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Saturday, November 5, 2011

Moving Hardware

We all know that the near-sole driver for college sports realignment is football. Surely it's got implications in all sports, but with football being far and away the most lucrative, it drives the bus. After the fact, folks start taking a look at how the realignment will play out in basketball and the other sports; naturally, I'm looking at the band angle, from the perspective of what realignment means for the number of Sudler Trophy winners in each conference. I'm looking at the current phase, starting with the realignment that started last year and touched the Big Ten, Big XII, and Pac 10/12 and continued this year to the ACC, Big East, and SEC.

ACC: ±0 to 0 While the ACC has added two schools for the 2014 season (or sooner) in Syracuse and Pittsburgh, neither bring a Sudler Trophy with them, keeping the Atlantic Coast Conference without.

Big East: -1 to 0* In the most recent expansion move, the Big East loses its one Sudler winner, West Virginia, to the Big XII. The asterisk is that Notre Dame, the 2011 winner remains in the conference; however, since the Sudler is a marching band award, and marching band is inextricably tied to football, I don't think the conference can claim the Domers.

Big Ten: +1 to 10 The stacked just get, um, stacked-er? The Big Ten's most recent expansion was as much a marching coup as anything. they picked up Nebraska, who in addition to a strong football program brings their Sudler Trophy-winning marching band, giving the Big Ten a phenomenal 10 of 12 members holding hardware.

Big XII -1 to 5 The formerly 12 member Big XII has undergone the most flux during this round of expansion; they lose two Sudler holders in Texas A&M and Nebraska, but their newest pickup, West Virginia, comes holding one. The jury's still out on whether or not Mizzou is headed to the SEC, but it's irrelevant to their Sudler picture

Pac-12: ±0 to 2 Pickups of Utah and Colorado didn't change the Pac-12's Sudler picture; Arizona State and UCLA remain the two league schools with a trophy.

SEC: +1 to 6 By adding Texas A&M, the SEC goes to 6 Sudler Trophy winners. With no division adjustments, five of those teams are in the SEC West, leaving that division about as stacked as either of the Big Ten divisions; however, common belief is that with Mizzou headed to the SEC, Auburn will be headed to the Eastern division, leaving the Deep South's Oldest Rivalry holding the two trophies in the East. Editor's note: It seems Mizzou will defy geography and become an SEC East team, leaving the SEC West with five teams.

Out side of the BCS auto-qualifiers, the one FBS conference that comes out on top in the Sudler Trophy shift is the MAC. Starting in 2013, UMass, one of the three non-BCS schools to win a Sudler, will be making the jump to FBS ball and bring its trophy with it to the MAC for matchups with the likes of the Ohio University Marching 110 and the bands of the MAC.
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