MAC deserves more recognition

In the first two weeks of the 2003 college football season, the Mid-American Conference has been responsible for knocking two teams out of the top 25.

In week one, Northern Illinois took Maryland out with a 20-13 victory, and Bowling Green knocked Purdue out of the polls with a 27-26 win at Purdue. Despite these factors, the MAC has no teams in the top 25.

Saturday’s victory over Purdue improved BG’s all-time record against BCS affiliated schools to 6-0. However, it will be next to impossible for BG or any other MAC school to get into a BCS bowl game.

Last season it took BG six weeks to crack the top 25 despite two consecutive victories over the Big 12 early in the season. It just seems that the national media refuses to ever take the MAC seriously.

The MAC has two quarterbacks who deserve consideration for the Heisman Trophy-BG’s Josh Harris and Miami’s Ben Roethlisberger- yet the odds are not very good for seeing either of them on the candidate list.

I am not trying to say that the MAC can compete on the same level week in and week out with conferences like the Big Ten, Big 12 or Pac Ten, but I do believe that the MAC should at least be given a legitimate shot of competing in a more prominent bowl game if one of the teams has a big season.

This does not go for the MAC alone. There are teams from other Mid-Major conferences that have played spoiler against big name, BCS affiliated schools. The way the system is set up right now in college football, if a school is not in one of the more elite conferences, then it does not have much of a chance at figuring into the national title picture unless the team has a phenomenal year.

There has been talk about setting up some kind of playoff system in college football. This is definitely a way to give every conference a chance at making an impact on the national championship.

Instead of letting schools sit idle for more than a month in between their final regular season game and whatever bowl game they are put in, why not have a three or four round single elimination playoff to determine the national champion?

Respecting the fact that certain conferences are tougher than others, teams from the better conferences can have the higher seedings and perhaps even byes if that is necessary. Most sports fans love late season upsets, this would create the chance for them to see some.

Instead of letting a computer formula that most average sports fans do not understand pick two teams that will play for the national title, why not let all the conference winners decide that on the field? Time after time it has been proven that anything can happen in sports. Putting in a playoff system like this just might give the unthinkable a chance to happen.