WMU-CMU to share stage with UM-MSU

Tony Paul
The Detroit News

Oct. 20 will be rivalry day in the state of Michigan.

The two biggest rivalries in the state will share the spotlight, with Michigan and Michigan State playing in East Lansing, and Western Michigan and Central Michigan playing in Mount Pleasant.

The news comes as the Mid-American Conference released its football scheduling for 2018 on Thursday.

For WMU and CMU, it’s a good-bad situation.

The good being that the game, played during the week in 2017, is moving back to a weekend assignment. Both WMU athletic director Kathy Beauregard and CMU athletic director Michael Alford submitted that request to the conference.

“Yeah, it’s important for our fan base to play that game on a weekend,” Alford said. “It’s just something our fans, both sides, Western and ours, desire and I think the conference understands that.”

The bad? Well, Michigan-Michigan State is a much bigger game, of course — and it draws eyeballs from all corners of the state, including WMU and CMU fan bases, including the student fan base.

That was out of the control of WMU and CMU, though, Alford said.

“We really don’t look at what else is going on across the state,” Alford said. “There’s nothing we could do.”

So he’s taking the glass-half-full approach.

“That’s gonna be a great week,” said Alford, “leading into both of those rivalries.”

TV will dictate when the games are played that day.

It’s very likely Michigan and Michigan State will play a day game. They’ve only played one night game in their history, in 2017, and are unlikely to repeat that, given the logistics (security, alcohol, etc.).

Alford said there’s a good chance, then, that Western and Central will play their game under the lights.

“I think that’d be great for both fan bases,” he said.

Here are the 2018 schedules for the three state MAC teams.


Sept. 1: At Kentucky

Sept. 8: Kansas

Sept. 15: at Northern Illinois

Sept. 22: Maine

Sept. 29: At Michigan State

Oct. 6: Buffalo

Oct. 13: Ball State

Oct. 20: Western Michigan

Oct. 27: At Akron

Nov. 3: At Eastern Michigan

Nov. 10: Bowling Green

Nov. 23: At Toledo


Aug. 31: Monmouth

Sept. 8: At Purdue

Sept. 15: At Buffalo

Sept. 22: At San Diego State

Sept. 29: Northern Illinois

Oct. 6: At Western Michigan

Oct. 13: Toledo

Oct. 20: At Ball State

Oct. 27: Army

Nov. 3: Central Michigan

Nov. 10: Akron

Nov. 23: At Kent State


Aug. 31: Syracuse

Sept. 8: At Michigan

Sept. 15: Delaware State

Sept. 22: At Georgia State

Sept. 29: At Miami (Ohio)

Oct. 6: Eastern Michigan

Oct. 13: At Bowling Green

Oct. 20: At Central Michigan

Oct. 25: Toledo

Nov. 1: Ohio

Nov. 13: At Ball State

Nov. 20: Northern Illinois