MAC commissioner Dr. Jon Steinbrecher (Stew Milne-US PRESSWIRE)
That's it, really. That's all I have to say. Things are going pretty cool in the Mid-American Conference. They're holding their annual meetings in Cleveland and trumpeting your standard feelings of good tidings and plans for the future.
The obvious elephant that could potentially squish the conference is realignment, but the current duodectet of full-member teams has been stable, to say the least, and few substantial rumors about their departure have existed. but all it takes is one well-placed domino and the conference could be in jeopardy. I am sure that this is what MAC commissioner Dr. Jon Steinbrecher fears worst.
But you have to give credit to the MAC Doctor for whatever he's done to ensure stability and even growth. In came UMass, which turned out to be an offset for departing Temple. And in came West Virginia for soccer — which could be a sneakily wonderful addition.
So, in conclusion, things are still neat. It's a flat description but apt. Football has parity and exciting finishes (and people know this). Basketball could use some more top-to-bottom strength so that the conference might proffer two tournament teams rather than a slew of CIT participants (which by next year could balloon to a 1048-team tournament if my calculations are correct). You can even infer that from the Plain Dealer article comments. I'm paraphrasing:
STORY: "Things are going great in the MAC!"
COMMENTS: "Yeah but their basketball sucks!"
I agree. This conference really needs to get a team deep into the NCAA tournament, such as the Round of 16.
But in all, the state of the MAC is neat. It ain't strong, it ain't desolate, and with most conferences being one or the other, banal stability is a warm fuzzy feeling in college sports. I'll gladly accept it.