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 Post subject: OVC 12th school
PostPosted: Wed Sep 27, 2006 2:58 pm 
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Since UT Chattanooga rejected the OVC's invitation to remain in the Southern Conference, who would be the next best pick to become the 12th school?

Western Illinois - Not the most attractive among existing I-AA schools, but does play football and is tucked in nicely between Eastern Illinois and Southeast Missouri state. WIU might be hesitant to leave the Gateway for football, but would probably gladly get out of the Mid-Continent for everything else.

SIU - Edwardsville - Would have to upgrade from Division II. Close to St. Louis and a number of current OVC members. SIUE does play football.

Ohio Central State - Would have to upgrade from Division II. Adds a new, but contiguous state to the OVC. Also plays football.

North Alabama - Division II football traditional power would be the third OVC school in Alabama if they upgrade.

Indiana, PA - Definitely outside the conference footprint, but seems to have more tangible plans to move up I-AA.

Northern Kentucky - School does not play football and seems content to remain in Division II for now, but brings presence in suburban Cincinnati.

South Alabama - USA doesn't play football (yet), but if the Jaguars pick up the pigskin, they may want a I-AA home. USA brings the OVC to Mobile, and would be instant rivals with Samford and Jacksonville State. Fans may consider the OVC a downgrade, though, for basketball and baseball.

UAH - Football isn't really on the radar, and the Chargers seem content with Division II.

Kentucky State - The historically black university would have to upgrade to Division I-AA. Would be great rivals with Morehead State and give the OVC two footholds (albeit, nowhere near as big as UK or U of L) in the Lexington market. Along with Tennessee State, could wind up being a target for the SWAC, as KSU and TSU would give the SWAC 12 schools.

West Georgia - If Alabama schools are in the OVC, and UWG currently plays in the Division II Gulf South, surely this wouldn't be a blatant geographic stretch. School does play football, and would be a natural rival of Jacksonville State.


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 Post subject: OVC 12th school
PostPosted: Wed Sep 27, 2006 7:14 pm 
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Here are a few others:

Bellermine or Spaulding:

Both have Excellent academics and either brings the Louisville market to the OVC for the first time since U of L left. Both are planning to moveto Division 1. However Spaulding doesn't play football, and sectarian differences may cause Samford to try to block either of them (but if Samford didn't, they would make excellent rivals.)

Shawnee State:

As with Ohio Central State, would bring in Ohio for the first time since Youngstown State left for the Mid Continent and Gateway. Historic Indian Reservation School means small but rabid fanbase. Natural rival to Morehead State, Eastern Kentucky, and Southeast Missouri State. Could also revive storied basketball rivalry with Miami University of Ohio if they upgraded, but would need to upgrade all the way from Division III.

Southern Indiana:

Would bring the Evansville/Owensboro market in for the first time since Evansville left. Natural rival for Eastern Illinois and Murray State. Must upgrade to Division 1AA, and their football porgram is in jeopardy.

Lincoln University of Missouri:

Historically black land grant status means statewide mission. Natural rivals with Southeast Missouri State and Tennessee State. Like Kentucky State, may be a better candidate for the SWAC.

Truman State:

Excellent Academics and a statewide mission, but massively overshadowed by Missouri and even Missouri State. Natural Rivals to Southeast Missouri State and Eastern Illinois, and possibly a natural rival to Missouri State as well. Football however is threatened.

West Virginia State:

Historically Black Land Grant status means statewide mission, but is massively overshadowed by West Virginia and Marshall. Natural rival to Tennessee State, Morehead State, and Eastern Kentucky, and could revive legendary basketball rivalry with Marshall, but may be a better fit in the MEAC.

West Virginia Tech:

Status as a school of mines and "Public MIT" means a statewide mission, but as with West Virginia State, is massively overshadowed by West Virginia and Marshall. Narural Rival with Morehead State and Eastern Kentucky. If it moved up, it could resume legendary basketball rivalries with West Virginia and Virginia Tech.

Montevallo:

Would have to upgrade to Division 1AA, but would be a natural rival for Jacksonville State and Samford

Auburn-Montgomery:

Would capture the Montgomery market for the OVC and make a fine all sports rivalry for Alabama State as well. May need to seriously upgrade women's sports due to Title IX if they come up to Division 1AA.

Troy-Montgomery:

See Auburn-Montgomery

Delta State:

Historically Black college in Mississippi. Would need to upgrade all the way from Division III, and even then would be a much better candidate for the SWAC.

Arkansas-Monticello:

The real home of Arkansas' land grant programs (except for the Agribusiness program at Fayetteville and the vet program at Fort Smith [livestock] and Little Rock [household pets]) means a statewide mission. Natural rival for Southeast Missouri State, Tennessee-Martin, Murray State and Tennessee State. Would also be a natural out of conference for Arkansas-Pine Bluff and Arkansas-Little Rock if they Upgraded to Division 1AA.

Arkansas Tech

As the state's school of mines and "Public MIT" means a statewide mission. See above, but replace Tennessee State with Tennessee Tech.

Questions? Comments? Flames?


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 Post subject: OVC 12th school
PostPosted: Thu Sep 28, 2006 4:30 am 
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Any chance Youngstown State would move or would be considered by the OVC?

FB is in the Gateway and other sports in the Horizon.


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 Post subject: OVC 12th school
PostPosted: Thu Sep 28, 2006 2:54 pm 
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I can't see a current Gateway conference school moving to the OVC. That's definitely a football downgrade. OVC's basketball and other sports aren't strong enough to overcome that.

Add in the awkward situations caused by Austin Peay and Morehead State debating scholarship vs. non-scholarship FB in the last few years, and the request by Tennessee State to not play as many conference FB games as everyone else...and you get a situation that appears unstable.

I doubt academics will be an issue with OVC expansion (which disappoints me as an alumnus of one of the current schools). Instead, fan support is likely the key item, with location also being important. North Alabama seems like the runaway ideal candidate. Attendance better than most OVC schools even though it's D-II, fantastic location distance wise to other OVC schools. From a football perspective, UNA is already better on the field than half the OVC schools. Clearly they should be the OVC's next target.

Some of these schools are just commuter schools with no real fan base. Some, like Southern Indiana, have never played football. (It's not in jeopardy, it has never existed.) AU-Montgomery is NAIA with no football. (Further, the main AU campus is now allowing AU-Montgomery students to get student tickets to all Auburn events. The current president is trying to incoporate them into the "Auburn family" and not allow them to develop as a truly independent school.) Troy-Montgomery is not a separate school at all, but is just another campus. They do not have any separate sports. Their website says "TROY University - Montgomery Campus is an adult evening institution catering to the needs of the adult learner."


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 Post subject: OVC 12th school
PostPosted: Thu Sep 28, 2006 4:04 pm 
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I've heard that North Alabama is very content with Division 2. I don't think UNA will move for awhile. Montevallo may have made a move earlier back when Birmingham-Southern was Division I (the two schools used to have a big rivalry), but since BSC moved back down, I think Montevallo will be content to stay in the GSC (I am an Montevallo alumni, btw). I don't see AUM moving up to Division I, but I do wish they would move up to D2. Montevallo had some good baseball games with the AUM Senators back when I was there, and I wouldn't mind seeing more of those. Hopefully, AUM's president will see the light, and will let AUM develop on its own, instead of doing what Troy University has done with Troy-Dothan (Troy-Dothan is just about as bad as Troy-Montgomery is, and some of the faculty know this, and hate it!! They refer to Troy University as the "evil empire.") and Troy-Montgomery. Troy-Montgomery and Troy-Dothan won't add sports period, because they feel that it takes too much away from Troy or Troy is too scared that Troy-Dothan and Troy-MGM will take away too much visibility from the main campus. Out of all the candidates listed, Indiana, Pa., is the best bet to move up from Division 2. I am not kidding.


Last edited by dawgnduckfan on Thu Sep 28, 2006 4:06 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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 Post subject: OVC 12th school
PostPosted: Thu Sep 28, 2006 9:47 pm 
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My understanding Austin Peay is moving to scholarship ball, and Morehead has speculated about it but there are no definite plans.

I live in Louisville, and I haven't heard anything about Spaulding moving up (although actually, Bellarmine hasn't announced anything either, but Bellarmine is going on a massive expansion campaign to boost enrollment). Either Bellarmine or Spaulding would be a great pickup if the OVC wants a non-football school, especially if the OVC just simply can't get to 12 members for football.

Lincoln (MO) would be a logical fit for a western division of the SWAC.


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 Post subject: OVC 12th school
PostPosted: Sat Oct 06, 2007 2:28 pm 
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I'm surprised no one found this yet:

http://www.samford.edu/News/031507_1.html

So the OVC is first looking for an 11th member, which will likely be SIU-Edwardsville since it is already in the process of moving up to Division I. After that, I wouldn't be surprised to see Western Illinois go to the OVC. The move is not unprecedented, Eastern Illinois went from Mid-Con/Gateway FB to OVC in 1995.


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 Post subject: OVC 12th school
PostPosted: Sun Oct 07, 2007 8:17 pm 
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SIU-E is probably going to officially get the Summit League door shut on them, as North Dakota and South Dakota have both been admitted to the Great West Football Conference effective July 1, 2008-I'd expect the Summit League to tie both of them up as soon as they count as Division I opponents for basketball.

With North Dakota State and South Dakota State already in The Summit League, North Dakota and South Dakota sure to follow, and Southern Utah also playing football, Western Illinois may be looking at joining the OVC for all sports or playing Summit League football since the Summit League would likely require its members to play football in-conference if it had six schools.

If Western doesn't leave the Summit League, this would also rip the Gateway back down to six schools (Northern Iowa, Missouri State, Southern Illinois, Illinois State, Indiana State, Youngstown State) and send UC Davis and Cal Poly SLO to become FCS Independents. Even worse, Western Illinois could find themselves playing a conference football game in California each year if the remaining Great West Football members become football-only members of the Summit League.

The only thing working against SIU-Edwardsville would be if Morehead State elevates their football program from the non-scholarship Pioneer League to the OVC, in which case the conference may want 12 for football. North Alabama would indeed be the ideal candidate, and they would allow Murray State to be in the same division as Southeast Missouri State, Eastern Kentucky, and Morehead State.

The Summit League can make a run to pick off Denver from the Sun Belt, or invite independent Utah Valley State into the fold.

OVC North: Southeast Missouri State, SIU-Edwardsville/Murray State, Western Illinois, Eastern Illinois, Morehead State, Eastern Kentucky
OVC South: Murray State/North Alabama, Jacksonville State, Tennessee State, Tennessee Tech, Tennessee-Martin, Austin Peay State

TSL West: North Dakota, North Dakota State, South Dakota, South Dakota State, Southern Utah, Utah Valley State/Denver
TSL East: Oral Roberts, Centenary, Missouri-Kansas City, Oakland, Indiana-Purdue Fort Wayne, Indiana-Purdue Indianapolis


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 Post subject: OVC 12th school
PostPosted: Sun Oct 07, 2007 11:40 pm 
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Although NDSU and SDSU joined the Summit League last year, they accepted invitations to leave the Great West Football League and become the 8th and 9th football teams in the Gateway. This opening was precipitated by Western Kentucky leaving the Gateway for FBS football in the Sun-Belt (where their other sports are).

So NDSU, SDSU, and WIU all are Summit Members, with football in the Gateway.

The Great West (down to 3 with the departure of NDSU and SDSU, recently invited upgrades North Dakota and South Dakota. They accepted, to keep the Great West at 5 next year.
The 2 xDU's will replace the xDSU's in the Great West. The xDU's clearly have their eye on the Summit Conference for their other sports. They will certainly apply as soon as they end their transition. The Summit League made no satement about whether they intend to expand, however.

The OVC is down to 10 with the departure of Samford to the SoCon. Some members are fine with 10. (9 play football in the OVC, since Austin Peay went to scholarship ball, Morehead State in still non-scholly in the Pioneer League). If they expand, SIU-E would sure be a candidate. The other schools mentioned above did NOT sneak through prior to the moratorium on FCS -> FBS upgrades. If the OVC went to 12, I could see SIU-E and perhaps WIU, or perhaps an upgrade from the Southeast. Also there is often talk about East Tennessee bringing back football (they would need a football conference), however a raise in student fees to fund football was voted down within the past year.


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 Post subject: OVC 12th school
PostPosted: Mon Oct 08, 2007 11:14 am 
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Perhaps the OVC isn't done losing members...let's look at that possibility:

Tennessee State to SWAC- OVC down to 9 members
E Illinois and SE Missouri to Missouri Valley- OVC down to 7 members
E Kentucky and Jacksonville State to Sun Belt- OVC down to 5 members

If this happens I could potentially see a merger with another conference that struggles to keep members- the A-Sun. If Mercer and Kennesaw State both add football they would both likely go to the Big South in all sports, leaving the A-Sun with 9 members. Rename this conference the Tennessee Valley Conference to make it more geographically appropriate.

End result looks like this:

TVC West: Murray State, Morehead State, Austin Peay, UT-Martin, Tenn Tech, Belmont, Lipscomb
TVC East: E Tenn State, Campbell, SC Upstate, Florida Gulf Coast, Jacksonville, Stetson, N Florida

Other shakeout would include possibly Oakland and IUPUI to the Horizon; Utah Valley, Denver, N Dakota, S Dakota to Summit. This would give Sun Belt and TVC 14 members and Big South, Horizon, Summit, and MVC 12 members.

This is just an idea I had out of left field. Looking over it I seem to have shafted SIU-Edwardsville, my apologies to them. Probably not going to happen but it would be neat to see.


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 Post subject: OVC 12th school
PostPosted: Mon Oct 08, 2007 4:18 pm 
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I could see Tenn State to the SWAC, but I don't think the MVC is itching to add EIU or SEMO. The Sun Belt isn't exactly warm to the idea of adding Jacksonville State either, although EKU might get a shot after 2011 if the school is capable of upgrading.

The Horizon League may lose Cleveland State if it merges with Akron as the new "Ohio Tech" would certainly keep Akron's spot in the MAC. Likely targets include IPFW, EKU, Murray State, IUPUI, Oakland, or a post-moratorium upgrade of Division II Grand Valley State, Indiana-PA, Bellarmine, or Northern Kentucky. If it's a football school, Gateway football membership would be a must.


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