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MAC eyeing return to football on October 24th

The conference is leaning towards getting back on the field this fall.

Ross Bowers of the Northern Illinois Huskies throws a pass in the game against the Miami of Ohio Redhawks at Yager Stadium on October 19, 2019 in Oxford, Ohio. Photo by Justin Casterline/Getty Images

More news out of the return to football today, as the Mid-American Conference looks to bring #MACtion to your weeknights as soon as possible. The Toledo Blade is reporting the league’s athletic directors met last night, and they’re looking to get back on the field as quickly as possible.

According to sources, who spoke on the condition of anonymity, MAC directors of athletics met virtually Wednesday, and the tone of meetings has changed drastically since university presidents voted 12-0 to postpone the season last month.

The MAC has considered a number of ideas for the season, including playing a schedule that begins in February, but there is a renewed push to play in the fall.

According to a MAC source, the proposed fall schedule would be six or eight games beginning Oct. 24, with no fans allowed and a championship game still at Ford Field in Detroit, its normal home.

After the Big Ten resumed, the Pac-12 jump started its efforts, and the Mountain West Conference has discussed a return, a MAC source said, “The optics of being the only league not playing would be incredibly negative.”

With the Pac-12 en route to returning, and the Mountain West also exploring their options, to be the only league that wouldn’t play this fall would be a stain on a conference often considered 10th of 10 in FBS football.

The MAC was one of the first leagues to postpone the 2020 season. The president of Northern Illinois University Lisa Freeman, someone with a background in public health, made an impassioned plea to not play. But the new availability of testing and other precautions has seemed to move the conversation in a different direction.

Five college football games scheduled for this weekend have been postponed or canceled due to Covid-19 outbreaks.