Mid-major conferences on the rise

Peter Drulias, Staff Writer

In all of college sports you have Division 1, 2, AND 3. The highest and most competitive out of the three is Division 1. Within this division like any of the others, each school is placed in a conference depending on the enrollment and history of the University. For Athletics, the top six conferences are the ACC, SEC, Big East, Big 10, Big 12, and the Pac-10. It seems like each and every year, in either football, basketball or baseball, a team from one of the six conferences will go all the way and win a national championship. This is because some of the nation’s top athletes attend these schools and give the teams an easier route to a championship than other Division 1 conferences.

           In the past years, however it has been a different story. In both basketball and football, there have been other dangerous and competitive teams playing for a championship. These teams outside the power six conferences are called Mid Majors throughout sports. Mid Major teams have a different schedule and face lesser teams, giving people a reason to think and say they are not good enough to hang with the big boys. It is hard to defend this when the teams have no or little success against power six conferences, which this is mostly caused by the lack of recruiting. You can’t forget that the Mid Major conferences have to fight for recruits, even though it might have the same size of enrollment, they athletic budget is a lot less of the power six. Mid Major teams, despite their history, have been making a run for their money, and trying to change the opinions of all sport followers in the nation.

           There have been two incidents now that have opened people’s eyes about this topic. One is in NCAA college football. The past three years there have been two dominant teams in college football, Boise State and TCU. Both these teams have proven they are superior and deserve a shot to be in the power six conferences. Both teams went defeated in consecutive years and won bowl games, TCU winning the Rose Bowl. This alone made people think different. TCU a mid major team was able to knock off Wisconsin, who is in the Big-10. Even though the victory alone will not change anything, it definitely is a huge step for mid major teams and is getting them recognition. In basketball, there is another story that can be told about mid major teams. Butler, who is from the Horizon conference, advanced to the championship game two years in a row in men’s basketball. Also, the team they kicked out of the final four, this year, was VCU who is also considered a mid major team. This being said, the past five years there has been an uprising of these teams.  With the recent success of these teams, they will be able to fight their way into a bigger conference like Boise State joining the Mountain West and TCU recently accepting the invitation to play in the Big East.