MAC football teams must play at least 3 games to be eligible for conference title

Teams in the Mid-American Conference must play a minimum of three games to be eligible to win the league title, commissioner Jon Steinbrecher said Thursday.

The MAC starts its six-game, conference-only football season on Nov. 4, and the championship game is scheduled for Dec. 18 at Ford Field in Detroit. Because of the truncated schedule during the coronavirus pandemic, the conference said that winning percentages will be used to determine divisional tiebreakers, followed by head-to-head results. If needed, the league would then work through its normal tiebreaker process.

If games are canceled, Steinbrecher said the MAC could try to reschedule them despite not having bye weeks, but it would depend on the timing and circumstances surrounding each team. Similar to the Big Ten, the MAC will base its cancellations on two seven-day rolling test positivity rates within the team. If it's greater than 5% for the team and greater than 7.5% for the entire program, it would trigger a pause.

"There is certainly great anticipation, but I think you take each day one at a time," Steinbrecher said. "You wake up and you see what the reports are within the states, within the communities, within your athletic programs and institutions. You don't get any further than one day, and the next day you're on to it. You temper that anticipation with, you don't know what the future holds. You hope we have the opportunity to compete. We'll take it a day at a time."

Steinbrecher also said that family members can attend games when local and state health regulations permit it. In spite of the truncated schedule and late start, Steinbrecher said MAC teams can still contend for a New Year's Six bowl if a team is deserving.

"If one or more teams distinguish themselves, I believe they will receive consideration," he said. "The selection committee has a bunch of sharp minds with regards to football. If we get some teams that rip through, and they're sitting there at 5-0, 6-1, 7-0, 6-1, we get through a football championship game, I think they'll be in that consideration, but time will tell."