A Saturday to remember in the MAC

Central Michigan was one of four MAC teams to pull off an upset Saturday (US Presswire)

The MAC truly has been the hipster college football conference the last few seasons. On Saturday, though, the MAC went mainstream for at least one day.

For years the MAC has been a conference that BCS schools took advantage of to get easy wins and move closer to bowl eligibility, but on Saturday the conference got some revenge. During the 2010 and 2011 seasons MAC teams were only able to pick up three wins against teams from the major conferences.

On Saturday it had four.

Central Michigan knocked off Iowa at Kinnick Stadium with a last-second field goal, though the Chippewas led the game 23-14 at halftime.

Western Michigan knocked off Connecticut 31-24, but the game wasn't even that close. The Broncos held a 17-7 lead at halftime and the Huskies scored a touchdown in the final minute to make it a one-possession game.

Then there was Northern Illinois, which scored 17 unanswered points in the fourth quarter to knock off Kansas 30-23.

Finally, Ball State, after leading most of the day, scored a touchdown in the final minutes to knock off South Florida 31-27.

That's two wins over the Big East and one over both the Big 12 and Big Ten in only a matter of hours, and the day could have been even better. Eastern Michigan held a 7-6 lead over Michigan State in East Lansing late into the third quarter before the Spartans finally pulled away.

It was the best day the MAC has had since Sept. 20, 2003. On that day, Toledo knocked off No. 11 Pitt 35-31, Marshall took down No. 10 Kansas State 27-20, Miami (OH) beat up Colorado State 41-21, Northern Illinois beat No. 21 Alabama 19-16 and Bowling Green nearly knocked off No. 6 Ohio State in a 24-17 loss.

In other words, if you have a MAC team on your schedule for the third Saturday of September 2021, you should probably find a different opponent.

CBS Sports Writer

Tom Fornelli has been a college football writer at CBS Sports since 2010. During his time at CBS, Tom has proven time and again that he hates your favorite team and thinks your rival is a paragon of football... Full Bio

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