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Wednesday, May 8, 2013

SoCon, Farewell, Auf Wiedersehen, Goodbye...

The Southern Conference has lost better teams than you ever had, son. We've seen the Big East hemorrhage teams during the latest rounds of conference realignment, but it pales in comparison to the SoCon's history.

As the name suggests, the SoCon has at one point or another been home to just about every school of note south of the Mason-Dixon and east of the Mississippi. The conference spawned both the ACC and the SEC, but as of late has been a mid-major, one-bid league that is finding itself on the bottom rung of the realignment pecking order.

Now Davidson, collegiate home of NBA star Stephen Curry and two-time reigning conference basketball champ, is the next to get called up to the big leagues, leaving the conference for the Atlantic-10. Davidson will just miss the opportunity for a great conference rivalry with Charlotte, who will depart the same year for Conference USA. Davidson's departure further compounds an already rough realignment season for the SoCon, which also recently learned of the loss of Appalachian State, Georgia Southern, and College of Charleston.

The SoCon is left with just eight teams, and only seven playing football in the conference - an interesting wrinkle is that UNCG is the only remaining conference school that doesn't field football. There has been speculation about who may be the newest conference members: East Tennessee State and VMI, both former conference members, have been the names I've heard the most. While there may be other possibilities, SoCon is relatively low in the hierarchy, so they'll have to make quite a case as to why they are an advantageous move for teams in other D-I conferences.

Despite beliefs to the contrary, the realignment wheel continues to roll.
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