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PostPosted: Tue Mar 29, 2005 1:26 pm 
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This idea was prompted by the news of Northern Kentucky pondering an upgrade to Division I.

The Horizon League picks up NKU, then nabs Oakland and Western Illinois from the Mid-Continent Conference, allowing it to split into two divisions:

Horizon West: WIU, WI-Green Bay, WI-Milwaukee, Loyola (IL), IL-Chicago, Butler
Horizon East: NKU, Wright State, Detroit Mercy, Cleveland State, Youngstown State, Oakland

Western Illinois gets the nod here over Valparaiso to keep from oversaturating the Chicago area and to gain some exposure in the nearby Quad Cities and even northeast Missouri.

The Mid-Continent Conference then makes a major push west, grabbing Denver from the Sun Belt, and five independents within or near the existing footprint.

Mid-Con West: Denver, Northern Colorado, Southern Utah, Utah Valley State, TAMU-Corpus Christi, TX-Pan American

Mid-Con East: Valparaiso, Chicago State, IUPUI, IPFW, UMKC, Oral Roberts,

This actually makes for decent travel partners:
Denver/UNC (64 miles)
SUU/UVSC (215 miles)
TAMU-CC/UTPA (149 miles)
UMKC/ORU (244 miles)
Valpo/Chicago State (56 miles)
IUPUI/IPFW (130 miles)

Centenary is sacrificed to the Southland Conference, which in turn is losing Louisiana-Monroe to the Sun Belt. If the Southland takes in Central Arkansas as well, this would give the Southland 6 schools in Texas and 6 outside of Texas.

This would barely keep the Mid-Continent 6/5 compliant, but it's good enough to pass. The remaining 6 schools would be Chicago State, IUPUI, UMKC, Oral Roberts, Southern Utah, and Valparaiso.


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PostPosted: Tue Mar 29, 2005 9:24 pm 
As far as Oakland is concerned, the Horizon League already has Detroit...although Illinois-Chicago (Loyola) began conference play concurrent with Cleveland State, Northern Illinois, Wisconsin-Milwaukee, Wisconsin-Green Bay, and Wright State (1994-1995), the invitation was extended a few months later (only after the announced departure of Xavier for the A-10)...

Western Illinois is a "football" school that is, in relative terms, a fair distance from the Quad Cities...there is no exposure in Northeast Missouri to be acquired...

Also, the Southland Conference has failed to express interest in (proximate) Centenary on multiple occasions...


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PostPosted: Tue Mar 29, 2005 11:31 pm 
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Western Illinois is only 70 miles from the Quad Cities, and they have a branch campus there (obviously on the Illinois side). If you still don't like WIU jumping, you could take Valpo instead-WIU and Chicago State would then be Mid-Con travel partners. Unless if the Mid-Con or MVC start sponsoring football, or if the OVC comes calling, WIU football will stay in the Gateway Football Conference.

I know Oakland and UDM are practically on top of each other, but in a place the size of Detroit the Horizon League might be able to get away with it. If you insist, though, you could substitute Valpo/WIU from the MCC (Butler slides to the HL East), Evansville from the Missouri Valley, Duquesne from the Atlantic 10, or an upgraded Grand Valley State in Michigan.

If the Southland doesn't want Centenary, they could take Texas A&M-Corpus Christi instead, or even Oral Roberts from the Mid-Continent.

A conference (especially the Mid-Con) would be better off taking neither of the Texas independents rather than one, simply because they are both so far south-UTPA is literally within a few miles of the Mexican border. If a conference takes both at least the travel partner concept can be used.


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PostPosted: Wed Mar 30, 2005 10:19 am 
Clearly Centenary is a geographic anomaly in the Mid-Con. What were they thinking when they admitted a Louisiana school so far away form everyone else ?

Southern Utah is a haul, as well, but might be bridged somewhat by Denver / Northern Colorado, if that ever took place (Northern Colorado to the Big SKy sounds like they are in the midst of Due Diligence right now).

So if a conference ever wanted to jettison a school that just doesn't fit .... (see Mid-Con - Centenary, WAC - La Tech; Sun Belt - Denver) - how do they do that ?
If the school doesn't have a soft landing place, they may fight expulsion tooth and nail. Probably the conference membership agreement outlines whether there need to be grounds for expulsion.....

I think in the case of the Big XII, I read that 10 of 11 teams can simply vote to expel a school (such as Baylor), without having to establish grounds. I am not sure that is correct however.

The alternative might be for all the other teams to secede and form a new conference without the undesired member (this can be costly in terms of NCAA basketball auto-bids and tourney $$$).

It seems like there would be a lot of opportunity for re-alignment, but that often the stumbling block is the
team(s) left behind, and potential law-suits....


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PostPosted: Wed Mar 30, 2005 9:01 pm 
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If virtually all the teams leave, the tourney $ stay with the schools that earned them. What can happen is that they threaten to secede and end up doing a buyout.

This form of realignment has happened quite a few times. The SEC, ACC, Big 8, Big 12, Conference USA & MWC were all formed this way. The Pac teams seceded to effectively get rid of one school, Idaho.


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PostPosted: Wed Mar 30, 2005 11:02 pm 
The PCC dissolved amidst a major recruiting scandal, which primarily pitted UCLA against Cal, and re-grouped as the Athletic Association of Western Universities (AAWU), featuring the "Big Five" (California schools and Washington), in 1959...

Washington State, Oregon, and Oregon State apparently participated in the initial talks which led to the formation of the WAC (1962) before becoming re-aligned with the "Big Five" by the mid-1960s...

While Idaho was not (re)admitted and became a charter member of the Big Sky (alongside former PCC member Montana), I'm not sure that it was necessarily the catalyst for the overall dissolution of the PCC, especially since Wazzu and the Oregon schools were not included in the original AAWU...

Supposedly there was talk of a cross-country "metro" conference featuring Houston, Pitt, and possibly others in addition to the "Big Five" (or at least UCLA and USC), but obviously if there was ever any such serious talk it never came to fruition...


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PostPosted: Thu Mar 31, 2005 9:19 pm 
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I'm not familiar with the triggers for the PCC dissolution. However, effectively, they reorganized and were all back together in 5 years except Idaho. And I do know they were not happy with Idaho's half-hearted participation. Its interesting that Idaho is doing much the same thing now, using WSU's stadium to meet the 30k stadium requirement (and now having gotten in, playing mostly in their own 16k stadium).


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PostPosted: Thu Mar 31, 2005 9:22 pm 
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Horizon League
East
Cleveland St
Detroit
Northern Kentucky
Oakland
Wright St
Youngstown St
West
Butler
Illinois-Chicago
IUPUI
Loyola
Wisconsin-Green Bay
Wisconsin-Milwaukee

Mid-Continet Conference
East
Chicago State
North Dakota St
South Dakota St
UMKC
Valparasio
Western Illinois
West
Denver
Oral Roberts
Southern Utah
Texas A&M-Corpus Christi
Texas Pan American
Utah Valley State


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PostPosted: Fri Apr 01, 2005 10:29 am 
Western Illinois would be a great fit in the MVC.

Youngstown State is pretty far east, and ultimately might have their sights set on the MAC. I think they might have fared better in D1-A (MAC) than Buffalo and Akron.


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PostPosted: Fri Apr 01, 2005 8:24 pm 
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Other than geographically why would the Missouri Valley want Western Illinois? Missouri Valley is one of the top 10 basketball leagues. Western Illinois has an RPI in the 300's never have really been successful in that sport. Other than geographically there is no reason for Western to be in the MVC. If the Valley expands look for Western Kentucky and either Butler, Oral Roberts or UMKC. They wanted Saint Louis, but SLU went to the A10. Even though in the long run SLU would have been better in thr MVC. UMKC basically bc of the KC market, but they did have some success this season.


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PostPosted: Sat Apr 02, 2005 10:37 pm 
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How realistic is the possibility of Southern Utah joining the Big Sky? Denver/Utah Valley aren't exactly ideal travel partners, but even trading SUU for UVSC would corral the footprint somewhat.

If SUU can get in the Big Sky, it may keep the Horizon or Mid-Continent from going to twelve.


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PostPosted: Sat Apr 02, 2005 11:41 pm 
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How realistic is the possibility of Southern Utah joining the Big Sky? Denver/Utah Valley aren't exactly ideal travel partners, but even trading SUU for UVSC would corral the footprint somewhat.

If SUU can get in the Big Sky, it may keep the Horizon or Mid-Continent from going to twelve.


Southern Utah wants to join the Big Sky but the Big Sky doesn't want them. The Big Sky wants Northern Colorado. If Montana moves up then I say Southern Utah might be a good choice but until then they look stuck in the Mid-Con.


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