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PostPosted: Sun Feb 10, 2008 10:48 pm 
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I look at the college landscape and the MVC hits me as a conference that will get hit in the next wave of conference realignment.

It reminds me a lot of the SWC right before Arkansas bailed. It is a conference with a lot of history, but publics and privates pulling in different directions.

S. Ill, Missou State, and Wichita State alumni have FBS dreams. Indiana State's, Ill State's, and N. Iowa's might as well. All schools are large enough to consider it and a "raid" on the MAC and or sunbelts could get the conference up to a FBS hybrid status in short order.

Bradley, creighton, and Evansville are very healthy basketball schools with little apparent interest in "foosball".

What happens to this conference?





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PostPosted: Mon Feb 11, 2008 4:15 pm 
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I would love to see a new regional conference born from the non-football schools, getting together with Xavier, Dayton and St. Louis from the A10, and Butler and perhaps Detroit from the Horizon

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PostPosted: Tue Feb 12, 2008 6:01 pm 
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Actually, I think the Valley is an exceptionally stable conference for the foreseeable future (which is about ten minutes in this here crazy world).

But, here's one way of approaching it:

Let's throw all of the midwestern non-FCS D-I schools into a pot and stir it around--basically the Missouri Valley, the Horizon, and the Summit Leagues.

First, deal with some of the outliers:
Centenary probably drops out of D-I by 2025.
Southern Utah finally gets into the Big Sky.
Youngstown State (only an outlier football-wise) gets into the MAC.

That cleans up the map a bit.

Let's also spice things up by, as Quinn suggests, by moving St. Louis, Dayton, and Xavier back to a Midwestern league. Further, let's give Denver a slightly more geographically reasonable home than the Sun Belt.

Let's go ahead and give Wichita State a football program.

That gives us an 11-team D-I scholarship (possibly lower-tier FCS) football league (Valley?)
Illinois St.
Indiana St.
Missouri St.
Northern Iowa
North Dakota State
North Dakota
South Dakota State
South Dakota
Southern Illinois
Western Illinois
Wichita State

For no better reason than geography, you have two 12-team non-football leagues (you might have three eight-team leagues, but that would require the NCAA to let another autobid out into the wild--and I think if any league will get that it will be the Big East splitting into two conferences--I don't see the NCAA going farther than 32 automatic bid conferences):

Eastern Midwest (Horizon?)
Butler
Cleveland St.
Dayton
Detroit
Evansville
IPFW
IUPUI
Oakland
SIU-Edwardsville
St. Louis
Wright St.
Xavier

Western Midwest (Summit?)
Bradley
Chicago St.
Creighton
Denver
Drake
Loyola-Chicago
Oral Roberts
Illinois-Chicago
UMKC
Wisconsin-Green Bay
Wisconsin-Milwaukee
Valparaiso

This is certainly NOT how things will look in 2025--it'll be even crazier, I'm sure.


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PostPosted: Tue Feb 12, 2008 10:18 pm 
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You've got schools with too much clout to take such gigantic steps backwards. The scenario I put out there with the private schools from the MVC teaming with Xavier, Dayton and St. Louis would be a grouping of some of the top schools in the region. but you know what? It's doubtful that the A10 (3) would even consider a move since it would take them OUT of all the top markets (Philadelphia, NY, DC, etc).


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PostPosted: Wed Feb 13, 2008 2:06 am 
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Quote:
Actually, I think the Valley is an exceptionally stable conference for the foreseeable future (which is about ten minutes in this here crazy world).


I loved your post, but I found this initial statement a bit odd. Today I agree that the MVC conference is stable, but Creighton is as much of a basketball power in terms of the development of their program as say Marquette or Xavier. Bradly is not far off that pace either. Someone will try to poach them eventually.

And I think Missou State and So ILL. want to move back up if they can find members who would deliver financial viability (strong, well attended local programs and good TV markets), and if they did, Wichita State (who really should change their name to Wichita University) and Illinois St. probably would as well. Northern Iowa hits me as not being big enough/ready and Indiana State is frankly too small to make the jump back to IA even though they may want to as well. This conference moved down together and I think that while all members would want to stay together, many realize that their financial realities do not include a return to BCS status. The 4 public schools and Marquette and Bradley breaking away could certainly put the conference in jeapordy.

The flipside of the coin is the MVC could embrace change and expand to get enough football members to become a midwestern hybrid ala the Big East. I think this is VERY possible if the conference is so inclined.

Getting up to 8 FBS members would not likely be hard. They could admit all 4 Dakota schools. UND, NDSU, and SDSU would probably all be willing to expand their facilities and make the jump to be say a 20K attendance FBS school. (My impression is they jumped to FCS to test the water for FBS with the understanding that being Montana --- a profitable FCS power --- would not be the end of the world.) That would give them 7 football members. USD is too small, but they could come as well as a non-football member until enrollment made a jump viable. Their inclusion would make it a total no-brainer for both states.

(I am not going to argue whether they should jump to FBS, but I will state that they recruit exceptionally well in an area that appears capable of supporting at least two more FBS schools---making that statement based on Minne and Wisconsin only having one school each with very large populations AND the Dakota schools performances the last few years. Sometime fortune smiles on you and a scenario presents itself that cannot be passed up. The MVC and the Dakota schools could really help each other.)

Northern Illinois might consider bailing on the MAC to join an FBS Illinois State and Southern Illinois. The competition would be similiar, but the branding opportunity is much better for them in an FBS MVC. That gives you real leverage in all of the Illinois markets including America's #3 market, Chicago (N. Ill's native market).

Arkansas State might bail on the Sunbelt for an FBS MVC hybrid. Ark. State actually has a very well developed BB program (averaged 4K+ per game over the last 5 years in the sunbelt). They are very close to Missou State and S. Ill, which dramatically helps travel costs.

UNT might be willing to bolt as well and rejoin. This would put them in a market with Dallas and Chicago local representation. The only athletic advantage the Sunbelt has over the MVC, is that they play FBS. UNT has been a good basketball school lately and the MVC has become a power basketball conference. The WAC doesn't make a ton of sense for UNT, but a hybrid MVC with Arkansas State would.

Finally the branding of these schools are right. "X State", North X, Southern X... these schools fit together in terms of branding a rising confernce.

Could the conference at that point attract schools like Houston and Memphis and leads them to rejoin? Probably not, but it isn't out of the realm of possibility that a scenario could occur that drop both schools from BCS consideration and lead both schools to embrace an FBS MVC. Great, well attended basketball. Good other sports. FBS football. Similar university views. Good footprint. with Houston and Memphis, the conference would be very high profile in Dallas, Houston, and Chicago --- that is PHAT TV revenue....


Quote:
But, here's one way of approaching it:

Let's throw all of the midwestern non-FCS D-I schools into a pot and stir it around--basically the Missouri Valley, the Horizon, and the Summit Leagues.

First, deal with some of the outliers:
Centenary probably drops out of D-I by 2025.
Southern Utah finally gets into the Big Sky.
Youngstown State (only an outlier football-wise) gets into the MAC.

That cleans up the map a bit.


I agree all these scenarios are reasonable.


Quote:
Let's also spice things up by, as Quinn suggests, by moving St. Louis, Dayton, and Xavier back to a Midwestern league. Further, let's give Denver a slightly more geographically reasonable home than the Sun Belt.

Let's go ahead and give Wichita State a football program.

That gives us an 11-team D-I scholarship (possibly lower-tier FCS) football league (Valley?)
Illinois St.
Indiana St.
Missouri St.
Northern Iowa
North Dakota State
North Dakota
South Dakota State
South Dakota
Southern Illinois
Western Illinois
Wichita State


I have truncated the rest of your post because another newer (and ANOTHER IMO quite wise) poster posted an alternate view that makes a ton more sense to me than yours --- you seemed to lose a lot of enthusiasm about here in your post---, even though technically his may not truly be likely either. I'll bounce that thread to the top of the list in a minute so you can see what I mean.

I am going to touch on the football side of this group in that thread, because I think that thread was unfairly overlooked.

I think Charlotte, St. Louis, Xavier, and Dayton got into the A10 for east coast legitimacy, anticipating the time when the Big East breaks. While I think it would make more sense for those schools to be in a conference like the MVC, academics probably played a big role. I have to think they are angling for BE BB conference spots in 2010. Those BE universities appear to be more "peer" members.

The competition and reputation may be better in the A10, but the basketball programs themselves (fan attendance) are better in the MVC.


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PostPosted: Thu Feb 14, 2008 2:30 am 
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I agree that there may be a re-shuffling of midwest basketball-playing schools into a mid-major league and a lower-mid-major league. It is true I basically punted and divided them geographically rather than by historic-strength-of-program, which would take a lot longer to analyze especially for an off-the-cuff post on a discussion board. ;D

I think a football-playing Valley, possibly a kind of MAC-West (lower-tier FCS level) including some or all of the Dakota schools, maybe Arkansas St., maybe North Texas and/or Texas St., could happen as well.

I'm pretty sure that one way or another, however, there will be a "Missouri Valley Conference" in 2025, because there are too many schools (Oral Roberts, UMKC, SDSU, NDSU, etc., etc.) who want into the conference and would provide quality replacements for any basketball-only schools (Creighton, et al) who might leave.


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PostPosted: Sun Feb 17, 2008 1:50 pm 
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FBS Missouri Valley:

Wichita State, Missouri State, Northern Iowa, North Dakota State, South Dakota State
Indiana State, Northern Illinois, Southern Illinois, Illinois State, Western Kentucky

Indiana State plays football in the Summit League, but is needed to preserve the autobid in basketball.

FCS Summit League:

West - North Dakota, South Dakota, Drake, Creighton, UMKC, Oral Roberts
East - Evansville, Bradley, Western Illinois, IUPUI, IPFW, Oakland

Southern Utah moves to the Big Sky and Centenary moves to the Southland.


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