July 12, 2010

Summit League Shake Up?!

Despite my awesomely catchy headline, it's not as for-sure as the Big 12...or...former Big 10...or...uh...well, the other conferences. But an article in Fort-Wayne's Journal Gazette suggests some Summit League teams are looking to realign like the big boys.

Apparently, Indiana-Purdue Fort Wayne (IPFW) is looking towards brighter horizons, literally, in the Horizon League. Oral Roberts (ORU) is looking around to anyone in need - my guess would probably be Conference USA, but that has no formal backing to it. Southern Utah (SUU) is hoping the Big Sky conference would take it in.

The conference shake up in college sports has been centered mostly around football, something most Summit League teams either don't have or don't really compete well in. So the reason for Summit Shake Up would revolve most around travel. Currently, teams have four major trips: West (SUU and ORU), North (South Dakota State and North Dakota State), East (IPFW, IUPUI, and Oakland), and South (Centenary). Centenary is leaving the conference, removing the trip to Louisiana teams have to pay for. If (and that's a big if) ORU and SUU left, that would remove the far-west swing teams have to make. South Dakota will be joining the Summit League through the next few years (with all kinds of fancy requirements to meet), and North Dakota should be hot on their heels, adding another Dakota-swing to the schedule.

The new league schedule, with the above scenario, would look something like this (as IUPUI):
Oakland University (Michigan), North Dakota State Univeristy & University of North Dakota (North Dakota), South Dakota State University & South Dakota University (South Dakota), University of Missouri-Kansas City & Western Illinois Univeristy (Missouri and Illinois).

I realize that's only eight teams (ten total - four leaving + two coming = eight teams), but it would drive travel costs way down. There are plenty of ways to rearrange teams to create more localized conferences, but...we'll see.


  1. theres no auto bid for 8 team conferences.

    1. IPFW's current history would NEVER get them in the Horizon
    2. There are 3 schools that have the opportunity "move-up" into a better conference us(IUPUI), Oakland, and Oral

  2. That's just the talk/rumors right now. IPFW's A.D. seems pretty adamant about trying to make a move, mostly based on their play against Horizon teams (i.e. beating Valpo last year). I'm sure the Summit wouldn't allow a team out without knowing a team was coming in to replace them.