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ChatGPT and the Mid-American Conference

Seemingly overnight it's been all the craze to pull up ChatGPT and ask it anything in the world, and it spits information back with amazing accuracy, about nearly every topic. What is ChatGPT you might ask? For those who have been living under a rock, it's artificial intelligence. Expanding on that further, the website ZDnet.com says "ChatGPT is a natural language processing tool driven by AI technology that allows you to have human-like conversations and much more with the chatbot. The language model can answer questions and assist you with tasks like composing emails, essays, and code." Oh, okay then. That's definitely easy enough to understand. Anyway, this website featuring A.I. has become popular teaching us new things, and breaking down stuff we are wholly unfamiliar with the added benefit of (so far, anyway) never getting tired of explaining. Now, as with any sort of new technology, you have to test its limits, and what better way to test it than by asking about the MAC? Inspired by Dave Briggs' article for the Toledo Blade (Check it out, a great article!), I decided to sit down with the A.I. and discuss my favorite topic: the Mid-American Conference.


Of note: This was all from a singular session, and none of the A.I. responses were altered. Our conversation didn't get off topic, but that's because I knew exactly what I wanted to ask beforehand, and did not let my own imagination run away with what could have been a zany conversation. To start, I used chatGPT 4.0 (the paid version) to maximize accuracy and results, and I started with something simple. I opted to get a baseline established, ensuring that we were on the same page to start, and then I asked the questions that EVERYONE likes to debate.

Do you know what the Mid-American Conference is, and who the current 12 full-member teams are?


As of my knowledge cutoff in September 2021, the Mid-American Conference (MAC) is a college athletic conference affiliated with NCAA Division I, with member institutions primarily located in the Midwestern United States. The conference participates in various sports but is best known for football and men's basketball.

Please note that my information may be outdated, but at the time of my last update, the 12 full-member institutions were:

  1. University of Akron

  2. Ball State University

  3. Bowling Green State University

  4. University at Buffalo

  5. Central Michigan University

  6. Eastern Michigan University

  7. Kent State University

  8. Miami University (Ohio)

  9. Northern Illinois University

  10. Ohio University

  11. University of Toledo

  12. Western Michigan University

It's important to verify this information, as changes in conference membership may have occurred since my last update.


Deciding to keep it simple to start, I went with seeing what it could pull about each school, non-sports related: Do you have any historically cool information about any of the schools listed? Something that makes people say "woah, I didn't know that!"


Sure! Here's a fun fact about each of the 12 MAC schools that you might find interesting:


University of Akron: The school is home to the world's largest archive of materials related to the famous American poet, Hart Crane. This includes personal letters, photographs, and manuscripts.


Ball State University: Ball State's benefactors, the Ball brothers, made their fortune in glass manufacturing. They are best known for producing the iconic Ball Mason jars, which have become synonymous with home canning and preservation.


Bowling Green State University: The university's mascot, Freddie Falcon, was one of the first collegiate mascots to be created in the United States. Freddie made his debut in 1950.


University at Buffalo: The university has a long-standing connection to U.S. presidents. Millard Fillmore, the 13th president, was one of the school's founders, and both William McKinley and William Howard Taft served as chancellors.


Central Michigan University: The school's main library, Charles V. Park Library, has one of the largest collections of comic books and graphic novels in a U.S. university.


Eastern Michigan University: EMU's College of Business is housed in the tallest building in Ypsilanti, Michigan, the Owen Building, which was originally a hotel.


Kent State University: The university has a unique Liquid Crystal Institute, which is dedicated to the study and development of liquid crystal technology. This research has contributed significantly to advances in display technology, such as LCD screens.


Miami University (Ohio): The university is known as the "Cradle of Coaches" because of the number of successful sports coaches who have studied or coached there, including football coaches Woody Hayes, Bo Schembechler, and Ara Parseghian.


Northern Illinois University: The campus is home to the world's largest collection of Burma Shave memorabilia. Burma Shave was a popular brand of shaving cream known for its roadside advertising, which used humorous rhymes on sequential signs.


Ohio University: Established in 1804, Ohio University is the oldest university in the Northwest Territory and was the first institution of higher learning chartered by an act of Congress.


University of Toledo: The university is home to Ritter Planetarium, which has one of the largest and most advanced astronomy projection systems in the United States.


Western Michigan University: WMU was the first university in the U.S. to offer a course on the popular sandbox video game, Minecraft. The course, titled "Minecraft and the Future of Work," explores how the game can be used to teach important concepts related to teamwork, communication, and problem-solving.


Remember, these are just a few interesting tidbits about each school, and there's a lot more to explore and learn about them!


Ok, so that's some really cool history, most of which I already knew. Let's dive into sports a little. What is each school most famous for when it comes to athletics? Could be a game, an athlete, or whatever put each school on the map athletically?


Each of the MAC schools has its own athletic achievements and standout moments. Here are some notable athletic accomplishments or well-known athletes from each institution:


University of Akron: Known for its successful men's soccer program, the Zips won the NCAA Division I Men's Soccer Championship in 2010 and have consistently performed well in the tournament.


Ball State University: Ball State's football program has produced notable NFL players, including wide receiver Willie Snead IV and defensive end Jonathan Newsome.


Bowling Green State University: Bowling Green has a strong ice hockey program, winning the NCAA Men's Ice Hockey Championship in 1984. The program has produced several NHL players, such as Rob Blake and Dan Bylsma.


University at Buffalo: Khalil Mack, an NFL star linebacker, played for the University at Buffalo. He was drafted 5th overall in the 2014 NFL Draft and has since become one of the league's top defensive players.


Central Michigan University: Antonio Brown, a talented and controversial NFL wide receiver, played for Central Michigan. He has been selected to multiple Pro Bowls and led the league in receiving yards and receptions multiple times.


Eastern Michigan University: Eastern Michigan's swimming and diving program has historically been strong, with numerous MAC titles and All-American athletes. Additionally, the EMU football team has produced several NFL players, such as T.J. Lang and Charlie Batch.


Kent State University: Kent State's wrestling program has been historically strong, producing multiple All-Americans and NCAA champions. Also, Kent State's baseball program has seen success, advancing to the College World Series in 2012.


Miami University (Ohio): Miami's ice hockey program has consistently been competitive, reaching the NCAA Men's Ice Hockey Championship game in 2009. The program has produced many NHL players, including Dan Boyle and Alec Martinez.


Northern Illinois University: NIU's football program has been the most successful in the conference, with multiple MAC championships and bowl game appearances. Standout athletes include running back Michael Turner and quarterback Jordan Lynch.


Ohio University: The Bobcats' football program has had consistent success in the MAC, with several conference championships and bowl game appearances. Notable athletes include wide receiver Taylor Price and safety Mike Mitchell.


University of Toledo: Toledo's football program has been historically strong, with multiple MAC championships and bowl game appearances. NFL players such as quarterback Bruce Gradkowski and wide receiver Lance Moore have come from the program.


Western Michigan University: The Broncos' football program had an outstanding season in 2016, with a 13-0 regular-season record, a MAC championship, and an appearance in the Cotton Bowl Classic. Notable alumni include NFL wide receiver Corey Davis and tight end Tony Scheffler.


These are just a few of the standout moments and athletes from each of the MAC schools, but each institution has numerous achievements across various sports.


Alright, now we have some traction. Let's dive into a more controversial question. Who is the greatest athlete in the history of the conference? Defend your answer as best you can. (This is fun, if you are a Buffalo fan)


Determining the "greatest" athlete in the history of the Mid-American Conference (MAC) is a subjective task, as many athletes from various sports have excelled in their respective fields. However, one of the most successful and well-known athletes from the MAC is Khalil Mack, who played football at the University at Buffalo.

Here are some reasons why Khalil Mack could be considered the greatest athlete in the history of the MAC:

  1. College career: During his time at the University at Buffalo (2010-2013), Mack set several records and received multiple accolades. He set the NCAA record for forced fumbles (16) and tied the record for tackles for loss (75). He was a three-time first-team All-MAC selection and a second-team All-American in 2013.

  2. NFL success: Khalil Mack was drafted 5th overall in the 2014 NFL Draft by the Oakland Raiders (now the Las Vegas Raiders), making him the highest-drafted player in the history of the MAC at that time. He quickly became one of the league's most dominant defensive players. In his career, Mack has been selected to multiple Pro Bowls, won the NFL Defensive Player of the Year award (2016), and been named first-team All-Pro multiple times.

  3. Impact on the game: Mack's dominance on the field and his ability to change games with his pass-rushing and run-stopping skills make him a standout athlete. His success has brought significant attention to the University at Buffalo and the MAC as a whole.

While other athletes from the conference have had successful careers in their respective sports, Khalil Mack's achievements, both in college and the NFL, make him a strong candidate for the title of the greatest athlete in the history of the MAC. However, it is important to acknowledge that this is a subjective judgment, and others might have different opinions based on their criteria for greatness.


The predictable answer, given football is the major revenue sport in the MAC, but I decided to challenge this a little bit.

There are other players who might be considered better than Khalil, including Jack Lambert, Jason Taylor, Michael Turner, and Ben Roethlisberger. Do you want to stick with that answer?


You're right; there are other notable athletes who have come from the Mid-American Conference, and each has made significant contributions to their respective sports. Given the variety of sports and positions, comparing these athletes can be challenging.

Considering the additional names you've mentioned, I would like to revise my answer and highlight two standout athletes: Ben Roethlisberger and Jack Lambert.

  1. Ben Roethlisberger: As the quarterback for Miami University (Ohio) from 2001-2003, Roethlisberger set numerous school and conference records. He was drafted 11th overall in the 2004 NFL Draft by the Pittsburgh Steelers. Throughout his NFL career, Roethlisberger has been a multiple-time Pro Bowl selection, led the Steelers to two Super Bowl victories (XL, XLIII), and has consistently been among the league's top quarterbacks. His success and longevity in the NFL make him a strong candidate for the greatest athlete in the history of the MAC.

  2. Jack Lambert: As a linebacker for Kent State University from 1970-1973, Lambert was a key part of the team's defense. He was drafted by the Pittsburgh Steelers in the 2nd round of the 1974 NFL Draft. In the NFL, Lambert had a highly successful career, being selected to nine Pro Bowls, winning four Super Bowls with the Steelers, and earning the NFL Defensive Player of the Year award in 1976. He was inducted into the Pro Football Hall of Fame in 1990. Lambert's storied career and impact on the game make him another strong candidate for the greatest athlete in the history of the MAC.

While Khalil Mack remains an exceptional athlete, the careers of Ben Roethlisberger and Jack Lambert are more distinguished, and their impact on their teams and the sport is hard to ignore. Choosing the "greatest" athlete from the MAC ultimately depends on individual preferences and criteria, but Roethlisberger and Lambert certainly deserve consideration.


Alright, correction with justification, let's move on from that answer. Next question.

Which program has the best football program historically speaking? Defend your answer. (NIU Fans everywhere are rejoicing)


Determining the "best" football program historically in the Mid-American Conference (MAC) is subjective, as different criteria can be used to evaluate success. However, one of the most consistently successful programs in the conference has been the Northern Illinois University (NIU) Huskies. Here are some reasons to support this claim:

  1. Conference Championships: NIU has won several MAC championships, including multiple titles in the 2010s, which demonstrates their consistent performance at the top of the conference.

  2. Bowl Game Appearances: The Huskies have regularly appeared in bowl games, showcasing their competitive level in the NCAA Division I Football Bowl Subdivision (FBS).

  3. Consistency: NIU has enjoyed sustained success across different eras and coaching staffs, which speaks to the strength of the program as a whole.

  4. Producing NFL Talent: NIU has developed several players who went on to have successful NFL careers, such as running back Michael Turner and defensive end Larry English.

  5. Competitive in Non-Conference Games: NIU has had success against teams from other conferences, including wins against Power Five conference opponents, which indicates their ability to compete at a high level beyond the MAC.

It's important to note that other MAC football programs, such as Toledo, Central Michigan, and Miami University (Ohio), have also had historical success, with conference championships and bowl game appearances. However, Northern Illinois University's consistent success, especially in recent years, and the various factors mentioned above make a strong case for considering their program the best historically in the MAC.

As with any assessment of this nature, personal preferences and criteria for evaluating success may lead others to choose a different program as the best historically.


It didn't give me the answer I was looking for, as it said "one of the best" not "the best" so I asked again, more directly this time.

I didn't ask for one of the best. I am asking, based on everything available, who has had the BEST football program in the MAC of all time.

Apologies for the confusion. Based on historical success and achievements, Miami University (Ohio) can be considered the best football program in the Mid-American Conference (MAC) all-time. Here are some key points to support this claim:


Conference Championships: Miami University has won numerous MAC championships, leading the conference in all-time titles. This demonstrates their sustained success in the conference.


Bowl Game Appearances: The RedHawks have participated in multiple bowl games throughout their history, showcasing their competitiveness within the NCAA Division I Football Bowl Subdivision (FBS).


Cradle of Coaches: Miami University is known as the "Cradle of Coaches" due to the number of successful and influential coaches who have studied or coached there, such as Woody Hayes, Bo Schembechler, Ara Parseghian, and John Harbaugh. This legacy has contributed significantly to the success of the football program.


NFL Talent: The program has produced a number of players who went on to have successful careers in the NFL, including Ben Roethlisberger, a two-time Super Bowl-winning quarterback.


National Championship: Miami University was recognized as the national champion in college football in 1973 by the National Championship Foundation (NCF) and Poling System, although it is not an official NCAA-recognized title.


Taking all these factors into account, Miami University (Ohio) has had the best football program in the history of the MAC.


This feels more accurate to what I was looking for. Not that NIU hasn't been great, but that's a recent run of greatness and isn't sustained over the life of the MAC. Miami is a better choice, and the A.I. defended themselves well, (although the claim of a national championship is unfounded, Miami did compile a 21-0-1 record from 1973-1974, it was three of their former coaches who were recognized in the NCF as national champions: Bo Schembechler (Michigan), Woody Hayes (Ohio State) and Ara Parsaghian (Notre Dame), so maybe the A.I. is confusing those coaches and their connection to Miami). Moving on.


Which school has the best football facilities?


Assessing which school has the best football facilities in the Mid-American Conference (MAC) can be subjective and may change over time as universities invest in upgrades and renovations. As of my knowledge cutoff in September 2021, some schools with notable football facilities include:

  1. Western Michigan University: Waldo Stadium, home of the Broncos, underwent renovations in recent years, improving the playing surface, locker rooms, and training facilities. Additionally, the Seelye Athletic Center and the Bill Brown Alumni Football Center offer modern amenities and resources for players and coaches.

  2. University of Toledo: The Glass Bowl, home of the Rockets, is a historic stadium with modern upgrades. The Larimer Athletic Complex, attached to the Glass Bowl, provides the football team with state-of-the-art training facilities, including locker rooms, a weight room, and meeting spaces.

  3. Miami University (Ohio): Yager Stadium, home of the RedHawks, features a modern press box, suites, and a videoboard. The nearby Dauch Indoor Sports Center and the Athletic Performance Center offer training facilities, including a weight room, sports medicine facilities, and meeting spaces for the football team.

It's important to note that facility rankings can change as schools invest in improvements and expansions, and the assessment of what makes a facility the "best" can be subjective. Different schools in the MAC have made efforts to upgrade their football facilities to remain competitive and provide a top-notch experience for student-athletes.


For as much as people like to dunk on Waldo Stadium, the A.I. seems to think it's one of the top three, and for what it is worth, WMU has done a fantastic job with renovations and upgrades. Toledo is noted for its historical facade, and Miami gets the nod for its modern amenities. Another solid answer for ChatGPT. Let's see what it says about basketball facilities.


Which MAC school has the best basketball facility?


Evaluating which school has the best basketball facility in the Mid-American Conference (MAC) can be subjective, as it depends on factors such as seating capacity, amenities, and recent renovations. As of my knowledge cutoff in September 2021, some schools with notable basketball facilities include:

  1. University at Buffalo: The Alumni Arena, home of the Bulls, has a seating capacity of around 6,100 and hosts both men's and women's basketball teams. It has undergone renovations over the years to maintain a modern and comfortable environment for fans and athletes.

  2. University of Toledo: The Savage Arena, home of the Rockets, is a versatile venue with a seating capacity of around 7,300. Renovated in 2008, it features modern amenities, including luxury suites, a team store, and updated locker rooms.

  3. Ohio University: The Convocation Center, home of the Bobcats, can seat up to 13,080 spectators, making it one of the largest arenas in the MAC. The facility has undergone renovations and features modern amenities such as a video scoreboard, comfortable seating, and an updated sound system.

It's important to note that facility rankings can change as schools invest in improvements and expansions, and the assessment of what makes a facility the "best" can be subjective. Different schools in the MAC have made efforts to upgrade their basketball facilities to remain competitive and provide a top-notch experience for student-athletes and fans alike.


Another solid ranking, although for our money, Ohio has the biggest and coolest and is the best for the men, however, Toledo easily does it best for the women. Both making the list? I can let it slide. Time to dial it up a bit and see how good this thing actually is.

Ok, who has the best track and field program in the MAC? Determining the "best" track and field program in the Mid-American Conference (MAC) can be subjective, as it depends on the criteria used to evaluate success. However, based on historical performances and conference championships, Eastern Michigan University (EMU) has consistently had strong track and field programs for both men and women.


Here are some reasons to support this claim:


Conference Championships: Eastern Michigan University has won numerous MAC championships in both men's and women's track and field, showcasing their sustained success in the conference.


Individual Success: EMU has produced a significant number of individual conference champions, as well as NCAA All-Americans, which speaks to the quality of their coaching and athlete development.


Coaching Staff: The coaching staff at EMU has been recognized for their achievements, receiving multiple MAC Coach of the Year awards over the years.


Facilities: Eastern Michigan University's facilities, such as the Bowen Field House and the Rynearson Stadium, have hosted MAC championships and other events, providing a solid foundation for the track and field program.


While Eastern Michigan University has enjoyed consistent success in track and field, other MAC schools have also had strong programs and have produced top-performing athletes. However, based on historical performance and achievements, EMU can be considered to have the best track and field program in the MAC.


Ok, this thing is good. No stumping it with a non-revenue sport (although if I had gotten any different answer, the folks in Ypsilanti would be calling for the dismantling of the chatbot altogether). Let's talk national champions.


Ok, across all sports, list which schools have a national championship, and give me the year and the sport. (And this is where I FINALLY stumped the system. Of note, I did not specifically ask for Division I titles, I asked for a National Championship.)


Here's a list of Mid-American Conference (MAC) schools that have won national championships in various sports, along with the year and the sport:


University of Akron:

Men's Soccer: 2010 (NCAA Division I)


Ball State University:

No NCAA Division I national championships as of my knowledge cutoff in September 2021.


Bowling Green State University:

Men's Ice Hockey: 1984 (NCAA Division I)


University at Buffalo:

No NCAA Division I national championships as of my knowledge cutoff in September 2021.


Central Michigan University:

Wrestling: 1957 (NAIA)

Men's Gymnastics: 1958 (NAIA)


Eastern Michigan University:

Men's Swimming and Diving: 1988, 1991, 1995 (NCAA Division II)

Men's Cross Country: 1966, 1967 (NCAA College Division, now Division II)

Men's Gymnastics: 1970 (NAIA)


Kent State University:

No NCAA Division I national championships as of my knowledge cutoff in September 2021.


Miami University (Ohio):

Men's Ice Hockey: No NCAA Division I championships, but they were the runner-up in 2009.


Northern Illinois University:

No NCAA Division I national championships as of my knowledge cutoff in September 2021.


Ohio University:

No NCAA Division I national championships as of my knowledge cutoff in September 2021.


University of Toledo:

No NCAA Division I national championships as of my knowledge cutoff in September 2021.


Western Michigan University:

No NCAA Division I national championships as of my knowledge cutoff in September 2021.


Please note that this information is accurate as of September 2021 and may not include championships won after that date. Additionally, this list focuses on NCAA Division I national championships and some select non-Division I championships. Some schools may have won titles in lower divisions or non-NCAA-sanctioned sports that are not listed here. A-HA! FINALLY! Ommissions and a contradiction to a previous answer (Miami and the Football National Championship) Here are the ommissions:

- BGSU:

1959: College Division Football National Championship

- Buffalo:

2015: Outdoor T&F Individual Title, Jonathan Jones - Division I 1986: Wrestling Individual Title, Steven Klein - Division III

1980: Wrestling Individual Title, Tom Jacoutot - Division III

1978: Wrestling Team National Championship - Division III


- CMU:

1974: Division II Football National Championship

- EMU:

1972: Men's Swimming and Diving – NCAA Division II

1972: Men's Outdoor Track and Field – NCAA Division II

1971: Men's Swimming and Diving – NAIA

1971: Men's Indoor Track and Field – NAIA

1971: Men's Outdoor Track and Field – NAIA

1970: Baseball – NAIA

1970: Men's Cross Country – NCAA Division II

1970: Men's Cross Country – NAIA

1970: Men's Swimming and Diving – NAIA

1970: Men's Indoor Track and Field – NAIA

1970: Men's Outdoor Track and Field – NAIA

1969: Men's Swimming and Diving – NAIA

1969: Men's Indoor Track and Field – NAIA

1968: Men's Swimming and Diving – NAIA

1967: Men's Cross Country – NAIA

1966: Men's Cross Country – NAIA


Men's Track and Field INDIVIDUAL:

2004: Jordan Desilets, 3000-meter steeplechase 8:24.62

2002: Boaz Cheboiywo, 10,000 meters outdoor track

1999: Clement Chukwu, 400 meters

1985: Earl Jones, 800 meters

1975: Halsey Crawford, 100 yards

1959: Hayes Jones, 120- & 220-yard hurdles

1932: Eugene Beatty, 400-meter hurdles


Men's Cross Country INDIVIDUAL:

2001: Boaz Cheboiywo


Women's track and field INDIVIDUAL:

2005: Lela Nelson, heptathlon

1995: Savatheda Fynes, 200 meters


- NIU 1958 Men's Cross Country - College Division


- Ohio

1960: College Division Football National Championship


- Western Michigan

1965: Men's Cross Country

1964: Men's Cross Country

I informed the A.I. of these ommissions and asked where it received its information. I am curious as to what your source is, as there are several omissions that need to be addressed. I asked for national championships, not just division one. Here are the omissions:


I apologize for the omissions and appreciate your input. It is important to provide accurate information. Here is an updated list of Mid-American Conference (MAC) schools that have won national championships, including non-Division I titles, based on the information you provided...Again, I apologize for the oversight in my previous response, and I hope this updated list provides a more accurate representation of the national championships won by schools in the Mid-American Conference across various sports and divisions. And to wrap up the conversation, I asked the A.I. if it had a favorite MAC school.


If you had to pick one of the 12 schools in the MAC to associate yourself with (support if you were a human fan), which would it be and why?


As an AI language model, I don't have personal preferences, emotions, or opinions. However, I can provide you with some factors that you might consider when choosing a MAC school to support if you were a fan:


Location: You may choose a school that is geographically closer to your home or a place you have a connection with.


Academic Reputation: You might consider the academic programs and reputation of the school, especially if you are interested in a particular field of study.


Athletic Success: You may choose a school with a history of success in a specific sport or overall athletic achievements.


School Spirit and Traditions: The culture and traditions of a school can be a deciding factor. Some schools have a rich history and strong sense of community that fans can identify with.


Personal Connections: You might have friends or family who attended a particular school, which could influence your choice.


Ultimately, the choice of which MAC school to support would depend on your individual preferences and experiences. If you would like more information on any specific MAC school or its sports programs, please let me know, and I'll be happy to help.


Well, I appreciate the honesty and lack of bias. At least I know I am getting a "neutral" third party for this. Do you agree or disagree with some of the neutral selections made? Who would you say belongs on which list? Let us know!




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