State of the MAC as Conference Play Starts In Full 

💫 22-year-old @OrlandoCitySC winger Facundo Torres didn’t feature for Uruguay in their 0-0 draw against South Korea.

⚽️ He outperformed his xG more than almost any other player in the #MLS this season, scoring 4.7 goals over expected (9 in total).

#URU | #FIFAWorldCup

Move over #Thanksgiving, it’s time for #BlackFriday, and the big games just keep on coming:

🏈 Tulane @ Cincinnati
⚽️ #ThreeLions vs. #USMNT

Our Thanksgiving weekend viewers’ guide has you covered today.

#NCAA | #FIFAWorldCup
https://thegeniusplaybook.com/a-rare-sporting-equinox-our-ultimate-thanksgiving-viewer-guide/

🏈 #NFLThanksgiving gave us three close and competitive games yesterday, with wins for the #Bills, #Cowboys and #Vikings.

These were the top performers from the Thanksgiving slate, per @NextGenStats. ✨

𝙎𝙘𝙤𝙪𝙩𝙞𝙣𝙜 𝙍𝙚𝙥𝙤𝙧𝙩: @USMNT x @MLS

Just one player of the starting XI against Wales came from a team in the #MLS. But the bench was stacked with MLS talent that could hurt England tonight.

Here are a few to watch out for. 🧵

#ThreeLions | #USMNT

💫 Dak’s 88% completion rate in Week 11 was the highest recorded in a single game (min 15 attempts) in the whole of 2022 so far.

⭐️ The #Cowboys are getting hot at the right time, but Coach of the Year contender Brian Daboll has the #Giants playing elite football.

#NYGvsDAL

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While midweek #MACtion isn’t quite here yet (the MAC takes over ESPN weeknights in November each year), the calendar has hit October and in college football that means conference play comes into focus. Let’s take a look at some MAC storylines, contenders, and review who plays who, as most teams try to get out to a 1-0 start. 

#MACtion means top tier competition

MAC teams haven’t backed down from top-ranked competition. The MAC collectively has played 11 games against teams ranked in the Associated Press poll, the most of any Group of 5 conference.  

Games vs. Teams Ranked By The Associated Press (as of Sept. 30):

MAC – 11
Sun Belt – 7
C-USA / MWC – 6
American Athletic – 5  

Flying the flag

When a MAC team beats a team from a bigger conference – which happens all the time! – it celebrates with a pirate flag on the field. It’s a neat element of solidarity and branding for the conference, which owns six wins over Power 5 opponents since the 2019 season. This year, the skull and crossbones has flown in each of the last two weeks as Miami (Ohio) beat Northwestern and Eastern Michigan won at Arizona State. 

Top-ranked Georgia’s toughest opponent so far this year has been Kent State, which played UGA within three scores. Additionally, Central Michigan almost took down 12th-ranked Oklahoma State in a 58-44 loss in week 1. Of Oklahoma State’s first three opponents, nobody played OSU tougher than did CMU in that shootout. 

Pivotal month for the reigning champ

Preseason favorite and 2021 MAC champion Northern Illinois is 1-3 with three narrow losses to stiff competition. NIU lost 38-28 to Vanderbilt and has two losses by a single score to Tulsa and 8th-ranked Kentucky. We’ll find out a lot about the Huskies this month as three of NIU’s next four games are on the road. They’re at Ball State, Eastern Michigan and Ohio over the next month with a home game against Toledo. 

Think You Know #MACtion?

College football fans can compete for prizes by playing our MAC Pick ‘em free to play game. Simply sign up for free and create an account. You can make your picks on anything from head-to-head matchups, over-unders, and performance metrics, and battle your way up the leaderboard. 

This Week’s Top Games (plus our picks)

Northern Illinois at Ball State
Saturday – 2 pm ET

In each of the last three years, BSU-NIU has come down to the final possession, with Ball State taking two and NIU winning last year on a last-second field goal. NIU has lost three straight and needs to start 1-0 in conference play, while BSU needs to avoid starting 0-2 in the MAC with both losses at home. Also, these two schools play for this very interesting Bronze Stalk Trophy, which always adds a little flavor. 

The Playbook’s Pick: Northern Illinois has played two SEC teams tough and should be primed to pull out a close road win. 

The Bronze Stalk trophy. What a prize!

Central Michigan at Toledo
Saturday – 3:30 pm ET (NFL Network)

Both of these teams are expected to be in the race. Toledo, just a field goal away from being the MAC’s only 3-1 team, is the favorite at home but Central Michigan is second in the league in defense. Both teams have dynamic playmakers and this one should be a good watch on NFL Network. 

The Playbook’s Pick: In a close game, The Playbook likes the road underdog.
 

Miami (Ohio) at Buffalo
Saturday – 3:30 pm ET

These teams are riding high after wins last week. Miami won at Northwestern and Buffalo dropped 50 at Eastern Michigan. Both teams are expected to compete in the MAC East division and this game is a key piece for both squads eager to make it back to Detroit. 

The Playbook’s Pick: Buffalo is a slight favorite at home and The Playbook will go with the odds. 

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💫 22-year-old @OrlandoCitySC winger Facundo Torres didn’t feature for Uruguay in their 0-0 draw against South Korea.

⚽️ He outperformed his xG more than almost any other player in the #MLS this season, scoring 4.7 goals over expected (9 in total).

#URU | #FIFAWorldCup

Move over #Thanksgiving, it’s time for #BlackFriday, and the big games just keep on coming:

🏈 Tulane @ Cincinnati
⚽️ #ThreeLions vs. #USMNT

Our Thanksgiving weekend viewers’ guide has you covered today.

#NCAA | #FIFAWorldCup
https://thegeniusplaybook.com/a-rare-sporting-equinox-our-ultimate-thanksgiving-viewer-guide/

🏈 #NFLThanksgiving gave us three close and competitive games yesterday, with wins for the #Bills, #Cowboys and #Vikings.

These were the top performers from the Thanksgiving slate, per @NextGenStats. ✨

𝙎𝙘𝙤𝙪𝙩𝙞𝙣𝙜 𝙍𝙚𝙥𝙤𝙧𝙩: @USMNT x @MLS

Just one player of the starting XI against Wales came from a team in the #MLS. But the bench was stacked with MLS talent that could hurt England tonight.

Here are a few to watch out for. 🧵

#ThreeLions | #USMNT

💫 Dak’s 88% completion rate in Week 11 was the highest recorded in a single game (min 15 attempts) in the whole of 2022 so far.

⭐️ The #Cowboys are getting hot at the right time, but Coach of the Year contender Brian Daboll has the #Giants playing elite football.

#NYGvsDAL

Load More