Monday, December 5, 2022

CFB Week 7 Conference Notes: Mid-American Conference


Saturday, October 9
*Northern Illinois at Toledo Noon ET/11 am CT (CBSSN)
*Akron at Bowling Green Noon (ESPN+)
*Ball State at Western Michigan 3:30 pm (ESPNU)
*Central Michigan at Ohio 3:30 pm (ESPN+)
*Miami at Eastern Michigan 3:30 pm (ESPN+)
*Buffalo at Kent State 7 pm (ESPNU)

All times listed ET

• The MAC has won a regular season game vs. Big Ten opponents in each of the last 15 consecutive seasons (2006-2021), the longest streak in MAC history. Bowling Green’s 14-10 win at Minnesota on Sept. 25, 2021 extended the streak. During this 15-year stretch, MAC teams have defeated 12 different Big Ten programs—Illinois (4); Indiana (5); Iowa (3); Maryland (1); Michigan (1); Michigan State (1); Minnesota (3); Nebraska (1); Northwestern (3); Penn State (1); Purdue (6) and Rutgers (2) for a total of 31 wins during this stretch.
Miami (13), Bowling Green (9), Toledo (6), Central Michigan (6) and Northern Illinois (6) have the most wins vs. Big Ten opponents.

• In addition to Bowling Green’s 14-10 win over Minnesota, Northern Illinois and Western Michigan are also “Flying the Flag” after taking down a pair of ACC foes. Northern Illinois topped Georgia Tech in thrilling fashion, 22-21. With the win, the Huskies improved to 3-8 all-time versus teams from the Atlantic Coast Conference. The win also marks the 15thstraight year that a team from the MAC has collected a road win over an autonomous five opponent. Western Michigan topped Pittsburgh, 44-41, on the road in front of 40,581 fans at Heinz Field. The win is the first over a Power 5 conference team for head coach Tim Lester. The Broncos put up 510 yards of offense on Pitt in the win.

• Ohio University Head Football Coach Frank Solich announced that he is stepping down from his position to focus on his health,
after an unprecedented successful sixteen seasons leading the Bobcats, which included eleven bowl appearances, four Mid-American Conference East titles and a Top 25 ranking. Following Solich’s announcement, Director of Athletics Julie Cromer announced that Associate Head Coach and Offensive Coordinator Tim Albin has agreed to become the new head football coach, agreeing to a four-year contract. Albin joined the Ohio Football coaching staff as offensive coordinator in 2005, reuniting with Frank Solich after four seasons together at Nebraska. The 2021 season will mark Albin’s 17th year in Athens. Since his arrival in Athens, Albin has produced offensive units that have consistently ranked among the top of the Mid-American Conference.

• Maurice Linguist was named the University at Buffalo’s 26th head coach on May 8, 2021. It will be a homecoming of sorts for
Linguist who was the Bulls’ defensive backs coach in 2012 and 2013. Linguist is regarded as one of the nation’s top recruiters and has excelled in coaching at both the Power Five level and the NFL. He comes to UB from Michigan where he served a brief stint as defensive backs coach/co-defensive coordinator since January. He joined the U-M coaching staff after spending the 2020 season as cornerbacks coach with the NFL’s Dallas Cowboys.

Western Michigan graduate student Mike Caliendo, Ball State senior Bryce Cosby and Eastern Michigan senior Mike Van Hoeven were named to the 2020-21 CoSIDA Academic All-America Division I Football Team. Caliendo was the only first team selection from the MAC, while Cosby and Van Hoeven were named to the second team.

• The MAC had four draft selections in the 2021 NFL Draft. Western Michigan WR/KR/PR D’Wayne Eskridge was selected by Seattle in the second round (56th overall), while Buffalo DE Malcolm Koonce was selected 79th overall in the third round by the Las Vegas Raiders. Western Michigan offensive lineman Jaylon Moore became the second Bronco taken in the 2021 NFL Draft, while Tommy Doyle became the first Miami offensive lineman drafted since Brandon Brooks was taken in the third round of the 2012 Draft by the Houston Texans. Moore was selected by the San Francisco 49ers in the fifth round (155th overall), while Doyle was taken by the Buffalo Bills in the fifth round with the 161st pick. In recent years the MAC has had student-athletes selected among the top five overall in the NFL Draft. In the last seven years (2013- 19), the MAC has had three players selected in the top five in the NFL Drafts. In the 2017 NFL Draft, Western Michigan wide receiver Corey Davis was selected as the fifth overall selection in the first round by the Tennessee Titans. Davis’ selection was the highest ever for Western Michigan and tied the second-highest in MAC history. In 2014, Buffalo Bulls linebacker Khalil Mack was the fifth overall selection by the Oakland Raiders in the 2014 NFL Draft. Mack’s selection was the highest ever for the Buffalo program and the second-highest ever selection for a MAC student-athlete. In 2013, Central Michigan offensive tackle Eric Fisher became the first MAC football player to be selected as the overall No. 1 selection in the NFL Draft. The Kansas City Chiefs selected Fisher as No.1 choice in the 2013 NFL Draft. The previous highest player drafted from the MAC was Marshall quarterback Byron Leftwich, who was selected No. 7 overall by the Jacksonville Jaguars, in the 2003 NFL Draft.

• For the first time since 2003, the MAC had two teams ranked in the final Associated Press Top 25 Football Poll. Ball State was ranked No. 23, while Buffalo comes in at No. 25. It marks the first-time in program history for both schools to have a team finish the season ranked within the Top 25. In 2003, Miami (No. 10) and Bowling Green (No. 23) finished the season in the AP Top 25. Ball State finished the season with back-to-back wins over ranked opponents, defeating the Bulls when they were No. 23 and then knocking off No. 19 San Jose State in the Offerpad Arizona Bowl on New Year’s Eve. SJSU is No. 24 in the final poll. Coach Mike Neu’s Cardinals finished 7-1 overall, winning their first-ever bowl game, their first MAC championship since 1996 and their first MAC West Division title since 2008. BSU’s seven-game winning streak at season’s end is tied for the fourth-longest active streak in the FBS.

Buffalo went 6-1 on the season, won the MAC East Division and won a bowl game for the second straight season. The Bulls defeated Marshall, 17-10, in the 2020 Camellia Bowl. The Bulls were ranked as high as 23 by the AP this year. Buffalo finished the 2020 season ranked fifth in the nation in scoring offense (43.4) and second in the nation in rushing offense (287.4).

• Ball State 34, San Jose State 13 — Offerpad Arizona Bowl
• Buffalo 17, Marshall 17 — Camellia Bowl

In the last nine bowl seasons, every MAC football program has received a bowl invitation. Leading is Ohio with bowl invitations
in eight of the last nine bowl seasons.

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