In a last second move suggested multiple times on this site, the University of South Dakota got their hail mary pass to keep them from leaving for the Big Sky.
USD had appeared in line to join the Big Sky, following former Great West football partners Southern Utah and North Dakota as full members of the Big Sky. North Dakota and South Dakota both hoped that the Missouri Valley Football Conference, which houses NDSU and SDSU, would extend a lifeline so that they could remain in the Summit with the Dakota St. schools, but gain a football home.
The MVFC did not make a move to keep North Dakota from making the move.
South Dakota will require little transition. They will remain in the Summit League for the majority of it’s sports. For football, they will likely join the Missouri Valley after next season.
With South Dakota remaining in the Summit League, it leaves the Big Sky with 11 all-sports members, and 13 for football.
With no other current FCS level football schools available, the Big Sky will likely remain at the 11/13 number. If the Big Sky finds the 11 number difficult for basketball, they could always invite Seattle as the 12th basketball member. Seattle appears to be left out of the WAC plans at this time as Denver appears to be the only non-football school to get an invitation. The Big Sky might also lose Montana in the future to the WAC, which would bring their numbers down to 10 for all-sports and 12 for football.
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