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University of Akron Zips blog

Where the MAC goes from here

By mrasor Published: March 13, 2007

Men's basketball


Rick Chryst told the ABJ's Tom Gaffney that his Mid-American Conference would need to decrypt the NCAA's message in denying Akron from the postseason.


I compare it to a failed relationship.


The girl wants to know what in the world she can do to get the guy back. Problem is, unless something incredibly drastic happens (like plastic surgery or she buys him a Porsche), the guy just isn't interested.


The NCAA probably won't care if Akron schedules a bunch of high-majors, like it did last season. It won't care if it beats up on low-majors, like it did this season. The Zips only option for respect is to go to a big house and beat a big team while their refs call the game.


Problem is, you might need to play six top-25 teams on the road to win one of those games. By then, you are flirting with a .500 nonconference schedule, which will place you at about 20 wins tops. No 20-win team from the MAC will get NCAA consideration.


The only real option is to attract top-25 schools to Rhodes Arena. We all know that won't happen. Pitt, for example, was petrified of the JAR. They preferred Buffalo.


And you can't really blame high-majors. They have nothing to gain by beating a high-major. They have plenty to lose. It's just a broken system. Everyone is out for themselves. The only way for mid-majors to advance is to beat up on each other. That's why Akron probably will play at Creighton next season. Other Missouri Valley or Colonial opponents could also fill the schedule, and they should.


Here's my solution: How about a nonconference system that is uniform? Combine these two factors to rank each team in each conference: preseason poll and last year's finish. For example, pretend Akron is picked to finish fourth in the MAC next season. They finished second this season. Their 2007-'08 ranking would be third.


Then rank each conference based on last season's RPI. The MAC had the 14th highest RPI. Now divide the conferences in three categories: high-majors (like the Big 10), mid-majors (like the MAC) and low-majors (like the Big South).


Now say you want each team to play 12 nonconference games. Each team plays two games against good high-majors, two against good mid-majors, two against good low-majors, two against bad high-majors, two against bad mid-majors and two against bad low-majors.


Theoretically, each team has a similar strength of schedule. Then you allow each team to enter a nonconference tournament. You leave that up to the universities to decide.


Someone please argue with the fairness of this system. Please.

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