Mid-American Conference (MAC) History
The Mid-American Conference, more commonly referred to as the MAC, was founded in 1946 and contains many of the smaller Division I football programs in the Great Lakes region. The MAC has thirteen football teams and oversees a total of twenty-three NCAA sports. The MAC is considered one of the NCAA’s weaker Division I conferences, with no major contenders on a year-to-year basis, but still has a number of schools with solid football programs. It has also had relative consistency in its membership; with limited changes in the past decade, the MAC is not set to lose or add any universities past 2012. The conference has some of the highest academic standards in the NCAA, with the highest graduation rate among its sports. The MAC has a handful of players draft every April and has produced a number of standout NFL players in recent years, including Ben Roethlisberger, Greg Jennings, Michael Turner, and Jason Taylor.
MAC Teams and Structure
Mid-American Conference football contains thirteen universities divided into two divisions. The East Division contains seven schools: Akron, Bowling Green, Buffalo, Kent State, Massachusetts, and Miami (Ohio). The West Divisions six schools are Ball State, Western Michigan, Central Michigan, Eastern Michigan, Northern Illinois, and Toledo. Massachusetts is the newest member to MAC football, replacing the loss of Temple in 2012. Miami has been the most accomplished football program, compiling fifteen conference titles. Toledo and Bowling Green are tied for second, with ten titles each. The conference has a number of historic rivalries among its members, with the longest running being Ohio and Miami’s “Battle of the Brick’s”.
MAC Championship and Bowls
Since 1997, the MAC has held a championship game to decide its conference winner. The Marathon MAC Football Championship pits the East and West Division winners against each other at Ford Field in Detroit. Marshall, now a member of Conference USA, has the most wins in the game’s history with five. Central Michigan is the current MAC leader in the game’s history with three wins. The winner of the Marathon MAC Football Championship receives a berth to the Little Caesar’s Pizza Bowl against the Big Ten’s eighth placed team. The second placed MAC team is awarded the GoDaddy.com Bowl against the Sun Belt champion and the third placed MAC team is awarded the Famous Idaho Potato Bowl against the WAC champion.
The Mid-American Conference is located in the Great Lakes region of the United States. Six of the thirteen football universities are located in Ohio, while three are in Michigan. Cleveland, Ohio also serves as the conference’s headquarters. The states of Illinois, Indiana, New York, and Massachusetts have one school each. The MAC is one of the most closely confined conferences in the NCAA, with Massachusetts being the only state to not border a Great Lake. The many in-state rivalries and the overall geography of the conference lend to compelling matchups for local fans.
The Mid-American Conference offers a wide number of bets for college football gamblers online. Many of the MAC’s teams often come into the season as underrated squads before pulling off an upset against higher regarded opponents, which can often leady savvy gambler to large payouts. Futures bets are available for bets on how MAC teams finish and who the ultimate winner of the Marathon MAC Championship. Betting on the MAC Championship game online and the associated bowl games offer great bets for those following MAC’s best football programs. Following the top players in the MAC can also help pay off for NFL draft betting, as universities such as Miami often have under-the-radar players selected in the top rounds.
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