It may not quite be parity, but through the fourth week of the college football season, the Mid American Conference-long the punchline of Saturday pigskin-had remade itself into a major spoiler. Culminating in one huge weekend for the mid-major conference, MAC teams had knocked off five nationally ranked programs, including a victory by Marshall over Kansas State (then No. 6).
Although the 14-school conference with its roots in the Lake States almost certainly won't field a national-title contender, MAC teams have been flies in many a contender's ointment. Don Markus, a writer for the Baltimore Sun, described it as "revenge of the nerds." The recent wins have fired up MAC commissioner Rick Chryst, who thinks the conference deserves more respect. "Some of the national commentary has been along the lines of, "For the little guys, this is a one-game season,'" he told the Sun. "Nothing can be further from the truth."