MAC football may finally get what it deserves: more recognition & more bowl games
MAC football has long been underrated and this announcement should make fans of MAC schools very happy. Once a one-bowl league, the MAC is the home of the 1998 Miami RedHawks and the 2000 Toldeo Rockets. Both teams went 10-1 during those respective seasons without a bowl bid. Last year's "last team out" was the Northern Illinois Huskies, the Champions of the MAC West. NIU Head Coach Joe Novak led his team to a 7-4 record (6-2 MAC), finally beat their nemesis in Toledo, yet watched as the Rockets received a bid to the GMAC Bowl while the Huskies went on to a loss in the MAC Championship game to the up and coming Akron Zips. As a result, Novak & Company were left to sit at home in DeKalb while the Rockets and Zips went bowlin'. And let us not forget the Western Michigan Broncos or Miami RedHawks of 2005 either. WMU surprised many after an 0-2 start by running off 7 wins in their next 8 games and finished the season at 7-4. Meanwhile, Miami also started the season 0-2 and finsihed 7-4. Any one of these three teams could have represented the MAC respectfully in a bowl game in 2005.
So finally it seems as though the Mid-American Conference may have caught a break. Or is it that they're finally getting what they deserve? After years of being underrated and underappreciated, a 3rd bowl tie-in can be huge for the football programs in the MAC in terms of both fan support and recruiting. While MAC football recruits seem to be better every year according to VanDelay Sports, an additional opportunity for postseason national TV exposure and additional bowl payouts can only help the conference as a whole.