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PostPosted: Wed Aug 04, 2004 1:56 pm 
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Taken from post by Lash from another board

Quote:


Joining Conf USA, MAC, or Sun Belt is probably where Temple belongs because there is a different division or level of college football regardless if the NCAA has each conference classified as 1A.


IMO, CUSA and the Mountain West have proven to me that they belong with the BCS leagues. MAC is slowly getting there. The WAC and Sunbelt, IMO, are definite midmajors.


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PostPosted: Wed Aug 04, 2004 2:23 pm 
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I would look at it in a couple of different ways.

1) I generally agree with what DawgandDuckFan says, except I would say that the WAC, with Boise, Fresno, and Hawaii is a like the MAC and is just outside MWC and CUSA.

and I would also look at it this way:

2)

Top 5:

Big 10
SEC
Big 12
Pac 10
ACC

Near-Major (BCS level):

Big East
MWC
CUSA

Mid-Major Upper:

WAC
MAC

Mid-Major:

Sun Belt


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PostPosted: Wed Aug 04, 2004 3:19 pm 
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I agree with sportsgeog with the exception of CUSA. They're in that near-BCS level now, but after the realignment the conference will be closer to the MAC in terms of school characteristics, attendance, etc. As mentioned in other threads, were the MWC to assume 2-3 WAC schools the difference between the near-BCS and mid-major-upper schools would be even greater.


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PostPosted: Thu Aug 05, 2004 10:08 am 
Your traversing dangerous water here in the public's perception.

The biggest agrument that I-AA has is the lesser perception the public has of their league based on the sub classifications of DI.

Just have DI and D2. Good conference or mediocre conference, as each conference grows or shrinks yearly depending on the level of talent and teams that make up the conference.

The last thing we want is the general public thinking that a mid-major is any less of a DI than a 'major' school.

The classifications will only hurt, dilute and jeapordize the league as we know it.

Lets just be happy we have college ball and it is not pro ball.


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PostPosted: Thu Aug 05, 2004 10:23 am 
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Last week I was listening to NPR. Frank DeFord (sp?), a well-respected sports colluminst, writes a collumn and speaks it every week in the morning on NPR.

He basically added to the perception of the "Mid-Major". His particular story was on the amount of games that are now played on Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday, and Friday nights. He described Mid-Majors as the "Who cares?" teams.

He wondered if people would pay attention much to these mid-week games. Swaying from the thought that we are interested but then saying that these games would compete for other mid-week TV shows. But his most odd thing that he found about this year's schedule of mid-week games of the midmajors was that a game between Toledo and another MAC school would be played on the "Maumee" River on Election Night, November 2nd. He found that to be odd, and wondered if people would vote or stay home and watch the Toledo game.

btw, I was listening to WEMU -- note "EMU", yes Eastern Michigan University's radio station and the morning announcer of WEMU followed Frank DeFord's national weekly sports collumn reading from the national NPR office, and said abruptly, and this is "WEMU, broadcasting from the campus of Eastern Michigan University, just north of Toledo and the banks of the Maumee River" kinda in an angry tone towards Frank DeFord.

Frank DeFord seems like a nice guy, and he seems playful with his collumns, and probably didn't mean any disrespect to any so called "mid-major" team, but I could see where someone from Eastern Michigan University or any other MAC school would be put off by his collumn reading on NPR.


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PostPosted: Thu Aug 05, 2004 12:41 pm 
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My argument: Deford is following, not leading.

"Average Joe" wants to track 20-30 schools, not 200. He isn't going to watch Boise State v Toledo, even if both schools managed to be in the Top 15 at the same time in a given year. He doesn't WANT to accept those rankings. He wants familiarity, more often than not. Throw in a Heisman candidate or a funky offense or surprise Top 5 ranking, and it MIGHT draw him in.

Now, "absolute football fanatic" will watch Boise State v Toledo. He'll watch Pacific Lutheran v Eastern Oregon if it pops up on a television somewhere, and might own 3 TVs and VCRs to tape it if it's in competition with something. However, "fanatic" is 2% of the audience. Average Joe is 50% of the audience, maybe more.

So when you write a column that is almost certainly NOT going to be heard by "fanatic," how else are you going to make sure you get heard?

We are talking about a guy who appears way too learned to be dissing soccer, yet does so regularly, though he gushes at the feet of David Beckham. He has also made a speech with Mario Lemiuex in the same room advocating that hockey play the role of RC Cola to the Big 3s "Coke / Pepsi" paradigm rather than try to actually reach to a larger audience. This presentation is not a surprise to me by any means.


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PostPosted: Thu Aug 05, 2004 1:24 pm 
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Quote:
My argument: Deford is following, not leading.

I couldn't have described it any better. Frank DeFord has, IMHO, acheived his status because speaks very eloquently and with the aura of educated neutrality. To the knowledgable fan, however, he brings nothing to the table except usually outdate opinions and less than toughtful analyses. (Especially on soccer.)

Mid majors are not, to me, the "who cares" teams. Rather they're the ones that some people feel very passionately about, only there are a lot less of them when compared to UF, Nebraska, etc. Such programs may lack history or national appeal but are products known well enough that fans looking for sporting entertainment will accept it in lieu of more established brands. If Marshall v TCU is a "who cares" game, what does that make Sun Belt match-up?

It can also be said the term mid-major was contrived by the majors wishing to fight off association with more and more rising schools. Not that anyone would confuse Fresno State with the other FSU, but a number of schools have developed athletic programs that more closely resemble the majors than the true minors, hence the need to maintain the social order through creation of another sub-category within D-1.


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PostPosted: Thu Aug 05, 2004 2:13 pm 
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Here's the exact Frank DeFord article from sportsillustrated.com

http://sportsillustrated.cnn.com/2004/writers/frank_deford/07/28/fans.reading/index.html



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PostPosted: Sat Aug 07, 2004 4:40 am 
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The "Who cares" factor comes from lack of exposure, not the other way around. Would anyone care for Miami or FSU if they were in C-USA or the Belt? When you have the same teams flashing in front of your face every fall weekend, you kind of start thinking they're the only ones worth watching. Alumni isn't a factor, because there are some dubbed "mid-majors" with huge enrollments and lengthy academic histories.

I think, if anything, schools deserve the designation, not conferences. Just calling Duke a football "major" and BYU or TCU a "mid-major" is a misrepresentation. BYU has a stadium twice the size as Duke and much more of a TV draw. If BYU is a mid-major, so are 50% of the BCS football programs, if you go by individuals, not groups.

But, Duke has basketball, which of course is one of, if not the best program in the country. Alas, the problem with classifying college sports, you have entire sports programs, not just football to deal with.

I think the corporate suits need to leave CFB alone, since they seem to forget schools don't just have football teams. Unlike the NFL, there is a huge array of sports connected to those schools with big football programs, that are viewed as just important to those involved in those programs as football to it's
participants.


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PostPosted: Sat Aug 07, 2004 8:47 am 
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BCS (MAJORS)BE,ACC B-10,B-12,SEC,PAC-10

NON-BCS(MID-MAJORS)CUSA,MWC

Low-LEVEL MAC,SUN BELT,WAC


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PostPosted: Sat Aug 07, 2004 2:59 pm 
Lots of great ways at looking at this issue on this thread. Here's my input:

I agree with those of you who identified the following (the BCS conferences) as the majors:

Big Ten
Big 12
Pac Ten
ACC
SEC
Big East

Now I, for one, believe that eventually there will be a tournament for a national championship in football, so I could see one mid-major arrising from the pack to join the six above:

MWC

Why? The five BCS conferences have the country covered geographically. The MWC fills in the gap as the only region in the country not represented by a BCS conference; its inclusion is essential for a national championship tournament. As sportsgeog noted on another thread, the Rocky Mt. region is one of the nation's fastest growing, so sensibly it will be with the major five. Too many of the other conferences are really in shaddow of the major one in their region....and no matter how many times the MAC beats up on Big Ten teams, it will never be at Big Ten status in the Midwest.


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PostPosted: Sat Aug 07, 2004 8:12 pm 
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I tend to agree more with BYUFan227. My thought was that a mid-major was any school with an average home attendance of 25k or less. School that don't average at least that tend to have trouble competiting long term against the "big boys." Schools that average over 30k usually do ok against everyone outside the top 25.

GunnerFan posted a list of average home attendance broken down by conference. The teams you know and love (or fear/hate) usually have the high attendance numbers, and the cellar dwellers usually had poor numbers. You have the chicken or the egg thing going on here. A good team will draw a good crowd. Good attendance will provide the money to build nicer facilities, that in turn will help in recruiting. Better recruits will help you win.

Note: This goes with my pet idea of 3 brackets in division 1. The new middle group would have attendance between 10k (8k?) and 25k. I don't expect it to fly. >:(

FBfan


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