0-2 in the MAC, Eastern Michigan has done no favors for its program. The Eagles schedule gets increasingly more difficult as it wears on. Already losing to Ball State and most recently Kent State, the Eagles still have to face Toledo Saturday, and have future match-ups with Ohio, Central Michigan and NIU to close their season. The Eagles may have to find solace in just enjoying the ride and not so much where it takes them.


Tied with NIU for the best record at 5-1 and 2-0 in the MAC, the Rockets upcoming strength of schedule is probably favorable enough to keep their play-off hopes well and alive. Most recently, they defeated Central Michigan 50-35 and the Rockets still have to face Ball State and NIU. Although their next game is against Eastern Michigan, almost assuring a 3-0 MAC start.


The Huskies have the best national conference winning streak going at the moment, and will look to continue that pace against Buffalo Saturday. NIU’s schedule has them sitting pretty the rest of the way, with the toughest match-up to come in the form of Toledo. The Huskies will be on the road for two games following the game against Buffalo, facing one of the MAC bottom dwellers in Akron and the inconsistent Broncos.