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Congradulations for North Dakota State and South Dakota State are joining the conference for the 2008 season.
I have to question how long NDSU and SDSU will actually be in the Gateway. If North Dakota and South Dakota become the 11th and 12th schools in the Mid-Continent Conference, the Mid-Continent would probably sponsor its own football league as it would have six teams (Mid-Con baseball is currently at six). Given that the third year of transition is typically the first year a school counts as Division I, fall 2009 will probably be the first year of Mid-Con football.

So, if the four Dakotas, Western Illinois, and Southern Utah are playing Mid-Con football, that leaves two in the Great West (Cal Poly SLO and UC Davis), and six in the Gateway (Illinois State, Indiana State, Missouri State, Southern Illinois, Northern Iowa, and Youngstown State).

Grand Valley State and Indiana, PA have talked about moving up in the past but so far nothing concrete has come of it.
The Gateway is going to be a "meatgrinder" of a conference next year with ND ST & SD ST in the fold. Add those 2 teams and the Gateway has 4 of the top 100 football programs in FBS & FCS per Sagarin.

UNI 59 72.28
NDST 66 70.78
SIU 78 not sure how they can be lower than UNI since UNI lost in the 2nd rd of FCS. 67.92
SD ST 97 62.86

YSU is 105 not far out of the top 100 60.95

Adding the Sagarin ratings for the Dakotas to the Gateways current rating (56.01) and it jumps to 58.58 ahead of CUSA(58.55) and just behind the SunBelt (58.6). Gateway gets alot out of the small $ it spends on football.
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