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The Mid-American Conference plays the toughest non-conf football schedule in the country annually

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The Mid-American Conference plays the toughest non-conference football schedule in the country annually.

February 12, 2013

The Mid-American Conference plays the toughest non-conference football schedule in the country annually.

 

The folks at http://www.fbschedules.com/ncaa/ncaa-football-schedules.php have done a wonderful job of posting the known, future non-conference games of the 127 teams in div 1-a college football.

 

I expressed many times that I love sports but I hate what sport has become.  I am especially critical of the NCAA and more specifically div 1-a college football.

 

Recently we learned that the Big Ten conference discussed adding a ninth and/or tenth conference game.  Ironically, the athletic directors at the schools with the countries largest and third largest college stadiums capacity wise (Dave Brandon at Michigan-109,901; and Gene Smith at Ohio State-102,329) were quoted as saying that losing the ability to schedule a seventh and possibly eighth home football game (out of 12 total games) was something they would not negotiate.  Their reasoning was that they needed the income from these additional home games to pay expenses for the other sports in their athletic departments.

 

Other than the obvious question we must ask about the out-of-control amount of spending these two universities generate, these two athletic directors are admitting they are knowingly violating NCAA rules regarding EQUAL FOOTING as stated on the NCAA website.  They are also admitting they do not believe in the concept of sportsmanship.  According to Merriam-Webster, this is called HYPOCRISY.  (Definitions below).

 

http://www.ncaa.org/wps/wcm/connect/public/ncaa/academics/index.html

Academics

Integration. Fairness. Equitable Competition.

…NCAA member schools create rules to ensure that the Association’s 430,000 student-athletes compete on EQUAL FOOTING. The membership has implemented policies to help student-athletes prepare for the rigors of college coursework and to progress toward graduation once they enroll. Various NCAA committees and the national office staff members work to make sure the rules are applied fairly…

 

Definition of SPORTSMANSHIP as explained by http://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/sportsmanship

…conduct (as fairness, respect for one's opponent, and graciousness in winning or losing) becoming to one participating in a sport

 

Definition of HYPOCRISY as explained by http://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/hypocrisy

…a feigning to be what one is not or to believe what one does not; especially: the false assumption of an appearance of virtue or religion.

 

All of the Big Six bcs automatic qualifying football conferences (ACC, Big Twelve, Big East, Big Ten, Pac Twelve, SEC and Notre Dame) are guilty of the same hypocrisy but let’s look at the Big Ten’s future non-conference games.  The Big Ten’s non-conference game schedule seems to be the most egregious.

 

At this point, www.fbschedules.com documented 250 future Big Ten non-conference games.

Of those 250 games:

  • The Big Ten team is the visiting team in only 65 games. (26%)
  • One game is at a neutral location.
  • The location has not been determined for eight games.
  • The Big Ten team is the home team for 176 games. (70.5%)

 

Of the 65 games where the Big Ten is the visiting team:

  • The Big Ten plays only 5 games at 5 SEC schools.
  • The Big Ten plays 14 games at Pac Twelve schools but none at USC or UCLA.
  • The Big Ten play 13 games at ACC schools.
  • The Big Ten plays 5 games at Big East schools.
  • The Big Ten plays only 8 games at Big Twelve schools.
  • The Big Ten plays only 1 game at a Conf USA school (Purdue at Marshall in 2015)
  • The Big Ten plays 10 games with div 1-a independents.  Eight of those games are with Notre Dame.  Purdue plays 4 of those games.
  • The Big Ten plays 8 games at MAC schools.
  • The Big Ten plays only 3 games at Mountain West schools.

 

Of the 176 games where the Big Ten is the home team:

  • ACC teams visit 18 times.
  • Big East teams visit 10 times.
  • Big Twelve teams visit 8 times.
  • Conference USA teams visit 9 times.
  • Div 1-a independent teams visit 22 times.  Notre Dame is the visitor in 14 of those games (6 at Michigan State and 5 at in-state rival Purdue).
  • Mid-America Conference teams visit 45 times. (Central Michigan and Western Michigan have 6 visits each.)
  • Mountain West teams visit 12 times.
  • Pac Twelve teams visit 15 times.  (USC does not have a visit.)
  • SEC teams visit only 5 times.
  • Sun Belt teams visit 3 times.

And

  • Div 1-aa Colonial League teams visit 1 time.
  • Div 1-aa MEAC team Florida A&M visit Ohio State in 2013.
  • Div 1-aa Missouri Valley teams visit 20 times. (Indiana State leads this group with 5 visits.)
  • Div 1-aa Ohio Valley teams visit 3 times.
  • Div 1-aa Pioneer League teams visit one time. (Jacksonville at Michigan State-2014)
  • Div 1-aa Southern Conference teams visit 2 times. (Appalachian State plans to put another beat down on Michigan.)
  • Div 1-aa Southland Conference teams visit 1 time. (McNeese State at Nebraska-2016.)

 

The SEC has just as disgusting a non-conference schedule as the Big Ten.

 

This type of scheduling has been going on forever.  One can easily subtract 1-2 wins per year (30-40 wins from the career totals) of coaches like Woody Hayes, Bo Schembechler, Joe Paterno, Paul Bryant, Barry Switzer, Bobby Bowden, Tom Osborne, Darrell Royal, Frank Broyles, Steve Spurrier etc. had their teams truly tried to test themselves by playing against the best non-conference teams in the country year after year.

 

Conversely, let’s look at the non-conference schedule for the Mid-American conference.

 

At this point, www.fbschedules.com documented 208 future Mid-American Conference non-conference games.

 

The MAC team is the visiting team in 122 games. (58.6%)

One game is at a neutral location.

The location has not been determined for nine games.

The MAC team is the home team for only 76 games. (36.5%)

 

Of the 122 games where the MAC is the visiting team:

The MAC plays 12 games at ACC schools.

The MAC plays 9 games at Big East schools.

The MAC plays 45 games at Big Ten schools.

The MAC plays 12 games at Big Twelve schools.

The MAC plays 10 games at Conference USA schools.

The MAC plays 13 games at div 1-a independent schools. (Eight of those games are at Army.)

The MAC plays 1 game at div 1-aa Missouri Valley schools. (Ball State at Illinois State-2014)

The MAC plays 3 games at Mountain West schools.

The MAC plays 3 games at Pac Twelve schools.

The MAC plays 11 games at SEC schools.

The MAC plays 4 games at Sun Belt schools.

 

Yes, the argument is that the smaller schools get a big pay day as the sacrificial visiting team because of the revenue generated by the big-school, big-stadium scenario.  However, what about the financial benefits that could go to all the restaurants and businesses etc. surrounding the small-school stadiums?  Don’t those businesses in Akron, Muncie, Bowling Green, Buffalo, Mount Pleasant, Ypsilanti, Kent, Amherst, Oxford, DeKalb, Athens, Toledo and Kalamazoo deserve the same consideration?

 

The MAC does have 21 non-conference home games against div 1-aa teams, but when the big bullies on the block don’t want to play at your home, your choices become limited.

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