MAC Discussion -Stewart Mandel’s Mailbag

I wonder if the guy from Pittsfield MA - out in the Berkshires - is a MAC alum.

“Is the MAC not the most realignment-proof conference? It has a geography it knows and is known in. It has a steady and reliable recruiting territory and consistent fan support. More importantly, it’s already located in power conference territory, and none of its members are likely to get poached or seemingly looking to expand. If 10 years from now there are two super conferences, a third conference of leftover Power 5s and a teeming mass of previous Group of 5s that are looking for some semblance of normality, the MAC will reign supreme as a beacon of stability.” — Jesse K., Pittsfield, MA

“You’re not wrong. While every other Group of 5 conference has been remade many times over, the MAC’s lineup has gone largely untouched for the last 15 years. Marshall was the last full member to leave, way back in 2005, and Temple was football-only from 2008-12. All 12 current members have been in the league since at least 1998, when Buffalo joined, while old-timers like Miami, Ohio, Western Michigan, Toledo and Kent State have been there since the late 1940s and early 1950s.
But let’s be honest: The main reason for that stability is that no one else wants them.
I love the MAC. I really do. But its fan support across the board is modest at best. The reason these programs are even able to exist while making a fraction of the TV money other conferences do is that their universities heavily subsidize their athletic departments, usually from student fees. Schools like Akron, Bowling Green and Kent State rely on tens of millions in subsidies to cover the majority of their athletic budgets.
As long as the schools remain committed to that model, though, the MAC should theoretically be able to withstand whatever changes keep coming to college sports. In 15 years, the Big Ten may have expanded to Mars, the SEC may have annexed Mexico, but Central Michigan and Ball State will still be playing in sub-arctic temperatures on a Tuesday night in November”

-Stewart Mandel


truth bomb


Stewart Mandel answered another MAC question this week: Which MAC team will pull an upset over a P5 team?

He said he’d be disappointed if there was only one and predicted Kent would upset Washington, NIU would beat Vandy and Miami would beat Northwestern.


NIU’s leading WR from last season suffered a season ending ACL injury this week.

And leading RB Ducker went to Memphis. They won a whole lot of very close games last year…possibly a small margin for error this year.

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He’s from around here; he went to Sycamore.

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I think I went to high school with him. Pretty sure he was a year before me.