Thursday, April 25, 2013

MAC-nificent times

A College World Series participant. A Bowl Championship Series bid. The first overall selection in the NFL draft.

If college conferences were publicly-traded companies, this might be a good time to sell Mid-American Conference stock.

The Kansas City Chiefs used the No. 1 overall pick on Central Michigan's Eric Fisher, a 6-foot-7 offensive tackle bypassed by multiple Big Ten schools, including two in his own state.

Perhaps Michigan State cracks 20 points more than four times in 2012 with Fisher protecting Andrew Maxwell. Perhaps Denard Robinson stays healthy while running behind Fisher.

In a few months, Fisher will hold something better than a Big Ten scholarship: No. 1 overall draft pick money.

Fisher's selections follows Northern Illinois' Orange Bowl appearance. Northern Illinois' BCS bid follows Kent State's College World Series run.

Can it get any better for the MAC?

It depends on whether the Big Ten sheds its complacent ways.

Many Big Ten athletic directors lack imagination when it comes to hiring football coaches. And the Big Ten's current baseball programs are located above the Mason-Dixon line, a convenient excuse used by fledgling coaches who occupy offices in gleaming ballparks.

Kent State, coincidentally, also plays in a prototypical college baseball wasteland. Yet awful geography didn't prevent the Golden Flashes from defeating Nike-funded Oregon in a Super Regional last year.

Until the Big Ten proves otherwise, the MAC schools and athletes might appear in high-profile events.

But selling high is always risky.    


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