The NCAA released redrawn regional lines for both the 2011-2012 season and 2012-2013 season.
The Division II Management Council approved the changes that will directly affect both ACU and the LSC at its annual meetings in Indianapolis.
“Things are going to change for us,” said ACU Athletic Director Jared Mosley. “But I anticipate that we won’t skip a beat.”
The new alignment has been approved in order to accommodate the new Division II conference, the Great American Conference, which will begin Div. II play next season. The conference is comprised of both Arkansas and Oklahoma institutions, including three current LSC schools that have already submitted intention to withdraw from the conference to the league office before the beginning of the current school year.
Beginning next year, the GAC will be placed in the South-Central Region, joining the LSC, MIAA and the Heartland Conferences. The GAC only is eligible for at-large bids within the region per NCAA regulations.
While ACU will not be playing conference games against its former partners in the LSC, there remains the possibility of ACU seeing familiar schools in the playoffs in 2011-2012.
The regional alignment will again change next year, when the GAC moves to the Central Region. Joining the GAC will be the MIAA and the Northern Sun Intercollegiate Conference. The Rocky Mountain Athletic Conference also will move into the South Central Region to offset the two departing conferences.
With the departure of the MIAA from the region, the LSC will be losing some of its best inter-conference rivalries from the past few seasons. In just this school year alone, the LSC and MIAA have played more than 100 games against each other in regional play. With the move of the MIAA, games still could be played against each other, but those games would not count as regional games, which effect standings within the region.
One of the big reasons for the realignment, other than the new conference, is to cut down on travel expenses for institutions in this tough economy.
“In these difficult economic times, we’re pleased that these new alignments will actually reduce travel in our two regions in the Midwest,” said Bill Fusco, chair of the Championships Committee and athletics director at Sonoma State in an article released by the NCAA.
Despite the overall reduction in travel costs, Mosley anticipates a slight increase for the ACU athletic programs.
“I think it definitely increases our travel costs,” Mosley said. “But when the championships committee looks at that, they have to consider the entire division.”
Comments are closed