Feb 22 2012, 05:19 AM
Joined: 31-December 09
Member No.: 5459
Since all the conference shuffling has been brought back to the forefront, I've been reading a lot of message boards regarding the topic and thought I'd try to put some things in perspective. Reading some other boards, there is an overwhelming common belief that Akron is "dead weight" in the MAC, and people think that 1-2 win years are the norm for the Zips' football program.
When in reality, Akron is in the midst of its worst three-year run in the program's 117 year history. Never before has Akron only won five games (playing the same percentage of games) in a three-year span as right now. What's most maddening about that, is that the last three years (the InfoCision era) was supposed to be the Zips' new golden-age. The university absolutely blew it by hanging on to Brookhart (who outside of living off Lee Owens' recruits and landing Getsy) for a year too long. Then following it up with what may be considered the biggest abomination in college football history (when considering what was at stake) in Rob Ianello.
In reality, it's that ineptitude that puts Akron behind in the "court of public opinion race" to begin with.
However, since Akron joined the MAC in 1992, its record against current league members is 70-99 (that's including the last three years). Not good, but I'm sure not the worst in the league like so many people are claiming. In fact, without looking it up, I'd bet that Can't, for one, is significantly worse.
On a head-to-head basis, the Zips record is (from worst to best):
Western Michigan - 2-11 (.181)
Miami - 4-17 (.235)
Toledo - 2-6 (.250)
Bowling Green - 5-9 (.357)
Temple - 4-6 (400) ... coincidentally, three of Akron's wins in that span were when Temple was in the Big East.
Ball State - 4-6 (.400)
Central Michigan - 6-15 (.400)
Eastern Michigan - 6-15 (.400)
Northern Illinois - 3-4 (.429)
Ohio - 9-20 (.450)
Can't - 13-7 (.650)
Buffalo - 9-4 (.692)
When looking at this, outside of WMU, Miami, Toledo and Bowling Green, Akron has played every other school to at least a .400 record. Again, not good, but not as bad as people like to make it.
To go a little further, the Zips' Rubber Bowl MAC record (1992-2008) was 67-78 (.462). That puts the program at mediocre status despite having arguably the worst facilities in D1 football.
In the InfoCision era, though, the Zips are 3-24 in league play (.181). Taking a near .500 team (in the worst facility) to a .181 team in the best facility just doesn't add up, outside of what Zips fans know ... the coaching was horrible.
Terry Bowden is no dummy. No way does he take this position if he didn't think he could turn it around, and quickly. It's funny reading posts on other sites, especially from Ohio fans who think the Bobcats are now some sort of MAC power because of the program's recent success (almost all under Frank Solich). Considering Akron had more winning seasons from 1992-2005 (the year Solich was hired) than Ohio in that same period should be a stark reminder to Bobcat fans (and every other fan base) that the right coach can make a huge difference ... especially in Akron's case, considering the stadium and its location within the biggest stockpile of talent in Ohio.
It's actually funny reading what people are posting about Akron. To me, it's obvious they are scared about what the program is about to become now that the right coaches are in place. We've been in this league for 20 years and already built the best basketball program (sorry Can't, you had your run in the early-to-mid 200s) and now have the pieces in place to building the best football program.
The truth makes fans of longtime MAC schools mad even thinking about Akron getting that missing link (football).
I can't wait until that happens.
Edit: I left out a Zips win over Temple, which makes the Zips 4-6 against the Owls.