MAC returns with 6-game football season starting Nov. 4

The Mid-American Conference, the first major college football league to postpone its season, has become the final one to jump back in

Just like the other conferences returning to fall ball, the MAC cited advancements in COVID-19 antigen testing as key to the change of direction. The conference will begin testing athletes four times per week, starting Oct 5.

The MACtion will start Nov. 4 — a Wednesday, of course — and the championship game will be played Dec. 18 or 19. A full schedule will be released later, along with the confreence’s full medical protocols.

“Our decisions, in August and again today, have been guided by an overriding concern for the well-being of the student athletes, institutions, and the community at large,” Commissioner Jon Steinbrecher said in a statement. “Our medical advisory group, presidents, directors of athletics, and others, have worked hard to develop a plan that provides the opportunity for student athletes to compete.”

The MAC, a 12-school league of mostly Midwest schools with relatively small athletic budgets, postponed all fall sports on Aug. 8. Within a few days, the Mountain West, Big Ten and Pac-12 had done the same.

Even independent Massachusetts said earlier this week it would attempt to play a small schedule of games this fall. Of 130 Bowl Subdivision programs, only UConn, New Mexico State and Old Dominion remain on the sideline.