|1||Aug. 31||@ Illinois|
|2||Sept. 7||vs. UAB|
|3||Sept. 14||@ CMU|
|4||Sept. 21||vs. Troy|
|5||Sept. 28||@ UMass|
|7||Oct. 12||vs. Kent State|
|8||Oct. 19||vs. Buffalo|
|9||Oct. 26||@ NIU|
|10||Nov. 2||@ BGSU|
|12||Nov. 12 (Tues)||vs. EMU||ESPN2/ESPNU|
|13||Nov. 20 (Wed)||@ Miami||ESPN2/ESPNU|
|14||Nov. 26 (Tues)||vs. Ohio||ESPNU/ESPN+/ESPN3|
Bill Connelly’s info on the Zips
Projected S&P+ rank: 124
Avg. 5-year rank: 105
Returning production rank overall/offense/defense (%): 101/55/115 (55%/67%/44%)
4-year recruiting rank (2019 rank): 122 (114)
Akron will play six home and six away games in 2019, starting with a road trip to Illinois and finishing the year against Ohio at home, the Tuesday before Thanksgiving. I introduce the segment like that because, well, it’s just not that exciting of a schedule to look at.
Some of that (read: a lot of that) has to do with the expectations for Akron football this year. Akron’s undergoing a coaching change with a lot of really talented players on defense leaving and not a lot of talented players on offense returning. The rest of it is not having high expectations for everybody the Zips will be playing.
By projected S&P+ rankings, the highest-ranked team Akron will face this year is Troy, coming at 69. Next-best is NIU at No.76, then No. 82 Ohio, No. 91 Illinois … then we’ll eventually get to UMass at No. 125. (That’s just one spot lower than Akron, by the way.)
Aside from Ohio, there’s no other team in the MAC East that’s expected to be very exciting to watch this year. Buffalo’s the next-best exception here, but that team’s also replacing more than half of its overall production from the last two years. Good thing the two best picks in the East will have to play at InfoCision Stadium.
Akron will have its home opener in Week 2 against UAB, who went 11-3 last year and might be one of the toughest teams Akron will face all year. Two weeks later, Akron will host Troy, an incredibly respected G5 team that’ll definitely be favored. After that, Akron finishes the non-conference slate with a road trip to UMass, then it’s BYE week.
The Wagon Wheel rivalry game against Kent State is going to be a home, Saturday matchup in mid-October, off of a BYE week. If you’re an Akron fan, you have to feel awesome for this. This season’s probably not going to be pretty, but if you’re going to get one this year, beat Kent State.
Crossover games include playing at CMU in Week 3, at NIU in late October and home against EMU for Tuesday night MACtion. Then it’s more TV time with a road game against Miami eight days later, then finishes with a home game against Ohio the following Tuesday.