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MAC Team of the Decade…

For the next two weeks, I will be taking a look at the conference teams of the decade for 2000-2009. Factored into my analysis will be conference win %, conference and division titles, bowl games and bowl wins. I will also include BCS bowl wins, final AP rankings and number of national championships for the major conferences. There have been several teams who have changed conferences during that time and I will include them in the analysis for any season(s) they were affiliated with that certain conference. I will also be doing a breakdown of how the conference did in bowl games during the decade and I will emphasis the overall win/loss record, the number of BCS bowl wins, and the records against Non-BCS and ranked bowl teams.

While some conferences may have no-brainers as the top team, other conferences were very competitive over the past decade. Here is the schedule for the upcoming week with the conferences I will be analyzing on each date.

Yesterday Sun Belt 
Today MAC 
Tomorrow WAC 
Thursday CUSA 
Friday MWC 
Saturday Big East 
Monday, July 5th Pac-10 
Tuesday, July 6th ACC 
Wednesday, July 7th Big 12 
Thursday, July 8th Big 10 
Friday, July 9th SEC

The MAC opened the decade with 13 teams and added UCF in 2002. They were in the league for just 3 years before they left for CUSA along with Marshall. That put them back to 12 teams for two years but they added Temple in 2007. It was a very even league in terms of overall titles. With last year’s title, Central Michigan finished the decade with 3 while Marshall and Toledo had 2 league titles. Miami Oh, Akron and Buffalo all have one and 7 of the leagues current teams have 0.

Only two teams have not won at least a share of a division title this decade in Kent St and Eastern Michigan. Miami, Oh and Toledo are at the top with 4 each. Central Michigan, Marshall, Bowling Green, Ohio and Northern Illinois have 3 each while Akron, Buffalo and Ball St have two. Tied with one are Western Michigan and Temple.

Here are my overall Rankings for MAC teams of the decade.

MAC Rankings ’00-09


Rk Team Wins Losses Win% Titles Div Titles # of Bowls Bowl Wins AP Top 25
1 Marshall 32 8 80% 2 3 4 3 1
2 Toledo 49 30 62% 2 4 4 2 1
3 C Michigan 42 37 53.10% 3 3 4 2 1
4 Bowling Green 50 30 61.70% 0 3 4 2 1
5 Miami 45 34 57% 1 4 2 1 1
6 Northern Illinois 50 27 64.90% 0 3 4 1 0

Despite the fact that Marshall was only in the league for 5 years, their 80% win % was far superior to the rest of the league and they did finish in a tie for second with 2 league titles. Their 3 division titles also tied for 2nd best and the Thundering Herd won three bowl games in that five year span which finished 1st in the league! With all things considered Marshall is my MAC team of the decade for 2000-2009!

Just a couple of years ago, Toledo appeared lock for the title with 2 league titles, four division titles and four bowl games. However, after four straight losing seasons to finish the decade the Rockets fall to #2 as their 62% win % was far below Marshall.

Keep in mind this list considers the entire decade. If I were to name the team of recent memory it would clearly be Central Michigan who has won 3 titles since 2006. However, the Chippewas started the decade with five straight losing seasons and were just 10-30 in league play. Because of this horrible start, I can’t imagine my team of the decade with just a 53% win % and since the Rockets were 7 full games ahead of Central in the wins/losses, the Chippewas fall to #3 in this list despite having the most titles.

Bowling Green, Miami, Oh and Northern Illinois all had successful decades in MAC play and they deserve mention here. Miami, Oh won the MAC in 2003 and had a chance at being named team of the decade until falling on hard times the last couple of seasons. BG hired Urban Meyer in 2001 and has been consistent with only one losing season since. The Falcons also have the MAC’s only bowl win over a BCS conf team this past decade in 2003 (Northwestern). Northern Illinois also had a nice decade with four bowl appearances and three division titles.

Here are the overall bowl records for MAC teams during the course of the decade. Keep in mind for UCF and Marshall, these bowl records are only from their seasons when they were in the MAC.

MAC Bowl Records ’00-’09


Team Overall vs BCS vs Non-BCS vs Ranked BCS Bowls Ranked Tms
Marshall 3-1 0-0 3-1 0-0 0-0 0-0
Bowling Green 2-2 1-0 1-2 0-0 0-0 0-0
Toledo 2-2 0-2 2-0 0-0 0-0 1-0
Central Michigan 2-2 0-1 2-1 0-0 0-0 1-0
Miami, Oh 1-1 0-1 1-0 0-0 0-0 1-0
Northern Illinois 1-3 0-1 1-2 0-1 0-0 0-0
Temple 0-1 0-1 0-0 0-0 0-0 0-0
Buffalo 0-1 0-1 0-0 0-0 0-0 0-0
Akron 0-1 0-0 0-1 0-0 0-0 0-0
Ohio 0-2 0-0 0-2 0-0 0-0 0-0
Western Michigan 0-2 0-1 0-1 0-0 0-0 0-0
Ball St 0-2 0-1 0-1 0-0 0-0 0-1
Kent St 0-0 0-0 0-0 0-0 0-0 0-0
Eastern Michigan 0-0 0-0 0-0 0-0 0-0 0-0
UCF 0-0 0-0 0-0 0-0 0-0 0-0
Overall 11-20 1-9 10-11 0-1 0-0 3-1

The MAC was just 11-20 overall in Bowl games this past decade due mostly to their 1-9 record against BCS conference teams. The conference teams that entered the bowl season ranked were 3-1. (2001 #25 Toledo W, 2003 #14 Miami, Oh W, 2008 #23 Ball St L 2009 #25 Central Michigan W). 

I will be back tomorrow with a look at the team of the decade in the WAC and if you have been following college football over the past 10 years it should come as no surprise.

Also please check PhilSteele.com everyday to get my FCS Top 25 Countdown, which continues with #22 Jacksonville St. Thru July 20th, I will post both magazine pages on a new team ranked in the Top 25 and you can get an early look on how I breakdown your favorite FCS team. Remember those magazine pages are available for only 24 hours for you to download as the next team will be posted the following day.

Only 65 Days Until the First College Football Game!!!

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