Mid Major teams don’t always get the recognition that they deserve because their schedule is looked upon as not challenging and the opponents they face are seen not as an equal competitor as compared to the BCS conferences.
Recently, head coach at East Carolina, Skip Holtz, made comments highlighting that the Pirates will be playing a tough non-conference schedule this season. They are scheduled to play Appalachian State, West Virginia, North Carolina and Virginia Tech. Four teams with a combined record of 38-16 last season. Although, these teams might be considered ‘out of their league’ for the Pirates, Holtz stated to be one of the best programs you must play against them.
Not only will playing against the top tier teams bring more national attention to ECU and other mid-majors, but it starts to establish credibility to the conferences. Also, it is a positive for recruiting to illustrate to prospective athletes that you compete against the best in the country on national television.
It also offers a challenge for current players who might take other in conference teams lightly. Scheduling opponents who are nationally known can be a motivational tool for the players and give them extra incentive to go out and prove that they deserve to be on the same field as their opponent. Troy is also playing two SEC teams in Florida and Arkansas.
In contrast, the Florida Gators are playing Troy and FIU both part of the Sun Belt Conference along with Charleston Southern, part of the FCS. Is it fair to award the Gators for beating up on less talented opponents and not give enough credit for the mid-major teams for challenging themselves and the rest of the college football world?