MAC football deserves respect

By Brian Thomas

This season the Mid-American Conference has shown the rest of college football it is worthy of some respect and recognition.

Already, this season, the MAC has six bowl-eligible teams; Kent State, Ohio and Bowling Green from the East Division; Northern Illinois, Toledo and Ball State from the West Division.

With these six teams, the MAC has the second most bowl-eligible teams in the nation behind only the SEC, which has seven bowl-eligible teams.

So I ask, where is the love for the MAC? They don’t only continue to beat up on themselves but week in and week out they play more big name schools from power conferences such as the Big 10, Big East and the Big 12.

This season, the MAC set its single-season record with victories over FBS opponents with 16 total wins thus far. The MAC has taken down teams such as Cincinnati, Iowa, Kansas, Rutgers, Indiana and it has defeated Army on four separate occasions this season.

The MAC’s previous high in FBS wins in a season was set in 2008 when it took down 14 teams.

Still not convinced that the MAC is deserving of national recognition?

Looking at the MAC’s top four teams, Northern Illinois (9-1), Toledo (8-1), Kent State (8-1) and Ohio (8-1), they are a combined 33-4. The MAC is the only conference in the nation with four programs having only one loss.

With the success of these four teams also comes votes and rankings in the polls. This week Toledo joined the BCS poll and is ranked No. 25 in the nation for the first time in its schools history.

Northern Illinois received the most votes in The Associated Press Top-25 with 64 votes and the USA Today poll with 88, which is the most of any team to not be ranked in the top-25. Kent State and Ohio have also received votes from the polls to be ranked in The Associated Press Top-25 and USA Today.

My point is, people need to stop bashing the MAC and saying these teams are not worthy of recognition because of the teams they play in the MAC. Sure the MAC has some teams that are not so competitive, but what conference doesn’t?

With all the success the MAC is having, stop making up excuses, accept it and enjoy the strong quality of football.