MAC to eliminate divisions in basketball, move to 20 game league schedule...

OhioBobcatFan06

Well-known member
Just short of a true round-robin assuming the current 12-team conference stays unchanged... Top 8 teams advance to Cleveland.
 

nwwarrior09

Well-known member
The 20 game schedule makes me question if they believe a school (i.e. Akron) is going to drop to D2.

Otherwise, I like most of the changes they've made across the board in a number of sports. In 1-bid leagues it makes sense to place greater emphasis on regular season play when it comes to your chances of making the tournament.
 

nwwarrior09

Well-known member
A second point to that is that the league could also just be maintaining scheduling space for buy games in non-league play. Some of these schools are going to need to receive Power five welfare cash more than ever in our current COVID climate.
 

Mr. Slippery

Well-known member
It’s still a one bid league no matter the format.
At this point, I don't think the conference cares. If I read correctly, they are also eliminating conference tournaments in most of the fringe sports. Regular season champ is the conference champ. Cutting costs is the name of the game.
 

cjb56

Well-known member
At this point, I don't think the conference cares. If I read correctly, they are also eliminating conference tournaments in most of the fringe sports. Regular season champ is the conference champ. Cutting costs is the name of the game.
Leagues like the MAC should send their regular season champ if they want their best chance to win games in the NCAA tourney.
 

nwwarrior09

Well-known member
Akron is not going to D2.
Their weak financials may have something to say about that. Akron is expected to announce they are cutting some athletic programs today.

I would expect that a good chunk of the MAC is going to be trimming to the bare bones required to stay D1 and to stay in the league, with perhaps a big push for a waiver on D1 requirements for a period of time.
 

clarkgriswold

Well-known member
The Akron President yesterday on WKSU and unequivocally stated they were staying D1. Here's part of what he said-

“You don’t lose costs when you move to other divisions. You still have to pay for coaches, still have to pay for facilities, you still have to travel students. We believe that the best course of action is to work with our Division I partners in Ohio and the region to develop a better Division I model.”

https://www.wksu.org/post/university-akron-cut-athletics-teams#stream/0
 
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Raider6309

Well-known member
Leagues like the MAC should send their regular season champ if they want their best chance to win games in the NCAA tourney.
I agree. Ohio U had the exact same team from the year before that lost to North Carolina in OT in the sweet 16. They got upset in the MAC championship by Akron. Akron lost by 40 or 50 in the first round
 

nwwarrior09

Well-known member
The Akron President yesterday on WKSU and unequivocally stated they were staying D1. Here's part of what he said-

“You don’t lose costs when you move to other divisions. You still have to pay for coaches, still have to pay for facilities, you still have to travel students. We believe that the best course of action is to work with our Division I partners in Ohio and the region to develop a better Division I model.”

https://www.wksu.org/post/university-akron-cut-athletics-teams#stream/0
There's a huge differential in salaries between D1 and D2, or for football between FBS, FCS and D2. The bulk of D2 head football coaches are making under 100k. Add in the difference in scholarship money doled out and dropping to D2 would be an enormous budget savings for those that are on the fringes of D1 just from football costs.

Building a better D1 model starts with dropping stupid attendance requirements that result in schools like Eastern Michigan buying several thousand tickets for every home game to hit the attendance threshold.
 

clarkgriswold

Well-known member
There's a huge differential in salaries between D1 and D2, or for football between FBS, FCS and D2. The bulk of D2 head football coaches are making under 100k. Add in the difference in scholarship money doled out and dropping to D2 would be an enormous budget savings for those that are on the fringes of D1 just from football costs.

Building a better D1 model starts with dropping stupid attendance requirements that result in schools like Eastern Michigan buying several thousand tickets for every home game to hit the attendance threshold.
Yep. There were many people pressing for UA to take greater action but the school was apparently committed to staying D1. The only saving grace is that their assistant coaches for football are not that well paid compared to some schools.
 
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clarkgriswold

Well-known member
Groce has been interviewing for other jobs...
That's the rumor. Can't say I would blame him. I heard he and his staff took 10% pay cuts. I really enjoy having him but the reality of the MAC is that if you are worth a damn you move onward and upward. Otherwise, you're Rob Senderoff or even worse Saul Phillips. I would have to imagine this a bad time to be shopping for a coaching job.
 

Red14

Well-known member
The mid major colleges are going to look alot different in the future. Schools just can't keep losing thousands and thousands of dollars in their athletic departments every year. And just think, a year ago Jay Bilas and others wanted all college athletes to be paid?? What do they think it is, a government job?
 

nwwarrior09

Well-known member
It would make a lot of sense for the mid-majors to just split from the major conferences and to have an FBS (1A) and FCS (1AA) setup for all sports.

To the point made above, there are several major conference schools that could pay their student-athletes or at a minimum they have some kids that would make good money off of image/likeness peddling products on social media and running ads for local car dealerships. Meanwhile regular students at MAC schools are paying absurd fees to subsidize having D1 athletic programs.
 

The Dock

Well-known member
The optics of this situation look horrible for Akron. And if social media is any indication, the University's actions are not well-received.

I think there are two key issues here that the school's leadership, for whatever reason, isn't going to terms with:

1) Akron's athletic profile and reputation is already really low. The financial issues of the school have become well-known, between the recent "reconfiguration" of its individual college model and the more salient athletic department changes. President Gary Miller claimed that "being a Division I school helps Akron attract students" - huh?!? Akron isn't Miami, it's not Case and it's not Ohio State or OU. This isn't to say that it's a bad school, not at all... rather, the primary pitch-points for the school are the tuition, its stature as a state university with the tie-in of regional relevance (hello, Wright State and YSU) and some of their programs. Kids aren't going to Akron so they can watch the football team reach the ceiling of 5-7. Akron has been losing a turf war with BGSU, Toledo and even KSU as the "affordable, attractive state school with the 'D1' pageantry" for years in the competition for many of Ohio's students. The "D1 is a selling point" argument falls flat here for that reason alone. The school's leadership is tone-deaf when they're making all of these cuts between the academic and athletic realms only to keep alive a bad program that was never good in the first place, and supporting the expanse of scholarships and coaching salaries toward a money-pit program, just so they can have D1 football. And to the general public, but especially the active student body, two parties who provide indeterminate support of the school, these changes do nothing to help the university's narrative and image.

2) "Building a better D1 model" - wish in one hand, ____ in the other. See which fills up first. This discussion should've happened 15-20 years ago. No one is forcing Akron to play D1 if its too untenable for the Zips.
 

clarkgriswold

Well-known member
The optics of this situation look horrible for Akron. And if social media is any indication, the University's actions are not well-received.

I think there are two key issues here that the school's leadership, for whatever reason, isn't going to terms with:

1) Akron's athletic profile and reputation is already really low. The financial issues of the school have become well-known, between the recent "reconfiguration" of its individual college model and the more salient athletic department changes. President Gary Miller claimed that "being a Division I school helps Akron attract students" - huh?!? Akron isn't Miami, it's not Case and it's not Ohio State or OU. This isn't to say that it's a bad school, not at all... rather, the primary pitch-points for the school are the tuition, its stature as a state university with the tie-in of regional relevance (hello, Wright State and YSU) and some of their programs. Kids aren't going to Akron so they can watch the football team reach the ceiling of 5-7. Akron has been losing a turf war with BGSU, Toledo and even KSU as the "affordable, attractive state school with the 'D1' pageantry" for years in the competition for many of Ohio's students. The "D1 is a selling point" argument falls flat here for that reason alone. The school's leadership is tone-deaf when they're making all of these cuts between the academic and athletic realms only to keep alive a bad program that was never good in the first place, and supporting the expanse of scholarships and coaching salaries toward a money-pit program, just so they can have D1 football. And to the general public, but especially the active student body, two parties who provide indeterminate support of the school, these changes do nothing to help the university's narrative and image.

2) "Building a better D1 model" - wish in one hand, ____ in the other. See which fills up first. This discussion should've happened 15-20 years ago. No one is forcing Akron to play D1 if its too untenable for the Zips.
Speaking of optics, it look pretty bad for the AD to be able to cut over $4 million/23% from the athletics budget with two weeks notice. It makes people wonder what the hell was going on to get it so bloated in the first place. Schools like Akron are trying way too hard to be all things to all people athletically.

Akron's problems go back to 1988 when the school president thought moving to D1 was the proper move and brought in Gerry Faust to lead the way. The Zips made it to the D2 playoffs the year before and had a reasonable program up to that point. As an aside, it also played a part in pushing Bob Huggins out the door (he would have left in time anyway). Since that time, it has been all misery with the high point being the freaking Potato Bowl.
 

OhioBobcatFan06

Well-known member
MAC also announced today they are reducing size of travel rosters in football and home teams will no longer stay in hotels before games.
 

Mr. Slippery

Well-known member
Central Michigan has dropped men's track and field. Only 5 MAC schools remain that offer the sport: Buffalo, Kent, Akron, Miami, and Eastern Michigan.
 

Red14

Well-known member
D1 major conference, D1 mid majors is going to begin to look alot different moving forward. Yes, programs are getting cut, it's the quickest way to save money.
I think moving forward you are going to see programs really watch their expenses. For instance, many D2 and D3 programs rarely have overnight trips. The days of going a day before the game and coming back a day after is over. I think for travel reasons alone, all the mid majors should abandon conferences and create new - regional conferences where you don't have more than a 3-4 hour bus ride to any opponent. For the MAC to have a school in Illinois and another in New York makes no sense at all. There should be enough mid majors in Indiana/ Ohio/ Michigan to come up with a conference.
Also, cut down the scholarships. You can't keep giving the farm away. There are no scholarships at the D3 level and there are no shortages of players. It's just a sign of the times.
Finally, schools that have 3-4 different helmet and uniforms options are a thing of the past. You have a home and road uniform, period.
 

The Dock

Well-known member
I think for travel reasons alone, all the mid majors should abandon conferences and create new - regional conferences where you don't have more than a 3-4 hour bus ride to any opponent. For the MAC to have a school in Illinois and another in New York makes no sense at all. There should be enough mid majors in Indiana/ Ohio/ Michigan to come up with a conference.
Where do you suggest Buffalo and NIU go, exactly? Have you considered that the eastern half of the MAC provides similar competition, more schools and closer distances than what is offered in the rest of New York? Or that there is a complete dearth of mid-majors in Illinois, Wisconsin, Minnesota and Iowa for NIU to associate with?
 

nwwarrior09

Well-known member
Buffalo is not a bad trip at all for the schools in northern Ohio and the schools in Michigan that can cut through Canada to Buffalo.

It would be difficult to make the MAC anymore geographically compact than it already is. When you take into account interstate highways and major thoroughfares the biggest geographic outliers are really Miami and arguably OU and Ball State.
 
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Mr. Slippery

Well-known member
D1 major conference, D1 mid majors is going to begin to look alot different moving forward. Yes, programs are getting cut, it's the quickest way to save money.
I think moving forward you are going to see programs really watch their expenses. For instance, many D2 and D3 programs rarely have overnight trips. The days of going a day before the game and coming back a day after is over. I think for travel reasons alone, all the mid majors should abandon conferences and create new - regional conferences where you don't have more than a 3-4 hour bus ride to any opponent. For the MAC to have a school in Illinois and another in New York makes no sense at all. There should be enough mid majors in Indiana/ Ohio/ Michigan to come up with a conference.
Also, cut down the scholarships.
You can't keep giving the farm away. There are no scholarships at the D3 level and there are no shortages of players. It's just a sign of the times.
Finally, schools that have 3-4 different helmet and uniforms options are a thing of the past. You have a home and road uniform, period.
1. Unless you program is nationally known, it's difficult to recruit athletes from certain areas if your league has absolutely no presence there. Dump Northern Illinois from the league, and the league suddenly has no presence in the 3rd largest media market in the country. Dump Buffalo, and there is suddenly no presence in western New York. It may not be huge, but Buffalo is still in the top 1/4 of US media markets at 52nd overall. After the major programs take their share, there is not enough talent in just Michigan, Ohio, and Indiana for the MAC schools to compete on a bigger stage.

2. How do you know that all of these MAC schools are fully funding the maximum amount of scholarships allowed in each sport that they offer?
 

Red14

Well-known member
Where do you suggest Buffalo and NIU go, exactly? Have you considered that the eastern half of the MAC provides similar competition, more schools and closer distances than what is offered in the rest of New York? Or that there is a complete dearth of mid-majors in Illinois, Wisconsin, Minnesota and Iowa for NIU to associate with?
There are mid majors in New York and Illiniois and surrounding states that can form leagues. Like I said, you have to blow the whole mid major system up and create new conferences that make geographic sense.
 

Red14

Well-known member
1. Unless you program is nationally known, it's difficult to recruit athletes from certain areas if your league has absolutely no presence there. Dump Northern Illinois from the league, and the league suddenly has no presence in the 3rd largest media market in the country. Dump Buffalo, and there is suddenly no presence in western New York. It may not be huge, but Buffalo is still in the top 1/4 of US media markets at 52nd overall. After the major programs take their share, there is not enough talent in just Michigan, Ohio, and Indiana for the MAC schools to compete on a bigger stage.

2. How do you know that all of these MAC schools are fully funding the maximum amount of scholarships allowed in each sport that they offer?
I'll admit, I know little about MAC sports. With the internet, you can recruit anywhere these days. Try recruiting 40 years ago. I'm not sure the MAC really needs a "chicago" presance. I certainly dont' think of Chicago when I think Northern Illinois. There are no shortage of talent in all states. And who is even talking about competing on a bigger stage? You have to begin to be more fiscally responsible. The gravy train days are over. When your entire athletic department is reliant on a one-game non-conference football game against a powerhouse where you go get slaughtered to pick up a check, that's a flawed model.
 

nwwarrior09

Well-known member
There are mid majors in New York and Illiniois and surrounding states that can form leagues. Like I said, you have to blow the whole mid major system up and create new conferences that make geographic sense.
I'd strongly suggest looking at a map...traveling to Northern Illinois from the five NW Ohio and Michigan schools is a similar and sometimes shorter trip time with better highways than traveling from those five schools southeast through the state of Ohio to OU.

If there was a regionalized "blow up" it would make more sense to send OU, Miami and maybe Ball State to a group with the likes of Marshall, the directional Kentucky's, etc.

As far as the size of their footprint, the extreme points of the MAC isn't really much worse than the D3 NCAC that includes Wittenberg, Wooster, Allegheny, Wabash, DePaul, etc. It's fine how it is with much of it being linked by I-80/90 and I-75.
 
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