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PostPosted: Thu Nov 13, 2003 9:35 am 
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A fresh thread for the topic of "General MAC Conference Realignment and Expansion".

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PostPosted: Thu Nov 13, 2003 12:42 pm 
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MAC Expansion - opening the doorway to the South?

I have no problem with the MAC sitting pat with 12 schools. I believe the conference can thrive with its current membership and the "loss" of Marshall and UCF doesn't diminish the MAC at all.

OTOH, if the MAC does want to expand I believe they should look south. The first contact should go to Middle Tennessee State. They already play D1A football and belong to the Sunbelt Conf., which currently extends from Florida to Idaho. I think they might be tired of sending their sports teams to Idaho and Colorado and appreciate being in a travel friendly conference. Also, the Sunbelt may be coming apart as the WAC and CUSA look to acquire new members.

The second contact should be Western Kentucky for many of the same reasons. WKU would have to upgrade its football to D1A to join the MAC. It currently plays in the D1AA Gateway Conf. even though it is a member of the Sunbelt which plays D1A football.

Both these programs look stronger than the D1AA Illinois schools (Illinois State, Western Illinois, Eastern Illinois, Southern Illinois - Carbondale) that have been frequently mentioned on other message boards. Also, I'm not advocating any further penetration into the South. These schools don't significantly expand the MAC geographical footprint or increase travel costs.


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PostPosted: Thu Nov 13, 2003 1:14 pm 
Temple is looking for a home after being booted from the big east... and it is located in the MAC's region.

And while I like the ideas of MTSU and WKU, I think the MAC would prefer becoming more "metropolitan" and getting themselves into New England with UMass. After all, in the MAC's two division format, they lost two East teams which can be replaced by going east--to Philadelphia (Temple) and Massachusetts.

I think WKU and a combination of Florida schools (FAU-FIU-FAMU) will be in the Sun Belt's plans, as well as dropping Idaho (to the WAC) and ULM (ULM will not meet 1-A criteria as soon as next season)...

I think MAC football is the most exciting of the five "lesser" conferences-- Temple comes with Big East experience and New Englanders would love UMass in exciting MAC football. ;D



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PostPosted: Fri Nov 14, 2003 12:22 pm 
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Quote:

The second contact should be Western Kentucky for many of the same reasons. WKU would have to upgrade its football to D1A to join the MAC. It currently plays in the D1AA Gateway Conf. even though it is a member of the Sunbelt which plays D1A football.

Both these programs look stronger than the D1AA Illinois schools (Illinois State, Western Illinois, Eastern Illinois, Southern Illinois - Carbondale) that have been frequently mentioned on other message boards. Also, I'm not advocating any further penetration into the South. These schools don't significantly expand the MAC geographical footprint or increase travel costs.


Southwest Missouri State would be better than any of the Illinois schools. While football isnt very good, all other sports are extremely competive. They have a very nice arena, right now and in a few years will have a brand new arena and they have the nicest baseball stadium in the country. Also they have the highest budget for athletics in the mid-major conferences.


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PostPosted: Fri Nov 14, 2003 1:47 pm 
When C-USA, WAC, and perhaps the MWC are done, who is left among 1-A? If/when the Sun Belt gets gutted, those left/available may be: Arkansas State and UL-L (if not taken by the WAC) and Middle Tennessee and Troy State. Then there is Temple plus Army and Navy (football only? gezzz). The MAC would have a few options either south or east. The MAC could hold at 12, but they do have a few schools "iffy" in continuing to meet 1-A criteria, such as Eastern Michigan, Buffalo, and one or two Ohio schools.


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PostPosted: Fri Nov 14, 2003 2:14 pm 
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I was surprised that the Big East didn't expand more than the 3 football and 2 non-football schools they took. To me, the move was to make sure they had 8 full member schools (1-A conference regulation) and to solidify their reign as a basketball power conference. It seems that the additions of Louiseville, Cincinnatti and South Florida hardly replace Miami, VaTech and BC on the football field. However, they upgraded significantly in basketball with louiseville (rick pitino) and cinicinnati (bob huggins). I think that the move was to maintain the 1-A status and they are conceding to lose the BCS automatic bid.

I think that the MAC, even with the loss of Marshall and UCF, is still a good football conference. Arguably better than the new big east. I dream that all conferences would receive automatic bids, but who am I kidding? I think that the MAC could have a good argument to be included. I definitely think there should be more than 2 bowl tie-ins.

Overall, I think the MAC is not going to expand too much. Temple would be a nice addition (if they could turn around the football program). The concern I would have if I were the MAC commissioner is schools meeting the 1-A attendance requirement. That will take some work. If you lose some schools (Buffalo, E. Michigan, Ohio, Kent State) to the 1-A criteria, then they might look at expansion. But with 12 teams, they could afford to lose a couple and it wouldn't hurt them too bad.


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PostPosted: Fri Nov 14, 2003 6:28 pm 
You made a point above. The BCS criteria is driving much of this and the new BE football will be, at best , on the fence if a similar BCS criteria continues.

It would be difficult to say, a year or two down the road, who among the BE, WAC, C-USA, MWC, or MAC would be most deserving. The lines between them could get real slim. I expect each of them will have one to three schools each year with excellent records. Each will have dormats. Teams such as TCU, Marshall, Fresno
State, Boise State, Utah, Colorado State, Toledo, BGSU, and Northern Illinois could continue to do well. Or, they could have problems and other conference companions deserve notice.

Rather than the BCS thing creating cutthroat positioning and alliances among the left-outs, the BCS needs to revise its criteria. It hurts recruiting and renders less revenue for schools that do not have the BCS label (East Carolina-all downhill since the BCS). Essentially what the BCS has done, it created a separate, elite division.

The BCS needs to have a means of realistic access for the 1-A conferences currently left out. Whether that means adding another bowl, and/or offering two more conferences direct access, needs to be examined.

To ask, for example, if C-USA would be more deserving than the MWC, is sort of like asking which is better--the Big12 or the SEC or the Big10. It depends on who you ask, what data one chooses to use, and what year one is asking, or what sport or all sports?

The BCS currently claims that any school can be garanteed a spot if it receives a #6 ranking or higher. This is true, but it is also a more lofty criteria than simply winning the conference championship; and at large bids not only concern ranking, but fan base, tradition, and media attractiveness as well.


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PostPosted: Thu Jan 29, 2004 10:54 pm 
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what do yall think of temple joining the mac for football only so they wont have to fight it out as an indy. by joining the mac for football only, they are buying time until the big east spilts and they can fight for reinclusion. plus being in the mac would give them an opportunity to rebuild their football program.


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PostPosted: Fri Jan 30, 2004 10:37 am 
Due to scheduling difficulties, there is no incentive for the MAC to add Temple as a 13th, football-only member...


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PostPosted: Fri Jan 30, 2004 11:42 am 


The MAC might be losing some members due to the Attendance, so Adding Temple isn't such a bad idea, Adding Temple might create some scheduling problems now, but it would be a great asset to the MAC as far as tv market...and in the future...

They also could add either Army and/or Navy, but i'd rather see them in the Big East with Temple...

The MAC could also go back to Florida...in Florida A&M and add them as a football only member...

If they Lose a few teams to the Attendance Criteria, and Army, Navy, and Temple Have not found a home...then they should invite them all...

And then the MAC could still be the best regional conference out there...


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PostPosted: Tue Feb 24, 2004 4:21 pm 
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I think the Mac has some very bad problems long term. They have at least 3 possibly as many as 5 schools that wont meet att. requirements. if they keep losses to 3 and CUSA doesnt take any more from them.. then they end up with a 9 team fb league.. they will do good to hold on to 2 bowl games.


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PostPosted: Thu Mar 11, 2004 2:31 pm 
I am a FAU Alumni with a relative in the MAC Office. I am not too happy about what may be happening to the SBC. Word out of the MAC office is they are going to lose 2 to cusa and to replace them they are talking with wku and mtsu. These meetings are taking place on the presidents level. Hope the SBC can surive.


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PostPosted: Thu Mar 11, 2004 3:27 pm 
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MTSU wouldn't be a bad MAC addition. I'd also go for UMass (BE doesn't seem too interested in them), Army (if they don't come back begging to be a part of CUSA again), and Arkansas State (This program is really starting to intrigue me.). I don't know how to rebuild the Sunbelt though, but I believe it can be done.


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