FCS conference moves

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meganeck
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North Carolina A&T is leaving the MEAC to join the Big South. Will go into effect in 2021.
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meganeck wrote:
Sat Feb 08, 2020 8:56 am
North Carolina A&T is leaving the MEAC to join the Big South. Will go into effect in 2021.
This is a pretty big deal. They're one of (if not THE) best HBCU team right now. I'd say definitely over the last 5 or so years. They're essentially choosing to forgo a near-annual appearance in the Celebration Bowl on ABC (and the accompanying $) to compete with teams like Kennasaw State and Monmouth University for the Big South playoff bid. Although many are saying that this isn't really their end goal; it's just step 1 in moving up to the FBS. That's something that no HBCU has been able to successfully do yet. Florida A&M tried it for one year in 2004 before having to move back down.
Here's an article about it: https://hbcugameday.com/2019/08/19/can- ... o-the-fbs/

It's definitely one of those "bittersweet" moves for many fans of NC A&T and HBCU schools/conferences in general. They're leaving behind rivalries and history, but they've pretty much maxed out what a HBCU can be in the current setup, and if they are intending to move up to FBS (likely trying for the Sun Belt) this is a move that they need to make. Going Big South from the MEAC also saves a decent amount in travel costs for them. More info can be found in the discussion at AGS: https://www.anygivensaturday.com/showth ... -Big-South

This also makes the situation with Bethune-Cookman that much more interesting...they've had serious financial difficulties (the kind that make Western's look like peanuts) the last few years and are trying to figure out if they need to drop football, drop a division, or even shut down the school entirely. How that plays out over the next year or so will heavily determine the future of the MEAC. The MEAC has lost Hampton to the Big South, now NCA&T to the Big South, might lose B-C, and it's rumored that Delaware State is looking to get into the NEC.
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Other realignment news, sounds like DII University of New Haven is planning an FCS move and there's a good chance will be going for the NEC.
New Haven is a private university in West Haven, CT with ~7k students. Sounds like they've had some decent teams, especially in football, baseball, and volleyball, but probably need to upgrade some of their facilities before they're really ready for DI.

Also, there's rumors of a serious restructuring involving the ASun Conference (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Atlantic_Sun_Conference) and the CCSA (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Coastal_C ... ssociation). This restructuring could bring together many of the football playing schools that are currently involved with the ASun and/or Big South (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Big_South_Conference), as well as a few possible DII move-ups into a new larger conference. Something along the lines of a larger Atlantic Sun + a separate conference for football-playing members being tied together for scheduling and organization. Here's more info about that: https://asunsports.org/general/2019-20/ ... 0122lh6utq
The video explains things better.
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Tere North
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Any conference realignment being considered for Western?
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Tere North wrote:
Mon Feb 10, 2020 2:26 pm
Any conference realignment being considered for Western?
Yes, we will concentrate on finishing in the top half rather than the bottom half. :lol:
If Jimmy V was a programmer like me, he would have said it like this: while (!(succeed = try()));
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Tere North wrote:
Mon Feb 10, 2020 2:26 pm
Any conference realignment being considered for Western?
I'm sure there have been discussions with people at other conferences behind the scenes, but no mention (or rumors) of anything as of yet.
That stuff goes on all the time. Apparently NC A&T talked to 8 different conferences (FCS and FBS) before going with the Big South.

Regarding New Haven, they have a blue field, in case anyone is interested in that sort of thing:

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A couple of recent moves that have happened:

Florida A&M has voted to leave the MEAC and join the SWAC. With Bethune-Cookman having serious financial struggles (and rumors of possibly having to either drop a division or close entirely), and NC A&T leaving for the Big South as of next summer, the MEAC seems to be falling apart as a conference. The remaining members are Coppin State (Baltimore), Delaware State, Howard (Washington DC), U of Maryland Eastern Shore, Morgan State (Baltimore), Norfolk State (Norfolk, VA), NC Central (Durham, NC), and SC State (Orangeburg, SC).
FAMU was the far south "outlier" of the conference. As part of the SWAC, they'll be in a much stronger conference, still an outlier in location (furthest East), but closer to most of that half of the division with teams like Alabama State, Alabama A&M, Jackson State, etc.
https://herosports.com/fcs/football-202 ... -meac-s5s5
There's also rumors of another school announcing moving to the SWAC within the next month or so

Also, it was announced that Robert Morris University will be leaving the NEC and joining the Horizon League for everything except football (Horizon League doesn't have football). Ideas for a football home for them including dropping scholarships and going to the Pioneer League, or trying to get into the Patriot League for their non-Horizon League sports (football and lacrosse).

There's also a rumor that NJIT will be leaving the Atlantic Sun conference and joining the America East conference, and there's a potential that this could kick off a round of reorganization along the east coast.
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ST_Lawson wrote:
Thu Jun 11, 2020 2:45 pm
Also, it was announced that Robert Morris University will be leaving the NEC and joining the Horizon League for everything except football (Horizon League doesn't have football). Ideas for a football home for them including dropping scholarships and going to the Pioneer League, or trying to get into the Patriot League for their non-Horizon League sports (football and lacrosse).
Sounds like they're planning on taking football to the Big South: https://pittsburghsportsnow.com/2020/06 ... st-sports/
Not great for them geographically, but it is a better league than the NEC in terms of competitiveness.
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And now both Bethune-Cookman and Delaware State are looking to get out of the MEAC.
BCU probably trying for the ASun/Big South combo, Delaware State appears to be trying to go to the NEC
https://www.instagram.com/p/CB0_sNlFzLH ... v8jxlphx6z
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ST_Lawson wrote:
Thu Jun 25, 2020 8:21 am
And now both Bethune-Cookman and Delaware State are looking to get out of the MEAC.
BCU probably trying for the ASun/Big South combo, Delaware State appears to be trying to go to the NEC
https://www.instagram.com/p/CB0_sNlFzLH ... v8jxlphx6z
And now part of that is essentially "official". The MEAC is all but "dead" at this point.
Bethune-Cookman is headed to the SWAC:
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