Living on a mid-major countryside

Posted on December 5, 2011


Growing up in a Big Ten household, I always looked down upon the mid-major schools who felt they deserved a shot at a bowl game or a ticket to the dance in March over us Gophers or any team in one of the big time conferences. My mindset was that the schools in the smaller conferences were like the students who did well in a basic math class. Bring them up to an honors class and they’ll sink faster than a guy with two cement blocks attached to their feet being thrown in a lake by some guy named Fat Tony. So whenever I heard some mid-major complain and moan about not being chosen over one of the bigger schools I’d shake my head. Don’t they realize it is for their own good? Sure the mid-majors will bring up one of the scandals by one of the bigger schools, but that is irrelevant because major Division I sport institutions are like the buildings in Sodom and Gomorrah. All the mid major want to go there, and hang with the big boys, but after one messed up night in the bibles version of Vegas, they’d realize it was too big for them, and it’d be for their own good if they went back to their little countryside’s called the MAC, Sunbelt, C-USA, WAC and Mountain West.

As I ventured off to Ball State University, I left the big 10 and entered the mac. So in a metaphorical sense I left Sodom and Gomorrah, and went to the countryside, but in a realistic sense – and in an odd twist of events – college is much more like Sodom and Gomorrah than sweet little St. Paul will ever be. Nonetheless, I was about to experience for the first time what it was like on the outside looking in. I was about to learn what it was like being a fan of a mid –major.

And basically it sucks. Finding a way to watch the game can be just as much of a struggle as actually watching the game. And by struggle I don’t mean the competition is bad, I mean – half the time you are watching the game on your computer and it is more pixelated than a Missing No (And nobody gets that reference.)

Despite that, it was a unique experience watching a majority of the games of a team I’m rooting for and I couldn’t even read the numbers or names on the back of the jerseys. An even more unique experience was finding out that just about everything fans of mid-major schools have been saying for years is true. The system is rigged and the only reason there are 35 (and way too many) Bowls is to make money. But that isn’t the true revelation, I knew this, just about everyone does- the real revelation was that the NCCA doesn’t just want any money, but big money, and it is willing to squander the meaning of competitiveness and morals just so it can get a hefty pay check.

I realize being a mid-major and going 6-6 doesn’t mean an automatic birth. (Remember the Glen Mason years, wonderful weren’t they?) What I didn’t realize was that a team with a loosing record and an institution that has raped the bodies of little boys, can get in over a bowl eligible team.

Yes, I am talking about UCLA and Penn State. And if anyone says UCLA should be in a bowl, they are simply is delusional. By awarding the Bruins a birth the NCCA has stated, “ We don’t care about competitive integrity. We only care about money.” They have seven losses, and six wins. How can you have more loses than wins and be invited to a bowl game! And I don’t care about bowl agendas and other crap, the fact is: A team with a loosing read cannot be invited to participate in the bowl season. Unless they win in, which UCLA did not, they should not be allowed to participate. It goes against the ethics of competition. But according to the NCCA it doesn’t go against the ethics of Business. Which is ironic because, I didn’t know the NCCA had any.

Then there is the Penn State situation. Before we go into to details let me relay this scenario to you – 

1.A man working for an institution you as a parent trusts, rapes and defiles your child.

2.The institution, which this man was employed by, besides loosing an old fart that was their leader and was on his deathbed anyway, remains completely intact (Stop being in denial Ninety Lion fans)

3.This institution then just so happens to be rewarded at the end of the year, for what a marvelous job they have done, and get paid a boatload of money.

Basically that is Penn State. Now I have heard opposition to this – the players didn’t do it and they have a right to play. THAT IS TRUE! However, it is not the players gaining the benefit by playing in a bowl game – it is the institution that allowed this nightmare to happen. The players aren’t getting the money, the school that let little boys get raped is. By letting Penn State go to a bowl game, the NCCA is allowing reverse child prostitution. That said there are couple things Penn State could do to help there cause, and would at least, in my opinion, build there case to let them play.

1.All of the money they receive for going to a bowl is given to a charity.

2.All of the money the football program made this year, the year in which the revelations came out, goes to a charity. 

3.For the next 10 years, 50% of all of their football income goes to a charity.

However, not a single word of that has been heard. Instead through these two instances with UCLA and Penn State, have stopped the Ball State Cardinals – who I wouldn’t mind causing a scandal for once, just show there administration is trying – and the end result is that the Cardinals find themselves sitting out of the bowl season because they are deemed inferior by the NCCA. As I, a Big 10 boy, have learned through my first full season of watching Ball State Cardinal football is that what the mid-majors have been saying all along is true – the system is rigged. And even my original thought that the mid-majors would be overwhelmed is irrelevant. You don’t know until you try, right? They don’t even let mid-majors try to swim. But I guess that is just how it is leaving on the countryside.