Conference Realignment: A Look At The New League Lineups For 2012-13

In the 2011-12 season, Rick Byrd's Belmont Bruins will attempt to make it to the NCAA Tournament out of the Atlantic Sun for the fifth time since 2006. It will be their final chance, as in 2012-13, the Bruins move to the Ohio Valley Conference. (Photo by Christian Petersen/Getty Images)

In Part One of this doubleheader, I took a look at all of the conference changes on tap for the 2011-12 season. There are even more on the horizon for 2012-13, though the Horizon League isn't affected.

Part Two begins after the jump with a look at another change in a BCS conference.

Like the Big Ten, Big 12, and Pac-12, the Big East also added a member, primarily to increase the conference's position on the gridiron. TCU makes the move from the Mountain West to give the conference nine football schools and 17 basketball schools. The move is a definite win for the gridiron lineup, but the Horned Frogs look destined to be in the 16 vs. 17 game in the Big East Tournament for the foreseeable future. While TCU has a 5-7 record in the NCAA Tournament, the Frogs' last appearance came in 1998, with their last win coming 11 years earlier.

And yes, it's likely that all 17 teams will play at Madison Square Garden next year. Expect the 18-game conference slate to stick, with teams playing a pair of opponents home-and-away instead of three.

2011-12 2012-13
Cincinnati
Cincinnati
Connecticut
Connecticut
DePaul
DePaul
Georgetown
Georgetown
Louisville
Louisville
Marquette
Marquette
Notre Dame Notre Dame
Pittsburgh
Pittsburgh
Providence
Providence
Rutgers
Rutgers
St. John's
St. John's
Seton Hall
Seton Hall
USF
USF
Syracuse
Syracuse
Villanova
TCU (from the Mountain West)
West Virginia                
Villanova

West Virginia

 

TCU's departure and the arrival of two teams from the WAC mean the Mountain West will look very much like a division from the old 16-team WAC. Fresno State and Nevada, two basketball programs who are in the midst of a down cycle, join the MWC to bring its membership back up to nine. The Bulldogs haven't made the NCAA Tournament since making consecutive trips under Jerry Tarkanian in 2000 and 2001, while the Wolf Pack were a regular fixture in the mid-2000s, but haven't returned since a Second Round loss to Memphis in 2007.

2011-12 2012-13
Air Force
Air Force
Boise State
Boise State
Colorado State
Colorado State
UNLV Fresno State (from the WAC)
New Mexico Nevada (from the WAC)
San Diego State          
UNLV
TCU
New Mexico
Wyoming San Diego State

Wyoming

 

While the Mountain West resembles a blast from the Western Athletic Conference's past, the new, cobbled-together WAC features two schools who don't sponsor football and two others who will jump from FCS to FBS to make the move. Of the incoming quartet, Texas-San Antonio earned the Southland's 2011 tournament bid (their fourth overall), Texas State hasn't contended in awhile in that same league (two bids, both in the mid-90s), Denver is a decent Sun Belt school better known for hockey, and Seattle is looking to make an impact after transitioning back into Division I.

2011-12 2012-13
Fresno State Denver (from the Sun Belt)
Hawai'i Idaho
Idaho Louisiana Tech
Louisiana Tech New Mexico State
Nevada San Jose State
New Mexico State Seattle (from the Independents)
San Jose State             
Texas-San Antonio (from the Southland)
Utah State Texas State (from the Southland)

Utah State

 

Denver's departure reduces the Sun Belt from 12 teams, divided into two divisions, to 11, likely grouped in a single table.

2011-12 2012-13
East Division
Arkansas-Little Rock
Florida Atlantic
Arkansas State
Florida International
Florida Atlantic
Middle Tennessee
Florida International
South Alabama
Louisiana-Lafayette
Troy
Louisiana-Monroe
Western Kentucky
Middle Tennessee
West Division
North Texas
Arkansas-Little Rock
South Alabama
Arkansas State
Troy
Denver
Western Kentucky
Louisiana-Lafayette

Louisiana-Monroe

North Texas

 

The Southland will also likely do away with divisions, as the departure of UTSA and Texas State leaves it with just 10 members, ideal for an 18-game, double round-robin schedule.

2011-12 2012-13
East Division
Central Arkansas
Central Arkansas Lamar
Lamar
McNeese State
McNeese State
Nicholls State
Nicholls State Northwestern State
Northwestern State
Sam Houston State
Southeastern Louisiana
Southeastern Louisiana
West Division
Stephen F, Austin
Sam Houston State
Texas-Arlington
Stephen F. Austin
Texas A&M-Corpus Christi
Texas-Arlington                           

Texas-San Antonio

Texas A&M-Corpus Christi
Texas State

 

Hawai'i is also among the teams fleeing the WAC. While the football Warriors will join Fresno State and Nevada in the Mountain West, the majority of the school's other teams will join the Big West. Hawai'i will be the first non-California school to participate in that conference since Idaho and Utah State left in 2005.

2011-12 2012-13
UC Davis
UC Davis
UC Irvine
UC Irvine
UC Riverside
UC Riverside
UC Santa Barbara
UC Santa Barbara
Cal Poly
Cal Poly
Cal State Fullerton Cal State Fullerton
Cal State Northridge Cal State Northridge
Long Beach State
Hawai'i (from the WAC)
Pacific
Long Beach State

Pacific

 

The Ohio Valley Conference undergoes two changes. First, SIU Edwardsville becomes eligible for the conference title for the first time, a year after playing its first full league schedule. The second change may have more of an impact on the chase for that crown; however, as Atlantic Sun power Belmont joins, a move that reduces that school's travel costs while adding yet another strong hoops program to a conference that already boasts Austin Peay, Morehead State, and Murray State, amongst others.

2011-12 2012-13
Austin Peay
Austin Peay
Eastern Illinois
Belmont (from the Atlantic Sun)
Eastern Kentucky Eastern Illinois
Jacksonville State
Eastern Kentucky
Morehead State Jacksonville State
Murray State Morehead State
Southeast Missouri
Murray State
SIU Edwardsville (ineligible for title)
Southeast Missouri
Tennessee-Martin SIU Edwardsville (eligible for OVC title)
Tennessee State Tennessee-Martin
Tennessee Tech Tennessee State

Tennessee Tech

 

The OVC's gain is the Atlantic Sun's loss, as that conference loses a member for the second consecutive year. Remember that Campbell leaves for the Big South in time for the 2011-12 campaign.

2011-12 2012-13
Belmont East Tennessee State
East Tennessee State Florida Gulf Coast
Florida Gulf Coast Jacksonville
Jacksonville Kennesaw State
Kennesaw State Lipscomb
Lipscomb Mercer
Mercer
North Florida
North Florida USC Upstate
USC Upstate Stetson
Stetson

 

Big Sky schools, like Montana and Montana State, were among the targets for WAC expansion, but the FCS league held firm, and actually gained a pair of all sports members, along with some football affiliates. North Dakota, the Great West's representative in the 2011 College Insider Tournament, joins along with Southern Utah, a team who will find this loop that's a bit more travel-friendly than its former home, the Summit League.

2011-12 2012-13
Eastern Washington Eastern Washington
Idaho State Idaho State
Montana
Montana
Montana State
Montana State
Northern Arizona North Dakota (from the Great West)
Northern Colorado
Northern Arizona
Portland State
Northern Colorado
Sacramento State
Portland State
Weber State
Sacramento State

Southern Utah (from the Summit League)
Weber State

 

While the Summit League loses a geographic outlier, it gains another member from the heart of its territory, as Nebraska-Omaha makes the move up from Division II.

2011-12 2012-13
IPFW IPFW
IUPUI IUPUI
UMKC UMKC
North Dakota State Nebraska-Omaha (from Division II, transitional)
Oakland North Dakota State
Oral Roberts Oakland
South Dakota Oral Roberts
South Dakota State South Dakota
Southern Utah South Dakota State
Western Illinois Western Illinois

 

With North Dakota's departure for the Big Sky, the Great West drops from six members to five, meaning its chances at an NCAA automatic bid are nearly done, at least if the original target date of 2020 is to be met. And more moves may be on the way. Houston Baptist is already looking at adding an FCS football program, and is courting the Southland and Summit League in the process. Utah Valley attempted to join the WAC, but was snubbed. If either of those schools are successful in finding another home, the fledgling conference won't be long for the world.

2011-12 2012-13
Chicago State Chicago State
Houston Baptist Houston Baptist
NJIT NJIT
North Dakota Texas-Pan American
Texas-Pan American Utah Valley
Utah Valley

 

Much like the Great West, the Independent ranks are shrinking, with the numbers falling to two this season. Cal State Bakersfield suffered double rejection, first at the hands of the Big West, a conference populated by many similar schools, in favor of Hawai'i,  then at the hands of the WAC.

Meanwhile, Longwood is still here. The Lancers have yet to find a conference home, even though they've been a full member of Division I since 2007. The Big South would seem to be a decent fit, given the school's location in Central Virginia.

2011-12 2012-13
Cal State Bakersfield
Cal State Bakersfield
Longwood
Longwood
Seattle

 

Finally, there are minor changes to the Northeast and Big South conferences. Bryant becomes a core member of the NEC in 2012-13, meaning they'll finally be eligible for the conference title and a place in the NCAA Tournament. It only seems like the Bulldogs have been a member of the league forever. They've been an associate member while transitioning to Division I, a process that began in 2008-09. Meanwhile, Presbyterian should be eligible for the Big South's bid, as the school failed to meet its original target of 2011-12.

Once again, I've posted these changes on a separate page, just like the ones for the 2011-12 academic year.

What conference changes do you foresee for future seasons?

Enjoy this post? Follow Blogging the Bracket on Twitter and Like the site on Facebook.

Latest News

In This Article

Topics
Teams

Trending Discussions

X
Log In Sign Up

forgot?
Log In Sign Up

Forgot password?

We'll email you a reset link.

If you signed up using a 3rd party account like Facebook or Twitter, please login with it instead.

Forgot password?

Try another email?

Almost done,

By becoming a registered user, you are also agreeing to our Terms and confirming that you have read our Privacy Policy.

Join Blogging the Bracket

You must be a member of Blogging the Bracket to participate.

We have our own Community Guidelines at Blogging the Bracket. You should read them.

Join Blogging the Bracket

You must be a member of Blogging the Bracket to participate.

We have our own Community Guidelines at Blogging the Bracket. You should read them.

Spinner.vc97ec6e

Authenticating

Great!

Choose an available username to complete sign up.

In order to provide our users with a better overall experience, we ask for more information from Facebook when using it to login so that we can learn more about our audience and provide you with the best possible experience. We do not store specific user data and the sharing of it is not required to login with Facebook.

tracking_pixel_9347_tracker