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Basketball divisions eliminated, plus, the elimination of post season conference tournaments for eight sports, including baseball.

20 game conference basketball schedule, with only the top 8 teams making the conference tournament.


https://twitter.com/hustlebelt/status/12...13638?s=21

https://twitter.com/tedcahill/status/126...27429?s=21

https://twitter.com/tedcahill/status/126...49288?s=21

https://www.wtol.com/article/sports/majo...a5a6d8fe3c

https://twitter.com/brett_mcmurphy/statu...84514?s=21

https://www.hustlebelt.com/2020/5/12/212...ostseasons
(05-12-2020 03:30 PM)HuskieDave Wrote: [ -> ]Basketball divisions eliminated, plus, the elimination of post season conference tournaments for eight sports, including baseball.

20 game conference basketball schedule, with only the top 8 teams making the conference tournament.


https://twitter.com/hustlebelt/status/12...13638?s=21

https://twitter.com/tedcahill/status/126...27429?s=21

https://twitter.com/tedcahill/status/126...49288?s=21

https://www.wtol.com/article/sports/majo...a5a6d8fe3c

https://twitter.com/brett_mcmurphy/statu...84514?s=21

https://www.hustlebelt.com/2020/5/12/212...ostseasons

BIG NEWS but not surprising. Hopefully most of these will be back.
Not for the next 4 years according to the announcement.
Some guy on the MAC board is going off on 7-paragraph rants because the 9-12 seeds are cut out of the BB tournament while 6-6 FB teams go bowling. (I’ve pointed out Kent’s 6-6 team played in a bowl game in front of 1.25 million viewers while a play-in MAC tournament game is lucky to draw 5k on espn+.)

He also wants the MAC to go to a 12-game BB schedule and use the open weeks for non-conference opportunities. Neve mind there is no conference in the country with a 12-game schedule and only one (IVY) with a 14-game schedule. So the MAC, under this proposal, would have no option but to sit out 1-2 weeks while every other league plays conference games.

It amazes me when people go off the rails and rant with no self-awareness and no understanding of how Division 1 athletic departments operate. If he brought the above to a group of actual athletic administrators, it would be mocked mercilessly.
I was kind of joking about an entire MAC season consisting of BG Vs Toledo in 12 football games, but I think that is kind of where we are headed. Perhaps NIU can play Illinois State, EIU, WIU, UW-Whitewater, Rock Valley etc, and bus to games against WMU and Ball State for a limited conference schedule. What a cluster!
I support the changes, since four years is a good test period that accommodates whatever is coming down the road from the Covid-19 crisis.

I think the 12-team conference tournament is a sort of an everyone-gets-a-trophy thing anyway (like the made-for-ESPN-TV bowl games, or any bowl games with 6-6 teams). I realize there is some argument for teams that get "hot" late in the season, but an all-school tournament makes it feel like the regular season doesn't count for much, i.e., you're going to the MACT anyway, so all you're playing for is a seed. While we on this board do some nifty calculations and updates on NIU's chances per seeds, I doubt we have thousands of fans at home fretting over those stats.

Bottom line: let's see what happens with this, and more importantly, how the schools make it work to their advantage, before we condemn anything.
(05-13-2020 02:22 AM)pvk75 Wrote: [ -> ]I support the changes, since four years is a good test period that accommodates whatever is coming down the road from the Covid-19 crisis.

I think the 12-team conference tournament is a sort of an everyone-gets-a-trophy thing anyway (like the made-for-ESPN-TV bowl games, or any bowl games with 6-6 teams). I realize there is some argument for teams that get "hot" late in the season, but an all-school tournament makes it feel like the regular season doesn't count for much, i.e., you're going to the MACT anyway, so all you're playing for is a seed. While we on this board do some nifty calculations and updates on NIU's chances per seeds, I doubt we have thousands of fans at home fretting over those stats.

Bottom line: let's see what happens with this, and more importantly, how the schools make it work to their advantage, before we condemn anything.

We sure are doing our best though to make sure its hundreds of fans complaining as opposed to thousands of fans complaining. The show is over for the MAC imo.
I prefer to try to see this as glass half full, not half empty.

That said, r.e. basketball, I suspect we'll see fewer early-season tournaments played o-o-c, at least by MAC schools. I also think some schools won't be eager to host a bunch of teams from anywhere just to have a tournament.

Imo, this is a chance to establish some o-o-c rivalries, perhaps regional/Upper Midwest. Unlike the difference between FBS and FCS football, a lot more Division I bball teams available. And wasn't there some talk or discussion on the board about the MAC should try to start one of those "challenge" kind of arrangements with another mid-major conference? Playing 20 conference games with no divisions puts the MAC on a structural level with some others.

I also see schools like NIU (I hope) being more careful about o-o-c strength-of-schedule, since fewer games means fewer opportunities. Maybe Northern won't be boosting its record by scheduling Podunk U., Podunk State and the University of Podunk. Fewer excuses for the state of the program. I know I don't want to keep reading how everything s--ks because of the Covid-19 crisis. That can very quickly become the excuse for everything that's wrong.

Ps to MD: You can still tailor your much-appreciated stats to every single game relative to ultimate MACT seeding.
(05-13-2020 07:24 AM)pvk75 Wrote: [ -> ]Ps to MD: You can still tailor your much-appreciated stats to every single game relative to ultimate MACT seeding.

I think I need to download the roster of Rockford College in the near future, that may become the new basketball rival.
Imo they already are a "regular," (if the floor or ceiling doesn't leak ... again.) Btw, folks on the Western Illinois board say NIU is sked to play there. Bob Jeter is new head coach.
We are just returning to the original basketball tournament format from the 80’s. When the first tournament was played the MAC was a 10 team league and the top 7 made the tournament, with the regular season champion receiving a bye to the semifinals. Worked just fine. In 40 years no one finishing in the bottom half of the regular season standings has ever won the post season MAC tournament.
Serious consideration needs to be given to NIU not opening in fall. As I said before, some of directional schools might close for good. I could see a drop in attendance of 50% this year. The state has no money and no way to pay schools
(05-13-2020 07:49 AM)klake87 Wrote: [ -> ]Serious consideration needs to be given to NIU not opening in fall. As I said before, some of directional schools might close for good. I could see a drop in attendance of 50% this year. The state has no money and no way to pay schools

Illinois is dead. I think NIU's days in D1 athletics are over, this virus response is too much to recover from , especially on top of the problems the state was already facing. I do think its possible MAC goes under as a whole, but NIU especially is done imo
(05-13-2020 08:19 AM)MaddDawgz02 Wrote: [ -> ]
(05-13-2020 07:49 AM)klake87 Wrote: [ -> ]Serious consideration needs to be given to NIU not opening in fall. As I said before, some of directional schools might close for good. I could see a drop in attendance of 50% this year. The state has no money and no way to pay schools

Illinois is dead. I think NIU's days in D1 athletics are over, this virus response is too much to recover from , especially on top of the problems the state was already facing. I do think its possible MAC goes under as a whole, but NIU especially is done imo

Financially, NIU has to be a weak link in MAC. They can not rely on state for money. They can't increase tuition, more people will go elsewhere. They do not have a big enough endowment to westher the storm. Opening in fall is in doubt. Pritzker will save U of I and U of I Chicago. Illinois State University would be next. After that, who knows. Consolidation is inevitable
(05-13-2020 08:40 AM)klake87 Wrote: [ -> ]
(05-13-2020 08:19 AM)MaddDawgz02 Wrote: [ -> ]
(05-13-2020 07:49 AM)klake87 Wrote: [ -> ]Serious consideration needs to be given to NIU not opening in fall. As I said before, some of directional schools might close for good. I could see a drop in attendance of 50% this year. The state has no money and no way to pay schools

Illinois is dead. I think NIU's days in D1 athletics are over, this virus response is too much to recover from , especially on top of the problems the state was already facing. I do think its possible MAC goes under as a whole, but NIU especially is done imo

Financially, NIU has to be a weak link in MAC. They can not rely on state for money. They can't increase tuition, more people will go elsewhere. They do not have a big enough endowment to westher the storm. Opening in fall is in doubt. Pritzker will save U of I and U of I Chicago. Illinois State University would be next. After that, who knows. Consolidation is inevitable

Glad I at least did not renew season tickets! That will be pocketed money by the few as the athletic program closes down
(05-12-2020 11:38 PM)IWokeUpLikeThis Wrote: [ -> ]Some guy on the MAC board is going off on 7-paragraph rants because the 9-12 seeds are cut out of the BB tournament while 6-6 FB teams go bowling. (I’ve pointed out Kent’s 6-6 team played in a bowl game in front of 1.25 million viewers while a play-in MAC tournament game is lucky to draw 5k on espn+.)

He also wants the MAC to go to a 12-game BB schedule and use the open weeks for non-conference opportunities. Neve mind there is no conference in the country with a 12-game schedule and only one (IVY) with a 14-game schedule. So the MAC, under this proposal, would have no option but to sit out 1-2 weeks while every other league plays conference games.

It amazes me when people go off the rails and rant with no self-awareness and no understanding of how Division 1 athletic departments operate. If he brought the above to a group of actual athletic administrators, it would be mocked mercilessly.

Update: Now this clown is claiming women's basketball brings the MAC "much needed attention and notoriety" while writing off the Orange/Cotton bowls as "a payday and an ass-whooping".

# of viewers:
NIU Orange Bowl - 10 million
WMU Cotton Bowl - 5.6 million
Buffalo Women's S16 - 850k
CMU Women's S16 - 550k

NIU/WMU lost by a combined 29.
Buffalo/CMU lost by a combined 30.

I have no words.
Read that.

First, ok, yes CMU and Buffalo wbb got the MAC some attention, it being rare that two MAC teams get into the NCAA tournament in the same year. It's also rare that two MBB teams get into the NCAA tournament in the same year.

But ...

For NIU (and I assume other MAC programs), the biggest boon are road "payday" football games, which pay a lot of bills. No basketball matchup is going to bring in north of $1 million. Since the structure of the MAC is 8 conference games, and the limit is 12 + the CCG, there isn't a whole lot of room to cut without losing a potential big payday.

That poster also seems to think (it appears) that the MAC can be big-time if one team -- Buffalo, or? -- becomes the dominant mbb team for at least a decade. Like Gonzaga (their e.g.). Imo, that's very narrow thinking. Gonzaga IS the West Coast Conference in mbb. Nobody else need apply. And hoo-rah for Gonzaga.

The key to CONFERENCE recognition, status and build-up is to win games in the NCAA tournament with several teams year after year. One year Buffalo. Next year Miami-Ohio. Next year Akron. Maybe Buffalo again. Next year Kent State. Maybe Akron again. Maybe one time NIU gets there. But MAC teams have to WIN tournament games EVERY YEAR to establish respect for the conference. Imo, that's also how a conference becomes a two-big league.

To me, as a supporter of NIU first and the MAC after, that should be the goal. That's the best status a mid-major conference can hope for.
The level of play in the MAC has been trending very very well for basketball before the virus hit. The MAC became one of the best mid major conferences in the land for basketball the past several years.
I wonder if there was any consideration given to moving the MAC Football Championship back to campus sites.
Not so sure the MAC championship should be moved. Drew just over 10,000 for NIU-Buffalo in 2018, but over 22,000 for Miami (O)-CMU last year. Played in the same venue, the Quick Lane Bowl is now to feature the MAC champion vs a Big10 team. ESPN covers both. Sponsors are Detroit Lions and Ford. I'm sure there is some connection between the MACC and that bowl tie-in. The only MAC bowl with a guaranteed P5 opponent.

Bottom line: hate to see that tie-in jeopardized, especially with short-term reactions to Covid-19 crisis. Sans crisis, a Big10 opponent will bring a crowd and guarantee national exposure. (Plus, the team that wins the MACC can just leave all its stuff there instead of paying to haul it back and forth.)
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