ABOUT THE MID-AMERICAN CONFERENCE
In the last three seasons, 10 of the 13 MAC football programs have appeared in a bowl game. The MAC will have sent five (2008), five (2009) and four (2010) schools to bowl games during the three-year span. Also in 2010, MAC programs featured wins over Big Ten, Big East, Conference USA, Sun Belt and Independent (Army) opponents.
2010 MAC Championship and 2010-11 MAC Bowl Recap:
MAC and Bowl Agreements
In addition, the MAC has secured two secondary agreements over a four year span with the BBVA Compass Bowl in Birmingham, Ala. (2010-2013), the TicketCity Bowl in Dallas (2010 and 2012) and the Kraft Fight Hunger Bowl/San Diego County Credit Union Poinsettia Bowl/New Mexico Bowl (2011 and 2013).
MAC and National Television Exposure
The MAC recently announced the 2011 football schedule with a minimum of 15 regular-season national television games on ESPN2, ESPNU or ESPN3 highlighting the conference schedule, including the 14th Marathon MAC Football Championship game on Dec. 2 from Ford Field in Detroit on ESPN2. In 2011, there will be 13 mid-week conference games during the month of November alone with six games on ESPN2, eight games on ESPNU and one on ESPN3.
The 2011 season will also feature a six-week, over-the-air syndication package in September and October produced and distributed by ESPN Regional Television. The six games, which can also be seen on ESPN Game Plan and ESPN3, will air in nearly 25 television markets, including major markets such as Chicago, Philadelphia, Detroit, Cleveland, Columbus, Cincinnati, Indianapolis and Buffalo.
In the summer of 2010, the MAC entered into a three-year regional television deal with SportsTime Ohio to expand its television coverage in football and men's and women's basketball. In 2010, SportsTime Ohio carried seven MAC football games and looks to increase that number in 2011.
All total, nearly 60 percent of all MAC football games in 2010 were televised either at the national or regional level via ESPN, ESPN2, ESPNU, ESPN3, NBC, CBS College Sports, Big Ten Network, SportsTime Ohio, Time Warner Cable SportsNet, Comcast SportsNet Chicago, FOX SportsNet, Comcast Indiana or Comcast Michigan.
MAC and Scheduling
A total of 11 of the schools' non-conference games will feature an opponent from the Big Ten (Illinois, Indiana, Michigan (2), Michigan State, Minnesota, Ohio State (2), Penn State (2) and Wisconsin). The MAC will match up with a foe from the SEC (3--Alabama, Kentucky, Tennessee), Big 12 (4--Kansas, Kansas State, Missouri, Oklahoma), ACC (2--Maryland, North Carolina State), Big East (9--Cincinnati (2), Connecticut (2), Pittsburgh, Rutgers, South Florida, Syracuse, West Virginia), Mountain West (2--Boise State, Wyoming), WAC (2--Idaho, New Mexico State), Sun Belt (2--Florida International, Louisiana-Lafayette) and Conference USA (1--Marshall).
MAC programs continue to increase the number of home or neutral site games against FBS Automatic Qualifying Conferences. Ball State will host Indiana in a neutral site game at Lucas Oil Stadium in Indianapolis on Sept. 3, while Northern Illinois will host Wisconsin in a neutral site game at Soldier Field in Chicago on Sept. 17. Also, Temple will host Penn State (Sept. 17), Buffalo will host Connecticut (Sept. 24) and Miami will host Cincinnati (Oct. 1).
In addition, Toledo will host Boise State (Sept. 17) and Independent Army will visit four MAC programs--at Northern Illinois (Sept. 3), at Ball State (Sept. 24), at Miami (Oct. 8) and at Temple (Nov. 19).
MAC and the NFL
MAC alumni currently in the NFL include: Atlanta RB Michael Turner (Northern Illinois), Cleveland KR Josh Cribbs (Kent State), Green Bay WR Greg Jennings (Western Michigan), Indianapolis OT Ryan Diem (Northern Illinois), Jacksonville DT Terrance Knighton (Temple), New England WR Julian Edelman (Kent State), New Orleans WR Lance Moore (Toledo), N.Y. Giants WR Domenik Hixon (Akron), Oakland QB Bruce Gradkowksi (Toledo), Pittsburgh QB Ben Roethlisberger (Miami), Pittsburgh LB James Harrison (Kent State), San Diego TE Antonio Gates (Kent State), San Diego LB Larry English (Northern Illinois), San Francisco OT Joe Staley (Central Michigan) and Tennessee DE Jason Babin (Western Michigan) to name a few.
In addition, six former MAC student-athletes were selected to play in the 2011 Pro Bowl: Atlanta RB Michael Turner (Northern Illinois), Tennessee DE Jason Babin (Western Michigan), Pittsburgh LB James Harrison (Kent State), Green Bay WR Greg Jennings (Western Michigan), San Diego TE Antonio Gates (Kent State) and Philadelphia DB Asante Samuel (Central Florida).
One more example, Kent State University alone has had a former student-athlete on eight of the last 11 winning Super Bowl teams.
Current MAC schools that hold full membership and the year they joined are -- East Division: University of Akron (1992), Bowling Green State University (1952), University at Buffalo (1998), Kent State University (1951), Miami University (1947), Ohio University (1946). West Division: Ball State University (1973), Central Michigan University (1971), Eastern Michigan University (1971), Northern Illinois University (1975-86, rejoined in 1997), University of Toledo (1950), Western Michigan University (1947).
Temple University (2007) and the University of Massachusetts (2012) compete in football only. The conference office is based in Cleveland, Ohio.