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  • If the only consideration was geography, KWC probably would (and probably should) move to the NAIA. But the geography is not the only consideration. That's why, while I would not be surprised to see us move to a different conference, I don't *think* we will, simply because there's really not a conference that provides a significantly better fit. The GLVC would be slightly better geographically, but other factors make it worse.

    Also, with their brand new arena and the addition of more sports I would be absolutely amazed if USI is still in D2 come 5 years from now. All signs point to them joining the Bellarmine bandwagon and jumping to D1, probably in the OVC. And when that happens, the closest D2 school to KWC will be TNU anyway, so the USI 'connection' (if there is such a thing) isn't much of a draw, IMO. The next closest D2 after TNU is Kentucky State, which is in the traditionally HBCU SIAC conference.

    Now don't get me wrong, purely from a basketball standpoint I would like to see us back in the GLVC. But we simply cannot compete in other sports - not even close - due to the massive difference in athletic budgets. In the G-MAC we have not been a powerhouse by any means in non-basketball sports, but we're also not a whipping boy across the entire spectrum (minus basketball) either. Baseball, volleyball, soccer (at times), softball have all benefited from G-MAC membership. In some of those cases it's been the difference between not winning a conference game in several years vs. winning only a couple, but that's still an improvement.

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    • Originally posted by BlueBlood View Post
      On the flip side - TNU and KWC have to hate constantly pointing the bus wheels north.
      I think you hit the nail on the head there. The problem has to be for TNU and KWC, not so much for the northern schools making the long trek down south.

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      • Originally posted by BlueBlood View Post

        Actually, Frostburg isn’t outlying. As was pointed out earlier, they are a 10 min drive from the WV border.

        And Pembroke is football only, so only 5 MEC schools are making a single trip per year to NC.

        So yeah, other than NDC - it’s an extremely tight footprint.

        BTW - NDC just won their 3rd straight MEC football title. They’ve been dominant since Shepherd left. So, that might be a good reason to stay.


        Even with NDC, the MEC is tight. Folks talk about NDC moving to the GMAC due to travel distance like there is this great disparity. There isn't when you take the conferences as wholes. Yes, NDC in the GMAC would benefit travel to a certain extent, but that benefit is not terribly large and obviously not so large to make it as much of a "No brainer" as some want to make it out to be.

        NDCs ascendancy to the top of the MEC football pile began before Shepherd left the MEC and I think it would have continued if they had stayed although Shepherd certainly wouldn't have given it away. While NDC is clearly at the top of the MEC pile right now,, there are several teams that are improving and could nock them from their purch as the top team in the MEC and by extention, one of the top teams in SR1. In no particular order, namely Frostburg, UNCP and Charleston with Fairmont being a season to season thing (dome years very good...some not so much).

        I think NDC has found a VERY comfortable home in the MEC. They are at the top OR very competitive in a number of sports but not so dominant as to be boring...the travel distance is not terribly different than other confereconfere...there is a good mix of public and private schools that all see and fund athletics the same (no members funding intercollegiate at an intermural level and none funding it at a FCS level either). They are comfortable were they are playing who they are playing and every year that passes, the bonds and "traditional rivalries" in the MEC grow stronger while those from the NAIA days become more of a distant memory.

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        • Originally posted by Uindy18 View Post

          Yes, the MEC has some outlying schools in Frostburg, UNC Pembroke, and NDC, but the base of the conference has become the WV schools that were the base of the old WVIAC. Hence the WVIAC 2.0 comment. And No, I do not think NDC is struggling, but across the D2 level, budgets are tight even at the well off schools. Unless you are Grand Valley or Northwest Missouri, travel costs will always play a big role in who you schedule/what conference you join.

          I simply think that the NDC to the GMAC move is more of a when than an if, much like Ashland was. At some point or another, the GMAC will make more sense for NDC. Might be tomorrow might be a decade from now. No one knows really.
          The MECs "base" was WV schools from day 1...but there goal is not to be a one state conference. Unlike some conferences that focus on one state, one "class" (all/mostly private or public) or some that focus on "historic" racial lines, the MEC focuses on competitive commitment of its members...doesn't matter if a school is in WV or not...a public or private...or an HBCU or not, if you have the same level of commitment to intercollegiate athletics and come from a 5 or 6 state geographic footprint, you've got a home in the MEC.

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          • Originally posted by boatcapt View Post

            The MECs "base" was WV schools from day 1...but there goal is not to be a one state conference. Unlike some conferences that focus on one state, one "class" (all/mostly private or public) or some that focus on "historic" racial lines, the MEC focuses on competitive commitment of its members...doesn't matter if a school is in WV or not...a public or private...or an HBCU or not, if you have the same level of commitment to intercollegiate athletics and come from a 5 or 6 state geographic footprint, you've got a home in the MEC.
            I am sure the commitment to competition is there, but the greatest asset your conference has is that tight footprint. I significantly doubt the MEC would invite a team well out of their footprint (say Trevecca Nazarene for example) just for competition sake.

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            • I agree to a degree. MEC is not going to invite teams from way outside their foot print. But that said, their foot print is a 5 to 6 state area. I could see the MEC moving into KY but only with a "pod" of teams. Dont see them bring in an individual team. But I get the feeling that the MEC is happy being the size it is. One niggling issue is UNCP. I think they would like a full member who plays football. There are several options but as they say, it takes 2 to tango. Not saying any plans are in the works but some candidates could be Gannon, Seton Hill, UPike, and Bluefield State.

              Comment


              • Originally posted by boatcapt View Post
                I agree to a degree. MEC is not going to invite teams from way outside their foot print. But that said, their foot print is a 5 to 6 state area. I could see the MEC moving into KY but only with a "pod" of teams. Dont see them bring in an individual team. But I get the feeling that the MEC is happy being the size it is. One niggling issue is UNCP. I think they would like a full member who plays football. There are several options but as they say, it takes 2 to tango. Not saying any plans are in the works but some candidates could be Gannon, Seton Hill, UPike, and Bluefield State.
                I would say Bluefield State makes to the most sense for them once they get their program off the ground. I also agree on the KY idea. It is not impossible, but it would take probably 4 at least for it to make sense for the rest of the MEC.

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                • Originally posted by Uindy18 View Post

                  I would say Bluefield State makes to the most sense for them once they get their program off the ground.
                  And, to your earlier point, a former WVIAC member.

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                  • Originally posted by Stea1th View Post

                    And, to your earlier point, a former WVIAC member.
                    Exactly, it was a natural fit then and a natural fit now (or in a year or two at least).

                    Comment


                    • They've got another rant going on over on the GLIAC board - about how the now-G-MAC schools were simply afraid to compete in the GLIAC and how they fled to an inferior conference.

                      I've mentioned before that many of the schools that left the GLIAC to join the G-MAC were actually much more competitive than most folks are willing to admit. Below are the GLIAC All-Sports standings the year before the big exodus. The now-G-MAC schools actually held 4 of the top 6 spots in the GLIAC All-Sports rankings. And mores specifically, they held 4 of the 5 spots behind GV.

                      Put another way - the GLIAC lost 4 of the 5 schools that lined up behind GV - including the only school that consistently nipped at GV's heels. The void between GV and the rest of the GLIAC just widened significantly - and while many don't seem willing to admit that, I think its starting to sink in.

                      Conversely, it feels like the G-MAC All-Sports standings should be much more competitive among the top 5 or so schools..

                      I am extremely convinced that good (and competitive) times are ahead for the G-MAC.


                      2016-17 Presidents' Trophy (All-Sports)
                      1. Grand Valley State ..218.5
                      2. Ashland...................153.0
                      3. Saginaw Valley .......148.0
                      4. Findlay .................... 144.5
                      5. Tiffin ....................... 143.5
                      6. Hillsdale..................131.0
                      7. Wayne State ............ 125.5
                      8. Ferris State .............. 124.0
                      9. Northwood ..............105.0
                      10. Walsh ........................ 96.0
                      11. Northern Michigan....93.0
                      12. Michigan Tech ..........86.0
                      13. Ohio Dominican .......74.5
                      14. Lake Erie...................67.0
                      15. Lake Superior State... 40.5

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                      • Saw an article today that said Kentucky State is contemplating a jump to D1- MEAC. If that would happen, it eliminates Central State’s closest (by a long shot) SIAC conference mate.

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                        • Originally posted by BlueBlood View Post
                          Saw an article today that said Kentucky State is contemplating a jump to D1- MEAC. If that would happen, it eliminates Central State’s closest (by a long shot) SIAC conference mate.
                          That certainly adds an interesting move. I doubt very strongly Central State would be invited back to the GMAC (the exit is very dramatic and messy, with the sheer number of NCAA and conference rules simply ignored). They are also a former GLVC member, maybe the MEC offers them to pair with NDC? Honestly, I think they would end up staying just because the HBCU thing.

                          Comment


                          • Originally posted by BlueBlood View Post
                            Saw an article today that said Kentucky State is contemplating a jump to D1- MEAC. If that would happen, it eliminates Central State’s closest (by a long shot) SIAC conference mate.
                            Given KSU's financial situation - and the state's - I would be shocked if they did.

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                            • I cannot imagine Ky State jumping to D1, that would be ridiculous.

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                              • Oh, I agree that KSU to the MEAC seems crazy given enrollment and finances. But the article said they are at least exploring it.

                                As to Central State - I don't really know how burnt the bridge is. It may have just been a mutual parting of the ways based on different goals. The G-MAC had basic core sports that it required and CSU did not want to play those sports. I don't know if the G-MAC was angry about it, or just like...."its obvious to both of us this isn't a fit".

                                CSU's current sports model is completely opposite the G-MAC schools' model.

                                CSU intentionally has very limited sports offerings. They concentrate their resources into allowing their football and basketball teams to travel into the deep south to play other HBCUs. All other sports at CSU are the "meet" type where you just show up for the conference championship. Volleyball is kind of a hybrid - the SIAC has 3 big meets a year that allow both CSU and KSU to get all their conference games in.

                                The G-MAC schools (and most privates for that matter) want to offer as many sports as possible - wrestling, both men's and women's lacrosse, swimming/diving, equestrian, bowling, etc. Sports is a huge enrollment driver. A healthy athletic department can have 500 to 800 student athletes, or more.

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