Sunday, September 24, 2017

Mid-American: Western Michigan Battles for Top Football and Basketball Teams and Top Hoops Player

Western Michigan's Mid-American football team could be tops in the conference after almost upsetting USC, and will yield to the best basketball team and player Thomas Wilder, who ranks as one of the best 50 basketball players out of 4,000. They will be favorites to win the Western Division, and will face tough challenges from the Eastern Division in defending tournament champion Kent State and Buffalo, which boasts JUCO transfer Jeremy Harris.

Value Add indicates the superstars are uniquely spread out in this conference, with the top nine players hailing from nine different schools. The much traveled and potentially dominant James Thompson of Eastern Michigan seems Wilder's top challenge for Player of the Year.

Here is where Value Add ranks each Mid-American team for the season, and the Massey Rankings rank the football teams against all other schools. Updates will be provided here.

Mid-American / 2017 seedHoops 2017-18Football
Western Michigan9060
Eastern Michigan12391
Ball St.136108
Kent St. 14203163
Northern Illinois20473
Bowling Green266137
Miami OH282125
Central Michigan290110

Here are the top 15 projected players in the conference in order.

Top 15 MAC PlayersValue AddSchoolHt
Thomas Wilder 107.78Western Michigan`6-03
James Thompson 26.84Eastern Michigan`6-10
Jordan Dartis 356.52Ohio`6-03
Jeremy Harris6.00Buffalo`6-07
Jimond Ivey 05.73Akron`6-04
Jason Carter 15.60Ohio`6-08
Jaylin Walker 235.10Kent St.`6-01
Marin Maric 345.01Northern Illinois`6-11
Demajeo Wiggins 14.80Bowling Green`6-10
CJ Massinburg 54.21Buffalo`6-03
Jaelan Sanford 134.21Toledo`6-04
Tayler Persons 24.21Ball St.`6-03
Reggie Jones 233.90Western Michigan`6-05
Nate Navigato 353.59Toledo`6-08
Logan McLane 113.48Miami OH`6-09

Ken Pomeroy ranked the Mid-American 13th best of 32 Division 1 basketball conferences, which will all be previewed here with notes on which schools are now "basketball" or "football" schools based on which program is stronger this season. Football revenue is much higher, but programs are much more expensive between equipment and the requirement of matching enough women's scholarships in other sports. Therefore some programs forgo FBS football programs to focus on low cost basketball programs as their biggest revenue sport.

Sports IllustratedFox Sports and ESPN have lauded Value Add Basketball for estimating the number of points each college basketball players is worth to his team above a replacement player - similar to baseball WAR (Wins Above Replacement). Massey Ratings is used for the football rankings above.

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