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Oral Roberts to Return to Summit League

Dec
07
2013
By
Category: Featured News, Southland Expansion & Realignment, Summit League Expansion & Realignment

Oral Roberts University Oral Roberts to Return to Summit LeagueIt’s been an interesting couple of days in the world of conference realignment. It appeared that business would be as usual, and that there were no sudden shifts on the horizon. And then, the Summit League announced that Oral Roberts was rejoining. The move, gives the Summit some much needed strength. The conference had been in a good position, even after losing Missouri – Kansas City to the WAC, but then lost Oakland to the Horizon, dropping their membership to 8. The was ample fear in the Summit that if a the Horizon came calling for any other schools, that the conference could be near it’s end. To the west, there is also the Big Sky, the home of North Dakota. If the Summit were to show further signs of weakness, Summit members South Dakota St., North Dakota St. and South Dakota could have been knocking on the Bis Sky door.

The Oral Roberts move falls into one of those strange categories of being unexpectedly expected. When Oral Roberts left the Summit, their goal was to align themselves with a conference that would permit less travel. Since the Southland is comprised of schools entirely in Texas, Louisiana and Arkansas, it was a sound theory. But with the further expansion of the Southland, priorities within the conference changed as well. You had the drive for football remain, so additional members with football became high priority such as Houston Baptist, Incarnate Word University and Abilene Christian University. New Orleans was also added, despite not having football.

So the reason behind the return of Oral Roberts to the Summit isn’t completely clear-cut. The Southland still would provide a more favorable travel routine with what one would assume would be a more economic travel budget. It’s just less expensive to travel from Oklahoma to Texas, Louisiana and Arkansas than it is to fly to the Dakotas, Illinois, Indiana, etc.  But a betting person could assume that with the direction of the Southland being perceived as going one way, Oral Roberts has chosen to go to another. Denver joining the Summit (leaving the WAC as Missouri-Kansas City left the Summit for the WAC), was also a motivator in the decision to return to the Summit.

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  • Mad Hatter

    You see more fans in the stands in many of the MAC schools than you did with Miami?? What games are you watching??

    Per the NCAA webpage, from the above link, the MAC average attendance is 16,739.

    In addition, there’s only three stadiums in the MAC that house more than 30,000 fans. Western Mich, Central Mich, and Eastern Mich. Each of their seating capacity is 30,200. Akron stadium holds 30,000. Bowling Green State and Ohio Univ stadium only holds 24,000.

    Northern Illinois only holds 23,595. Toledo, 26,248. Ball State 22,500. Miami of Ohio, 24,286. Kent St, 25,319, and Buffalo, 29,031. My source is the 2014 Sporting News College Football Preview.

    You’re not suggesting that Miami is drawing under 30,000 per game, are you? If so, please provide a source for your numbers.

  • David Stroud

    Take a real look at the fan attendance. I watch a game on tv for them, and half of their stadium were emptied. Those figures are wrong since they are inflated. Most of the ACC schools looked emptied as well. I see more fans in the stand in many of the MAC schools than I did with Miami. These schools the past few years in the major 5 conferences have lost attendance while schools in the non-power 5 conferences including some FCS and D2 schools have grown. What is the cause of this? Cheaper ticket prices, cheaper food prices and all that. A family could take their kids to a local college game in the non-power 5 conferences cheaper if that college or university is in the same town.

  • Alonzo

    Never mind, read it wrong.

  • Alonzo

    University of New Orleans, Not Nebraska-Omaha.

  • David Stroud

    Northern Illinois to the Big 12 along with Cincinnati, Memphis, Central Florida, South Florida and maybe either Ohio U. or Toledo could work.

    northern Illinois – Chicago market.
    Central Florida – Orlando
    South Florida – St. petersburgh area?
    If conferences go to 22 like Big 10 wants to? the ACC could be picked apart. I do not think any Big 12 teams would fit in the PAC12. look at what is going on with Colorado joining them? It was a bust. So, as i see with tv veirwership with ESPN and ESPN2, most of these schools drew a lot of viewers. So, if you do add these winning teams from these non-AQ conferences can draw viewers. Now, with reports of more D-1 schools adding football, schools are scrambling to get a piece of the pie. So, we might expect all these schools from the Summit, WAC and all that will be starting up football.

    I think the next school to add football could be North Florida. They were on Benson’s list to join the Sun belt. So, lets see these successful programs start being picked off from the non-AQ go to these conferences.

    As for ACC? Who will they go after next? Navy for replacing Maryland’s tv market.
    Temple more for their basketball.
    Villanova same as above which would mean that they have to upgrade their football stadium.
    St. John’s- Have to re-add football to join the ACC.
    Georgetown, D.C.- basketball.
    The last team on their list at the bottom would have to be U.Conn. Nobody wants them.

    Once the musical chairs start up again, the schools in the Summit will be going somewhere. Lets not count out any D-2 schools getting the call up. Most of the schools in the area are still in the process of coming from NAIA to D-2.

    Throwing some wrenches in the wheels would be the schools who have club football.
    Oakland- Just added last year.
    Hartford-Just added last year.
    Depaul-Could get a club football going.
    Wichita State-Was supposed to have a club team going last year, and re-add football later.
    Utah valley-Saw some scores for that school against some instate club teams.
    UTA-Yes, they have a club team.
    Wis.-Milwaukee
    VCU
    George Mason
    Radford
    Southern Illinois-Edwardsville
    Maryland-Eastern Shore
    Vermont
    Xavier
    Metro State
    Rollins
    Mich.-Flint
    Wis.-Parkside
    Rio Grande
    Columbus State

    And then there are reports that more west coast schools could add football.

    Northridge State-student movement
    Cal. San Diego
    Grand Canyon U.
    Arizona Christian will play their first game this year.
    Fullerton State
    Seattle U.
    Long Beach State- AD said something about merging Big West with MWC, and LBS could add football.
    Chico State
    Cal. State- East Bay
    Santa Clara

    So, if the schools in the Summit wants something better, or that they could decide adding football and have football in the Summit could help them. Best places to look are both Minnesota and missouri to pick off some schools. Maybe Washburn is another to look at.

  • jlog3000

    It would be huge indeed for the Big 12 and North Dakota State if that might happen. But if successful, who would accompany the Bison to join along to make the Big 12 to 12 members at least? Plus, it has to be a northern-based school to put back the Oklahoma and Texas schools to the South Division with the others to the North Division.

    Those MAC schools you mentioned, where do you believe that which one belong to which conference(s)?

  • David Stroud

    There is some talks or rumblings that North Dakota State to the Big 12 would be big news. I think they can compete, and their fan base do travel.

    Northern Illinois, Ohio U. and Toledo all have some interests from other conference. Even Akron.

    The issue about fans not showing up is the lack of excitement. Most of Villanova’s large drawing is when they play Temple. UTEP’s largest fans that went to the game was when they played Oklahoma when the Sooners visited them.I do think if you get these schools into a better conference and they play, the fans will come. There is one issue about Miami, Florida going to the Big 12? There is no fan support for Miami anymore after all the scandals. some of their home games were like MAC schools attandences. Central Florida has the fans that supports them today.

  • jdflzfs

    You can forget UNO adding football anytime in the future. That would get in the way of UNL football and we CAN’T have that here. :)

  • Mad Hatter

    Cross off Indiana State going anywhere. Their attendance has dropped for football, and it’s dropped to around the 6,400 per. Youngstown State wouldn’t get an invite since the MAC is already flooded with Ohio teams.

    Illinois State attendance is around the 6,500 per game for football, and Southern Illinois attendance is around 9,500 per game for football. Northern Iowa is only around 11,000 per game, and they play in an outdated mini dome.

    Finally Western Illinois only draws around 9,500 per game. These schools will remain where they are.

  • Mad Hatter

    David, you might want to look at the attendance of Missouri State football. They’re only drawing around 10,000 a game. They would never make it in the Sun Belt, C-USA, or the MAC.

    In addition, their basketball and baseball programs are in very good shape, and have very nice facilities. Their baseball program plays in the Cardinals AA minor league park. The basketball program has a nice arena with attendance around the 9 to 10,000 a game.

  • jlog3000

    I like that perspective you’ve displaying. And yes, the MVC and Summit are so far hybrid all-sports leagues who specialize on basketball, while both of them have at least half off its members (respectively) in the MVFC. Plus, I still believe that in the future that North Dakota will reunite with the other 3 Dakota schools, but it would be tested once there’s another round of conference alignment.

  • David Stroud

    We already know Northern Iowa announced that they want FBS. So they and Missouri State are upgrading their football stadiums. This came days after a report that there is a talk between the WAC with an FCS conference to merge the football and revive it at the FBS level. This could give the Sun belt a break, and let Idaho and New Mexico go back to the WAC. Then, Sun Belt could bring up Lamar/McNeese State/Central Arkansas/Sam Houston State which two of them could come up, or unless UTA and UALR readds football soon. As it is, it seems that the MVC could have a mutiny on their hands from their football playing members. They have a hybrid just like the Big East did had. So, I am thinking they could split, and the talk of Wichita State re-adding football would be big news.

  • jlog3000

    I agree with you David on certain points and reasons:

    For instance: The 3 Dakota schools (North Dakota St., South Dakota St. and South Dakota) should be either in the Big Sky (reuniting with North Dakota) OR heading to the WAC (if the WAC plans to revive football). The same goes for Nebraska-Omaha, revive football and join the Big Sky or the WAC.

    Unless the MVFC wants to stay alive, as well as the Summit (with Oral Roberts re-joining), UN-Omaha should have football in there; plus having North Dakota to join the MVFC and Summit respectively. Plus the former “Fighting Sioux” sponsor baseball, which at the rate the conference has is almost extinct to have an automatic bid on the sport.

    I believe that Wichita State should re-add football, which they hadn’t sponsored since 1986, the year that the MVC dropped football as a conference-sponsored sport (apart from the Gateway-based MVFC, which has one half of the MVC schools and the other half the Summit schools).

  • jlog3000

    I agree with you David on certain points and reasons:

    For instance: The 3 Dakota schools (North Dakota St., South Dakota St. and South Dakota) should be either in the Big Sky (reuniting with North Dakota) OR heading to the WAC (if the WAC plans to revive football). The same goes for Nebraska-Omaha, revive football and join the Big Sky or the WAC.

    Unless the MVFC wants to stay alive, as well as the Summit (with Oral Roberts re-joining), UN-Omaha should have football in there; plus having North Dakota to join the MVFC and Summit respectively. Plus the former “Fighting Sioux” sponsor baseball, which at the rate the conference has is almost extinct to have an automatic bid on the sport.

    I believe that Wichita State should re-add football, which they hadn’t sponsored since 1986, the year that the MVC dropped football as a conference-sponsored sport (apart from the Gateway-based MVFC, which has one half of the MVC schools and the other half the Summit schools).

  • David Stroud

    how long will the Summit survive if they could get picked apart. The three Dakota schools could get an all sports spot in the WAC. Denver could be forced to go back to the WAC. UNO could readd football and joins the WAC. The rest could wind up joining MVC while the MVFC could merged with the WAC to revive football. The question is after a couple of years up at the FBS level with the MVFC and schools that could re-add football? Where would they go?

    Wichita State, North Dakota State, Missouri State and Nebraska-Omaha could get invites like C-USA and MWC. When the MAC gets picked apart, I read several MAC schools are in the hunt of realignment that several MVFC schools could get in like Northern Iowa, Youngstown State, Illinois State, southern illinois, Indiana State and Western Illinois. Evansville and Wisconsin-Milwaukee both could find a spot in the FBS if they add football because of their markets.

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