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PostPosted: Sat Jul 05, 2014 8:46 am 
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wbyeager wrote:
If the HL takes Belmont, could IUPUI be a target for the OVC? The OVC wouldn't need a football school, and IUPUI serves as a connector between EIU and EKU/Morehead.


Wouldn't the OVC just replace Belmont with Lipscomb?


ncaanopaawaa2000 wrote:
Wait, you think that Belmont might be a possible eligible full member candidate for the Horizon, DESPITE not being in the Midwest footprint, which the conference has traditionally been? If so, will Northern Kentucky be next?


Yes, Belmont is on the HL radar. Nashville, really isn't that far out of the Midwest footprint. It is an easy flight for most schools from any Midwest airport into Nashville.
Nashville to Chicago is the same distance from Austin to Lubbock. And Tech is a huge rival of UT...and tons of people make the trip, either way.

And yes, NKU is also on the radar for the HL.

I don't think conferences, today, are that worried about an extra hour of travel. Market size, recruiting and academics seem to be more important.


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 Post subject: Horizon League Expansion
PostPosted: Sun Jul 06, 2014 1:00 pm 
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I know it would probably be beneath the Horizon League to add a school straight from D-II, but Bellarmine in Louisville is the missing spoke in the wheel.

SIU-Edwardsville could also work as it a 4.5 hour drive from Nashville. A small piece of the St. Louis market may be worth more than a small piece of the Louisville market.

To some degree Nashville is the south end of the grey area between the Midwest and South since so many people in Nashville aren't from there originally.

And yes, if Belmont goes, I'd expect Lipscomb to get a look from the OVC. It will just depend on what the OVC wants to do.


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PostPosted: Tue Jul 08, 2014 10:24 am 
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wbyeager wrote:
I know it would probably be beneath the Horizon League to add a school straight from D-II, but Bellarmine in Louisville is the missing spoke in the wheel.

SIU-Edwardsville could also work as it a 4.5 hour drive from Nashville. A small piece of the St. Louis market may be worth more than a small piece of the Louisville market.

To some degree Nashville is the south end of the grey area between the Midwest and South since so many people in Nashville aren't from there originally.

And yes, if Belmont goes, I'd expect Lipscomb to get a look from the OVC. It will just depend on what the OVC wants to do.



Is there any word on Bellarmine or even UM St. Louis? The Realignment Grid says they could be ready....but, I think that was written a few years ago...and yet nothing has happened.
What's the scoop?


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PostPosted: Wed Jul 16, 2014 5:42 pm 
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wbyeager wrote:
And yes, if Belmont goes, I'd expect Lipscomb to get a look from the OVC. It will just depend on what the OVC wants to do.


Actually, if Belmont does indeed become a full member of the Horizon, Lipscomb would also be considered...as a natural travel partner. As mentioned before, the other two southern choices, Evansville and Murray State probably won't come. That leaves Lipscomb, which would make a better partner anyway. They are in the same state; same city; share the same boulevard; have shared the same students (transfers). Being in a higher profile league with more TV exposure could elevate their rivalry to another level, a la Detroit vs Oakland.


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PostPosted: Thu Jul 17, 2014 1:11 pm 
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So why exactly does the Horizon hate IUPUI and IPFW so much? They seem like natural fits in that league especially if they were to go to 12 and institute division play.


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PostPosted: Sun Jul 20, 2014 10:36 am 
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I'm certain that Valpo, UIC, Detroit and Milwaukee already recruit the northern Indiana area pretty heavily. So, I can see why they really wouldn't want to add two more schools to fight for the same students. Especially, since they just got rid of Butler...in the same territory(at least out of this conference).

I agree with those who believe the Horizon should probably look elsewhere for additional schools. Expanding the footprint...even if it's just to southern Indiana, Ky, Ill, or Tenn. would add to the recruiting capabilities of every school in the conference.


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PostPosted: Sun Jul 20, 2014 12:51 pm 
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In regard to Fort Wayne (IPFW) I posted these ideas several weeks ago--but for some reason my post never materialized on this board.
As a graduate of IPFW I had provided several pros and cons concerning Fort Wayne joining the Horizon League. But I'll just get to the meat of my thoughts to see if they actually appear this time...lol.

1. Here is a Cleveland State blog from March of 2014 with a quote from Cleveland State head coach Gary Waters "Waters said that the HL is looking at IPFW as a possible future member for joining the conference".

Link--- http://clevelandstatehoops.blogspot.com ... uglas.html

2. Since Valparaiso transitioned to the Horizon from the Summit League--Fort Wayne has gone 3-2 with Valpo, also handing them their worst home loss ever 63-46 in 2008-2009. Here is the Valpo fan forum where they are talking smack about IPFW with many of the commenters suggesting there is no rivalry between the schools...while others suggest caution...and sure enough IPFW (With an awesomely talented Frank Gaines who is currently playing summer league b-ball with the Pacers) goes off and Valpo gets beat 85-76 at the Coliseum in Fort Wayne.

Link: http://www.valpofanzone.com/forum/index.php?topic=484.0

It is only a 100 miles from Valparaiso to Fort Wayne (Indiana's second largest city with a population of 256,000+) down Route 30--so I feel that there might possibly be a consideration about the geographic factor related to Fort Wayne being invited to the HL.

3. Fort Wayne was 30 seconds from getting a bid to the big dance in 2014 (Losing to NDSU by 3 in the Summit League tournament played for the last several years in guess where...the Dakotas) but still goes 25-11 and defeats a MAC team in post season play.

Is the blog and quote from the Cleveland State head basketball coach just hearsay? Maybe...but it is still interesting in the way in which it was shared...matter-of-factly with other Horizon League news. Also, Fort Wayne needs to increase their athletic budget to be on the same level as other Horizon League institutions...no doubt about it.

IPFW is not a sexy name for sure....but being branded as "Fort Wayne" by the Summit League the last few seasons is certainly a step in the right direction. Remember when Milwaukee and Green Bay were UW-Milwaukee and UW-Green Bay several years ago? These type of things take time which leads me to my last point.

As a Fort Wayne grad--do I think that IPFW is ready for the Horizon League? Probably not...still a few years away. However, from some of the smug posts on this board by Horizon League fans from other institutions who feel that the HL had written IPFW off years ago...they may want to at least get familiar with the idea.

IPFW has a ways to go in regard to perception, but from Cleveland State's Gary Waters comment it sounds like Fort Wayne is at least in the discussion. One final thought....8 of the 9 current Horizon League members once played and called the Summit League home (Only Detroit-Mercy did not)....so be gracious since you got there first...ya just never know ;)

The Summit League is consistently becoming a Great Plains oriented conference...maybe they will pick up an eastern-based school to offset this shift and keep IUPUI, Western Illinois, and IPFW interested in the Summit (Final RPI 17 in 2014, Horizon was 14, and Fort Wayne was 118) for long-term.

Alrighty, just a few thoughts--have saved and backed-up my comments just in case--hope they post this time :mrgreen:


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PostPosted: Thu Jul 24, 2014 3:23 pm 
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Sub-Human wrote:
In regard to Fort Wayne (IPFW) I posted these ideas several weeks ago--but for some reason my post never materialized on this board.
As a graduate of IPFW I had provided several pros and cons concerning Fort Wayne joining the Horizon League. But I'll just get to the meat of my thoughts to see if they actually appear this time...lol.

1. Here is a Cleveland State blog from March of 2014 with a quote from Cleveland State head coach Gary Waters "Waters said that the HL is looking at IPFW as a possible future member for joining the conference".

Link--- http://clevelandstatehoops.blogspot.com ... uglas.html" onclick="window.open(this.href);return false;" onclick="window.open(this.href);return false;" onclick="window.open(this.href);return false;

2. Since Valparaiso transitioned to the Horizon from the Summit League--Fort Wayne has gone 3-2 with Valpo, also handing them their worst home loss ever 63-46 in 2008-2009. Here is the Valpo fan forum where they are talking smack about IPFW with many of the commenters suggesting there is no rivalry between the schools...while others suggest caution...and sure enough IPFW (With an awesomely talented Frank Gaines who is currently playing summer league b-ball with the Pacers) goes off and Valpo gets beat 85-76 at the Coliseum in Fort Wayne.

Link: http://www.valpofanzone.com/forum/index.php?topic=484.0" onclick="window.open(this.href);return false;" onclick="window.open(this.href);return false;" onclick="window.open(this.href);return false;

It is only a 100 miles from Valparaiso to Fort Wayne (Indiana's second largest city with a population of 256,000+) down Route 30--so I feel that there might possibly be a consideration about the geographic factor related to Fort Wayne being invited to the HL.

Is the blog and quote from the Cleveland State head basketball coach just hearsay? Maybe...but it is still interesting in the way in which it was shared...matter-of-factly with other Horizon League news. Also, Fort Wayne needs to increase their athletic budget to be on the same level as other Horizon League institutions...no doubt about it.


What Coach Waters mentioned about Fort Wayne could be nothing more than just the HL doing their due diligence in vetting potential conference members. Fort Wayne going 3-2 against Valpo just means that one team has the other team's number and is not indicative of future conference inclusion. The other accolades you list for the 'Dons are great, but recent and have not been sustained. Fort Wayne would have to make HUGE inroads financially as well as facilities wise to be on par with Horizon League schools. Also the academics and mission of HL schools are different than IPFW.

Sub-Human wrote:
As a Fort Wayne grad--do I think that IPFW is ready for the Horizon League? Probably not...still a few years away. However, from some of the smug posts on this board by Horizon League fans from other institutions who feel that the HL had written IPFW off years ago...they may want to at least get familiar with the idea.

IPFW has a ways to go in regard to perception, but from Cleveland State's Gary Waters comment it sounds like Fort Wayne is at least in the discussion. One final thought....8 of the 9 current Horizon League members once played and called the Summit League home (Only Detroit-Mercy did not)....so be gracious since you got there first...ya just never know ;)


I don't think it's a matter of being smug, but just posting things that we've heard throughout this whole expansion/realignment stuff. We've seen statements and have had conversations with some in the know (even those in administration at our respective schools) that said IUPUI and IPFW were not considered viable candidates for the Horizon League. Sure, things could change, but that change will be a long time coming. Again, what Coach Waters said is no indication of impending inclusion (although you didn't say it was).

UIC, CSU, Green Bay, Wright State and Milwaukee, all left the Mid-Continent Conference (along with Northern Illinois) as a group in '94. None of those teams were under Commissioner Douple, so to imply that our schools came from that same conference or culture that exists today is a bit misleading. Valparaiso was to initially leave when the group left, but at the time the Valpo AD and the Mid-Con Commish were father/son, hence their staying behind. Oakland is the only program that has played in the current Summit.

The HL, since then has ranked between 10 & 14 as a league with an average ranking of 12. The Summit had a great year rpi-wise, but usually rank in the 20's.

Hey look, if the Board of Directors decide to invite Fort Wayne, then so be it, but we think there are better candidates and better fits for the league.

By the way, I do think the Mastodons is a great team nickname.


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PostPosted: Sat Jan 31, 2015 6:14 pm 
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If the Horizon League only expands to 10 I think Robert Morris University (in PA), IUPUI, IPFW, and Northern Kentucky are the best choices in that order. They could choose to expand to 12 with the following options Belmont/Lipscomb/Northern Kentucky, IPFW/IUPUI/Western Illinois, UMKC/Robert Morris/IUPUI, North Dakota State/South Dakota/South Dakota State, Southern Illinois Edwardsville/Eastern Illinois/Western Illinois. I think it is possible that the Horizon League chooses to stay at 9 schools. I doubt the Horizon League will ever add Chicago State as the WAC is the only conference that would take them after they were kicked out of what is now the Summit League.


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PostPosted: Sun Feb 01, 2015 5:43 pm 
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Boyee wrote:
If the Horizon League only expands to 10 I think Robert Morris University (in PA), IUPUI, IPFW, and Northern Kentucky are the best choices in that order. They could choose to expand to 12 with the following options Belmont/Lipscomb/Northern Kentucky, IPFW/IUPUI/Western Illinois, UMKC/Robert Morris/IUPUI, North Dakota State/South Dakota/South Dakota State, Southern Illinois Edwardsville/Eastern Illinois/Western Illinois. I think it is possible that the Horizon League chooses to stay at 9 schools. I doubt the Horizon League will ever add Chicago State as the WAC is the only conference that would take them after they were kicked out of what is now the Summit League.


We have discussed many reasons why the Indiana schools won't be considered for inclusion.

Some of the other combinations seem a bit odd, as well. Why would the Horizon want a bunch of Dakota schools or UMKC?


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PostPosted: Mon Feb 02, 2015 12:45 pm 
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The Horizon League and a handful of other conferences are sitting at artificially low membership numbers because they are enjoying the financial windfall from extra tournament shares and they would rather keep that money to themselves then allow a newcomer to share in the pot. Leagues like the Horizon also know that if there is another round of realignment that even though they are smaller that they aren't on the hot-seat because even if they do lose a member or members they can easily reload from a lower league. Even the A-Sun, which is the lowest on the totem pole in the southeast, could probably pull in D1 replacements from the WAC and non-football schools from some of the football conferences if things became dire (think of a western division of UALR, New Orleans, A&M Corpus Christi, and Texas-RGV.)

If there were suddenly some movement among the upper conferences--let say FOX pressured the Big East to expand or something blew up with the power 5, then I think we might see leagues like the Horizon, Summit, and A-Sun grow back to 10 or more. Who knows, UAB might cause a trickle down effect depending on how things go.


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PostPosted: Wed Feb 11, 2015 11:23 am 
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Cleveland State AD John Parry made some comments about Horizon League expansion in an interview prior to a CSU game:

http://cleveland.morethanafan.net/2015/ ... ason-blah/


CSU Coach Gary Waters also made comments about HL expansion in a different media session where he said the HL will definitely add one team after the '14-'15 season.

"They are going to do it this year," Waters said about Horizon League expansion. "Definitely one."

The HL could add up to three schools in the future. Schools that have been rumored as possibilities include: Belmont, Murray State, Northern Kentucky, IUPUI, IPFW and Lipscomb.

http://clevelandstatehoops.blogspot.com ... state.html

By the way, the last linked page doesn't exist anymore. Don't know if it was because Waters was premature in his announcement or the blogger just decided to get rid of it.


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PostPosted: Thu Feb 12, 2015 5:36 pm 
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My thoughts on those expansion schools:

Belmont--good basketball school with some recent success. If they are interested, they would be a nice add but a bit of a stretch on the geographic footprint--they currently have a pretty nice set up in the OVC.

Murray St--this one doesn't make a bit of sense. Where are they going to put their football team?

Lipscomb--this one also seems nonsensical to me. Unlike nearby Belmont, they aren't very good at basketball.

NKU--this one makes a lot of sense even if they still have a couple years to complete the transition process. Great travel partner for Wright St and makes for neat travel pairs for the whole league.

IPFW and IUPUI-- why does everyone in the Horizon League hate them so much? They are in Indiana's two largest cities.


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PostPosted: Fri Feb 13, 2015 10:33 am 
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I spent a few minutes looking at the conference map....

and wonder why Niagara and Canisius aren't under consideration for two spots in the Horizon?

Buffalo is a quality market...with all the amenities of a large city. So, why aren't these two schools under consideration? I have to admit that I don't know much about these two schools...maybe, I am missing something obvious??


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PostPosted: Sat Feb 14, 2015 2:19 am 
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mozilla wrote:
I spent a few minutes looking at the conference map....

and wonder why Niagara and Canisius aren't under consideration for two spots in the Horizon?

Buffalo is a quality market...with all the amenities of a large city. So, why aren't these two schools under consideration? I have to admit that I don't know much about these two schools...maybe, I am missing something obvious??


Actually, on our message board, Niagara and Canisius have both been mentioned. Mainly because they both are private and the two privates, Detroit and Valparaiso would like to add more privates to balance the public/private disparity in the League.

Niagara, Canisius, Duquesne, LaSalle and Robert Morris have all been mentioned at one time or another. But the consensus from most HL posters is Belmont and NKU for sure and one of either Murray State (the preferred) or Lipscomb. In trying to get Belmont, the HL is making a southern push. And the league has to make way for a compatible travel partner for them. Lipscomb is the most economical choice, but Murray State would be the better competitive choice...and the Bruins already play Murray State anyway. Those eastern teams are not being pushed as hard because most posters realize that the league is trying to forge south into the Nashville market. If NKU is brought aboard, now the league would have two new markets: Nashville and Cincinnati. If this is accomplished, to further help out concerning travel costs, we speculate that the league would then go to 2 divisions: a north and a south with the south traveling within its own division for round robin play and every other year traveling to the north, with the northern teams making the return trips the following year.


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