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Election Night #MACtion - How Does Your Team Do?

Updated: May 30

It is once again that time of year when the weather gets colder, the leaves turn, political ads are running rampant, and the MAC switches its schedule to the mid-week primetime slots for national exposure for each of its member teams. Since the year 2000, the MAC has had at least one-midweek game air on TV, but the beginning of midweek #MACtion didn’t *truly* start until… October 5th, 2000 (Tuesday Night) when Western Michigan defeated Marshall 30-10, followed on November 22nd, 2000 (Wednesday Night), a 51-17 victory for Toledo over rival BGSU. So once again, the calendar has flipped to November and we are less than 48 hours away from the 2022 election cycle as well as week two of #MACtion. For this piece, we wanted to look at which teams have faired the best on the night when we select our elected officials and see if we can spot any trends of Election Night. Everyone loves a good conspiracy theory, right? See if you can blame the night the game falls on as a reason for your team's success ( or lack thereof). NOTE: These are only games played on Election Day, not games the week of Election Day.

Warning: the results may shock you.

Now, there were no Election Night games in 2000, so we start with the year 2001, and between the 2001 and 2010 seasons, there were three years in which Election Night games were not played (2002, 2005, 2010). In that time, the home team went 4-3. 2011 was the first year with multiple match-ups on Election Night. At least one match-up occurred every year from 2011-2019. 2020 had zero games played/scheduled for the November 3rd Election Day, and we have to imagine that it is partially due to the cancelation of the season due to the COVID-19 pandemic and then the reversal of that decision, filling in open time slots with a six-game MAC schedule. Election Night games returned in 2021, and there were three games last season, and three games scheduled for this season. Here are the overall results:

It might be a little tough to read but this might be easier, a team breakdown without scores:

(Want to see the chart a little closer? Click HERE)

The key for the first chart: Dark blue equals a home win, while light blue equals a road win. You guessed it, dark red means a home loss, and light red mean a road loss. Teams in green are MAC East teams while teams in blue are in the MAC West. Simple, right? As the results filled the page, I was a little taken aback by some of the results. Toledo has played nine Election Night games, while Central Michigan has participated in just one. Ohio and Northern Illinois at two and three games respectfully was a shock as well. Buffalo has played in five and they have hosted all five of those games, the only team to not take to the road on Election Night.

This year is labeled a “Midterm Election”, and home teams beware. In past Midterm Elections, the home team is 1-3. Not ideal if you are a fan of Toledo, Akron, or Miami. On Midterm Election Night, Toledo is 2-0 but that is away from the Glass Bowl. They have yet to host a Midterm Election game. Akron? 0-1 at InfoCision Stadium (No Midweek Election Night games at the Rubber Bowl). Miami is playing in its first Midterm Election game against Ohio in their annual Battle of the Bricks rivalry game. The six matchups on Election Night this year are as follows:

  • Ball State at Toledo - 8:00 PM on ESPN

  • Eastern Michigan at Akron - 7:00 PM on TBD

  • Ohio at Miami (OH) - 7:30 PM on ESPN2

Just one cross-division match-up and this seemingly bodes well for Eastern Michigan. The West division owns a 4-1 record against East division opponents on Election Night, and a perfect 1-0 advantage on Midterm Elections Akron is also 0-1 on Midterm Election night. Breathe easy, EMU fans.

Ball State has Toledo in a good spot, a perfect 1-0 against the Rockets on any Election Night. The part that has Cardinal fans licking their chops (Beaks…?) has to be that not only are they 1-0 against Toledo on Election Night, they are 1-0 in the Glass Bowl on Election Night. This one could be interesting, as Toledo is in the driver's seat in the West. Ball State derailed that in 2012. Toledo’s saving grace? They are 2-0 in Midterm Election games.

Ohio is headed to Miami, and the Bobcats are 0-1 on the road in Election Night games. At home, Ohio is 1-0 in the safety of Peden Stadium. Miami does really well at home, 3-1 at Yager Stadium, and will look to make it 4-1 as well as collect a rivalry win. Neither has played on Midterm Election night, and both are batting .500 (3-3 and 1-1 on any Election Night). This is gonna be fun.

Now there are no teams ranked this year in the AP/CFPlayoff rankings, but if there were, they would be in trouble. In just four times a team has played a game ranked in the AP Top 25, only one has beaten their opponent. In 2003, Bowling Green lost to Miami (OH) on the road 33-10 when they were ranked #15 in the country. Toledo picked up a pair of losses, on to Ball State in 2012, a 34-17 loss when the Rockets were ranked #23 in the country. Fast forward to 2015 and the same Rockets fell at home on Election Night, this time a 32-27 loss to Northern Illinois. Toledo was ranked #20 in the College Football Playoff poll at the time. The lone victor is the 2016 version of the Western Michigan Broncos then ranked #14, which defeated Kent State on the road 37-21.

Did you want to see how it was all broken down by election type? We got you covered, check this out:

Of course, odd-year elections dominate the cycle as there are Presidential Elections and Midterm Elections every four years. It also doesn't help that there are two Midterm Elections (2002, 2010) and one Presidential Election (2020) that has no MAC games. Conversely, there is only one of eleven Odd Year Elections that has no game being played. The home team fares best on Odd Year Elections, and as discussed earlier, does worst on Midterm Election nights. Curious how each team does on these different nights? See below for the breakdown for each team and the different election types:

Only two teams are undefeated (CMU and EMU), while only two teams are winless (Akron and Kent State). There is plenty more I could deep dive into (which teams win the night Democrats or Republicans take the House or Presidency), but we figured this would give you plenty to chew on leading into this week's games. Found some interesting trends you picked up on? Let us know! Leave a comment, reply to us on Twitter, or do whatever you like! If there is a good trend we missed out on, we would love to hear it. This was just a little fun to get some discussion going before Election Night. Do your civic duty, go vote and get home (or to your closest stadium) in time for some Midweek #MACtion.



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