BOWLING GREEN - On the heels of Thursday's announcement that the University of Central Florida will become the 14th football-playing member of the Mid-American Conference, Bowling Green State University made it official yesterday that it will migrate from the East to the West Division in the MAC to make room for the Knights.
The move will give the MAC what it has coveted, balanced scheduling in football, with two seven-team divisions, and put the Falcons in the same division with neighborhood-rival Toledo, along with Ball State, Northern Illinois, and Eastern, Western and Central Michigan. UCF joins Akron, Buffalo, Kent State, Miami, Marshall and Ohio in the East.
“This is a huge coup for the league,” BGSU athletic director Paul Krebs said. “You can grow, or you can stand still. This continues to keep us on the map in Division I-A football. All things point in a very positive direction.”
Although Central Florida joins the MAC for football only, the Falcons will remain in the West for all of the six sports that have divisional competition - football, men's and women's basketball, baseball, volleyball and softball - beginning with next fall's schedule.
Krebs said moving BG to the West makes the most sense geographically, and in terms of travel considerations. He said the Falcons will not lose their competitive ties to the MAC's historical core membership, and that efforts would be made in scheduling to maintain those ties.
“I want to make sure our fans don't lose sight of the fact we're still in the league with Ohio, with Miami, with Kent State. We haven't left them and they haven't left us.”
Krebs said not all of the issues have been resolved concerning football scheduling, but that Bowling Green was given some assurances by MAC commissioner Rick Chryst that BG's long-standing relationships with Miami, Kent State and Ohio will be honored in men's basketball, with two of those three schools likely to visit Anderson Arena each season.
BRODT TO BE HONORED: Mel Brodt, who coached Olympic gold medalist Dave Wottle as well as 28 all-Americans and 46 MAC champions during his 26-year career as a track and cross country coach at BGSU, will be honored at 2:15 p.m. today when the university cross country course will be given his name. Brodt led the Falcons to four straight top-10 finishes in the NCAA championships, the 1969 Mid-American Conference championship, and seven runner-up finishes in the league. He was inducted into the Ohio Track and Field Hall of Fame in 1984.