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Here we can discuss which is the best and worst changes in NFL uniforms this year. Here are my votes: Big Upgrade: Browns Buccaneers, Chargers Not necessarily an upgrade but I personally like them: Colts OK: Patriots Downgrade: Rams Big Downgrade: Falcons
Author's Notes: Teams will be revealed as the series progresses, schools discussed in the history portion will replace generic references upon reveal. I also plan to include more graphics in this section as teams are revealed. THE HISTORY The year is 2011. West Virginia has just completed an agreement to move to the Big 12, and both Pittsburgh and Syracuse challenged their commitments to the Big East. In order to reduce the impact of impending loss of teams, the Big East began searching for replacements. Initially, the league attempted to poach teams from two smaller, but well-respected conferences, the New England Eight and the Great Appalachian Athletic Conference. Immediately, the conference lured Norfolk College, who had risen to prominence after three straight FBS top 25 finishes and finished the 2009 season 11-1, narrowly missing a BCS Bowl. Noticing the Big East’s desperation and the beginning of the Super Conference trend, NE8 commissioner Arnold Gardner hatched a plan to keep his conference together. Gardner contacted GAAC commissioner Ron B. Lalonde and pitched the formation of a new super conference that would bring together the 8 teams from the NE8 and the CAAC’s remaining six schools. With the promise of renewed stability, national prominence, and the development of a conference television network, the 14 schools agreed to form the New England/Mid-Atlantic Conference (NEMAC), scheduled to form starting in 2013 to coincide with the departure of Norfolk College. Due to these new revelations, Norfolk filed a lawsuit to prevent the merger if not allowed to remain. However, because discussions of a merger only occurred after Norfolk announced its plan to move, the new NEMAC conference prevailed. Suddenly, with 2 serious football title contenders, as well as several other top 25 finishers, the NEMAC was positioned to become a new power conference. This was ensured by collapse of the Big East conference several years later. Since its inception, the NEMAC has become a top national conference poised to make a run at National Championships in several sports. THE TEAMS The NEMAC consists of 14 teams located in Maine, New Hampshire, Vermont, Massachusetts (3), Rhode Island, Connecticut, New York (2), New Jersey, Pennsylvania, and Ohio (2). Divisions consist of seven teams each based geographically. The East Division consists of 7 members of the NE8 with Hale moving to the West Division to join the GAAC teams. NOTE: Divisions only exist for football. Each school is a full member, with all 14 participating in every major sport except hockey (8 schools make up the NEMAC Hockey conference). THE LOGOS The NEMAC logo is derived from a combination of elements from the NE8 and the GAAC. The logo’s main shape and mountain are homages to the shape of the original GAAC logo. The 10 stars above the logo and the italicization of the letters are derived from the NE8 logo. Finally, the primary color of each logo was used in the color scheme. Each team also wears a jersey patch featuring only the conference name. These patches will be worn in team colors upon the uniforms of all sports. First Up: Maine State University