Here is a quick update on where the MAC and Conference USA championship games stand after Friday:
Miami (Ohio) is headed to the MAC title game to play Northern Illinois after Ohio lost to Kent State 28-6 on Friday. The favored Bobcats (8-4, 6-2) stumbled badly on offense, totaling just 183 yards while posting four turnovers. Kent State racked up seven sacks as well. It was the final game for Kent State coach Doug Martin, who announced his resignation this week. Miami (8-4, 7-1) makes its first MAC title game appearance since 2007, and will attempt to become the third school in MAC history to go from worst to first in the 64-year history of the conference.
Miami was 1-11 last season, including 1-7 in league play. The RedHawks have posted the best turnaround in the country and in MAC history, with a plus-seven win improvement.
Northern Illinois clinched last week, but the Huskies posted a 71-3 win against Eastern Michigan on Friday. The Huskies (10-2, 8-0) won 10 games for just the fourth time in school history and completed the first perfect league season in school history. Northern Illinois ran for 544 yards, the second most in school history, and has won nine straight. The Huskies and RedHawks did not play during the season.
Meanwhile, SMU clinched the West Division and a spot in the C-USA title game with a 45-38 overtime win against East Carolina. The Mustangs are making their first appearance in the game. They will play UCF in Orlando. The Knights clinched the East when Tulsa beat Southern Miss 56-50 Friday night. Zach Line scored the game-winning touchdown in overtime for SMU, helping the Mustangs hold on after blowing a 14-point fourth-quarter deficit with five minutes to play in the game.
The last time SMU won a league title was in 1984, as co-champs of the Southwest Conference. SMU (7-5, 6-2) and UCF did not play this season.