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Friday, December 17, 2010

As the realignment turns...

I'm starting to hear additional murmuring about possibilities for realignment, and this time there is talk of moves between the subdivisions. I'll admit my source was first Twitter, but I'm seeing a few outlets talking about the possibility of a move to FBS for UMass, who currently competes in the Colonial Athletic Association at the FCS level. Such a move would put a second New England state school in FBS (there were none before UConn made the jump nearly a decade ago), lead to MAC East matchups between the Minuteman Marching Band and the Marching 110, and perhaps most significantly, leave a hole in the CAA.

While the story is intriguing enough itself, the hole in the CAA piques my interest because, well, it's all about me and those with whom I associate. As I know I've stated before, I'd love to see UMBC get consideration for the CAA. We are a southern outlier in America East, and while they've been mostly good to us, moves certainly haven't been made to find us a travel partner. And, of course, selfishly, CAA membership gives me a few conference games within reach, including UNCW, James Madison, and VCU.  Granted, the current 0-for UMBC men's basketball squad won't make us attractive, but our generally well-performing lacrosse team just may.

But that may not be the only movement afoot. There are also rumblings that a consortium of schools, among them Delaware, may be looking to form a new FBS conference, which could contain several teams making the transition. As a card-carrying 302 representer, I'm excited about the prospect of UD making the jump, and of all of the schools in FCS, I think they are one of the most well-equipped, both in terms of the product on the field and the fanbase and attendance. I'll admit my bias towards having I-A ball in the First State, but again, any conference shakeups that trickle into the FCS ranks stand to potentially bring UMBC closer to my home in NC.

Finally some news that may or may not have been spearheaded by recent realignment. Marquette announced today that they will be adding men's and women's lacrosse in the 2012-13 season. Their programs will obviously compete in the Big East. It may be that I'm conspiracy minded, but I wonder if, with the addition of TCU, the non-football schools feel the need to prove their worth in an unwieldy 17 team basketball conference. Bringing something to the table as far as lacrosse is concerned certainly couldn't hurt your position, especially if you're currently an outlier, as Marquette is. Regardless, it means an expansion in the sport of lacrosse. I'll take it.
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