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CollegeInsider.com's Mid-Major Poll


WJMorris3

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Okay, the mid-major poll is out, and I have a major beef.

That beef is that Gonzaga is #1. I'm not doubting that Gonzaga is a very good basketball program, but I think their methodology is way off.

Their methodology excludes the following conferences. Anyone else is eligible.

ACC

A-10

Big East

Big Ten

Big XII

C-USA

MWC

Pac-10

SEC

WAC

My theory is that Gonzaga is in fact no longer a mid-major, but a major. They might play in a mid-major league, but this is not a mid-major program. (How else do we explain a gym at a "mid-major" school that has luxury boxes?

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So just because they win that makes them non-mid-major? Perhaps Oregon State should swap conferences with Gonzaga then so they'll both fit in better. Pennsylvania and/or Princeton consistently win their league and can or do win in the first round of the NCAA's but I don't think anyone is going to be calling them or the Ivy non-mid-major anytime soon.

Anyway, mid-major is a myth. The media already had their goliaths, they just needed a few Davids.

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I'd argue there's a difference between Gonzaga and Penn/Princeton. Gonzaga has gotten good enough that they could compete in a major league. Just because they compete in a league that is considered mid-major does not mean that they should be branded just another mid-major team.

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I'd argue there's a difference between Gonzaga and Penn/Princeton. Gonzaga has gotten good enough that they could compete in a major league. Just because they compete in a league that is considered mid-major does not mean that they should be branded just another mid-major team.

I'm not disagreeing, but as long as they are in a mid-major conference, they are a mid-major team. I'd be more than happy to see Wazzu in the WCC and start winning games. Put Creighton in the Big 12 instead of Nebraska. Ball State in the Big 10 instead of Purdue. It's not going to happen though. So if labels are what we use (even though no one is telling us to), we have to keep using the correct ones, no matter how wrong we think they are.

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OMMF is right. Gonzaga, as much as they are winning right now, are considered a 'Mid-Major' only because of the conference they play in.

To me, I don't consider them as a mid-major because they have proven to be a consistant winner year in and year out. Getting to the Final Four is nice and all, but just winning games is enough for me.

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The way I understand it, conferences are mid-majors. Gonzaga is in a mid-major conference, and is considered No. 1 in the nation among schools from mid-major conferences. So there really shouldn't be a beef.

Or am I missing something here?

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To me, I don't consider them as a mid-major because they have proven to be a consistant winner year in and year out. Getting to the Final Four is nice and all, but just winning games is enough for me.

Let's hold off on the "consistent winner year in, year out" talk. Gonzaga's current run of acclaim began in 1998. Less than a decade of being a college hoops power. Honestly, who knew anything about the Zags before 1996, other than it's where John Stockton played his college ball? They haven't reached a Final Four, there aren't any national championship banners hanging their rafters. Consistent winners are schools like UNC, Duke, Kentucky, Kansas, UCLA, Indiana. Schools that wouldn't drop from the public conscience if they had a down year, or even a few in a row because they have a pedigree built up over time.

Gonzaga may be dominating a "mid-major" conference, but that doesn't mean they're not a mid-major school. Just as there are good teams in smaller conferences (Gonzaga, Bucknell, George Mason; even St. Joe's and GW could be put in this category as the A-10 isn't what it used to be), the converse exists - there are small schools that, by their numbers, would be mid-major schools if they weren't in major conferences.

The two smallest schools in the ACC are private, have traditional religious affiliations, and have 6,500 and 13,000 students enrolled. They have very little in common with the large, public universities (student bodies: 17,000-37,400) they compete with. Despite the discrepancies in size and scope, both schools have acquitted themselves quite well, and have at times, dominated the conference's major attraction (men's hoops). So were they not asked to join the ACC years ago, would Duke and Wake Forest be majors in a small conference? Very likely; but they'd still be mid-majors were they not already in the ACC.

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