Daily Blog • March 3rd, 2010

2009 was a memorable year for many of the teams and players in the Mid-American Conference. The ’09 season saw the conference send five of its teams to bowl games for a 2nd straight year and league champ Central Michigan ended the conference’s 14 game bowl losing streak by defeating Troy 44-41 in 2OT in the GMAC Bowl. The Chippewas also finished in the final AP Top 25 at #23.

Temple had one of its best seasons in school history by winning 9 straight games and made their 1st bowl appearance since 1979! Temple HC Al Golden was named MAC coach of the year as the Owls have improved their win total in each of his 4 seasons as coach. With Temple breaking their bowl drought, 11 MAC teams have now been to a bowl game since 2004! 

I was very pleased with the way the East Division played out in ‘09 as my magazine was the only magazine in the country to have Ohio winning the division. Every other magazine had the Bobcats projected 4th or lower! Frank Solich has done a great job here as the Bobcats were just 11-35 in the 4 years prior to his arrival. Since 2006, Ohio is 28-24 including 2 appearances in the MAC Title game!

2009 was also a banner year for several MAC players including Bowling Green WR Freddie Barnes who was a Biletnikoff award finalist. Barnes had a dream season in ‘09 by smashing the all-time NCAA single season reception mark with 155 (11.4) and 19 TDs!

Central Michigan QB Dan LeFevour set the all-time NCAA total TD mark (rushing, passing, receiving) with 150 and also finished 2nd all-time in total yards with 15,853. 

Finally Toledo DB Barry Church became one of only 3 players in MAC history to be named 1st Team All-MAC four times!

This year figures to be just as exciting for the MAC as they announced their 2010 football schedules on Monday, which is nearly a month earlier than usual.

The schedule will feature at least 19 regular season games on the ESPN networks and the regular season will conclude with the 13th MAC Championship game on Friday, December 3 at Ford Field in Detroit on ESPN2.  This will be the 7th year the game will be played at Ford Field.

The schedule will also feature a non-conference slate of opponents from all 6 BCS conferences including 11 games against the Big Ten, 4 games vs the Big East, 3 games vs the SEC, Big 12 and ACC and 1 game vs the Pac-10.

The season kicks off on Thursday, September 2nd with 5 MAC teams in action highlighted by Northern Illinois traveling to Iowa St in a matchup between two bowl teams in ‘09. On Friday, September 3rd Toledo hosts Arizona in what arguably will be the MAC’s biggest non-conference home game in 2010. The Rockets (5-7 in ’09) will look to improve in HC Tim Beckman’s 2nd year while the Wildcats are fresh off their best season since ’98.  The game will be televised on ESPN at 8 pm EST.

The 1st Saturday of the college football season will see the MAC playing 3 games against BCS conference teams with Akron hosting Syracuse, Western Michigan playing at in-state foe Michigan St and Miami traveling down to Gainesville to take on Florida.

September 11th features 3 conference games highlighted by defending MAC champ Central Michigan traveling to Temple. On September 25th there will be 8 games involving teams from the MAC and Big Ten highlighted by Bowling Green at Michigan, Temple at Penn St, and Eastern Michigan at Ohio St as the two conferences continue their longstanding relationship.

October 9th will see two MAC schools taking on non-conference marquee teams as Toledo will travel to Boise St and Central Michigan will visit Virginia Tech. On October 16th, in what possibly is the biggest non-conference game of the year for the MAC sees Western Michigan traveling to Notre Dame. While MAC teams are 0-4 all-time vs Notre Dame, all of the games were played prior to 1921 and this game will mark the 1st time since it was founded in 1946 that a MAC school will play against the Irish!

The month of November will see the MAC play 10 mid-week league games televised by the ESPN networks highlighted by Bowling Green at Toledo on Wednesday, November 17. The regular season action concludes on Friday, November 26 featuring 5 conference games including Central Michigan at Toledo and Ohio at Kent St.

To get complete schedules on all 13 MAC schools click here and make sure to select any game to get all the matchups played between the two teams in the last 13 years with complete statistics including first downs, rushing, passing, sacks, TO’s and much more.

Also don’t forget to check out our Spring Central section to get all the conference schedules, coaching changes, who’s back/who’s not and all the NFL Draft early entrants.

Finally within the next week we will start our coverage of the 2010 NFL Draft with bios on all the top players at each position complete with stats, strengths, weaknesses and projections on what round they will be drafted only at PhilSteele.com!