Abraham Lincoln once said: "For every job that I create, I get ten enemies and one ingrate." And so it goes for MAC Commissioner Jon Steinbrecher. Although seven teams were placed in a bowl, there are grumblings about which team was placed where.
"With the exception of the GoDaddy Bowl, where our number one and number two teams are alternated every year, we now have flexibility as to placing teams in bowls," Steinbrecher told Hustle Belt. "We can now pay attention to match ups, history, institutional preferences and the preferences of our broadcast partner in bowl placement."
Likewise, many people are dismissive of a team with only five wins becoming bowl eligible. Not so fast! "A procedure was developed in the event there was an insufficient number of bowl eligible teams to fill the bowl slots", was Steinbrecher's response. A 5-7 team can be deemed a deserving team if it maintained a high Academic Progress Rate. Minnesota, who will be playing against Central Michigan in the Quick Lane Bowl, is one of those teams. Having said that, Dr. Steinbrecher did indicate that he would like to see the definition of a deserving team begin with seven game winners. If that cuts down on the number of bowls, the Commissioner sees nothing wrong with that.
Many MAC fans feel betrayed by the fact that the conference lost a primary bowl tie in when the Quick Lane Bowl was created. Historically, the Detroit based bowl had always been considered a MAC event. While the MAC as a whole was disappointed that it lost a primary tie in when the Pizza Bowl ended, the Commissioner "anticipates an opportunity to play in the Quick Lane Bowl about 50 percent of the the times it is played." The MAC may get to face more Big Ten opponents as a secondary tie in partner to the Quick Lane Bowl than it did when it was a primary partner in the Pizza Bowl.
The Commissioner bristled at the notion that the conference looked stupid in awarding it's Coach of the Year Award to someone who has left his position in the conference. "The award was given based on the regular season. The fact that attrition occurred will not change the decision." Steinbrecher did indicate that his preference would be to have the Coach of the Year awarded to someone from the current ranks of MAC football coaches.
No one in the MAC West liked the tie breaker system except Northern Illinois. Yet arguably, the Huskies were the weakest MAC West Co-Champion to represent the division in the MAC Championship Game due to the number of injuries to their key players. Yet, Steinbrecher has no intention to tinker with the tie breaker formula. "We have a standardized tie breaker formula. Based on the data points called for in the formula, it worked very well."
MAC fans can be urged without hesitation to support the Quick Lane Bowl. The Commissioner's got our backs. Besides, the charitable proceeds will go Disabled American Veterans. Now there's a group that truly has had our backs.