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Pat Forde
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Post: #1
Pat Forde
One man's opinion:

http://sports.espn.go.com/ncb/columns/st...id=6146319

Why does this league stink?

Gone are the days of Antonio Gates and Kent State making it to the Elite Eight.

The MAC (33) currently is rated the No. 18 league in the land by Jeff Sagarin's computer (and 21st in the RPI). That's a fairly precipitous fall from even the modest position the Midwestern collection of colleges once held.

From 2000 to '05, the MAC average was No. 11 in Sagarin's ratings. From 2006 to the present, that rank is No. 16. And this season, it's all the way down to 18 -- just behind the Summit League and just ahead of the Big West (not to be confused in the slightest with the Big East).

Sagarin does not rank a single MAC school in his top 100 -- there simply isn't a single entity in the 12-team league to get overly excited about. As recently as 2007-08, the MAC had five in the Sagarin top 100.

In 2002, Kent State (34) reached the Elite Eight with Antonio Gates playing power forward. In 1999, Miami (Ohio) (35) made the Sweet 16 behind Wally Szczerbiak. In 1990, Ball State (36) advanced to the Sweet 16, where the Cardinals nearly upset eventual national champion UNLV. The next season, Eastern Michigan (37) made it to that round.

So this is a league with some history. But it now has become a mystery.

Maybe the general population decline in the industrial centers of the upper Midwest has had an impact on recruiting. Maybe schools have felt the budgetary crunch of playing football at the highest classification and it has affected the basketball bottom line. Maybe there are too many aging facilities, mismanaged athletic departments and uninspiring coaches.

Whatever the root cause, MAC basketball is floundering. And there's no reason to believe that will change anytime soon.
02-23-2011 07:17 AM
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bronconick Offline
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Post: #2
RE: Pat Forde
Does Forde have to write a certain # of articles weekly? You can basically sum that up as "The MAC sucks more now than it used to, and I don't know why. Oh, and here are some publicly available statistics to prove that it was better half a decade ago."

Well, yeah. I could tell you that, and I'm not a big fancy pants ESPN writer.
(This post was last modified: 02-23-2011 07:39 AM by bronconick.)
02-23-2011 07:38 AM
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Hiller4Hyz09 Offline
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Post: #3
RE: Pat Forde
Didn't Ohio beat Georgetown last year?
02-23-2011 08:40 AM
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Dirty Ernie Offline
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RE: Pat Forde
Sometimes there is just this level of saying something out loud.

It's like you've been noticing the thing happening but the change in kind of gradual. All the sudden you wake up one morning and say, I'm not the man I used to be.

It's something that is hard to acknowledge. You don't just want to come out and say, hey, the MAC sucks lately. You want to think, we're just in a little lull and we'll be making a comeback soon.

Here at WMU, the days of NCAA, NIT, even top flight televised Bracket Buster games are fading from memory. Maybe the guy didn't articulate his facts real good, but he did say the basic idea out loud.
02-23-2011 08:45 AM
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WMU_MD Offline
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Post: #5
RE: Pat Forde
Forde of course is filling out his weekly column, hitting various subjects. Likely that in his years covering Louisville bball he remembers some pretty good squads from the neighboring MAC.

He's not lying, maybe some of the MAC members schools look at themselves in the mirror and say "If Butler can pull itself up from the masses why not us?"
02-23-2011 11:00 AM
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wmutkelaw Offline
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Post: #6
RE: Pat Forde
I also think that some of the downturn has to do with the power house conferences locking out the little guys. We have been a single bid conference for the last several seasons. There have been more than a couple seasons where we deserved 2 if not 3 bids. I think college basketball is starting to resemble the BCS haves, and non-BCS have nots of football. Butler was last years version of TCU. Another example of this is when in the tournament they pit two "mid-major" programs against eachother in the 1st round...eliminating the chance for an upset over a coveted major conference participant.

I fear and hope the day never comes, that WMU athletics is placed in a situation where it is no longer Division 1 for Basketball and Football. That will be a sad sad day...and I should bite my tongue for even suggesting it.
02-23-2011 03:17 PM
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wmutkelaw Offline
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Post: #7
RE: Pat Forde
one more thought...I sometimes wish that the MAC would trim some of the fat...eliminate certain schools from its roster. Would anyone really miss EMU? I mean that with true sincerity. Otherwise I will continue to advocate that WMU should try to do whatever it can to get the hell out of the MAC...it would be a huge step (and difficult if not impossible one). However, I think if WMU were to become part of CUSA the University overall public profile would increase...plus it would give us further separation from the podunk schools of the MAC (CMU and EMU included).

the long and short of my ramblings is this...either have the MAC restructure, or have WMU leave the MAC. Now I will have to get back on the reservation...as I will likely be marginalized and called crazy!
02-23-2011 03:24 PM
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bronconick Offline
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Post: #8
RE: Pat Forde
We don't bring anything to the table to move "up" to another conference. 18,000 football fans, 3,000 basketball fans. And it's not like East Carolina, UCF, Houston, UAB, Rice, etc. are big enough names that you'd see an uptick in attendance.

They'd have to whore out the University Boise State style to pull it off, and my university turning into a regional community college with a $40 million athletic budget isn't something I'm interested in.
02-23-2011 03:41 PM
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wmutkelaw Offline
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Post: #9
RE: Pat Forde
How would you feel if we were dropped down to a lower tier? (no longer D1, etc)? As I do respect your opinion, Nick, I feel as though the longer we remain in the MAC, the longer we run the risk of being grouped into a scenario where we are no longer playing at the top level of college athletics. Even though the Appalachian States of the world have good stories, I would rather not have WMU play in their subdivision.

The East Carolinas, UCFs, UABs, Rices, SMUs of the world do not have to worry about being taken down a notch...and the CUSA does get more respect come March every year.
02-23-2011 04:16 PM
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Post: #10
RE: Pat Forde
Quote:How would you feel if we were dropped down to a lower tier?

I'd be 100% a Blue Line member.
02-23-2011 04:21 PM
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bronconick Offline
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Post: #11
RE: Pat Forde
I don't think CUSA is going to be any better off than the MAC.

My long term guess is that in another decade or so, the bigger schools are finally going to blow off the NCAA and start to form the 4 16 team football superconferences that were such points of discussion last year. I think the only things standing in the way of that are how many of those schools require state funding to operate at their current level, (if some start getting threats for not playing other state schools) and how and if they can run their non football/basketball programs.

At that point, WMU has already been demoted a level without lifting a finger, and there's nothing any school outside of the BCS can do to stop it.
(This post was last modified: 02-23-2011 04:27 PM by bronconick.)
02-23-2011 04:27 PM
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wmutkelaw Offline
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RE: Pat Forde
(02-23-2011 04:27 PM)bronconick Wrote:  I don't think CUSA is going to be any better off than the MAC.

My long term guess is that in another decade or so, the bigger schools are finally going to blow off the NCAA and start to form the 4 16 team football superconferences that were such points of discussion last year. I think the only things standing in the way of that are how many of those schools require state funding to operate at their current level, (if some start getting threats for not playing other state schools) and how and if they can run their non football/basketball programs.

At that point, WMU has already been demoted a level without lifting a finger, and there's nothing any school outside of the BCS can do to stop it.


true...then the attorneys and politicians should get involved...it could almost border on monopoly laws..."almost" being the important word.
02-23-2011 04:32 PM
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bronconick Offline
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RE: Pat Forde
I think the interesting thing to watch would be if those schools forming a separate association (possibly football only, at that) would run them afoul of any kind of loss of tax exempt status for their athletic programs.

At first look, it seems so difficult and unlikely, but then I think about it more, and the NCAA barely has any control over D1 FBS football as it is, aside from occasionally ruling players ineligible, assigning random sanctions and rubber stamping bowl games and conference championship games as "post season events", and would they really care to fight for that tiny amount of influence if it meant that all those big name schools are out of the NCAA basketball tournament, which basically funds all other NCAA events aside from self sustaining hockey, lacrosse and baseball that would also lose some of their name teams.
02-23-2011 04:40 PM
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Post: #14
RE: Pat Forde
They do that and they're cooking the goose that laid their golden eggs. The interest will fall off, the intrigue will be gone, it'll be like college basketball now. I hardly watch the crap other than WMU. The only tourney's I watched all the way recently were the George Mason and Butler runs, otherwise it's chalk and money.

Big deal. They can have it, I'll go mountain bike, ski or do something else with my time. I'm not the only one that feels that way. It's catching. Even on our boards we don't talk about games other than ours anymore, used to be a time when we bagged on Dook or some other big name U. We're over it.
02-23-2011 07:03 PM
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axeme Offline
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Post: #15
RE: Pat Forde
While CUSA may well get a 2nd bid this season, they have been a 1-bid conference since 2006. The MVC has also been a 1-bid league the last few seasons and will be again this year, too. It's not just the MAC.
02-24-2011 10:26 AM
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texasbronco1 Offline
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Post: #16
RE: Pat Forde
(02-24-2011 10:26 AM)axeme Wrote:  While CUSA may well get a 2nd bid this season, they have been a 1-bid conference since 2006. The MVC has also been a 1-bid league the last few seasons and will be again this year, too. It's not just the MAC.

MVC will get Wichita State and Missouri State in this year. One of both of them will make it to the 2nd round too.
02-24-2011 10:36 AM
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bronconick Offline
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RE: Pat Forde
(02-24-2011 10:36 AM)texasbronco1 Wrote:  
(02-24-2011 10:26 AM)axeme Wrote:  While CUSA may well get a 2nd bid this season, they have been a 1-bid conference since 2006. The MVC has also been a 1-bid league the last few seasons and will be again this year, too. It's not just the MAC.

MVC will get Wichita State and Missouri State in this year. One of both of them will make it to the 2nd round too.

None of ESPN, CBS Sports, Bracketology 101 or RealtimeRPI.com have two MVC teams in right now. I wouldn't call two of them a guarantee.
02-24-2011 10:53 AM
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Post: #18
RE: Pat Forde
C-USA is a much better football conference than the MAC though, and thats where the real money is. If we matched our top 10 against their top 10 we would get destoryed IMO. Look at the past couple of years how good ECU, Tulsa, Houston, UCF, and even Rice put a whuppin on us in 2008. Their attendance numbers are also much higher than ours. One huge expense that comes with playing in a league like that which is non-BC$ is the cost to travel for revenue and non revenue generating sports...you have to fly to every road game.

C-USA may be down a little bit in basketball right now, but they are still more respected than the MAC I feel. As far as football is concerned they are probably the 7th or 8th best league...and the MAC is viewed as probably only the 10th best.
02-24-2011 11:23 AM
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