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Wednesday, August 27, 2014
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Published: Monday, 11/11/2002

There's nothing wrong with MAC football

Don't waste your breath lamenting Bowling Green's first loss of the season Saturday at Northern Illinois.

It's tempting. Oh, I know the Falcons' 26-17 setback, knocking them from the unbeaten ranks, is a defeat that damages the Mid-American Conference in general and BG in particular.

But it's time to quit worrying about what's wrong with the MAC. There's nothing wrong with the MAC.

If BG was good enough to be nationally ranked after beating up on so-called cream-puff MAC opponents, the MAC must be a pretty good league. Why else would so many pollsters vote BG as high as No. 20 in the country?

In a perfect world, one loss shouldn't be cause for alarm. Unfortunately, BG's loss has turned the league upside-down.

For MAC fans, it isn't too early to start wondering how all of this will play out when the regular season concludes and the bowl season begins.

A few days ago, unbeaten BG was an excellent candidate to appear in the Motor City Bowl, or perhaps the GMAC Bowl, which are both designated for MAC teams. Now, even if the Falcons finish 11-1 they are no longer a bowl lock - unless they win the MAC championship.

Everyone knows what the Falcons had to do to maintain their credibility with the pollsters and national media. There has been no false advertisement. Win, and the Falcons were in. Lose, and it's back to the drawing board.

BG's 8-0 start was all very exciting and fun to watch. Coach Urban Meyer emptied his playbook every week as the Falcons ran reverses, fake reverses, halfback passes, shovel passes and virtually moved the football at will.

But gradually, as they faced stiffer competition, their flaws and lack of depth were exposed. Unlike BG's explosive offense, the defense won't improve this season. The tools just aren't there.

All MAC teams suffer from the same lack of depth plaguing the Falcons. It's what separates the MAC from, say, the Big Ten.

Well, there are numerous reasons why the Big Ten is superior to the MAC - bigger student enrollments, bigger stadiums, bigger television contracts.

Of course, you'd have to put money at the top of the list.

Anyone surprised that there will always be a large gap between the conferences because of money?

Big Ten programs generate huge sums of money. MAC teams don't.

End of story.

That's why the Big Ten will never allow the MAC to crash the BCS party.

Instead of spending more money to beef up its football programs, the MAC should divert some of that revenue to other sports that could use the financial boost.

Dwindling attendance figures across the league don't justify increasing football spending. Besides, only five MAC teams have winning records this year.

The MAC should concentrate on becoming the best mid-major conference in America and quit trying to be like the Big Ten, especially now that Bowling Green helped us realize the MAC is fine the way it is.



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