dfwabel

Division 1 College Conference Realignment

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Well, here's one:

https://www.midmajormadness.com/2017/11/15/16656438/conference-realignment-usc-upstate-spartans-big-south-atlantic-sun

 

As the article states, this move makes a lot of sense, primarily from a travel standpoint. Upstate fits the geographic footprint of the Big South well. The Big South and Atlantic Sun do, however, have a football partnership - so it's interesting that a non-football school is jumping from one to another.

 

This... is the "less interesting" of the two moves.

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That's a pretty good move on the part of the Big South to add in USC Upstate. Like you mentioned, they fit in pretty well in a geographic sense.

 

The other move... maybe Liberty is jumping ship or could it be an additional school joining the conference? Who knows.

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18 minutes ago, Seadragon76 said:

That's a pretty good move on the part of the Big South to add in USC Upstate. Like you mentioned, they fit in pretty well in a geographic sense.

 

The other move... maybe Liberty is jumping ship or could it be an additional school joining the conference? Who knows.

Like, Liberty giving up on their FBS dreams and moving back down almost immediately? 

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5 hours ago, Seadragon76 said:

That's a pretty good move on the part of the Big South to add in USC Upstate. Like you mentioned, they fit in pretty well in a geographic sense.

 

The other move... maybe Liberty is jumping ship or could it be an additional school joining the conference? Who knows.

 

5 hours ago, Red Wolf said:

Like, Liberty giving up on their FBS dreams and moving back down almost immediately? 

 

For now, Liberty football is going FBS independent and its non-football sports are staying in the Big South.

 

The second move should be announced tomorrow.

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14 minutes ago, dfwabel said:

It's Hampton.

 

Really? I thought they were doing just fine and dandy in the MEAC.

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11 hours ago, Seadragon76 said:

 

Really? I thought they were doing just fine and dandy in the MEAC.

It's not like the conference members as a whole are.

 

Savannah State is moving back to Division II by 2019.

 

SC State has been on the brink of closing for years even with debt forgiveness from the state. Bethune-Cookman has debt issues of their own which came to light this summer after the president resigned and they've borrowed from their endowment in recent years. Same problems at Howard.

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Hampton leaves the MEAC to join the Big South:

 

https://www.midmajormadness.com/2017/11/16/16665828/conference-realignment-hampton-pirates-meac-big-south

 

Hampton will be the second HBCU in D1 that is not in a traditional HBCU conference (MEAC or SWAC) - Tennessee State (OVC) is the other. However, Tennessee State did not leave one of the traditional HBCU conferences (they were independent before joining the OVC in 1986). So, this is still groundbreaking as Hampton is the first HBCU to leave the MEAC or SWAC to join another D1 conference. I'm not sure if this has happened at the D2 level, but it has happened "in reverse" - a non-HBCU joining a traditional HBCU conference (Chowan University joined the CIAA in 2008, Spring Hill College joined the SIAC in 2013).

 

Personally, I'm a fan of the move. Hampton fits well within the Big South's footprint and I'm certainly a fan of geographically-compact conferences. The Big South should be confined to the Carolinas, southern Virginia, and possibly East Tennessee/North Georgia/GA-SC border.

 

However, I'm interested to see HBCU sports fans' reactions. I can see fans liking the move - HBCUs are often left out of conference realignment discussions because they tend to be assumed to sticking with the MEAC/SWAC, so this could be seen as an opening up of new opportunities for individual schools. On the other hand, I can easily see HBCU fans viewing this as "abandoning their roots" and potentially having a negative effect on the survival of HBCU conferences - the larger conferences "plundering" smaller ones for members, a pattern we've seen over and over among major coferences/mid and low-majors. However, it is worth noting that Hampton is not a founding member of the MEAC (formed in 1970, Hampton joined in 1995 after moving up from D2/CIAA), so the MEAC is losing a 22-year member, not a 47-year member. If Florida A&M, North Carolina A&T, or Howard were making this move, I think the "abandoning their roots" viewpoint would predominate.

 

Of course, I'm also intrigued to see if this has an effect on other conferences as well.

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With some of these HBCUs facing cost cuttign measures I could see a few making the move to other conferences. In Division II, Central State (OH) currently plays in a HBCU conference that has most of it's teams in Alabama, Mississippi and southern Tennessee. The irony is that they left the GMAC three years ago because their best sport, football, didn't have enough teams to get an automatic playoff berth. This year they had 8 teams for the first time and an automatic berth. 

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On 11/27/2017 at 1:18 PM, dfwabel said:

 

The move makes sense in the idea that the Big West would love to have an equal amount of Cal State schools and UC schools. Hawaii is the outlier program.

 

What Bakersfield is doing can go two different ways:

 

1.) The WAC adds members to help shore up the numbers. The problem is that it's not known if there are any schools out west that would be willing to jump on a ship that has been leaking for years.

 

or...

 

2.) The WAC finally crumbles under the weight of staying alive. UMKC and Chicago State head to the Summit while UTRGV goes to the Southland. The remaining four schools ally with the Big Sky.. this would create a rather unwisely choice of a 15 team conference. Knowing their history, the WAC and Big Sky decides to create a new strategy: The two league will split along it's lines to be the new leagues. The west coast schools would be the WAC and the mountain schools would be the Big Sky. Here's how that would work.

 

WAC

-California Baptist

-Eastern Washington

-Idaho

-Idaho State

-Portland State

-Sacramento State

-Seattle

 

(UC Davis and Cal Poly replace California Baptist and Seattle for football)

 

Big Sky

-Grand Canyon

-Montana

-Montana State

-New Mexico State

-Northern Arizona

-Northern Colorado

-Southern Utah

-Weber State

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4 minutes ago, Seadragon76 said:

 

The move makes sense in the idea that the Big West would love to have an equal amount of Cal State schools and UC schools. Hawaii is the outlier program.

 

What Bakersfield is doing can go two different ways:

 

1.) The WAC adds members to help shore up the numbers. The problem is that it's not known if there are any schools out west that would be willing to jump on a ship that has been leaking for years.

 

or...

 

2.) The WAC finally crumbles under the weight of staying alive. UMKC and Chicago State head to the Summit while UTRGV goes to the Southland. The remaining four schools ally with the Big Sky.. this would create a rather unwisely choice of a 15 team conference. Knowing their history, the WAC and Big Sky decides to create a new strategy: The two league will split along it's lines to be the new leagues. The west coast schools would be the WAC and the mountain schools would be the Big Sky. Here's how that would work.

 

WAC

-California Baptist

-Eastern Washington

-Idaho

-Idaho State

-Portland State

-Sacramento State

-Seattle

 

(UC Davis and Cal Poly replace California Baptist and Seattle for football)

 

Big Sky

-Grand Canyon

-Montana

-Montana State

-New Mexico State

-Northern Arizona

-Northern Colorado

-Southern Utah

-Weber State

The question I have here is if there’s the assumption that New Mexico State pulls an Idaho and gives up on the FBS since they’ll be booted from the Sun Belt after Saturday (unless they beat South Alabama and squeeze in at .500).

 

One possibility for when the WAC finally crumbles? I could see the WCC jumping to 12 by snatching up Seattle and Grand Canyon. Both are religious and they would get the Western Washington and Phoenix markets.  I’d consider Cal Baptist an unlikely option except as a numbers replacement for BYU if they give up on the FBS Independent charade.

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It's a "What if" scenario @LMU. Not to mention that Bakersfield will be in the WAC until 2020... this would give the WAC time to replace Bakersfield and possibly UMKC and Chicago State (The rumor going around is that UMKC wants back in the Summit and Chicago State is in dire straits financially)

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