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Monday, July 8, 2013

Corps Conferences

With Carolina Crown out west trying to strengthen what in sports parlance is their out-of-conference schedule, I'm again examining the idea of DCI corps in conferences. While my previous proposal probably made a good deal more practical sense, I thought I'd toy with the concept through NCAA conferences. While it was just a couple of posts ago that I was emphasizing the fact that there are still six AQ conferences, I deferred to an earlier post on the Big East/American's geographic redundancy and saw fit to use just the "Power Five" *gag* conferences. Breaking them out that way, the World Class corps find themselves in the following:

ACC
Boston Crusaders
Cadets
Jersey Surf

Big Ten
Blue Stars
Bluecoats
Cavaliers
Glassmen
Madison Scouts
Phantom Regiment
Pioneer

Big 12
Colts
Crossmen
Troopers
Blue Knights

Pac-12
Academy
Blue Devils
Cascades
Mandarins
Oregon Crusaders
Pacific Crest
Santa Clara Vanguard

SEC
Carolina Crown
Spirit of Atlanta

A few notes on this: First of all, there were a few corps that could have gone in a number of directions; in each case I erred on the side of numerical balance. For example, the Cadets' east coast presence makes the ACC make the most sense; however, their presence in PA and historical affiliation with NJ - both states with flagships in the Big Ten, at least come 2014 - might have made that conference a possibility. The Colts clearly side with the Heartland, even though Iowa could have put them in the Big Ten or Big 12. And if I didn't choose to stick with the Pac-10 instead of Pac-12 footprint, Colorado's Blue Knights - and by extension, Wyoming's Troopers - would have found themselves aligned with the west coast corps. That said, if I had used all of the FBS conferences, both would have been Mountain West shoe-ins. And if it wouldn't have left Spirit as the sole SEC representative, Carolina Crown on the South Carolina side of the Charlotte metro area, could have gone the ACC route. Still, no one else even makes a semi-logical claim to the region, unless you REALLY want to stretch and put the Crossmen there as your Texas A&M.

Clearly, the Rose Bowl alliance conferences have the lion's share of corps. That said, everyone but the Big 12 has at least one of the Tour of Champions corps present. Of note, however, is how thin the SEC region is, especially considering that's a piece of the country folks tend to look to for excellence on a football field. In addition to the seven Sudlers in the SEC alone, there's a tradition of excellence with black college marching bands, located almost exclusively in the south. That said, it's worth noting that southern marchers likely populate all major corps, as the activity is no longer regional. Still, three recently folded World Class corps - Teal Sound, Magic of Orlando, and Southwind - hail from the footprint as well.

At the end of the day, while the conferences as we know them work for major college athletics, it may not be transferrable to the corps.
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