College football fans, if there were any doubt in your minds about how you were going to spend some of your upcoming fall weeknights, release said doubt from your very being. Tomorrow afternoon, the Mid-American Conference will release its 2013 football schedule.
With every year that passes recently, the MAC inches its way more and more into the national spotlight. With an agreement with ESPN to broadcast some of its games nationally during the week, they have created their own platform to showcase themselves. And if there are any of you out there that have yet to partake in the majesty that is mid-week MAC football, I STRONGLY urge you to.
The MAC reached new heights last season when the conference champion Northern Illinois Huskies received a bid to play in the Discover Orange Bowl. This marked the conference’s first BCS bid since the bowl system’s inception in 1998. Led by all-everything QB Jordan Lynch, the Huskies ultimately fell to the ACC Champion Florida State Seminoles 31-10.
That loss aside however, just the inclusion in such a traditional powerhouse bowl contest showed the level of respect that the conference has earned. And believe me, I do mean earned.
It’s not uncommon on a yearly basis in college basketball to see a major conference team surprisingly upended by a “mid-major” squad. Hell, with the parity of talent these days, a team like the Butler Bulldogs recently made two consecutive trips to play for the sport’s national championship. In one of those games, they came literally within inches of pulling off one of the biggest shockers in the history of sports.
That’s basketball, however. In the unbelievably physical world that is college football, that’s not supposed to happen. The little brother isn’t supposed to step up to big brother. Yet, the MAC has become that little brother that walks up to you, kicks you in the shins, runs away, and leaves you angered because you can’t catch them. And that right there is what makes “MACtion” so incredibly awe-inspiring.
SEC fans, you can have your 14-10 Les Miles vs. Nick Saban defensive battles on a Saturday night. I, on the other hand, will gladly take my Frank Solich vs. Ron English barn-burner on a Tuesday. Hurry up MACtion, we miss you.