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BLOG: The Death of the Mid-Major

By Grant Meech
Published On: Feb 26 2014 08:39:17 PM CST
Updated On: Mar 17 2014 03:26:28 PM CDT
WICHITA, Kan. -

It's a two word phrase that makes Gregg Marshall adjust his glasses more than any other foul call.

"Mid-Major" *shudder*

That phrase launched one of the best rants I've ever heard at a press conference by any coach of any sport. It spawned a joke about checking w2's and private jets.

Give it a listen here, just click the player at the top: http://onlyagame.wbur.org/2012/03/10/mid-major-basketball

The Associated Press ran a story today announcing the death of the term "mid-major." It was 37 years old, the story notes.

As the AP points out, (and you can figure this out too) the death came from teams like the Shockers, Butler, Gonzaga, VCU and Saint Louis. Teams outside the big BCS conferences that are basketball schools and play/act/perform like high level programs. And happen to have made Final Four runs. 

I've always understood what the term meant but never how much teams/coaches disliked the moniker before being around Wichita State. 

Right now it's only happening at a handful of schools. So the mid-major term is going to stick, at least in infamy. But eventually, it could completely die off.

As money has continued to permeate college athletics, what the "big" schools had before is no longer out of reach: Private jet? Got it. Nike Uniforms? Got 'em. Million dollar donors? Yep. Top flight point guard? Mhm.

I'm a football guy first, so I saw the correlation from my formative years: Colorado State, Utah, Fresno State, Boise State and now with UCF and Northern Illinois and the rest of the BCS busters every year. Now we see Boise State on the same level as many of the SEC teams. Did you see what UCF did to Baylor in the Fiesta Bowl?

The reason those teams began to rise was players decided they were done sitting for three years to play one at a "big" school. A good athlete from a high school didn't care that the jersey didn't say Oklahoma State, Kansas or North Carolina and that he would rather play than sit.

And especially in NCAA Division 1 college basketball, there are so many teams playing for the same title. Why is one "big" school more deserving than a "mid-major" school?

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