Friday, Nov 24, 2017
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Learning more about "MACtion"

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    Bowling Green's Andrew Clair is cheered after scoring a touchdown in the second quarter of this year's Homecoming football match up against Ohio.

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    Bowling Green's Marcus Milton joins his teammates on the sidelines after their loss to Ohio at this year's Homecoming football match up.

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BOWLING GREEN — As you may remember, I wrote a few weeks ago about #MACtion and the Mid-American Conference’s move to midweek games during the month of November.

I will not bore you with a blow-by-blow reminder of my opinion; click here and read it for yourself.

As you might imagine, not everyone who read it was happy about it, which is fine. In fact there were a few counterpoints I think MAC football fans will find interesting. Before I lay them out, here is one reminder: In general, I’m a fan of midweek games in November. I think the plus of having MAC games in a national television window far outweighs the negatives.

Here we go ...

  • Using the Oct. 26 games as a barometer for the failure of #MACtion misses a point about scheduling these games.

And that point is simple: You cannot just jump into midweek games without “setting the table” with a few games in late October. And the games on that date were those transition games.

I’m not a big fan of the “short week” the four teams that played that night had to deal with, but that’s a different problem. My post focused on TV, and the point is that some teams needed to play those games on Thursday to “transition” their schedules better for midweek #MACtion.

  • Fans use ESPN3 as a way to watch games.

This one is hard to swallow, because I generally do not. But I understand the point is that I’m the old “Get off my lawn!” guy in a new era where watching games on phones or computers or other devices is just as prevalent as watching on TV. Then again: I was able to watch the Toledo-Ball State game broadcast on ESPN3 on my TV, so I guess I am a user, after all.

  • Stop with the cheap shots of CBS Sports Network.

My point was, “If a game is on CBS Sports Network, and I don’t get that channel, does it actually happen?” I’ve been told that CBS Sports Network is in 60 million homes nationally; my research shows ESPN2 is in a little less than 90 million homes, and ESPNU is in roughly 70 million homes. Not a big difference, truth be told.

Sorry, CBS Sports Network.

And finally, between Oct. 26 and Nov. 16 there are 19 “midweek” games played on Tuesdays, Wednesdays, or Thursdays. A total of 18 of those games were on either ESPNU, ESPN2, or CBS Sports Network.

And the 19th game? Toledo at Ball State. You know, the game I actually watched.

Contact John Wagner at jwagner@theblade.com419-724-6481, or on Twitter @jwagnerblade.

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