MANHATTAN, Kan. — Mid-American Conference schools had chances at teams from every Power Five league Saturday, but no MAC team was able to score an upset.
It should be said four such opponents were ranked between No. 13 and No. 19, and most of the MAC teams playing up this week were big underdogs.
Bowling Green was crushed 52-0 at Kansas State, and Central Michigan had an even worse fate at No. 17 Wisconsin, losing 61-0.
Northern Illinois challenged No. 13 Utah — the Huskies trailed 21-17 at half — but managed only 69 yards of offense in the second half and lost 35-17.
The MAC’s best chance at an upset was a disappointing performance from league favorite Ohio, which fell behind 17-0 at Pitt and never looked particularly good in a 20-10 loss. Panthers coach Pat Narduzzi, for what it’s worth, predicted the Bobcats will win the MAC after playing them Saturday.
The night session wasn’t any better for the MAC. Buffalo (45-13 at No. 15 Penn State), Western Michigan (51-17 at No. 19 Michigan State), and Eastern Michigan (38-17 at Kentucky) all lost under the lights in hostile road environments.
Akron was the only other team to play an FBS opponent, and despite 359 yards from quarterback Kato Nelson, the Zips fell 31-20 to UAB and are still looking for their first win.
Kent State needed a fumble in overtime to beat Kennesaw State, though Miami (48-17 vs. Tennessee Tech) and Ball State (57-29 vs. Fordham) had little issues with their FCS opposition.
Conference play officially starts next week, but only for two teams. Akron and Central Michigan will start the MAC schedule with a game in Mount Pleasant.