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OT: future of the MEAC

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  • OT: future of the MEAC

    Don't know if everybody is aware, but last week North Carolina A&T announced they would be leaving the MEAC to join the Big South Conference. I believe the move is supposed to happen in 2021.

    In the short time since the announcement, people have been mentioning troubles at both South Carolina State and Bethune-Cookman which could potentially leave the MEAC in a very shaky situation in the near future. Hampton, Savannah State & Winston-Salem State have all left the MEAC within the last ten years for different reasons.

    What might the MEAC do going forward? Let's be honest as of right now, no school in the CIAA or SIAC are in an ideal position to even entertain jumping to Division 1. I don't know whether any FCS level PWI's in the MEAC footprint would consider joining the conference. Or would we likely see current MEAC schools start planning their own escape and finding new conference homes in D1?

    What if some of the remaining MEAC schools decided to move to Division 2? Where would they even go? Let's be honest the CIAA does not need any more members. Moving down to D2 wouldn't necessarily guarantee a new conference home.

    This situation could be interesting to see play out. What do you guys think? Thoughts? Opinions? Will whatever ends up happening to the MEAC effect the CIAA in some way?

  • #2
    South Carolina State was long rumored to be dropping to D2, as I recall. I can't speak to the Bethune-Cookman situation, but I'd suspect that D2 might not be as viable for B-C compared to SC State. I also seem to recall rumors about Norfolk State considering a drop to D2 following funding changes by the Commonwealth of Virginia, but I might be mistaken (or my memory is fading, which for being in my mid-40s, is not entirely out of the question).
    Cal U (Pa.) Class of 2014

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    • #3
      Depending on location, some of those schools might consider going D3 or NAIA if they don't feel they have a spot in D2. There are way too many schools in D1, some of which have eyes way bigger than their stomach. Savannah State and Winston-Salem State have wisely come back to D2 and I would think that there should be more. If I have an upper level MEAC program I'd sure be checking my options elsewhere.

      Birmingham Southern and Centenary were D1 schools who have moved to D3. Rising costs, decreasing enrollments and inability to compete at that level all play a part in those decisions- and schools should remember what they were founded for- providing a quality education.

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      • #4
        Delaware State is a school that I could see going to the NEC for an invite as it cuts their travel cost down with the longest trip being to Rhode Island. Howard may look to the Big South as well if the MEAC falls apart as well as maybe Coppin State which I can't see falling down to D2. UMES is a small regional school that maybe looks to the CIAA. FAMU would probably just convert over to the SWAC and Norfolk State if they can secure funding probably would fare better in the Big South unless they decide to rejoin the CIAA. It'll be interesting to see how the MEAC reacts. Do they try to poach current CIAA members like Winston Salem State or Virginia State......

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        • #5
          I hate to the demise of the MEAC. But they have no one to blame but themselves. It is one of the worst conferences in DI in both major sports. They basically recruit D-2 players and therefore can't compete. NC A&T and FAMU are really the only two schools that should remain in D1. The MEAC needs to take baby steps to legitimize the conference.

          My plan:

          1. Football - Stop the celebration bowl! That is killing them. Make some noise in the playoffs.
          2. Basketball - Start scheduling teams in conferences you can compete with like the bottom A10 teams. Win those games first consistantly. They need to move out of the play-in game. The play-in game is not the tournament.
          3. Find hungary coaches and players

          This is exactly what NC A&T did in football and now they are leaving.

          I wish all HBCUs were D1 and competing but that will never happen.

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          • #6
            My thoughts in no particular order.

            1. If any HBCU in D2 was anywhere close to moving up it would be VA State as they sponsor the number of sports and they already have a quality mid major D1 basketball arena. Nobody else except Savannah changing course or maybe a rumored product of an Albany State, FVSU, Savannah merger would be able to move up.

            2. SC State and Bethune Cookman need to move to D2.

            3. NCCU and Norfolk would be logical moves for the Big South. FAMU would be a logical SWAC or ASUN/Big South move.

            4. I still don't like the A&T move unless their end game is a hopeful SOCON invite.

            5. I don't see any realistic moves for the MEAC at this point for finding new members.

            ​​​​​

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            • #7
              I think we're all forgetting one thing. What D1 conferences would actually want any of the remaining MEAC members? I don't think Delaware State is the missing link that will make the NEC surpass the CAA.

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              • #8
                Originally posted by 4_tattoos View Post
                I think we're all forgetting one thing. What D1 conferences would actually want any of the remaining MEAC members? I don't think Delaware State is the missing link that will make the NEC surpass the CAA.
                You hit it on the head. We can look at a map and say, Team A should go here and Team B should go there, but they do need an invitation.

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                • #9
                  Originally posted by laker View Post

                  You hit it on the head. We can look at a map and say, Team A should go here and Team B should go there, but they do need an invitation.
                  Very true. The Big South wanted Hampton and NC A&T. With that said, I could see the Big South possibly giving a look at NC Central as a favor to A&T so the Aggie-Eagle Classic lives on under the Big South banner. Don't think Hampton cares enough about Norfolk State or even Howard to vouch for either joining the fold.

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                  • #10
                    Originally posted by 4_tattoos View Post
                    I think we're all forgetting one thing. What D1 conferences would actually want any of the remaining MEAC members? I don't think Delaware State is the missing link that will make the NEC surpass the CAA.
                    https://www.naplesnews.com/story/spo...20/4551544002/

                    With the ASUN's mega plan it I would think FAMU would fit perfectly and they would be desirable by that conference.

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                    • #11
                      Originally posted by LegalRam View Post

                      https://www.naplesnews.com/story/spo...20/4551544002/

                      With the ASUN's mega plan it I would think FAMU would fit perfectly and they would be desirable by that conference.
                      Now that I think about it, Howard does have Patriot League-ish prestige. As well as already existing in the PL footprint (American University already in the conference; Georgetown is a football only associate of PL). Howard to the Patriot League could be considered a maybe (more like maaaaaybe). HU is a little too far outside the NEC footprint IMO, and it's been my understanding that the CAA has facility requirements Howard wouldn't be able to meet.

                      On top of that I doubt the collective ego of Bison Nation would never be willing to move down to D2 lol

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                      • #12
                        I think I need a flow chart to understand who goes where in the ASUN article.

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                        • #13
                          Originally posted by cneagle99 View Post
                          I think I need a flow chart to understand who goes where in the ASUN article.
                          Yeah, that plan seems to be all over the place. They have 2 current members who sponsor FCS scholarship football, so their plan seems to be a stretch. Liberty isn't coming back to FCS and I don't know if Stetson wants to start offering scholarships.

                          ​​​​I guess they are hoping that the Big South football schools would defect and jump on board. Outside of that I don't see anyone leaving the OVC. Maybe they would go after some of the Eastern SWAC schools or the Florida MEAC schools. Only other thing would be for them to try and get some of the GSC schools to move up.

                          All I can say is if this plan actually comes to life there could be a good amount of shakeup in the South East for FCS and D2.

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                          • #14
                            Originally posted by cneagle99 View Post
                            I think I need a flow chart to understand who goes where in the ASUN article.
                            For me to understand it I'd probably need an enema. The whole thing is convoluted.

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                            • #15
                              The way I understand it (and it took a while) is that they want six more football schools to form a conference with North Alabama and Kennesaw State (though if the plan works as intended, KSU would initially be football-only in that new conference). These six would preferably be public universities in the same geographical area as those two.

                              The possible candidates I've seen mentioned include Jacksonville State from the OVC, Southeastern Louisiana and Nicholls State from the Southland, potentially someone else from those two conferences, possibly Chattanooga from the Southern Conference (less likely East Tennessee State), maybe Florida A&M from the MEAC (probably no other HBCUs), and perhaps someone from the Gulf South if any of them are interested in moving to D1.

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