MAC asks teams to fly a pirate flag after non-conference or bowl wins in 2018

MAC teams had four non-conference wins over Power Five schools in 2017. (Getty)

The MAC is all-in on a pirate theme in 2018.

Commissioner Jon Steinbrecher announced Tuesday that he’d given every team in the MAC a Jolly Roger pirate flag. If a MAC team beats a non-conference Power Five opponent or wins its bowl game, Steinbrecher wants the team to raise the flag to a flag pole at its home stadium and keep it there until the next game.

The MAC are the ‘pirates’ of college football

We need to get Steinbrecher and Washington State coach Mike Leach on a podcast to discuss pirates. We thought the eccentric WSU coach was the only pirate-obsessed man in college football. Based on Steinbrecher’s comments, Leach definitely isn’t.

“The Mid-American Conference and its membership are the pirates of the CFP and the FBS,” the commissioner said. “Our ships or our stadiums are not always the largest or the shiniest but we are manned by highly-motivated crews. Players and coaches who carry a chip on their shoulder who demonstrate an anytime or anywhere attitude and if respect is not freely given we will earn it, we will take it.”


Steinbrecher said he had previously been emailing MAC teams a picture of the flag after big wins. Now he’s taking it a step further.

MAC teams had 4 Power Five wins in 2017

The flag would have been flown four times in the 2017 regular season. Northern Illinois beat Nebraska, Eastern Michigan beat Rutgers and both Central Michigan and Ohio beat Kansas. There are plenty of opportunities for flag-flying in 2018 and here are four games that we think are some of the MAC’s best bets to get a win over a Power Five school.

Aug. 31: Syracuse at Western Michigan
Sep. 8: Kansas at Central Michigan
Sep. 15: Ohio at Virginia
Sep. 22: Buffalo at Rutgers

Steinbrecher’s pirate idea likely comes from the acceptance that the MAC will never be more of a bit player in the current major college football landscape. That sounds harsh, but it’s true. Western Michigan went undefeated in the 2016 regular season and had no shot of making the College Football Playoff because of its weaker conference schedule compared to Power Five teams. It’s going to take absolute and unprecedented chaos for a MAC team to make the playoff, so Steinbrecher might as well fully embrace the outlaw theme. We’re on board with it. College football can never be too fun.

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Nick Bromberg is a writer for Yahoo Sports.

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