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TheZagPhish
11-15-2007, 11:18 PM
I didn't see this (http://insider.espn.go.com/espn/blog/index?entryID=3111877&name=katz_andy) posted as yet (subscription). Mods, please yank it if this is an oversight.


What exactly is a mid-major?

posted: Thursday, November 15, 2007

Get ready for the mid-major minute (on SportsCenter) and a mid-major top-10 (in ESPN.com's Weekly Watch) on Mondays.

Now, I know what you're thinking, what is a mid-major?

Well, we can debate this at length and not everyone will be pleased with the outcome.

But this is the reality for this season-long exercise that will highlight some of the best jobs being done by programs that are out of the consistent daily spotlight: The big six conferences aren't included. So, don't expect to see any mention of teams from the ACC, Big East, Big Ten, Big 12, SEC or Pac-10.

There are a few others to be excluded, and that's where it will get highly debatable.

Now, here come the exceptions:

Memphis.

Gonzaga.

Xavier.

Southern Illinois.


Gonzaga has been in the NCAAs every season since 1999. The Zags are a national program, on television more than most of the high-majors save the traditional powers in each of these conferences and recruit with national programs.

The rest of the WCC qualifies as mid-major. Sorry, that's the reality.

Respect for Memphis, naturally:

Memphis doesn't even need a disclaimer. The Tigers are a national-title contender, pay their coach over a million, play in the Fed Fex Forum and recruit with every other elite program in the country.

But look at the rest of Conference USA. I can't lump the whole league in there and suddenly call Marshall, Central Florida and SMU high-major schools. At least this way they have a shot at being mentioned if they excel.

Birddog
11-16-2007, 05:17 AM
I see good and bad in this. On one hand, some programs are going to get some probably well deserved air time that otherwise would not. On the other hand, these labels have a tendency to stick, so there might be more "Balkanizing" of the college hoops scene. Pretty some they will be talking about "Low Majors". Hell it sounds like they are already getting a post season tournament for them.

Birddog

FuManShoes
11-16-2007, 11:25 AM
Don't know about you, but I'm just sick of the debate. I know it has merit on some level and it's useful to know what off-the-radar teams may do some damage, but the constant bloviating over what defines high-major vs. mid-major vs. cupcake state just gets tiresome year after year. Suppose as a Zag fan I'm a bit spoiled because like death and taxes, we can be assured the the Zags will play some heavyweights on national TV, be ranked in the Top 25 and make the Big Dance. Still, it seems writers whip out the mid-major discussion when they have nothing else to write about, and there's plenty else to talk about. Here's one: Is a Burger Boy who takes 30 shots a game, only makes a 1/3 of them and can't save his team from losing to Mercer worth being branded the next LeBron James? Discuss amongst yourselves.