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PostPosted: Mon Jan 18, 2010 12:55 pm 
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With the addition of the 4 Dakota schools to Division 1 hoops and 1-AA football, I can see a lot of jostling between mid-major conferences looking to swallow up these schools. I realize that these programs don't bring major media markets, but in their sections of the country, they are the only game in town and have great fan support. Here are some of my predictions:

1. Summit League will eventually add North Dakota (once the nickname thing is resolved) giving them all 4 Dakota schools. This would mean that 6 Summit League members would also play 1-AA football, though 3 (ND St, SD St, Western Ill) play football in the MVC. I think the Summit League would form their own football league making those 3 leave the MVC. The football league will consist of North Dakota, North Dakota State, South Dakota, South Dakota State, Western Illinois, and Southern Utah. They could also add some football-only "outlier" schools such as Cal-Davis, etc.

2. Situation #1 doesn't last long. This would leave the MVC with only 6 football members, only 5 of whom are all-sports members (YSU is a member of the Horizon for everything else). I can see the MVC adding 2 of the following 5: ND, ND St, SD, SD St, or Western Illinois. WIU probably isnt a good option because there are already 3 Illinois schools in the league. I think the MVC would add North Dakota and South Dakota. I think they'd take North Dakota over ND State even though ND State plays in a larger media market (Fargo) because North Dakota has their own television network and Fox College Sports airs all their games nationally. Plus, though I could be wrong on this, it seems that North Dakota has a much larger fan base in the state than ND State does. The same thing goes for the South Dakota schools.

The league could look like this:
MVC North
North Dakota
South Dakota
Creighton
Wichita State
Norther Iowa
Drake

MVC South
Indiana State
Bradley
Southern Illinois
Illinois State
Missouri State
Evansville

3. The Big SKy expands to 12 by adding ND State, SD State, and Cal Poly. Cal Poly gives them a great 1-AA football program in a decent TV market. ND State and SD State fit in their footprint though Southern Utah could make sense as well. The league would look like:
Big Sky North
North Dakota State
South Dakota State
Montana State
Idaho State
Montana
Eastern Washington

Big Sk South
Portland State
Sacramento State
Cal Poly
Weber State
Northern Arizona
Northern Colorado

4. This would "kill" the newly formed Summit League football conference and Western Illinois would probably go back to the MVC for football only.

5. Unrelated, I think the WCC eventually adds Seattle. Gonzaga has a nice fan following in Seattle but Spokane is nowhere close to Seattle. Seattle was a once proud Division 1 program and was a member of the WCC before. I could also see the WCC adding Denver eventually. Denver is in the Sun Belt meaning they have to spend a lot of travel dollars. Colorado isnt exactly West Coast but they fit the WCC's model of large city schools with good academics.

6. I am predicting a new league be formed in the Eastern part of the country since there are a number of schools that cant seem to get invites into established conferences. I dont know what it would be called but these are the schools I think would make it up:
New Jersey Institute of Technology
Longwood
Wiston-Salem State
North Carolina Central
South Carolina-Upstate
Savannah State
Houston Baptist
Texas-Pan American
Chicago State

That league takes the place of the Great West which is on life-support alread and I think this new league being based in the Southeast could last because although some of these schools will eventually leave for leagues like the Big South, A-Sun, etc you'd think there will be more schools new to D1 who would fit into this league.

I'd be interested to hear thoughts on some of these realignment predictions

7. Big West adds Southern Utah, Utah Valley State, and Cal State-Bakersfield to get to 11 since in my scenarios Cal Poly would leave for the Big Sky.


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PostPosted: Mon Jan 18, 2010 6:05 pm 
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Sean Miller Fan wrote:
6. I am predicting a new league be formed in the Eastern part of the country since there are a number of schools that cant seem to get invites into established conferences. I dont know what it would be called but these are the schools I think would make it up:
New Jersey Institute of Technology
Longwood
Wiston-Salem State
North Carolina Central
South Carolina-Upstate
Savannah State
Houston Baptist
Texas-Pan American
Chicago State

That league takes the place of the Great West which is on life-support alread and I think this new league being based in the Southeast could last because although some of these schools will eventually leave for leagues like the Big South, A-Sun, etc you'd think there will be more schools new to D1 who would fit into this league.


Winston-Salem State is returning to Division II and the CIAA.
North Carolina Central is joining the MEAC.
South Carolina-Upstate is in the A-Sun.
That only leaves 5 schools for your new conference.


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PostPosted: Mon Jan 18, 2010 9:32 pm 
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Good info. I didnt realize USC-Upstate was in the A-Sun. If NJIT, Longwood, Chicago State, etc cant find leagues, I think its inevitable they form their own eastern-based league. Surely, there will be more schools jumping to Division 1 in the near future and being that there are many more college and universities in the eastern half of the country, there is a greater likelihood that those schools making the move would fit into an eastern based league rather than a western-based league like the Great West.

I never could understand why Savannah State, who has been D1 for about 10-15 years now couldnt gain membership in the MEAC. I guess it has to do with their athletic budget but they bring a nice media market and they fit the MEAC's model.


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PostPosted: Mon Jan 18, 2010 10:24 pm 
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Thanks for the reply, Sean Miller Fan,

Savannah State has a pending application to join the MEAC. There have been site visits by MEAC officials. North Carolina Central applied at the same time and have already been accepted.

Savannah State was all but accepted by the MEAC for membership several years ago (2002?) but was put on probation by the NCAA before it was official and the MEAC balked. They have made strides in many areas and are being considered again.

I believe if Winston-Salem State had not moved back to Division II that the MEAC would have already invited Savannah State to make 12 football (14 total) members. It is now (with addition of NCCU and loss of WSSU) 10/12.

Campbell is moving from the A-Sun to the Big South in fall of 2011 giving Big South 11. I believe Longwood would be a good fit for Big South #12 but have no idea if either party has interest.

Campbell's move leaves A-Sun with 10, which may leave room for 2 more schools?

Chicago State was in the Summit League but left (commonly believed) before they were kicked out.

Have heard several names of possible newcomers to Division I (once moratorium is lifted) but the new criteria for Division I membership announced this week may make many think twice.

Names mentioned for Division I upgrades (all currently in Division II):
Bellarmine (Louisville, KY)
Central Oklahoma (Edmond, OK)
Grand Canyon (Phoenix, AZ)
Le Moyne (Syracuse, NY)
Lincoln Memorial (Harrogate, TN)
North Alabama (Florence, AL)
Northern Kentucky (Highland Heights, KY)
Tarleton State (Stephenville, TX)
West Florida (Pensacola, FL)
West Georgia (Carrollton, GA)


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PostPosted: Tue Jan 19, 2010 2:33 am 
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Cal Poly would not leave the all Cali Big West for the Sky. They would only go as a football only member which the Sky doesn't offer. Also the Big West would not add out of state members anymore. CSUB should be the last one to put them at 10. That "new" conference you have is basically the Great West with those schools that already have conferences eliminated. Like I said before, the GWC needs to add Longwood, Seattle, Savannah St, and CS Bakersfield with no exit fee so they can have enough members to possibly become a voting member. Then if those schools are offered spots in other conferences they can leave and the GWC can replace them with those D-II schools posted.

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PostPosted: Tue Jan 19, 2010 2:37 pm 
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Fresno St. Alum wrote:
Cal Poly would not leave the all Cali Big West for the Sky. They would only go as a football only member which the Sky doesn't offer. Also the Big West would not add out of state members anymore. CSUB should be the last one to put them at 10. That "new" conference you have is basically the Great West with those schools that already have conferences eliminated. Like I said before, the GWC needs to add Longwood, Seattle, Savannah St, and CS Bakersfield with no exit fee so they can have enough members to possibly become a voting member. Then if those schools are offered spots in other conferences they can leave and the GWC can replace them with those D-II schools posted.


So right about the Big Sky.

There's a safe argument that if the Big West added FCS football, that Sac St. would leave the Big Sky to join.

The Big West has Cal Poly and UC-Davis now. And we hear about some other Big West schools that have some interest in adding football or bringing it back.

But really, the best move is the one nobody seems to support: the Big West absorbing the GWFC members and start a football league.

The Big West would likely be able to get the autobid that the Great West can't get now.

Sac St. might make the move if that happened.

So you're initial lineup would include:
Cal Poly
UC Davis
* Sac St.
~ Southern Utah
~ North Dakota
~ South Dakota

And of course, lots of room should any Big West schools add football.

The problem is that by next year, you could have both Dakota schools in the Summit. And if the Summit wanted to sponsor football, they might be able to if they made all their all-sports members join for football:

Summit Football:
Southern Utah
South Dakota
SDSU
North Dakota
NDSU
Western Illinois

...in which case, you might see Cal Poly and UC Davis as football only members.

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PostPosted: Tue Jan 19, 2010 5:32 pm 
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Quinn, here's another question to add to you Summit football saying that it happens. Does the MVC add NDSU and SDSU as full members so they can get back 2 of the 3 they lost and thus ending the Summit Football League. Or at least make them go after UN-Omaha and C.Missouri or GVSU so they stay a conference for fb.

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PostPosted: Tue Jan 19, 2010 5:37 pm 
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Sean Miller Fan wrote:
Good info. I didnt realize USC-Upstate was in the A-Sun. If NJIT, Longwood, Chicago State, etc cant find leagues, I think its inevitable they form their own eastern-based league. Surely, there will be more schools jumping to Division 1 in the near future and being that there are many more college and universities in the eastern half of the country, there is a greater likelihood that those schools making the move would fit into an eastern based league rather than a western-based league like the Great West.

I never could understand why Savannah State, who has been D1 for about 10-15 years now couldnt gain membership in the MEAC. I guess it has to do with their athletic budget but they bring a nice media market and they fit the MEAC's model.


Savannah state was on probation by the NCAA. The Meac probably wanted that to pass and see if they will stay there.


On another note i can see the big west maybe add another school after cal state Bakersfield and that might be cal state san Bernardino if they ever go to division 1.

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PostPosted: Tue Jan 19, 2010 6:45 pm 
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Fresno St. Alum wrote:
Quinn, here's another question to add to you Summit football saying that it happens. Does the MVC add NDSU and SDSU as full members so they can get back 2 of the 3 they lost and thus ending the Summit Football League. Or at least make them go after UN-Omaha and C.Missouri or GVSU so they stay a conference for fb.


That's the problem. Nobody can do anything as long as there conference "above them" holds the cards.

Big West can't do anything that involves the Summit schools since the summit could add football
Summit can't do anything with football since the MVC could add NDSU and SDSU and kill Summit football.

Then again, the MVC makes more money from basketball. And there would be better candidates to join than NDSU and SDSU.

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PostPosted: Tue Jan 19, 2010 8:32 pm 
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PostPosted: Thu Jan 21, 2010 5:01 am 
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The MVC would never add UND, it is perhaps in the worst basketball market in the country(hockey country up there), plus their basketball team is terrible and way too new to DI.

I don't see the MVC adding any Dakota schools unless they lose members or have serious football aspirations. I remember when NDSU was initially added there were some rumblings of a potential FBS move up sometime down the line. Not sure how serious it was or still is, but FBS is on a few schools minds long term(Ill State, MSU, YSU, and NDSU).

NDSU and UND have very similar sized fanbases, they are both flagships in ND, NDSU actually has the larger enrollment. Of the four Dakota schools USD is the smallest and is the most lacking when it comes to resources and fanbase.

Finally, the Summit won't start football because NDSU, SDSU, and WIU would basically go into meltdown mode.


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PostPosted: Thu Jan 21, 2010 12:22 pm 
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South Dakota has already accepted an invitation to join the Summit.

Centenary is leaving, so South Dakota will be [replacemnt] team #10.

North Dakota will be team #11 when the "Fighting Sioux" name legalities are resolved (one way or the other).
That will happen by October 2010, when the school's agreement with the NCAA requires a resolution.

I suspect both schools will try to buy their way into the Missouri Valley Football Conference. If the current 9-member MVFC is willing to expand to 11, it would then contain 5 Summit schools (all FB Summit schools except Southern Utah), all 5 Missouri Valley FCS football schools, and Youngstown State.

If this were to happen, the three FCS teams left out would be Great West football schools UCDavis, Cal Poly SLO, and Southern Utah. Maybe they would petition the Big Sky to become football associates (taking them from 9 FB members to 12).... not sure how that idea would go over.... again, maybe they would attempt to "buy their way in".


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PostPosted: Thu Jan 21, 2010 9:36 pm 
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Sean Miller Fan wrote:
2. Situation #1 doesn't last long. This would leave the MVC with only 6 football members, only 5 of whom are all-sports members (YSU is a member of the Horizon for everything else). I can see the MVC adding 2 of the following 5: ND, ND St, SD, SD St, or Western Illinois. WIU probably isnt a good option because there are already 3 Illinois schools in the league. I think the MVC would add North Dakota and South Dakota. I think they'd take North Dakota over ND State even though ND State plays in a larger media market (Fargo) because North Dakota has their own television network and Fox College Sports airs all their games nationally. Plus, though I could be wrong on this, it seems that North Dakota has a much larger fan base in the state than ND State does. The same thing goes for the South Dakota schools.


As a UND grad, I would agree with some of what is written here, but it would take some very unusual situations for any of them to get into the Missouri Valley Conference in basketball. NDSU has made some significant strides in their DI transition and has really benefited by the economic growth of Fargo-Moorhead. UND, and to a lesser extent, NDSU, also benefit from a large number of NW Minnesota fans. Compared to other states, native Minnesota residents are do not view Gopher athletics as a state religion, so NW Minnesota residents often have allegiances to ND schools.

Overall, I would rate fan support as UND > NDSU > SDSU > USD, and total attendance would certainly be in line with that. Each of the schools have their fan favorite sport, with UND having hockey, NDSU football, and SDSU and USD both basketball.

UND gets around 350,00 fans/yr
NDSU around 180,000
SDSU around 100,000
USD around 60,000

Facility-wise, the same hierarchy exists: UND>NDSU>SDSU>USD. NDSU has a major advantage with a 19,000 seat indoor stadium vs 13,000 indoor for UND, but NDSU's basketball facility is very poor and would prevent them from getting any consideration from a higher level conference like the Missouri Valley. NDSU has unsuccessfully attempted to partner with the city of Fargo for a number of years on an 6-8000 seat arena, and have now fallen back to an expensive and major remodel of their Bison Sports Arena - which is basically a drafty steel building with major HVAC issues, no concourses, bleacher seats, and few amenities.

The alumni numbers are also UND>NDSU>SDSU>USD. UND's alumni are more likely to be out-state, especially MSP, but also Denver and Phoenix. NDSU has a higher fraction locally in ND or Minn. Compared with UND or NDSU, SDSU and USD grads are much more likely to gravitate to KC, StL, Omaha, as well as MSP. Because of the alumni situation and historical migrations, USD and SDSU are more focused on the Midwest, while UND and NDSU value western states much more, as well as Minneapolis. From a state perspective, the animosity between fans of ND and Montana schools seems stronger than between ND and SD. UND and NDSU would both love to be routinely matched up against Montana and Montana State: that was much of the reason NDSU (and UND behind the scenes) was so focused on Big Sky membership.

The South Dakota schools are handicapped by being in small college towns with limited resources and population: SDSU in Brookings and USD in Vermillion. Vermillion's location next to Nebraska and a stone's throw from Iowa prevents USD from being a focus with much of SD's population.


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PostPosted: Tue May 17, 2011 11:20 pm 
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the new summit league is shaping up nicely with the subtractions of southern utah & centenary and the additions of south dakota & omaha. lets see if douple can scoop up northern kentucky & hope for some luck from the MVC & inviting ND for football so the summit can add them as well to get them to 12 members. creating a conference with the 4 dakota schools & multiple places to host the conference tournament like the palace of auburn hills, the bank of kentucky arena, conseco field house & frost arena.


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