By Raymond Rolak | CNBNews Sports
The 2019 Marathon Mid-American Conference Football Championship will feature Miami versus Central Michigan on Saturday, Dec. 7, at Noon ET. The contest will mark the 23rd annual championship game for the MAC and will mark the 16th neutral site game at Ford Field in downtown Detroit.
The 2019 Marathon MAC Football Championship Game will showcase the East Division Champion Miami RedHawks against the West Division Champion Central Michigan Chippewas.
Central Michigan (8-4, 6-2 MAC) clinched the MAC West Division title with a 49-7 win over Toledo on Nov. 29. Central Michigan will be making its first trip to Detroit since 2009 and the program’s fourth appearance in the Marathon MAC Football Championship Game. The Chips have won three previous title games (2007, 2008 and 2009) and will be searching for its eighth overall MAC championship. Central Michigan enters the game having won three consecutive games and six of its last seven contests. The Chippewas stunning turnaround comes after finishing last season with a 1-11 overall record, 0-8 in league play.
Miami (7-5, 6-2 MAC) clinched the MAC East Division title back on Nov. 14 and had the luxury of having the East crown locked up for the last three weeks. Miami will be making its first visit to Detroit since 2010 and the program’s fifth appearance in the Marathon MAC Football Championship Game. Miami has won the title game twice (2003, 2010) and will be searching the program’s 16th overall MAC football championship. Miami had its five-game winning streak snapped on the final date of the regular season with a 41-27 loss at Ball State on Nov. 29.
Central Michigan and Miami last faced each other during the 2017 regular season as the RedHawks defeated the Chippewas, 31-14, on Sept. 23, 2017 at Kelly/Shorts Stadium in Mount Pleasant, Mich.
The game will be broadcast on ESPN2. Central Michigan as the West Champion is the designated home team.
Miami (7-5, 6-2 MAC) is making its first appearance in the Marathon MAC Football Championship Game since 2010. This is Miami’s fifth appearance in program history as the RedHawks look to repeat their success from nine years ago when they defeated Northern Illinois, 26-21. Miami is bowl eligible for the third time in the last four years.
Central Michigan Head Coach Jim McElwain
Central Michigan (8-4, 6-2) is making its first appearance in the Marathon MAC Football Championship Game since 2009 and the program’s fourth trip to Detroit. Central Michigan is the most improved football team in FBS this year with a seven-game improvement over last season. In 2018, Central Michigan went 1-11 overall, 0-8 in the MAC, as head coach Jim McElwain was hired and led the Chippewas to an 8-4 overall record, 6-2 in the MAC.
Central Michigan and Miami have met only one other time in the Marathon MAC Football Championship Game. Central Michigan defeated Miami, 35-10, on Dec. 1, 2007 at Ford Field.
This year the MAC has set a record with eight teams bowl eligible -- Central Michigan (8-4), Western Michigan (7-5), Miami (7-5), Buffalo (7-5), Ohio (6-6), Kent State (6-6), Eastern Michigan (6-6) and Toledo (6-6). The 2019 bowl season will be set this Sunday, Dec. 8 as bowl invitations will be extended to eligible teams. The MAC’s previous record was seven bowl eligible teams as the MAC had seven programs accept bowl invitations during both the 2012 and 2015 bowl seasons.
Over the last four seasons, the MAC will have eight different programs participate in the Marathon MAC Football Championship Game. In 2016 Western Michigan defeated Ohio, 29-23, while 2017 witnessed Toledo with a 45-28 win over Akron. Last year, NIU defeated Buffalo, 30-29.
Mid-American Conference media services contributed.