On Friday the Mid-American Conference released it 2013 composite football schedule, which included dates (but not times) for all 13 league schools as well as a preliminary television schedule with ESPN dates.
If you haven't seen the schedule, here it is ...Aug. 29 Tulsa
Sept. 7 *at Kent State
Sept. 14 at Indiana
Sept. 21 Murray State
Sept. 28 *Akron
Oct. 5 *UMass
Oct. 12 at Mississippi State
Oct. 26 *Toledo
Nov. 5 *at Miami, 8:00 pm ET (ESPN2/ESPNU)
Nov 12 *Ohio, TBA (ESPNU/ESPN3)
Nov. 23 *at Eastern Michigan
Nov. 29 *at Buffalo, TBA (ESPNU/ESPN3)
* Indicates Mid-American Conference games
A few thoughts about this schedule ...
- Well, at least the first MAC game isn't against the Falcons' arch-rival. Bowling Green again starts league play very early, but not against Toledo. The Falcons still play their second game of the season in the league ... on the road ... against Dri Archer and Kent State. Might as well hit the ground running, right?
- If you notice, the MAC portion of the schedule is against the same eight teams BG played last season. While the order of the games changes, the only other change is the venue. Last season the Falcons played at Toledo, at Ohio, at UMass and at Akron, and those are BG's home opponents this season. The road games are at Kent State, at Miami, at Eastern Michigan and at Buffalo.
- The chance for good weather for the home games is pretty good, since the home schedule is front-loaded. After playing two of their first three games on the road, the Falcons play three straight at home from Sept. 21 through Oct. 5. There's also only one home game in November.
- Did anyone else notice when the Falcons' bye appears on the schedule? After playing at Mississippi State on Oct. 12, BG will have the following Saturday off. Their opponent the following week? Toledo, which will have played at home against Navy the previous week.
- There are plenty of midweek games in November, which can't be a surprise. I am a bit surprised that BG's Tuesday, Nov. 12 game against Ohio could possibly NOT be on an ESPN station. Buffalo plays at Toledo that day, and that could be the game on ESPNU, potentially pushing the Ohio at BG game off television. If you're going to have a midweek game, I think it's a must to have it on television. Why play midweek otherwise?
- The MAC continues its tradition of "Black Friday" games with five league games on that date. I haven't given enough thought to solving the problem of playing the final set of league games that day. But until that problem gets resolved, dreadful attendance numbers will continue to be the norm.
- There will be a total of 13 midweek nationally televised games during the month of November on ESPN2, ESPNU or ESPN3. The 13 mid-week games represent an increase of five national television games from last season. I know many MAC fans dislike them ... but it's a great marketing tool -- basically a three-hour informercial for the conference on a night where there is no other college football. Whether you or I like them or not, one thing is certain: They aren't going away.