As I mentioned in the last entry, breaking up the MAC was a bit tricky, mostly because there were so many schools in Ohio. Here's what was the 'MAC-North' on my working spreadsheet...
The northern schools in the MAC broke away to form this conference, which wraps around the sounthern coasts of Lake Ontario, Lake Erie, and Lake Michigan. While the southern MAC schools have had more famous runs, the northern ones won the conference title more often than not in the 2000s.
League Name: Drawing its name from the most prominent geographical feature around almost all of the member schools, they adopted the name of the Great Lakes Conference.
Members:Toledo, Central Michigan, Eastern Michigan, Western Michigan, Northern Illinois, Akron, Bowling Green, Kent State, Buffalo
Advantages: Seven of the last ten MAC champions. Strong presenses in Ohio and Michigan, plus outposts near Chicago and in Buffalo; Buffalo is the only public FBS school in New York. Very closesly packed conference; almost a bus league for the near-Detroit schools.
Disadvantages: No large fanbases, despite many schools having lots of alumni. No basketball of any note.
Summary: Some interesting schools here, even if none have a storied history. Could turn out okay.