In this installment, mid-major land gets a bit more interesting, as we find the fate of two Big East refugees and one school that wants to join us so badly it's kind of creepy.
Breaking up the over-sized MAC required some out of the box thinking. There were no clean lines to split on from east to west, the Ohio MAC schools had been together forever and needed to be split up, and there were a handful of eastern CUSA schools around as well. So what emerged instead was a roughly a north-south split.
League Name: Since most of the conference's members had been part of the MAC at one point, the northern split of the MAC chose to change their name, and this conference does cover six states, this conference became the new Mid-American Conference.
Members: Western Kentucky, East Carolina, Cincinnati, Miami (OH), Marshall, Ohio, Temple, Ball State
Advantages: Three of the more successful schools in Ohio (even if Cinci resents being relegated back to mid-major land). Two schools with some history in major conferences in Cinci and Temple. One of the best fan bases among mid-majors in ECU. The long-standing Cinci-Miami (Ohio) rivalry. A presence in two major football recruiting states (Ohio and Pennsylvania). Temple and Cinci have had runs of near-elite basketball.
Disadvantages: Not many dedicated fans outside of Cinci and ECU; all schools have one or more higher-tier programs in state. After Cinci and Temple, basketball is bleak.
Summary: Better football than you might think, and if southern Ohio and Philly can pay attention to non-Ohio State/Penn State college football, it might go somewhere.