Is the MAC Best Served by the 35 Second Shot Clock?

USA TODAY Sports

What could the ACC's experiment mean for the MAC?

The ACC has plans to use an abbreviated shot clock during exhibition games next season, in an attempt to "increase pace and scoring."  You may read more about it from Kevin Trahan here, provided you return to this page as soon as you're done.  Because being the educated fan you are, you don't really care about what the ACC is doing, you're just concerned about how it will affect your MACtion.  Ok, go.

First things first.  The experiment is for one reason and one reason only.  To increase eyeballs for televised games, which Trahan states in his article.  ACC scoring is down, which should not come as a surprise to the conference.  Conference expansion was driven primarily by the desire to add top football programs, and the absence of a competitive basketball squad was clearly not a deterrent.  So rather than state, "Yeah, we bled the Big East dry because we want to keep up with the other power conferences in football, after all, that's the sport that makes more money," the ACC went with "Hey our shot clock is broken!  We're going to try a new one, and damn it  you should too!"

You're a MAC fan, you don't need me to point that out to you, the explanation is really for the SEC fans.

Ok, let's suggest that this experiment does not produce desired results, and conferences elect to keep the shot clock as it is:

That means get over it, ACC.  You watered down your basketball product, now deal with it.  Other conferences who do not share the concerns of the ACC should rally against the cause, because you can't have your cake and eat it too.  A decrease in scoring means you should consider basketball programs when you add your sixteenth team, which you will inevitably do.

It has also been suggested that the shot clock go away forever.  This is not Hoosiers.  Milan, or Hickory as they're portrayed in the classic 1986 film, actually held the ball for the final four minutes of the game.  So will Virgina Tech.

Let's say however, that this movement does pick up momentum, and we do agree that we like a shortened shot clock.  Let's not go to 30, let's go to 10.  Don't give me this crap about, "integrity of the game."  As stated before, the discussion originates solely from televisions and dollars.  If the ACC thought that dizzy bat races followed by free throw shooting contests brought in the viewers, they would "experiment" with the concept.  Furthermore, NBA fans will fondly remember the Phoenix Suns' "seven seconds or less" era of the last decade.    It might be sloppy, reckless, even downright asinine, but don't tell me you wouldn't watch.

So what do we do?  Here's my suggestion.  If there is a real stir among other conferences about changing or abolishing the shot clock altogether, this is what we do:

Whatever they don't.

Our product is different.  it's fun, it's quirky, it's bizarre at times.  On the football field creativity and innovation seems to know no bounds oh and by the way, some of those teams can outscore their peers on the hardwood.  What MACtion delivers on the football field, can also be delivered when basketball season rolls around.  So sit back, watch, and if change occurs, go the opposite direction.  They cut to 30?  Let's cut it to 25.  "Wednesday Night Hoops, we've got Bowling Green and Buffalo out of the MAC, home of the 18 second shot clock."  This discussion is a real opportunity for the MAC to evaluate what can strengthen their brand.  So let's get crazy.

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