When you play football in the MAC, you know you have zero chance of playing for a national title. Your reward for all the unpaid work you put in during the year is the chance at a bowl game. The bar is relatively low at 6 wins, but considering the schedules they play, it generally means they played reasonably well. 7 MAC teams reached that bar, only 5 were invited to play in a bowl game.
However, this is more than just a bummer. It turns out that Florida State is going to a bowl they didn’t actually earn the right to attend.
The back story, for those that are out of the loop: In spite of all the inherent advantages of being a power program like Florida State, they sucked something awful this season. They were so bad, in fact, they needed to reschedule a game against Louisiana-Monroe, which was 4-7 on the season, just to hit the 6-win mark and be bowl eligible. It turns out the FCS opponent they slaughtered doesn’t even give the full allotment of scholarships, and thus per the NCAA rules, doesn’t count as a win. No one at FSU, the ACC, or the NCAA caught the mistake in time.
Awfully coincidental that this “mistake” favors a power 5 school with a large fan base, who happens to have a record bowl streak going.
But let’s move past that. This is just one incident in a long list of shady incidents that have caused the NCAA to lose all credibility with anyone that is paying attention. Fake grades, different punishments for the same crime, and teams paying coaches nearly 10 million per but no money for players.
The NCAA’s biggest transgression, however, is their treatment of the smaller schools. They have systematically colluded with the bigger schools to push the little guy down the line so he can’t compete, either for recruits or money. The end game appears to be, at least to this guy, to move to a couple of super conferences comprising the biggest names. However, the writing is on the wall, and those very same cash cows will eventually get rid of the NCAA first, and make their own rules and keep more of the money. In either scenario, the MAC and her teams will almost certainly be relegated even lower on the totem pole.
The MAC should strike first, and here is how they can do it.
Reach out to the other G5’s and form their own league. Make it neat and orderly with clearly defined rules for a playoff, with the spots settled on the field. The two main problems with a league like this is talent level compared to the other schools, and lack of fans.
Uncle Jimmy has a workaround for both.
To get the talent, pay them. Instead of giving kids scholarships, pay them. Keep it low enough that they qualify for financial aid. The NCAA will struggle to find a solution, and when they finally do, there will be tons of money involved. While our new league is still relatively amateurish, they will just be a minor league to the NFL, and hemorrhage viewers.
Another place the new league can gain viewers is by embracing the little guy. In this case, the FCS. Encourage them to form their own league, too, with a similar rule set. Then do a relegation/promotion system, similar to European soccer.
Will any of this happen? Of course not. Could it be successful? Who knows? But it’s fun to think about, at least for me. Instead, you guys love a system that rewards a Florida State team with a bowl game even though one of their 6 wins was against a bad FCS team, one was against Louisiana-Monroe and the last was against Syracuse. That was literally half their wins. What a terrible system.