Tuesday, March 3, 2009

What if the "Mid-Majors" Existed?

Basketball loves to talk about the "Mid-Majors". There generally seems to be some agreement about the major conferences, which are the:

Atlantic Coast Conference (ACC)
Big East
Big Ten
Big Twelve
Pacific Ten (Pac-10)
Southeastern (SEC)

However, there really isn't much consensus about what makes a mid-major team. These conferences aren't as prestigious as the major conferences, but do carry some weight when it comes to making decisions as to which at-large teams to go the NCAA post-season tournament. All kinds of factors go into each individual's perception of which conferences are "mid-major" and which aren't. According to the Wikipedia article, some conferences have their supporters and their detractors. The example given in the article is the Missouri Valley Conference, which includes Illinois State, Drake, and Wichita State? Is it mid-major, or "low-major".

I thought it would interesting to create a "Top 25" ranking for only the mid-major conferences. The article linked above gives a brief semi-consensus list of these conferences:

Atlantic Ten (A-10)
Colonial Athletic Association (CAA)
Conference USA (CUSA)
Horizon League
Mid-American Conference (MAC)
Missouri Valley Conference (MVC)
Mountain West Conference (MWC)
West Coast Conference (WCC)
Western Athletic Conference (WAC)

My Top 25 of "Mid-Major" conferences includes only the teams from these conferences. And of course, once you've identified a mid-major you have to identify all the other conferences as "low majors" and give them their own Top 25.

So here we go! Relative position determined by Real Time RPI as of March 3, 2009:

Mid-Major Top 25

1. Virginia Commonwealth
2. Temple
3. San Diego State
4. Bowling Green
5. TCU
6. Illinois State
7. Gonzaga
8. Richmond
9. Wisconsin-Green Bay
10. Ball State
11. Charlotte
12. St. Bonaventure
13. James Madison
14. Utah
15. New Mexico
16. George Washington
17. Bradley
18. Drexel
19. Brigham Young
20. Creighton
21. Southern Methodist
22. Duquesne
23. Dayton
24. Drake
25. Old Domininon

Low-Major Top 25

1. Middle Tennessee St.
2. South Dakota St.
3. Marist
4. Hartford
5. Florida Gulf Coast
6. Montana
7. Arkansas-Little Rock
8. Oakland
9. Liberty
10. Lehigh
11. Bradley
12. Boston
13. Sacred Heart
14. UC-Riverside
15. East Tennessee State
16. Texas-Arlington
17. Western Kentucky
18. Chattanooga
19. Samford
20. Portland State
21. UCSB
22. North Carolina A & T
23. Canisius
24. Charleston
25. South Alabama


Anonymous said...

Richmond Virginia stand up...VCU 4 life

Rebecca said...

For women's basketball, I would swap in the Sun Belt and swap out either the Horizon League, C-USA, or the WCC. And if we're swapping in and out, I might consider moving the MAAC or the America East in as well, but the Sun Belt's the really glaring one.