If you are a football purist like myself, you love flipping through the channels and finding that mid-week MAC game, such as Wednesday night's tussle between Central Michigan and Kent State. It's not the Power 5. The teams more than likely are not in any contention for a College Football Playoff berth. You've probably never heard of any of the players.
But it's football.
MAC football exists in its own highly-competitive bubble in the Midwest. Every game is a rivalry game and the players are out there playing for love of the game and pride. For some of you, that's enough of a reason to watch. For others, unless your are a fan or alum of one of the two schools that are playing, you need something more to pique your interest.
That's where this preview and prediction comes in.
Central Michigan at Kent State
Kickoff: 8 p.m. ET (Wednesday)
Spread: Central Michigan -10.5
Three Things to Watch
1. Demetrius Monday, CB, Kent State
Monday is a big-bodied, physical corner who is likely to play in the NFL one day. He's currently tied for third nationally with six interceptions on the season. He has all of the physical tools to be a great corner, both in college and the pros. Only a sophomore, he'll have plenty of time to polish his game. For now, this is an opportunity for you to get a first look and eventually be that sports "hipster" -- bragging about how you watched him before he was famous.
2. Cooper Rush, QB, Central Michigan
Rush is a protypical NFL quarterback prospect. He's a big kid with a decent arm who can make every throw. He has the potential to be that Group of 5 quarterback who sneaks into the conversation of best available quarterbacks in the 2017 NFL Draft. He's airing it out nearly 40 times a game with a completion percentage of 68.2 and a touchdown-to-interception ratio of 2.4 to 1. The battle between Monday and Rush will be an interesting one when Rush chooses to challenge the young cornerback.
3. Central Michigan's emotion
Few in college football have faced the adversity that head coach John Bonamego has faced this season. The first-year head coach and Central Michigan alum was diagnosed with cancer in June and received treatment all through fall practice. No news has been good new so far on that front. On the field, you can imagine his Chippewas would love to send their new coach to a bowl game after all he's been through this season. A win against Kent State makes Central Michigan bowl eligible.
Kent State has Monday and not much else. They have struggled to move the ball and score points recently and that doesn't appear to be changing any time soon. Central Michigan is going to light up the scoreboard on the strength of Cooper Rush's arm and there won't be a whole lot that Kent State can do about it or to match it. This game will be a clear demonstration of the line between a middle-of-the-road MAC team and one at the bottom of the barrel, as the Chippewas win big.