Mid-week #MACtion is back in full force. Our trio of Michigan-made mid-majors toe the field over the next two days, including a tilt between two of the three.
CENTRAL MICHIGAN CHIPPEWAS vs. WESTERN MICHIGAN BRONCOS
Both Central Michigan (4-4, 2-2 MAC) and Western Michigan (5-3, 3-1 MAC) are coming off a bye and feeling refreshed, so we could be in for a dandy of a showdown in Kalamazoo tonight.
Prior to their week off, both the Chippewas and Broncos tallied victories in conference play. CMU bludgeoned Ball State, while WMU narrowly eked out a win over in-state rival Eastern Michigan.
Statistically speaking, Western Michigan is the superior team at this point in the season. They are averaging 10+ points per game more than their rivals from Mount Pleasant. The Broncos also carry the league's best rushing attack. But Central can counter with an aerial attack that Western has not fared well defending this season; although much of that knock is due to a seven-overtime thriller against Buffalo earlier in the season.
Western Michigan may have more to lose in this contest as well. A win would, at worst, keep them in striking distance for a division title with Toledo and Northern Illinois, two teams they still have to play later in the season. Western Michigan owns the all-time series head-to-head 48-37-2, and it's been all Broncos late, winning five of six over the Chips.
KICKOFF: Wednesday, November 1 at 8 p.m. ET on ESPN2
EASTERN MICHIGAN EAGLES
Boy, Eastern Michigan (2-6, 0-4 MAC) just cannot catch a break right now. The Eagles had the aforementioned Huskies of Northern Illinois on the ropes last Saturday, up two scores, and let them escape with a W. EMU has now lost six straight games, all by seven points or fewer.
It's safe to say that Eastern Michigan is the toughest 2-6 team out there. Take that for what it is worth. They are certainly putting themselves in position to win ball games. Hell, they've lost to the top three teams in their division — Toledo, NIU and WMU — by a combined 11 points. It's been a collection of miscues and missed opportunities for these Eagles. Against NIU, they left points on the board thanks to three missed field goal attempts.
Still, the defense continues to be their calling card and give their team a chance to win. Perhaps things will turn around for Eastern Michigan beginning this Thursday against Ball State (2-6, 0-4 MAC). In a battle of 2-6 clubs, Vegas is making EMU a heavy favorite at home… 23.5-point favorite to be exact. Also, the combined record of the Eagles' final four opponents is 11-23, compared to a 37-12 mark against their first six opponents.
KICKOFF: Thursday, November 2 at 7 p.m. ET on CBS Sports Network