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 Post subject: Who will join the Socon?
PostPosted: Thu Nov 13, 2003 11:22 pm 
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Now that it has been announced that east tennesse state is leaving the socon for the atlantic sun due to dropping their basketball program, who is the likely candidate to replace them? It has been stated by socon officials that they would like a school that played football. with that i will list some options for them.

any big south football playing school.

these include:

gardner webb- in big south for football only and is relaively new to d-1 in general. privated school located in boiling springs, north carolina

coastal carolina- in big south for all sports and is a PUBLIC school located in conway, sc. first year for football and is surprsingly somewhat competitive.

vmi- just left socon for big south in a "trade" for elon. located in lexingon, virginia a public military academy

liberty- private christian school located in lynchburg va. stable member of big south for a couple of years now.

charleston southern- like liberty expect not religious. located in charleston, sc.

these are pretty much their only options as i doubt any southern a-10 school like james madision or william and mary would leave the caa to join socon for allsports. so my pick for a football playing school to join would be either coastal carolina or gardner webb. liberty and vmi are too far north, plus vmi just got kicked out and they dont need two schools in charleston so charleston southern is out.

now if they would not mind settling for a non football school, then their options expand tremendously to include

unc ashville-public
birmingham southern-private
winthrop-public
radford-public
high point-private
campbell-private
georgia st.- public
uncw, a public school, might consider joining to get in a group with instate rivals though i really doubt that would happen as they are extremely content in the caa

there really isnt that much to chose from outside of the big south especially if they want a football school, which they probably will get considering they just got rid of a school for dropping football.

Final Answer- Coastal Carolina
a full member of the big south, this school just seems more desirable compared to gardner webb which is not even a full member of the big south. coastal carolina looks to be the best choice

this leaves the socon with a 8-4 public-private school ratio, a big issue within the socon now. i guess we will have to wait and see how it all turns out.


Last edited by accseahawk on Sat Nov 15, 2003 11:43 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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 Post subject: Who will join the Socon?
PostPosted: Sat Nov 15, 2003 8:26 am 
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Coastal Carolina is actually a public school and was formerly part of the of the University of South Carolina System - and would probably be a good fit geographically for the SoCon. They're kind of like Western Carolina - only at the beach.

Liberty had lobbied for many years to join the SoCon, which could have been a benefit for VMI as a travel partner. However, the fact that Dr. Jerry Falwell is the founder and president of the school was a major factor.

It is no secret that the SoCon openly coveted Eastern Kentucky, James Madison, Richmond and William & Mary as a way to make the football league more powerful.

There are possible changes on the way in the SoCon like UT Chattanooga moving to the Ohio Valley; App State, UNCG and Charleston moving to the Colonial (with my school - Northeastern) and Georgia Southern moving up to 1-A and the Sun Belt.

The Southern is the mother of all conferences in the south and will always be around and stable.


Last edited by civilrat on Sat Nov 15, 2003 8:27 am, edited 1 time in total.

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 Post subject: Who will join the Socon?
PostPosted: Sat Nov 15, 2003 9:00 pm 
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I think APP State would move to IA before Georgia Southern. The powers that be at GSU have no desire to be a little fish in a big pond. APP is currently gearing up for a major facilities upgrade. I do not see APP leaving the SOCON unles they go IA. Many APP fans do not like the direction the SOCON is taking. Problem for APP is the current AD is waiting to see how the BCS/non BCS situation shakes out. He expects that a new division of current non BCS schools and the best of IAA to be formed. Don't rule out The Citadel moving up. They draw the most fans in the SOCON and are also getting ready to build a new stadium.



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 Post subject: Who will join the Socon?
PostPosted: Sat Nov 15, 2003 11:51 pm 
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i agree with you civilrat about the southern conference's future being uncertain and thanks for correcting my coastal carolina info. with them being a public school, i bet they are a shoe in for socon affiliation with app. st. and georgia southern rallying behind them over gardner webb. however, if chatanooga were to leave, then gardner webb would be next in line. if a non-football school were to leave, such as coc, to the colonial i would suspect that they would be replaced by a non-football school to keep the football schools at nine and a round robin possible, but that is just I disagreeumption. if coc left for the colonial then i would get geogia st as they would give georgia southern someone closer.


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 Post subject: Who will join the Socon?
PostPosted: Sat Nov 15, 2003 11:52 pm 
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by the way civilrat, who do you think will be the two schools to get the caa to 12. my bet is on northeastern and coc.


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 Post subject: Who will join the Socon?
PostPosted: Sun Nov 16, 2003 8:53 am 
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I can see Northeastern and College of Charleston joining the CAA in a few years. Granted since a football playoff is not an issue in 1-AA, you can pretty much get away with 6 to 8 members in a league, but it seems everybody is going with the 12-team, 2-division lineup.

The benefits of Northeastern is that the school is experiencing unprecendented academic and athetlic improvement and their Co-operative Education program is ranked #1 in the US. Anyway, their campus is Boston and it provides a good recruiting and media market. It would be tough for NU to leave their traditional rivals like UNH, Maine, BU and UMass, but going south opens up a whole new territory for them.

The benefits of the College of Charleston is that they are one of the oldest public colleges in the country (like W & M), have an excellent liberal arts program, have always had major success in basketball anywhere they've hung their hat, and that Charleston is a good destination. They also give UNCW a travel partner.

If NU joins the CAA, then you have a football league with NU, James Madison, Wiliam & Mary, Towson, Hofstra and Delaware. Granted you'll only be playing 5 conference games, but you will have total control over league affairs, instant credibility, and more than likely an automatic playoff berth. No worries about filling in the schedule, because they'll always be playing their taditional rivals. If you need to have associate members (the trend is moving away from that), they you could pick-up Villanova and Georgetown.

The CAA alignment would be:
North: * Northeastern, * Delaware, Drexel, *Hofstra, *Towson, George Mason
South: * James Madison, Old Dominion, * William & Mary, Virginia Commonwealth, UNC Wilmington, College of Charleston



Last edited by civilrat on Sun Nov 16, 2003 9:11 am, edited 1 time in total.

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 Post subject: Who will join the Socon?
PostPosted: Mon Nov 17, 2003 6:49 pm 
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this is what i think will happen as well. they passed on northeastern last year, but unless umass suddenly has a desire to join the caa, i suspect that they will eventually take them in as well as coc to have a 12 team conf that offers football.

for the socon here is my thoughts on replacements.....
1. east tennesse st. replaced by coastal carolina (imo the top replacement candidate)
chattanooga replaced by gardner webb (if they go ovc)

now if coc leaves, then i am really uncertain who they will get. do they get a football school in charleston southern or another non football school like winthrop, unca, georgia st, or maybe even east tennesse st. will return.
my rankings would be
1. etsu
2. unca
3. georgia st.
4. winthrop
5. charleston southern



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 Post subject: Who will join the Socon?
PostPosted: Tue Nov 25, 2003 8:31 am 
Rumor has it that 2 of the three basketball schools are leaving too (CoC, UNCG, or Davidson). But common speculation seems to point to UNCG and CoC.

ETSU is leaving and that is a fact.

The Southern has expressed no interest in Gardner-Webb or Liberty......

But who they would really want is EKU. They may not happen but Coastal Carolina seems to be the second on the list, with Hampton University third, Tenn Tech 4th and NC A&T fifth.

Eastern Kentucky - This is who everyone wants, however, EKU doesn't have the largest of budgest and can't afford the trips to Charleston, Statesboro, or Greenville for all sports.

Coastal Carolina - Would be a bad choice. More like a pricate school than a public school and has very very bad academics. It is no secret that they want in.

Hampton - A fairly good private HBCU. Their administration has larger plans than what the MEAC can offer. They don't have the fan base to make it to I-A, but certainly want to be in a better all around conference. They have also openly stated that they want in.

Tenn Tech - They are a big question mark. I think if they were invited, they'd join. It'd keep UTC here as well. BUT, with the state of Tenn cutting back, one has to wonder if the cutbacks will affect their sports much like at ETSU. And I think that instability will keep them from an invite.

NC A&T - Their administration has openly stated that they have larger expectations than the MEAC can offer. It's been stated in the Greensboro newspaper that they are "looking around". Though, not enoguh $$$ to move to I-A, they (like Hampton) are wanting out of the MEAC.

Who else is possible?
Samford - Samford has wanted in the Southern for a long time. Though they are a smaller private school, the UTC fans are making a case for Samford.

Now, if the CAA does raid the Southern for basketball. This could start prompting the CAA football schools to look elsewhere. Could JMU, W&M or Towson be in the SoCon future perhaps?


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 Post subject: Who will join the Socon?
PostPosted: Tue Nov 25, 2003 8:32 am 
OH,
And on a side note, Georgia St, though not a football playing school, has applied to the Southern as well.

As far as I've been told, Georgia St, Hampton and Coastal are the only schools that have openly approached the conference.


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 Post subject: Who will join the Socon?
PostPosted: Tue Nov 25, 2003 2:18 pm 
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hey phoenix, i had heard about coc maybe coming to the caa but what about uncg and davidson? I hadn't heard anything about them wanting to leave.


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 Post subject: Who will join the Socon?
PostPosted: Tue Nov 25, 2003 3:42 pm 
From my understanding, CoC and UNCG are a done deal and WILL be annouced to be going to the CAA in the next week or two.

CoC has wanted to leave because the Southern has always been more focused on football than basketball. That's life. UNCG has complained about it a lot too.

I think Davidson is sticking by it's roots in the SoCon. And with Schools like Elon, Furman, Wofford, and Citadel ... they don't have anything to complain about with academics and athletics.

So all of a sudden, instead of ETSU needing to be replaced, now CoC, UNCG and ETSU need to be replaced.

IMHO, they shoudl take the football playing members to 11 and just leave Davidson as the extra team... while adding Hampton, Tenn Tech and one of EKU, NC A&T, Samford or Coastal Carolina.

-OR-
They need to take the football membership to 10 members adding two of the above, leave Davidson for basketball and take in either ETSU or Georgia St.


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 Post subject: Who will join the Socon?
PostPosted: Tue Nov 25, 2003 3:45 pm 
Oh, and by the way, the only realistic options for SoCon football additions are:

Jacksonville St (AL), Samford (AL), Coastal Carolina (SC), NC A&T, Hampton (VA), Tenn Tech, Eastern Kentucky, and VMI.

Liberty and the Falwell connection are too much for serious schools. Gardner-Webb is not on the same academic plane as the other privates in the conference, has recent scandals and does NOT have the facilities.


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 Post subject: Who will join the Socon?
PostPosted: Wed Nov 26, 2003 12:20 am 
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well this is really shocking to me as i thought the caa was going after at least one other northern 1-aa football school. i cant say that im dissappointed in the change if this turns out to be true as i love coc and was willing to accept northeastern if thats what it took to get them in and uncg gives us our coveted in-state rival and hopefully they will improve. east tennesee st. would have been a better addition competition wise, but with uncg being in state they have the advantage. this cant sit too well with the northern and football playing caa members.


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 Post subject: Who will join the Socon?
PostPosted: Wed Nov 26, 2003 12:25 am 
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back to the socon, i really dont know what their plan of action would be if they lost uncg and coc. id imagine if they wanted to stay at nine football schools with 12 overall then they would keep east tenn. st. and then add say georgia st. or a big south basketball school along with coastal carolina. if they wanted a more complete allsports conference then maybe they will add the meac schools of nc a&t and hampton, or one meac and coastal carolina, and then keep east tennese st. and davidson to have 10 football and 12 total. another idea would be to add a&t, hampton, and coastal, and try and get davidson to become scholarship football to have a complete 12 team all sports conference. SO MANY OPTIONS :) about the ovc schoools, i always thought they were a pretty tight knitt group, could the socon lure one or two to join? your thoughts phoenix.


Last edited by accseahawk on Wed Nov 26, 2003 12:58 am, edited 1 time in total.

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 Post subject: Who will join the Socon?
PostPosted: Wed Nov 26, 2003 8:33 am 
First, the CAA. What i've heard is that with the admission of St Louis and UNCC, the A-10 is focusing more on basketball and wants to move away from the football role. Depending one whether UMass goes up to I-A has a lot to do with this. And Rhode Island and Northeastern wanting to reduce scholarships adds to it, and that is probably the reason that the CAA did not add Northeastern (other than ODU being the sway vote and voting no to them). So, this will probably get the CAA a few associate members for football and take care of the league that you want.

Now, the Southern Conference needs to really wake up for this one. Lots of the public schools were very distraught with the admission of Wofford and then the admission of us (Elon). Granted we aren't that small (bigger than Furman, Davidson and Wofford combined) , but we have been playing the bottom level of DI and need a few years to recruit what we need.

There are a few issues here:
1) If the SoCon wants to keep UTC, then they need to get a school in that is more "local" to UTC ... obvious choices are Samford, Jacksonville St and Tennessee Tech.

2) The SoCon needs to get another large public school or so in to keep App and Georgia Southern happy.

3) The SoCon can't afford to bring in a school that is bad in academics which will ultimately cause Davidson to leave and push Elon, Furman, Citadel and Wofford away.

4) I personally think the conference needs to expand outside of it's footprint.

All of this is quite a tall order. And this is a lot of people to make happy in a different way. I think the OVC is somewhat of a tight knit group, but I also think that OVC schools like Tenn Tech, could be lured out in a very easy manner.

Tenn Tech, Jacksonville St or Eastern Kentucky have got to be added to keep App, UTC and Georgia Southern happy.

NC A&T would make the public schools happy as well.

Hampton would make Davidson, Furman, Wofford and Elon happy. But if they are the only school added, that will push the publics completely out almost.

Samford, this would make UTC happy, but again, won't please the publics.

Coastal, being the school with the highest dropout rate in DI, is going to do nothing but push the better academic schools out.

Taking another Big South school is not going to interest many of the SoCon members. Taking another private won't either. It's a very delicate situation right now, the conference is very unstable.....


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