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Thursday, November 29th, 2007

MAC proves dominant in postseason

By Randy Bruns
The Midwest Athletic Conference has established itself as the best pound-for-pound league in the state of Ohio, but in no other sport has the MAC established its dominance than in football.
With Coldwater and Marion Local set to play for state championships this weekend - the fourth straight year that two MAC teams have done so - now is as good a time as any to take a closer look at the success this remarkable conference has achieved.
The first MAC team to get a shot at the postseason was Marion Local in 1981, and the Flyers won their first game before falling one game later in the state semi-finals. Five more years then elapsed before the next MAC team qualified for the playoffs, but it turned out to be the start of a trend that hasn't yet stopped.
From 1986 through 1988, Coldwater, Minster, St. Henry, and New Bremen made their first playoff appearances, and they combined for a 5-6 record over that span, giving the MAC a 46 percent success rate to that point.
Since then, things have improved immensely.
Over the next 10-year span (1989-1998), MAC teams went 44-14 in the playoffs for a 76-percent winning clip to bump up the cumulative won-loss percentage to 70 percent. Also during those 10 years, MAC teams brought home seven state championships (Minster, St. Henry four times, and St. John's twice).
In 1999, the Ohio High School Athletic Association expanded the number of teams that qualified for the playoffs from 16 per division to 32. The immediate result was that more MAC teams got a chance at the postseason, and once they got in they just kept winning.
From 1999 to the present, eight different MAC teams have made postseason appearances, and their success rate has been phenomenal. Over that span, MAC teams have won 114 and lost just 25 for a success rate of 82 percent. In those nine years, nine different large gold trophies have found their way back to MAC-land (St. John's and St. Henry twice each, Marion three times, and Versailles and Coldwater one apiece).
Coldwater's dominating win over Williamsport Westfall last Saturday was the 150th playoff win for MAC teams against just 43 losses for a total winning clip of 78 percent.
The statistics are even more impressive when one considers that MAC teams (Continued from page 1B)

have done battle against each other 14 times in the postseason. Obviously, the overall record in those games has been 14-14, which actually drags down the MAC's overall winning percentage. With those games taken out, MAC teams are 136-29 overall in the playoffs against non-MAC teams, which equates to a staggering 82-percent success rate.
Coldwater and Marion Local each have a chance to add to these ultra-impressive statistics this weekend, but even if things don't fall right and both teams are unsuccessful, the numbers will still show just how mighty the MAC has been.
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