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Potential mid-major realignment in 2023
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shizzle787 Offline
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Potential mid-major realignment in 2023
I don't know what is going to happen regarding the possibility of Pac-12 expansion (the league probably doesn't know either), but my bet at the moment is that they stand pat at 10: bad news for Gonzaga, SDSU, and others.

I think if I were betting I would say Gonzaga is not going to find a suitor among the leagues that it likes (Pac-12, Big 12, Big East) and decides to stay in the WCC.


That leaves us with mid-major realignment. This will focus on leagues outside of the FBS and will not include the Big East, Atlantic 10, Ivy League, WCC, or Missouri Valley.

That leaves 17 leagues. To me, the SWAC, Patriot, America East, Big West, CAA, Southern, Summit, Southland, and Big Sky are less likely to see membership changes than the others that remain.

Here are the eight leagues that might make moves:

Horizon: the league is at 11 after losing UIC. I could see them add one school to get back to 12. Bellarmine? W. Illinois? Someone else?

MAAC: the league is at 11 but has mentioned desiring to get to 12. If Wagner is able to find a home for their football program, I believe they are the best fit.

OVC: the league is at 10 after having five defections and three additions recently. They have been rumored to add a Division 2 school. UIndy may reconsider. Who else could be a possible addition?

MEAC: the league is down to only 8 members. They badly need one or two Division 2 HBCU institutions to make the move or come to terms with Chicago State.

WAC: the league will be down to 11 members next year. I would not be surprised to see Southern Utah go back to the Big Sky or Central Arkansas join from the A-Sun among other moves.

A-Sun: the league will be down to 11 members as well next year. In addition to a possible Central Arkansas defection, it would not be surprising to see Queens leave for the Big South among other moves.

Big South: the league is not in a good place. It is down to 9 members (only two of which play football in the OVC-Big South league with two other football affiliates). Would likely need to snag Queens or add a Division 2 institution to gain some stability.

NEC: the league has 9 members. On the football side, the league is fine. In general, however, it is arguably the worst athletic league in Division 1. The only teams I could see joining the league are MEAC schools if that league implodes or Division 2 institutions.

What do you think will happen this year among the non-major schools?
01-22-2023 11:10 PM
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DawgNBama Online
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Post: #2
RE: Potential mid-major realignment in 2023
(01-22-2023 11:10 PM)shizzle787 Wrote:  I don't know what is going to happen regarding the possibility of Pac-12 expansion (the league probably doesn't know either), but my bet at the moment is that they stand pat at 10: bad news for Gonzaga, SDSU, and others.

I think if I were betting I would say Gonzaga is not going to find a suitor among the leagues that it likes (Pac-12, Big 12, Big East) and decides to stay in the WCC.


That leaves us with mid-major realignment. This will focus on leagues outside of the FBS and will not include the Big East, Atlantic 10, Ivy League, WCC, or Missouri Valley.

That leaves 17 leagues. To me, the SWAC, Patriot, America East, Big West, CAA, Southern, Summit, Southland, and Big Sky are less likely to see membership changes than the others that remain.

Here are the eight leagues that might make moves:

Horizon: the league is at 11 after losing UIC. I could see them add one school to get back to 12. Bellarmine? W. Illinois? Someone else?
[

I'm surprised that the Horizon hasn't looked at UIndy yet. They could be a possibility. Now that NKU is in the Horizon, I doubt they go for Bellarmine. But I could be wrong. Another possibility: E. Illinois.

Another possibility just occurred to me: Grand Valley State!!!
Another idea, but travel could be a bear: Augustana (SD) aka Augie.
Quote:MAAC: the league is at 11 but has mentioned desiring to get to 12. If Wagner is able to find a home for their football program, I believe they are the best fit.

I could see Wagner, but what about Merrimack or UMass-Lowell?? Would get the MAAC into somewhere different.

Quote:OVC: the league is at 10 after having five defections and three additions recently. They have been rumored to add a Division 2 school. UIndy may reconsider. Who else could be a possible addition?

I recall Lincoln Memorial kicking the tires on a D1 possible move in the past. That's a possibility. The only other somewhat realistic option I see is Lipscomb from the A-SUN. But if the Bison aren't interested, I will float this possibility out there: U of Montevallo, my alma mater. Montevallo is in a suburb of Birmingham, so they fit in the OVC. Montevallo also has excellent academics, and wouldn't be a threat to leave for a very long time.

Quote:MEAC: the league is down to only 8 members. They badly need one or two Division 2 HBCU institutions to make the move or come to terms with Chicago State.

Rather than go after HBCU institutions, how about some non-HBCU institutions? I'm thinking along the lines of Valdosta State and the University of West Florida. I believe that those institutions want to move up. Would the MEAC give them a chance? Would they give the MEAC a chance?? If the MEAC must have an HBCU, Chicago State is available, but looking outside the box (non-HBCU options), opportunities do exist, IMO.

Quote:WAC: the league will be down to 11 members next year. I would not be surprised to see Southern Utah go back to the Big Sky or Central Arkansas join from the A-Sun among other moves.
FBS or bust!!!

Quote:A-Sun: the league will be down to 11 members as well next year. In addition to a possible Central Arkansas defection, it would not be surprising to see Queens leave for the Big South among other moves.

See WAC

Quote:Big South: the league is not in a good place. It is down to 9 members (only two of which play football in the OVC-Big South league with two other football affiliates). Would likely need to snag Queens or add a Division 2 institution to gain some stability.

Would probably snag Queens.

Quote:NEC: the league has 9 members. On the football side, the league is fine. In general, however, it is arguably the worst athletic league in Division 1. The only teams I could see joining the league are MEAC schools if that league implodes or Division 2 institutions.

What do you think will happen this year among the non-major schools?

Another outside the box idea: try to snag as many as the PSAC as possible. Maybe IUP & WCUP would reconsider if they had Slippery Rock & Shippensburg joining them??? Other than that, go after U of New Haven, or maybe Bates....
(This post was last modified: 01-23-2023 12:04 AM by DawgNBama.)
01-23-2023 12:00 AM
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andybible1995 Offline
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Post: #3
RE: Potential mid-major realignment in 2023
(01-22-2023 11:10 PM)shizzle787 Wrote:  I don't know what is going to happen regarding the possibility of Pac-12 expansion (the league probably doesn't know either), but my bet at the moment is that they stand pat at 10: bad news for Gonzaga, SDSU, and others.

I think if I were betting I would say Gonzaga is not going to find a suitor among the leagues that it likes (Pac-12, Big 12, Big East) and decides to stay in the WCC.


That leaves us with mid-major realignment. This will focus on leagues outside of the FBS and will not include the Big East, Atlantic 10, Ivy League, WCC, or Missouri Valley.

That leaves 17 leagues. To me, the SWAC, Patriot, America East, Big West, CAA, Southern, Summit, Southland, and Big Sky are less likely to see membership changes than the others that remain.

Here are the eight leagues that might make moves:

Horizon: the league is at 11 after losing UIC. I could see them add one school to get back to 12. Bellarmine? W. Illinois? Someone else?

MAAC: the league is at 11 but has mentioned desiring to get to 12. If Wagner is able to find a home for their football program, I believe they are the best fit.

OVC: the league is at 10 after having five defections and three additions recently. They have been rumored to add a Division 2 school. UIndy may reconsider. Who else could be a possible addition?

MEAC: the league is down to only 8 members. They badly need one or two Division 2 HBCU institutions to make the move or come to terms with Chicago State.

WAC: the league will be down to 11 members next year. I would not be surprised to see Southern Utah go back to the Big Sky or Central Arkansas join from the A-Sun among other moves.

A-Sun: the league will be down to 11 members as well next year. In addition to a possible Central Arkansas defection, it would not be surprising to see Queens leave for the Big South among other moves.

Big South: the league is not in a good place. It is down to 9 members (only two of which play football in the OVC-Big South league with two other football affiliates). Would likely need to snag Queens or add a Division 2 institution to gain some stability.

NEC: the league has 9 members. On the football side, the league is fine. In general, however, it is arguably the worst athletic league in Division 1. The only teams I could see joining the league are MEAC schools if that league implodes or Division 2 institutions.

What do you think will happen this year among the non-major schools?

Horizon: would add Bellarmine to get to 12 members

MAAC: If Wagner is added, their football program would be placed in the Big South

OVC: UIndy and Lipscomb are the best possible adds for the conference.

MEAC: D2 HBCU schools may not be ready or willing to move up to the D1. If they were, I'd go with Virginia State and Bowie State.

WAC: Southern Utah could bring Utah Tech with them back to the Big Sky. Central Arkansas defecting from the ASUN would be strange, but it would reunite them with old Southland members. They would need to bring up at least two D2 members to keep the football conference alive. Otherwise it collapses.

ASUN: could lose Lipscomb, Bellarmine, Central Arkansas and Queens. Football conference probably collapses. Would have to look in D2 for replacements. Valdosta State maybe?

Big South: would add Queens from the ASUN. Bringing up UNC-Pembroke from D2 would allow them to sponsor football again with the addition of Wagner, and would allow them to get out of the partnership with OVC.

NEC: New Haven and Mercyhurst have been discussed as possible expansion targets. I believe one of the two was passed up for Stonehill.
01-23-2023 06:00 AM
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chargeradio Offline
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RE: Potential mid-major realignment in 2023
Southern Utah and Utah Tech aren't going to the Big Sky unless if the Big Sky suffers heavy losses AND FBS WAC-ASUN doesn't work out. The Big Sky regrets expanding with Southern Utah, and they definitely aren't open to taking Utah Tech.
01-23-2023 07:40 AM
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MattBrownEP Offline
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RE: Potential mid-major realignment in 2023
Yeah, I have it on very good authority that Southern Utah will be not allowed to rejoin the Big Sky under any circumstances
01-23-2023 09:29 AM
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dbackjon Offline
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RE: Potential mid-major realignment in 2023
(01-23-2023 07:40 AM)chargeradio Wrote:  Southern Utah and Utah Tech aren't going to the Big Sky unless if the Big Sky suffers heavy losses AND FBS WAC-ASUN doesn't work out. The Big Sky regrets expanding with Southern Utah, and they definitely aren't open to taking Utah Tech.

Beat me to it.

The schools like the current Big Sky make up as well as anything currently available.

SUU and UTU would not be on the radar unless the northern schools left.

Montana's had to be persuaded to take SUU the first time.
01-23-2023 04:58 PM
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Fighting Muskie Offline
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RE: Potential mid-major realignment in 2023
(01-23-2023 09:29 AM)MattBrownEP Wrote:  Yeah, I have it on very good authority that Southern Utah will be not allowed to rejoin the Big Sky under any circumstances

In the history of realignment, Southern Utah to the WAC has got to be one of the dumber ones. They should have stayed put, scheduled lots of games OOC with Utah Tech and Utah Valley, and pushed for Big Sky full membership status for Utah Tech to serve as their travel partner.
01-23-2023 05:59 PM
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RE: Potential mid-major realignment in 2023
(01-23-2023 09:29 AM)MattBrownEP Wrote:  Yeah, I have it on very good authority that Southern Utah will be not allowed to rejoin the Big Sky under any circumstances

Can't leave us just hanging with that...
01-23-2023 06:13 PM
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joeben69 Offline
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RE: Potential mid-major realignment in 2023
(01-23-2023 04:58 PM)dbackjon Wrote:  
(01-23-2023 07:40 AM)chargeradio Wrote:  Southern Utah and Utah Tech aren't going to the Big Sky unless if the Big Sky suffers heavy losses AND FBS WAC-ASUN doesn't work out. The Big Sky regrets expanding with Southern Utah, and they definitely aren't open to taking Utah Tech.

Beat me to it.

The schools like the current Big Sky make up as well as anything currently available.

SUU and UTU would not be on the radar unless the northern schools left.

Montana's had to be persuaded to take SUU the first time.

I would like to second the motion...

Unless the Big Sky loses at least the Montanas to the Mtn. West...the Montanas would double down and block the WAC UT schools...leave me once...etc...

With the Montanas off the board...SUU +1(UTU) would have a clearer path for a return to the Big Sky...
01-23-2023 10:40 PM
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DawgNBama Online
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RE: Potential mid-major realignment in 2023
(01-23-2023 10:40 PM)joeben69 Wrote:  
(01-23-2023 04:58 PM)dbackjon Wrote:  
(01-23-2023 07:40 AM)chargeradio Wrote:  Southern Utah and Utah Tech aren't going to the Big Sky unless if the Big Sky suffers heavy losses AND FBS WAC-ASUN doesn't work out. The Big Sky regrets expanding with Southern Utah, and they definitely aren't open to taking Utah Tech.

Beat me to it.

The schools like the current Big Sky make up as well as anything currently available.

SUU and UTU would not be on the radar unless the northern schools left.

Montana's had to be persuaded to take SUU the first time.

I would like to second the motion...

Unless the Big Sky loses at least the Montanas to the Mtn. West...the Montanas would double down and block the WAC UT schools...leave me once...etc...

With the Montanas off the board...SUU +1(UTU) would have a clearer path for a return to the Big Sky...

The Montanas are extremely traditional. The Montana schools are the "Alabama " & the "Auburn" of the Big Sky, IMO. I just don't see them going anywhere!! I was shaking my head at the SUU move as well. But, to each his own.

I am going to add a couple of conferences to this thread though.

Patriot

Could lose Holy Cross to the CAA. I think that Holy Cross is getting rather bored with dominating the Patriot League, and would like a new challenge. Who would the Patriot replace Holy Cross with?? Marist possibly?? But Marist doesn't replace the Boston/New England market that the Holy Cross would be taking with them. Not sure if Bryant offers enough sports, and they seem to fit the AE mold better, IMO. Sacred Heart maybe???

CAA

Having failed in its quest to lure Howard to join the conference, the CAA could look North again, and grab Holy Cross, who wouldn't mind the change of scenery from the Patriot League, IMHO. Should the Cross try to pair Holy Cross with anyone else, or stand pat??
01-24-2023 02:13 AM
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Post: #11
RE: Potential mid-major realignment in 2023
(01-24-2023 02:13 AM)DawgNBama Wrote:  
(01-23-2023 10:40 PM)joeben69 Wrote:  
(01-23-2023 04:58 PM)dbackjon Wrote:  
(01-23-2023 07:40 AM)chargeradio Wrote:  Southern Utah and Utah Tech aren't going to the Big Sky unless if the Big Sky suffers heavy losses AND FBS WAC-ASUN doesn't work out. The Big Sky regrets expanding with Southern Utah, and they definitely aren't open to taking Utah Tech.

Beat me to it.

The schools like the current Big Sky make up as well as anything currently available.

SUU and UTU would not be on the radar unless the northern schools left.

Montana's had to be persuaded to take SUU the first time.

I would like to second the motion...

Unless the Big Sky loses at least the Montanas to the Mtn. West...the Montanas would double down and block the WAC UT schools...leave me once...etc...

With the Montanas off the board...SUU +1(UTU) would have a clearer path for a return to the Big Sky...

The Montanas are extremely traditional. The Montana schools are the "Alabama " & the "Auburn" of the Big Sky, IMO. I just don't see them going anywhere!! I was shaking my head at the SUU move as well. But, to each his own.

I am going to add a couple of conferences to this thread though.

Patriot

Could lose Holy Cross to the CAA. I think that Holy Cross is getting rather bored with dominating the Patriot League, and would like a new challenge. Who would the Patriot replace Holy Cross with?? Marist possibly?? But Marist doesn't replace the Boston/New England market that the Holy Cross would be taking with them. Not sure if Bryant offers enough sports, and they seem to fit the AE mold better, IMO. Sacred Heart maybe???

CAA

Having failed in its quest to lure Howard to join the conference, the CAA could look North again, and grab Holy Cross, who wouldn't mind the change of scenery from the Patriot League, IMHO. Should the Cross try to pair Holy Cross with anyone else, or stand pat??

At 14, you think the CAA would look to expand?
01-24-2023 07:02 AM
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DawgNBama Online
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RE: Potential mid-major realignment in 2023
(01-24-2023 07:02 AM)BePcr07 Wrote:  
(01-24-2023 02:13 AM)DawgNBama Wrote:  
(01-23-2023 10:40 PM)joeben69 Wrote:  
(01-23-2023 04:58 PM)dbackjon Wrote:  
(01-23-2023 07:40 AM)chargeradio Wrote:  Southern Utah and Utah Tech aren't going to the Big Sky unless if the Big Sky suffers heavy losses AND FBS WAC-ASUN doesn't work out. The Big Sky regrets expanding with Southern Utah, and they definitely aren't open to taking Utah Tech.

Beat me to it.

The schools like the current Big Sky make up as well as anything currently available.

SUU and UTU would not be on the radar unless the northern schools left.

Montana's had to be persuaded to take SUU the first time.

I would like to second the motion...

Unless the Big Sky loses at least the Montanas to the Mtn. West...the Montanas would double down and block the WAC UT schools...leave me once...etc...

With the Montanas off the board...SUU +1(UTU) would have a clearer path for a return to the Big Sky...

The Montanas are extremely traditional. The Montana schools are the "Alabama " & the "Auburn" of the Big Sky, IMO. I just don't see them going anywhere!! I was shaking my head at the SUU move as well. But, to each his own.

I am going to add a couple of conferences to this thread though.

Patriot

Could lose Holy Cross to the CAA. I think that Holy Cross is getting rather bored with dominating the Patriot League, and would like a new challenge. Who would the Patriot replace Holy Cross with?? Marist possibly?? But Marist doesn't replace the Boston/New England market that the Holy Cross would be taking with them. Not sure if Bryant offers enough sports, and they seem to fit the AE mold better, IMO. Sacred Heart maybe???

CAA

Having failed in its quest to lure Howard to join the conference, the CAA could look North again, and grab Holy Cross, who wouldn't mind the change of scenery from the Patriot League, IMHO. Should the Cross try to pair Holy Cross with anyone else, or stand pat??

At 14, you think the CAA would look to expand?

For the right school, yes!!!
01-24-2023 04:44 PM
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DavidSt Offline
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Post: #13
RE: Potential mid-major realignment in 2023
(01-24-2023 04:44 PM)DawgNBama Wrote:  
(01-24-2023 07:02 AM)BePcr07 Wrote:  
(01-24-2023 02:13 AM)DawgNBama Wrote:  
(01-23-2023 10:40 PM)joeben69 Wrote:  
(01-23-2023 04:58 PM)dbackjon Wrote:  Beat me to it.

The schools like the current Big Sky make up as well as anything currently available.

SUU and UTU would not be on the radar unless the northern schools left.

Montana's had to be persuaded to take SUU the first time.

I would like to second the motion...

Unless the Big Sky loses at least the Montanas to the Mtn. West...the Montanas would double down and block the WAC UT schools...leave me once...etc...

With the Montanas off the board...SUU +1(UTU) would have a clearer path for a return to the Big Sky...

The Montanas are extremely traditional. The Montana schools are the "Alabama " & the "Auburn" of the Big Sky, IMO. I just don't see them going anywhere!! I was shaking my head at the SUU move as well. But, to each his own.

I am going to add a couple of conferences to this thread though.

Patriot

Could lose Holy Cross to the CAA. I think that Holy Cross is getting rather bored with dominating the Patriot League, and would like a new challenge. Who would the Patriot replace Holy Cross with?? Marist possibly?? But Marist doesn't replace the Boston/New England market that the Holy Cross would be taking with them. Not sure if Bryant offers enough sports, and they seem to fit the AE mold better, IMO. Sacred Heart maybe???

CAA

Having failed in its quest to lure Howard to join the conference, the CAA could look North again, and grab Holy Cross, who wouldn't mind the change of scenery from the Patriot League, IMHO. Should the Cross try to pair Holy Cross with anyone else, or stand pat??

At 14, you think the CAA would look to expand?

For the right school, yes!!!

There is talks about Albany as number 15, and mayby another Bog South school to go in the south. It could be High Point, Longwood or Radford.
01-24-2023 05:58 PM
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jcohen42 Offline
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RE: Potential mid-major realignment in 2023
I could see the CAA expanding but not sure Holy Cross is the right marriage. They are a small Catholic school, something that doesn't match the profile of any current CAA full members, and have a men's basketball program that's been pretty bad for a while. They would probably need to join as an affiliate for football only.
01-25-2023 08:45 PM
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