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MAC Football Preview, Week 3: Tear Down This Oberlin Wall

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Last week's MAC record: 5-7. My picks: 8-4. But the self-deprecating losses to the Big Ten are not over yet!

Noon — Temple (0-1) at No. 5 Penn State (2-0) (TV: BTN)

Perhaps it was not in the Owls' best interests to play Villanova and then the Nittany Lions. They are digging themselves into a spider hole of shame by becoming the Worst College Football Team In Pennsylvania. If they lose next week to Buffalo, who lost to Pittsburgh, that will account for all FBS teams and one FCS school. Let's hope they aren't invited to a bowl game against Carnegie Mellon. Penn State 41, Temple 17

Noon — Northern Illinois (1-1) at Purdue (1-1) (TV: BTN)

We know Purdue has a semi-automatic offense, but the Danny Hope Fighting Mustaches don't have a concealed carry permit, so everybody knows what they're packing. The thing is, NIU may have just as good an offense, but certainly a better defense. When Dan LeFevour, Tim Hiller, Tyler Sheehan, Andy Schmitt, and I suppose Aaron Opelt all leave their respective teams, the darling quarterback of the conference will presumably be Chandler Harnish. He almost had it against Wisconsin, and nobody really cared against Western Illinois, but he has a chance to move his year in the sun up by about 12 months. NIU 36, Purdue 33

Noon — Ball State (0-2) at Army (1-1) (TV: CBS College Sports)

It took until January 6 for the Cardinals to lose their second game of the season. Nine months and six days later, Ball State matched that. That may be a record, especially given the competition. North Texas and New Hampshire? Neither of those are enviable tourist destinations, let alone good football teams. Army's not much better, but they did top Eastern Michigan using nothing but the ol' triple option. Ball State's run defense is a sieve. It's a firing range target. It's Grenada. I'm running out of military metaphors. Army 28, Ball State 17

Noon — Eastern Michigan (0-2) at No. 25 Michigan (2-0) (TV: BTN)

Imagine if Washtenaw County had two quality football teams. This could be a much-anticipated battle of cities that meet at the corner of I-94 and US-23. They could forge some kind of trophy and call it the Ypsi-Arbor Award. It could have two upright objects: for Ann Arbor, a tree, and for Ypsilanti, a water tower shaped like a penis. But, alas, a more accurate trophy for the depiction between these two teams would be a bronze statue of a beatnik defecating on an eagle. Michigan 35, EMU 10

Noon — No. 11 Ohio State (1-1) "at" Toledo (1-1), Cleveland Browns Stadium (TV: ESPN Plus/GamePlan)

Here's why Ohio State is the team in the state, thus earning the "The." Their last loss to a team in Ohio was 1921 to Oberlin College. Since '22, the Buckeyes have played in three stadiums in Ohio: the friendly Horseshoe, League Park (against Case Western in '34, a 76-0 win) and Paul Brown Stadium in 2002 (against Cincinnati; another win.) They've actually never played a true Ohio road game in any of our lifetimes. Add a fourth thumbtack on the Ohio map for the travelin' Buckeyes this weekend.

Technically the Rockets will be the home team, but that won't mean much. In Cleveland, a hobo with a slingshot is far more likely to strike a Buckeye zealot than a Rocket fanatic. In all fairness, UT may be the second hottest college football team in the state. (Beating Michigan does that to a program.) It would take some serious brass to call an upset here. But it would shake the very ground on which Ohio is built. It would allow the Rockets to call themselves "THE University of Toledo." It would rank up there with the bourgeoisie over Louis XVI, William Wallace over the English, and USA hockey over Team Iceland in the Junior Goodwill Games. But D2: The Mighty Ducks was a terrible movie, so I'll pass. Ohio State 31, Toledo 18

3:30 p.m. — Alcorn State (0-1) at Central Michigan (1-1) (TV: Nope)

What a way to take the momentum out of an upset like last week's. Just when Michigan State gets upended, the MACaroons follow it up with this patsy. The Alcorn State Braves (RACIST!) from Lorman, Mississippi are hellbent on cranking up the self-masochism by playing teams much better than themselves. They were whupped 52-0 by Southern Miss last week and went 2-10 last year. In Mt. Pleasant this weekend, it's nothin' but stat padding and safe words. CMU 52, Alcorn State 3

3:30 p.m. — Indiana (2-0) at Akron (1-1) (TV: ESPNU)

The crowded list of elite quarterbacks in the conference may need to find some elbow room if Chris Jacquemain can vulcanize the opposition. That may be difficult without playing in the Rubber Bowl anymore. I still don't think nobody knows about about the Zips to make any conclusions about them, but sweet Jesus, the MAC East needs a pick-me-up. This kind of win would certainly give them driver's seat status in the division. Indiana 17, Akron 14

7 p.m. — Iowa State (1-1) at Kent State (1-1) (TV: ESPN360.com)

Kent State had such a chance to win this game. But this chance came before the news that Eugene Jarvis, possibly the best tailback in the conference, will miss the season after lacerating his only kidney. The Kent State coach will be too busy setting fire to the NCAA to game plan an upset over a Big XII team. Iowa State 21, Kent State 16

7 p.m. — Miami (0-2) at Western Michigan (0-2) (TV: Nope)

Finally, a conference game. This is where the fun begins. Miami is one of two FBS teams in the country yet to score a single point. The other is Nevada, and they've only had one game to attempt this lofty goal. Western, on the other hand, has a quarterback who understands that throwing the football to players wearing the same color is usually a wise decision. WMU 34, Miami 3 (Actual points? I know!)

7 p.m. — Cal Poly (1-0) at Ohio (1-1) (TV: Nope)

All right then, here are some fun facts about California Polytechnic State University's football program: Famous alumni include John Madden and … well, actually, that's it. And he's retired, so he won't be of much help. WHAP! Ohio 34, Cal Poly 14

7 p.m. — Bowling Green (1-1) at Marshall (1-1) (TV: Nope)

Wait, BG's playing Marshall? Ex-MAC perennial champion Marshall? Did I slip into a time vortex and re-appear in 2003? Bowling Green 24, Marshall 17

7:30 p.m. — Buffalo at Central Florida (TV: Nope)

Okay, yep, I am definitely in the year 2003. I must warn everybody about Ben Affleck and Jennifer Lopez. There may be trouble in paradise! Although their new movie looks pretty good. UCF 24, Buffalo 20

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