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Thread: Conference Battles For Survival

  1. #1

    Sunbelt Conference Battle for survival

    Sun Belt, WAC among conferences seeking identity

    The dominoes began falling three months ago when the Atlantic Coast Conference went shopping for enough teams to stage a football championship game.

    Now, many of the nation's athletic conferences are attempting to grab as many dominoes as they can, as the next major shift in league alignments ripples through an already-unstable collegiate athletic world.

    "You always worry about the unknown," Texas-El Paso head football coach Gary Nord told a newspaper in his area this week. "You always want to know what's going to happen next. And I really don't know right now."

    Nord's in good company. No one really knows what the next step in realignments will be, but there are two certainties: The changes have filtered down to where they will have a major impact on Louisiana and area schools, and those changes are happening more quickly than anyone imagined.

    "I'm focusing on Plan A right now," Western Athletic Conference (WAC) commissioner Karl Benson said last week at his league's basketball media day gathering. "If we have to go to Plan B, there will be time to start there."

    The rest of the story

    Dan McDonald

  2. #2

    Sunbelt Shuffling may work

    It doesn't happen often, but every once in a while comes the chance for things to work out right.

    Now is one of those chances in college athletics, more specifically in the soap opera that Division I-A conference alignment has become.

    It's the chance to put egos and personalities aside, swallow some pride, and do things for the right reason making things better for the guys and gals that take part in intercollegiate athletics.

    It's also the chance to stop the "they took from me, so I take from them" circle that drives the ever-increasing leaps from league to league.

    But it's got to happen now.

    The Western Athletic Conference is in turmoil, with three of its members SMU, Rice and Tulsa bolting last weekend for a chance to join Conference USA. You can't blame those three schools, since they're putting themselves into a solid league alignment that makes sense for them and the other C-USA members.

    The rest of the story

    Dan McDonald

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