CMU AD Dave Heeke says all options are on the table as MAC weighs what to do with football divisions
After rallying support around the idea of the Mid-American Conference having an even number of teams for football, Central Michigan Athletics Director Dave Heeke got his wish Wednesday with the addition of Massachusetts.
“I think it’s a real positive day for our conference,” Heeke said Wednesday following the CMU-Michigan State baseball game at Comerica Park. “It’s a real stabilizing force for the football side, and certainly on the scheduling side. It helps us going forward, not only from a league perspective but just overall for our scheduling philosophy for football.”
With UMass set to make the jump to the MAC from the Colonial Athletic Association of the Football Championship Subdivision in 2013, one central question remains: What changes will be made to the current division alignment? In a teleconference with the media on Wednesday, MAC Commissioner Jon Steinbrecher said a decision will be made within the next month.
Heeke said he will meet with the rest of the conference athletic directors in a series of meetings over the next month to determine which route to go.
“We really have only talked about that in general terms,” Heeke said. “Obviously we have to look at realignment and how that would come together. We’d like to do things that will help overall with the scheduling, and aligning teams that are more traditional on their rivalries makes sense.
"When you have teams that are traditional rivals and they’re in the opposite divisions, it complicates your crossover scheduling. And there isn’t an even rotation with those crossovers, so that will be something we’ll look at.”
Up for discussion is a realignment of the current East and West divisions, with the most likely scenario having Massachusetts join the MAC East and Bowling Green moving to the West to sure up its rivalry with Toledo. However, other options have been discussed, Heeke says, including North and South and doing away with directional divisions.
“All of that is on the table,” Heeke said. “Everything gets on the table and we try to develop the best scenario for everyone and for the league. Ultimately, you got to make it best for the league and our ability to schedule.”