Valley, Summit Need to Talk


Valley, Summit Need to Talk

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LurkingDog
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At some point this year, an NCAA committee will vote on allowing St. Thomas to leap from D-III to D-I, enabling the Tommies to accept an invitation to join the Summit League in 2021.  A thumbs up would give the league 10 members (STU, South Dakota, South Dakota State, North Dakota, North Dakota State, Omaha, Kansas City, Western Illinois, Oral Roberts, and Denver). 

Augustana University (Sioux Falls) also wants to be in the Summit, but the Summit doesn't want an odd number of schools.  So for now, Augie has to stay in Division II.

Notice the five schools I listed in italics are members of the Missouri Valley Football Conference?  The MVFC, along with the Pioneer Football League, are football-only conferences administered by the Missouri Valley Conference.

In the Missouri Valley Conference, all five of the state schools play football in the MVFC.

Wouldn't it be better to have the MVFC schools in one conference...maybe revert to their former name (Gateway Conference)....while everyone else carries on in the Missouri Valley Conference?  

As an alternative, how about an all-private school Valley that includes Denver, Augustana, and St. Thomas?  Let Omaha and Kansas City join the Dakotas schools.  Kick Oral Roberts to the curb.

While we're hitting the pause button on college sports, why not do something to strengthen rivalries in the Midwest?



LurkingDog
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LurkingDog - 4/28/2020


As an alternative, how about an all-private school Valley that includes Denver, Augustana, and St. Thomas?  ... Kick Oral Roberts to the curb.

Natural rivalries?

Bradley-Drake...similar schools, decades of history in the same conference.
Valpo-Augie...both Lutheran schools
St. Thomas-Loyola...both Catholic schools
Evansville-Denver...no real connection, although both were founded as Methodist schools.



LurkingDog
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And the answer to the question no one is asking:
New Sharon, Iowa.

That would be the geographic center of the re-worked MVC.  About 40 miles from Drake, as the crow flies.



zman
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Why in the world does Drake want to be in a conference w/Augustana and St Thomas? 
LurkingDog
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Obviously, Drake doesn't want change at all, in anything.



BRFDawg
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LurkingDog - 4/29/2020
Obviously, Drake doesn't want change at all, in anything.

Why would the private schools get to keep the MVC name? I have to say that a small, private Midwestern school conference seems really unappealing.
LurkingDog
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BRFDawg - 4/29/2020

Why would the private schools get to keep the MVC name? 

We would have have half the current MVC members; "they" would have half the current MVC members.  So, I don't have an answer on the name. 

A popular FCS football board is debating the idea of the MVFC reverting to the Gateway name.  It's a thing with a lot of fans.  Why?  Because the Dakotas & Western Illinois people don't want name association with a conference they're not really a part of.

I haven't done the math, but it seems like Drake and Bradley together have more years in the Valley than the five state schools combined.






LurkingDog
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BRFDawg - 4/29/2020
 I have to say that a small, private Midwestern school conference seems really unappealing.

Augustana and St. Thomas are currently lower division schools with little to no ESPN/Fox/CBS exposure.  I get that.

Belmont College was similarly overlooked by sports fans in the 1990s.  Then they changed their name to Belmont University, dropped their non-PC nickname, and joined the NCAA.  How do you like them now?

I have no doubt that STU will have a strong and appealing D-I basketball program.  Worry more that Drake will be eating their dust 10 years from now.  

Augustana will only move up if they get a D-I conference invitation.  If you've researched them, you already know they have an academic reputation that's arguably better than Valpo's.  They don't really fit in a conference with St. Cloud State anymore.

And Drake doesn't fit with Southern Illinois, Illinois State, and the rest of the normal schools/teachers colleges.  Not a good look for us.

I'd rather the Missouri Valley Conference looked more like the WCC.  Just my springtime fantasy.



BRFDawg
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LurkingDog - 4/30/2020
BRFDawg - 4/29/2020
 I have to say that a small, private Midwestern school conference seems really unappealing.

Augustana and St. Thomas are currently lower division schools with little to no ESPN/Fox/CBS exposure.  I get that.

Belmont College was similarly overlooked by sports fans in the 1990s.  Then they changed their name to Belmont University, dropped their non-PC nickname, and joined the NCAA.  How do you like them now?

I have no doubt that STU will have a strong and appealing D-I basketball program.  Worry more that Drake will be eating their dust 10 years from now.  

Augustana will only move up if they get a D-I conference invitation.  If you've researched them, you already know they have an academic reputation that's arguably better than Valpo's.  They don't really fit in a conference with St. Cloud State anymore.

And Drake doesn't fit with Southern Illinois, Illinois State, and the rest of the normal schools/teachers colleges.  Not a good look for us.

I'd rather the Missouri Valley Conference looked more like the WCC.  Just my springtime fantasy.

I'm not opposed to Augie or STU, I just don't see a league composed of: Drake, Evansville, Bradley, Loyola, Valpo, Augie, STU, Denver as being effective at opening us up to greater possibilities of success than the current setup.  That league is further from being multibid than the current one.  Unfortunately we would want schools like Creighton, SLU, Marquette, or Dayton and those are all unlikely for several reasons.
BRFDawg
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I will say Lurking, I don't think it is impossible that the state schools will peel off from us so we may have our hand forced anyway.  I would prefer a 12 team league if we have to do something like that.  If we have to do that then I want the league to look like this: Drake, Evansville, Loyola, Bradley, Valpo, STU, Augie, Denver, ORU, Belmont, Lipscomb.  A prospective 12th team would be up in the air.  None of my preferred choices would consider us, if Tulsa ever dropped football they would be a good call.  Bellarmine would be an outside the box possibility.



LurkingDog
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BRFDawg - 4/30/2020
I don't think it is impossible that the state schools will peel off from us so we may have our hand forced anyway....  Bellarmine would be an outside the box possibility.



If you're going outside the Midwest, Bellarmine would definitely work.  Bellarmine will consider a PFL team at some point, so they also look good from that angle.



BRFDawg
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LurkingDog - 4/30/2020
BRFDawg - 4/30/2020
I don't think it is impossible that the state schools will peel off from us so we may have our hand forced anyway....  Bellarmine would be an outside the box possibility.



If you're going outside the Midwest, Bellarmine would definitely work.  Bellarmine will consider a PFL team at some point, so they also look good from that angle.

If we would consider ORU and/or Denver then we might as well consider Bellarmine.
LurkingDog
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I've changed my mind on Denver.  

https://letsgodu.com/2020/04/28/du-encourages-students-to-target-boone-pioneer-nickname/





Here's a follow-up interview with the school chancellor.

https://letsgodu.com/2020/05/01/chancellor-haefner-comments-on-du-athletics-and-recent-pioneer-nickname-events/




LurkingDog
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BTW, the Summit League is giving Augustana a virtual campus visit and a vote on membership this month.  Unanimous approval is required for membership.  And that's not happening.

The prospects are brighter for St. Thomas being approved for D-I classification.

Here's an interview with the Summit commissioner, for anyone who is interested.

https://kwsn.com/podcasts/sports-talk-with-kwsn/5093/tom-douple-on-summit-league-timelines-for-augie-st-thomas/#




BRFDawg
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LurkingDog - 5/6/2020
BTW, the Summit League is giving Augustana a virtual campus visit and a vote on membership this month.  Unanimous approval is required for membership.  And that's not happening.

The prospects are brighter for St. Thomas being approved for D-I classification.

Here's an interview with the Summit commissioner, for anyone who is interested.

https://kwsn.com/podcasts/sports-talk-with-kwsn/5093/tom-douple-on-summit-league-timelines-for-augie-st-thomas/#

I would love to know which President has the big issue with Augie.
mnbulldog
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They play the basketball tourney in Sioux Falls which is home game for the two South Dakota schools. I can’t imagine they would love giving that up.
BRFDawg
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mnbulldog - 5/6/2020
They play the basketball tourney in Sioux Falls which is home game for the two South Dakota schools. I can’t imagine they would love giving that up.

Augie doesn't bring that many fans to the table. I actually believe (with no substantiation beyond my own gut instinct) that the fly in the ointment so to speak is Denver.  I know some SD school fans are worried about splitting the Corporate sponsorship money but I'm not sure that's likely, daddy Sanford is made of money and is determined to give it all away so I think there is more room at the table. I think Denver is desperate to be anywhere else (for reference their Endowment is about 3x the size of any Valley school not named Loyola) and sees Augie and STU as lowering the standing of a conference that is already well below where their believe themselves to be.
LurkingDog
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Valley and Summit: sounds like some kind of Himalayan expedition...

 If the two conferences cooperated on a  realignment plan,  it could resemble the ASun initiative described in the video below.  I appreciate the commissioner explaining the possible benefits in basketball scheduling.

https://youtu.be/5t8AjIhdtcA





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LurkingDog - 5/10/2020
Valley and Summit: sounds like some kind of Himalayan expedition...

 If the two conferences cooperated on a  realignment plan,  it could resemble the ASun initiative described in the video below.  I appreciate the commissioner explaining the possible benefits in basketball scheduling.

https://youtu.be/5t8AjIhdtcA


I have messed around with college athletics at a research level while I was in grad school so I have an appreciation of what goes into conference makeup beyond just geography and names. I believe this is the future of college athletics beyond the P5 for sure, maybe the G5 though I could see them taking up this model. 
BRFDawg
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I'm going to take a big swing in the dark here on the potential conference makeup

ASUN:
FGCU
Jacksonville
Lipscomb
NJIT
North Florida
Stetson
Bellarmine (2021) 
Columbus State (here's where I start throwing darts Peach Belt Conference)
Augusta University (Peach Belt Conference)
North Georgia (Peach Belt Conference)
Lincoln Memorial (South Atlantic Conference)

I think there will be some big swings and potentially a surprise or two here, I'm looking at the likes of Winthrop, High Point, 


UAC:
Kennesaw St
North Alabama
Mercer (located in Macon where ASUN is headquartered)
Valdosta St (Gulf South Conference pt 1)
West Florida (GSC pt 2)
West Georgia (GSC pt 3)
Jacksonville St (Might be a reach but would seem to be a better geographic fit)
Samford (I was between them and Campbell but Samford makes better sense considering the commission of ASUN was explicit in saying he did not want to push any other conference to the brink while pursuing this plan and the Big South would be out as a football conference without Campbell)





GO


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