Beating only the Sun Belt to the punch, the MAC became the ninth FBS conference to release its 2014 schedule on Friday. As we've come to expect, it's packed full of the midweek madness known to the layman as MACtion.
But let's hold off on the MACtion for now because there's plenty to digest beforehand.
Major non-conference opponents: MAC foes will nearly a quarter of the 2013 year-end top 25. Miami (Ohio) opens the season at home versus Missouri; Baylor hosts Buffalo in a nationally-televised Friday night affair on Sept. 12; Massachusetts travels to Vanderbilt and Kent State pays a visits to Ohio State on Sept. 13; Bowling Green visits Wisconsin and Eastern Michigan visits Michigan State on Sept. 20. Other Power Five foes visiting MAC campuses this season: Boston College (at Massachusetts, Aug. 30), Colorado (at Massachusetts, Sept. 6), Syracuse (at Central Michigan, Sept. 13) and Indiana (at Bowling Green, Sept. 13).
All told, the MAC will play 11 games against the Big Ten, five games apiece versus the ACC and SEC, three Big 12 foes and one Pac-12 opponent.
New coaches: The MAC breaks in four new coaches this season. Their respective coaching tenures will kick off as follows: Mark Whipple (Massachusetts) vs. Boston College, Chris Creighton (Eastern Michigan) vs. Morgan State, Chuck Martin (Miami, Ohio) vs. Marshall on Saturday, Aug. 30. Dino Babers (Bowling Green) opens two days earlier at Western Kentucky.
MACtion, MACtion, MACtion: The MAC has super-served fans of weeknight football this year, scheduling a total of 14 games on Tuesday or Wednesday nights. In fact, ESPN2 and ESPNU will each show a MAC game every Tuesday or Wednesday night of November except for Nov. 26, the night before Thanksgiving.
The MAC championship will be held Friday, Dec. 5 at Detroit's Ford Field and broadcast on ESPN2. Bowling Green will hope to defend its 2013 MAC title following last year's upset of Northern Illinois.