Monday, September 21, 2015

Conference realignment 2015-16

The good news is that for the first time in a long time, the landscape is quiet.  There's only a couple of minor changes from last year to this year, and neither will have a major impact on the bracketing process.  This is a stark change from the last couple of years where the changes impact most of the smaller conferences.

Northern Kentucky goes from the Atlantic Sun to the Horizon - the Horizon is a full step behind the multi-bid conferences of the A-10, MVC, WCC, et al.  This won't help that, but will stabilize them long-term.

NJIT goes from independent to the Atlantic Sun - the A-Sun is bottom-of-the-barrel, and NJIT might be able to content immediately.

We had a lot of changes the previous years.  What has been the impact of the changes?

- Maryland and Rutgers to the Big 10 - well, Maryland's going to pay off for them now
- The American adding basketball deadweight to help out football - for two straight years now, the AAC has been hurt in selection and seeding because of their bottom-feeders.  They need to rectify this situation sooner rather than later
- CUSA going to 16 teams - they had some good teams at the top, but some bad ones at the bottom.  Based on how the computer numbers played out, the bad teams hurt more than the good teams helped.  More evidence that bigger is not better for mid-major conferences

Things should continue to be mostly quiet (although Coastal Carolina is now on the move).  Right now, it looks like the advantage is going to the mid-majors who are sticking to 10 teams instead of 14 or 16 (MWC, MVC, and WCC are getting a boon here).  Along these lines, I expect that the Horizon is done after adding NKU, and the A-Sun will have a fighting chance to escape the 16 line in March.

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