Jeff Goodman, former ESPN'er and current Stadium.com analyst, had an interesting article released on Friday morning, regarding the top coaching jobs for men's basketball in the Ohio Valley Conference.
And Murray State was at the height of the conversation.
Called the "Conference Chain of Command" series, Goodman and his associates polled veteran coaches within the league (anonymously) and asked them to rank conference programs based on eight different categories:
• Tradition (the history of the program).
• Media exposure (Number of games on national television).
• Game atmosphere (regarding attendance).
• Budget/Resources (salaries, recruiting budget, travel budget, private planes, cost of attendance).
• Buy games (as in, programs "bought" the fewest number of times rank first).
• Geographical recruiting base (proximity to talent).
• Facilities (arena, practice facility, weight rooms, locker rooms).
• Selling pros (NBA players and overseas).
The overall perception, based on this straw poll? Racer men's basketball is currently the top job in the league.
In fact, the Racers polled first in every category, save recruiting base -- where they were tabbed fifth (Belmont, Tennessee State, Austin Peay and SIU Edwardsville were all tabbed ahead, likely based on location).
Goodman included two quotes for all 12 programs, too, which included a "where they win" statement, and "the knock" on the program.
For the Racers:
"Tradition of league titles and NCAA Tournament appearances, passionate fan base, facilities are off the charts and NBA players with Ja Morant, Isaiah Canaan and Cam Payne. They don't care about football and that helps the basketball program." -- an OVC head coach
"You're in Murray, Kentucky. There's nothing there. Nothing except an Applebee's and a movie theater." -- an OVC assistant
Belmont (second), Austin Peay (third) and Southeast Missouri State (fourth) were perceived as the top four jobs in the league, while Eastern Illinois (11th) and UT Martin (12th) were deemed the toughest in the OVC.
Is perception reality? Hard to say.
The rest of the article, which goes in depth on all 12 teams in the league, can be found at watchstadium.com.