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Mid-Major Madness Twitter Mailbag: Very offseason edition

Grilled meats, coaching changes, maybe some basketball.

NCAA Basketball: NCAA Tournament-First Round-Baylor vs New Mexico State Brett Rojo-USA TODAY Sports

Hello friends, and welcome to the offseason.

At this juncture, the college basketball has taken a back seat to the rest of the sporting world. Most of the news comes from players transferring, entering the NBA Draft, or from head coaches rounding out their staffs.

It’s not the most exciting time, but there’s things to discuss nonetheless. Let’s jump right into an offseason edition of the Mid-Major Madness Twitter mailbag. As always, you can leave us questions or comments on our Twitter page.

We received a couple of questions about Wichita State, so I think it’s a good time we discuss something.

With Wichita State’s move to the AAC, we will no longer be covering them as part of our site. As a staff we felt like we had two options:

  • Expand our coverage to the AAC with Wichita State, but in doing so, the definition of “mid-majors” would get even murkier.
  • Stick to the conferences we’ve been covering (i.e. Non-Power Five, Big East, AAC) and really dedicate ourselves to being one of the best mid-major sites around.

We chose the latter. So, from here on out, Wichita State will no longer be in our purview. We will miss the passionate Shocker fanbase, but we felt like this was the best move for our site as a whole.

Now, on to the real questions:


Let me preface this by saying that most, if not all, grilled meat is in fact good. You really can’t go wrong. It’s hard to beat a grilled steak that is done right, and I think that’s probably the most popular answer. It really comes down to personal preference.

[Stephen A. Smith voice] HOWEVER, my personal favorite is chicken. Whether it’s chicken breasts, wings, things of that nature, chicken brings a lot of versatility to the table. There’s so much you can do with different marinades and sauces/spices, and I’d argue that it’s the best leftover grilled meat.

If steak is the top-3, superstar pick in the draft, chicken is the late first rounder that helps you wins games. It always gets the job done, and it always delivers.

Here’s how a few of our writers’ thoughts:

meat takes

Dry rub. With dry rubs, you get a good crust on the meat that marinades can’t provide, and dry rubs do a better job of sealing the steak’s juices. Rubs require less preparation as well. Sometimes you don’t have a couple of free hours to let a steak marinade, but you can add a dry rub in just a matter of minutes.

Our resident WAC expert Greg Mitchell had a nice piece on the site this morning about this, and he does a much better job outlining the WAC’s path to success much better than I could.

Given the WAC’s history of having teams leave for better opportunities like Nevada, Utah State, and Boise State, I don’t think bringing in bigger teams is a realistic scenario. Their best chance is for the current teams to continue to build their programs, and take advantage of the major metropolitan areas that are available to them with regards to TV markets and recruiting pools.

Side note: I’m very intrigued by Grand Canyon and what they could possibly become. if they’re able to become a mid-major power, I think that would do wonders for the conference as a whole.


You, a manly, knowledgeable, experienced pitmaster should and probably will choose a smoker.

Me, a spindly, novice, simplistic meat consumer will choose a grill.

If you have the time and know how to use a smoker, do that. If you’re like me and don’t want to put any effort in, a grill is the way to go.

I’m not quiiiiiiite ready to go all in on Western Kentucky simply because so much of their success will require the freshmen living up to the hype. It’ll take time for them to gel and get their legs under them, but I think they’ll be pretty tough once conference play starts. Mitchell Robinson is going to be an absolute beast.

Both coaches are a bit of an unknown since they only have one year of head coaching experience each, but Paul Weir should have the upper hand given his already established ties in New Mexico. His roster may be gutted, but he should be able to build it up fairly quickly.

Jans did, however, have the luxury of being on a great staff with Gregg Marshall at Wichita State.

All of the above?

A lot of it can probably be traced back to money. Mid-major conferences don’t get the lucrative television contracts, gaudy revenue numbers from the NCAA Tournament participants, and programs generally just don’t have the resources that a Power 5 school has.

There’s not a recipe for success that works for everyone because every situation is different, and it feels like the disparity between Power 5 conferences and mid-majors is widening every year. That’s why programs like Wichita State will leave for a better opportunity whenever they have the chance.

We’ve written a couple times about the options that the Missouri Valley could take and the rumors that have arisen so far.

Valparaiso, Belmont, Murray State, UMKC, or one of the Dakota schools could all be possibilities, but I don’t think there’s necessarily a favorite at this point in time. If I had to throw out a prediction, my guess would be Valparaiso and one of the the OVC schools.

They were, umm, interesting to say the least. There’s rumors that he backed out because he believed the Xavier job would open up if Chris Mack went to Indiana, but I don’t think there was much merit to those.

Moving forward, he will continue to be a name that’s thrown around when a better job opens up, especially if he continues to have sustained success at Winthrop. I don’t think he’s there for the long haul.

Sadly, I think the days of the Mountain West getting three, four, or five NCAA Tournament bids are over. Can there be years where they get multiple bids? Of course. But given the conference’s decline in recent years, I’m not sure how soon that will be.

As long as King Rice is at the helm, Monmouth will be able to compete in the MAAC. Next year’s team will look significantly different than his last few, but I think he’s established the groundwork for a perennial contender in that conference.