Blog Entry

The MAC looking to expand?

Posted on: September 22, 2010 12:11 pm
Edited on: September 22, 2010 12:12 pm
Posted by Tom Fornelli

The game of musical chairs that conference affiliation has become over the last 12 months seems to be taking a break at the moment, but that doesn't mean that nobody is going to get the music going again at some point in the future.  The WAC is already looking to rebuild whatever is left of their conference and it seems that they're not the only non-AQ conference looking to expand these days.

Eastern Michigan athletic director Derrick Gragg says that the MAC may be looking to expand in the near future as well.
Eastern Michigan University athletic director Derrick Gragg wouldn’t be surprised if the Mid-American Conference issues invitations to one or two institutions to join the MAC in the near future.

“I think the MAC is going to try to extend invitations to one or two institutions in the next year or two,” he said.

Talking to the EMU Board of Regents Athletic Affairs Committee this afternoon, Gragg said current MAC members will be attending a retreat Oct. 11 to 13 to discuss various issues, including the shifting national collegiate sports landscape and what moves the MAC needs to make.
Gragg did not say which schools the conference may have its eye on, but did say that after seeing what happened to the WAC, expansion is something the conference needs to undertake just to ensure survival. 

Now is probably the best time to do it, too.  While the power conferences are momentarily content with their latest acquisitions, now is the time to strike just in case the Big Tens of the world wake up and realize they're still hungry.  Plus there's the fact that Temple -- a program on the rise in the MAC -- is only in the conference on a two-year contract that is football only.

Once that contract ends it's likely that Temple will look to move up in the world.  In fact, Gragg says he wouldn't be surprised if Temple did leave.  That would leave the MAC with 12 teams, but should the Big Ten expand further and maybe snag a few teams from the Big East or any other conference, those conferences may turn around and raid the MAC.

The MAC would just like to be prepared for it, which is the right strategy to have.

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