The Big Ten fall Could give The MAC a chance.
by Sterling Meeuwen
The media, as of late, has been analyzing the woes of the Big 10. Criticisms ranging from an outdated style of play to an overall lack of talent, in the Midwest, have been all over the internet. Michigan State’s loss seemingly put the nail in the coffin when it comes to, the Big Ten’s relevance in college football. Selection committee member, Tom Jurnstedt explains, “Strength of schedule will become such an important factor… that if you want to be under consideration, you need to have a more meaningful schedule than perhaps you’ve had in the past.” The new Championship system may provide an environment that would allow the MAC gain relevance and become a showcase for Midwest talent. To accomplish this, schools in the Mid-American Conference will have to do a couple of things.
First, stop playing the Big Ten. Replace these power conference games with an SEC/ACC game. The other non -Conference games should be against west coast and southern teams. If the critics are right and the Big Ten’s philosophy is past its prime, learning these systems and being able to implement a strategy to win, is the only way to have a chance for selection. Next, they need to take advantage of the expanded ESPN coverage of college football. With non-conference games played away, they can open up recruitment in new areas, including the Big Ten’s. They need to win. They do not have to upset the big boys but, the MAC has to prove that they belong on the same field. They must become a conference possessing teams that add to other’s strength of schedule.
MAC teams have had modest success against the Big Ten so far this year, winning three games. Their efforts in the ACC and SEC have not all been as bad as, Eastern Michigan’s decimation. Akron won over PITT in a close match and Western Michigan made a good showing against VT (in the first half at least…) Strength of schedule having more influence on post season play, The MAC would do better to stay away from a conference with the growing reputation of being sub -par. The correct turn on the road to a MAC team making the Championship playoffs, goes through the ACC/SEC, not the Big Ten.