Mid-American Conference Football Championship Game 2017 Preview

Championship Saturday is upon us in college football and the Toledo Rockets and the Akron Zips will prepare to do battle in the Mid-American Conference Football Championship Game 2017 Saturday in Detroit, Michigan.

The MAC West Division Champions Toledo Rockets head into this game with a 10-2 overall record and 7-1 record in MAC play and will be looking for their first MAC Championship since 2004.

The MAC East Division Champions Akron Zips come in at 7-5 overall and 6-2 in MAC play having won their last two games of the regular season to earn a right to play in the MAC Championship game and will be looking for their first MAC Championship since 2005.

The all-time series between Toledo and Akron is neck and neck with the Rockets holding an 11-9 advantage including having won the past two games against the Zips, including a 48-21 win earlier this season.

The Rockets come in as heavy favorites and the current spread sees Toledo as a 21.5-point favorite and ESPN’s Football Power Index gives the Rockets an 83.6 percent chance of winning their first MAC Championship in over a decade.

A key matchup to look for in this game will be an issue the entire MAC had this season, stopping Toledo quarterback Logan Woodside.  Woodside has thrown for 3,451 yards this season with 24 touchdowns and only three interceptions, so slowing him down will be crucial for Akron.

The Zips only average 23.3 points-per-game on the season compared to Toledo’s 38.7 points-per-game, so the Zips aren’t built to keep up in a shootout.  If Woodside gets hot, it will be a long afternoon for Akron.

But if the Zips can limit Woodside and force turnovers, that could go a long way in their quest to get the upset and win the MAC Championship.  After all, the underdog has had a fair amount of success in this game over the years.

Since the MAC Championship game formed in 1997, the underdog has won seven of 20 matchups, good for 35 percent.  However, the underdog has not won a MAC Championship since 2013 when Bowling Green upset Northern Illinois.

Both Toledo and Akron are in a position they haven’t been in for years, playing for a MAC Championship.  The Rockets haven’t played in the MAC Championship game since winning it in 2004 and the Zips haven’t played in it since they won the championship in 2005.

So, despite Toledo appearing to be a big favorite in this game, this game could easily turn out to be a game that goes down to the very end.  Both teams have long MAC Championship game droughts and will have to get used to the situation quickly.

Every team goes into a season with hopes of winning a championship, and the Rockets and the Zips will have that chance in front of a national audience to head into bowl season as champions.

Toledo and Akron kickoff at noon Saturday at Ford Field in Detroit, Michigan and the game will be televised by ESPN.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s