An ad in Friday’s edition of The Chicago Tribune of Northern Illinois calling out Big Ten counterparts Illinois and Northwestern is #MACtion taken to the extreme.
— Amanda Kaschube (@amandakaschube) September 12, 2014
Northern Illinois extended its win streak over Big Ten opponents to three games with last week’s win at Northwestern. In 2013, the Huskies beat a good Iowa team on the road and blasted hapless Purdue.
The Tribune ad was paid for by an alum and not the brainchild of the athletic department. As genius as this rather harsh call-out is, no university would directly approve something like it (right?).
Nevertheless, this sends a loud-and-clear message that helps further Northern Illinois’ cause of gaining a more prominent role in the increasingly competitive college football landscape.
The big boys–the Power 5 Conferences–dominate the scene. That includes the Big Ten. The Group of 5 conferences and its members are left to scrap for a little bit of that spotlight, and thus the opportunities that come with it.
The Mid-American Conference has managed to carve a niche within the current landscape. #MACtion has given the league something of a cult following, thanks to its typically high-scoring games and sometimes unorthodox styles of its teams.
In other words, the MAC is the ECW of college football, and Northern Illinois calling out the Big Ten is Steve Austin cutting a promo on WCW.
Austin would soon after go on to become the biggest star in wrestling. Good news for Northern Illinois?