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Thread: Should the MEC Expand to 16 Teams?

  1. #1
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    Default Should the MEC Expand to 16 Teams?

    With Wise being courted by and leaving for the SAC, Shepherd being courted by the PSAC and the GMAC's past invitations to NDC, should the MEC employ similar tactics by targeting teams in other DII conferences that they want and actively recruiting them? Seems like other conferences are not willing to leave the MEC alone so should we expand beyond our current 12 members and try to "pick off" four teams from the conferences around us to get us to 16 members? If so, who should we target? My personal choices in descending order:

    Ashland
    Malone
    Cal
    Shippensburg
    Lake Erie
    Gannon
    AB
    Bowie

  2. #2

    Default Re: Should the MEC Expand to 16 Teams?

    Not real sure the PASSHE would permit Cal or Ship to leave (nor would they want to).

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    Default Re: Should the MEC Expand to 16 Teams?

    Just out of curiosity, what schools do you REALISTICALLY think the MEC has the ability of wooing to get to 16?

    Assuming they keep Shepherd AND get Frostburg (both of which are being eyed by the PSAC)--they still would need four more.

    To me Ashland, Bowie State and any of the PA state schools are non-starters.

    I agree the AB would be the most likely to join, but past them, I am having a hard time coming up with a second school, at least an established D2 school that sponsors football.

  4. Default Re: Should the MEC Expand to 16 Teams?

    Expansion to 16 is not going to happen without the dismantle of another conference and some D3 schools moving up to D2. Another school to consider would be Walsh, who happens to play at the newly upgraded Fawcett Stadium same as Malone. Kentucky Wesleyan May end up going NAIA along with Thomas More, if that is the case, maybe the GMAC and MEC could do merge and there would be your expansion. The addition of Eastern Ohio D2 schools and AB would be a great fit. D3 schools that come to mind Mount Union, Muskingum, Marietta, Case Western and Frostburg.

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    Default Re: Should the MEC Expand to 16 Teams?

    Quote Originally Posted by cneagle99 View Post
    Just out of curiosity, what schools do you REALISTICALLY think the MEC has the ability of wooing to get to 16?

    Assuming they keep Shepherd AND get Frostburg (both of which are being eyed by the PSAC)--they still would need four more.

    To me Ashland, Bowie State and any of the PA state schools are non-starters.

    I agree the AB would be the most likely to join, but past them, I am having a hard time coming up with a second school, at least an established D2 school that sponsors football.
    REALISTICALLY, IF the MEC wanted to go to 16, they would start with the three unnamed schools that have expressed interest as part of the Frostburg process which would get them to 15. We don't know exactly who they are other than two from WV and one from OH.

    For the two schools expressing interest from WV, I'd say one of the schools is almost 100% AB. The second school is unknown with some speculation being that it is Bethany, but I would throw Bluefield COLLEGE (not Bluefield University) into the mix. While Bluefield College is actually in VA, they are about 100 yards from the WV/VA border and actually play and practice in WV.

    Concerning the one school from OH that has expressed interest in joining the MEC - As part of the GMAC expansion efforts over the last several years, the GMAC posters have basically shot down the notion of any OH based D3 being interested in moving up DII...they have also shot down the idea of Central leaving the SIAC. So that leaves an as yet unidentified OH based GMAC as the school that reached out to the MEC or Ashland. Ashland is looking hard at leaving the GLIAC but have rebuffed the GMAC twice, most recently being three months ago in February. One of the major reasons given for rebuffing the GMAC from the Prez was that the GMAC wasn't a good "competitive fit" for Ashland. I'm sure the GMAC faithful will disagree, but it seems like the MEC is a much better competitive fit for Ashland than the GMAC is. They would instantly be either at or among the top tier in football and basketball along with the several MEC teams that compete at the national level in these sports. While the MEC doesn't officially sponsor wrestling, Ashland's top tier DII team would be in the same conference with the cream of the DII wrestling crop in NDC and DII up and comers WJ and WLU. The addition of Ashland would also put the MEC close to being able to sponsor swimming as it's own entity. While I think a case can easily be made that it's Ashland, I've also asked those more knowledgeable than me who they thought the OH school was if it wasn't Ashland...Only reply I got was one person mentioning Cincinnati Christian. Basically, no one wants to even speculate who the Ohio team might be so lacking any input, I got to go with Ashland.

    IF all that happened it would leave the MEC at 15 which is one school short of the 16 which is the next logical step above 12. So who is the most likely candidate for wooing? Much has been said about Shepherd possibly moving to the PSAC and how it is all about the driving distance. While I think the distance is WAY overblown even when Wise was in the MEC, it becomes even less important now that Wise is leaving and Frostburg is being added. I speculate that the difference in travel costs, across all athletic programs, for Shepherd will represent an annual savings in the very low thousands (like $1,500). But people persist in saying that "travel costs are king" and that the savings will be huge. Well, if that is true, one need to only look at the travel distance associated with Cal moving from the PSAC to the MEC. If the travel savings rule the roost, as I'm being told with Shepherd and the PSAC, how can you argue with Cal jumping to the MEC for the same reason? If Cal jumped to the MEC, they would have four opponents less than 70 miles from them and several others just over 100. Given the cash strapped nature of the PASSHE schools like Cal, AND given how important PSAC posters say travel cost savings are when it comes to Shepherd, seems like Cal would be pretty easy to entice.

    Now all that said, I really don't see the MEC moving beyond 12. I get the feeling that they are more than happy with were they are at from a competitive standpoint and are content with focusing their efforts on elevating teams to the national championship stage. But if outside conferences continue to try and cherry pick teams, they may be forced to do likewise to other conferences in return.

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    Default Re: Should the MEC Expand to 16 Teams?

    Quote Originally Posted by CelticCoach View Post
    Expansion to 16 is not going to happen without the dismantle of another conference and some D3 schools moving up to D2. Another school to consider would be Walsh, who happens to play at the newly upgraded Fawcett Stadium same as Malone. Kentucky Wesleyan May end up going NAIA along with Thomas More, if that is the case, maybe the GMAC and MEC could do merge and there would be your expansion. The addition of Eastern Ohio D2 schools and AB would be a great fit. D3 schools that come to mind Mount Union, Muskingum, Marietta, Case Western and Frostburg.
    While there would be a LOT of dead wood in such a conference, you couldn't argue with the top tier of the major sports and most of the minor ones as well! I'm not in favor of it largely because I think it recreates some of the major problems that drove the WVIAC apart...but basically on steroids!!! The Great Mountain East Conference (GMEC) does have a neat ring to it though.

  7. #7

    Default Re: Should the MEC Expand to 16 Teams?

    "While AU's sports programs compete in the Great Lakes Intercollegiate Athletic Conference, AU administrators and Board examined the possibility of changing conferences due potential increased costs and the amount of class time missed by students associated with the amount of travel required with the reconfigured GLIAC."

    http://www.goashlandeagles.com/gener...20180129jsm25l

    Doesn't sound like a school that, all of a sudden, would say "Hey, let's contact the MEC and see what they have to offer as far as reduced travel required and missed class time." .

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    Default Re: Should the MEC Expand to 16 Teams?

    Quote Originally Posted by UFOILERFAN View Post
    "While AU's sports programs compete in the Great Lakes Intercollegiate Athletic Conference, AU administrators and Board examined the possibility of changing conferences due potential increased costs and the amount of class time missed by students associated with the amount of travel required with the reconfigured GLIAC."

    http://www.goashlandeagles.com/gener...20180129jsm25l

    Doesn't sound like a school that, all of a sudden, would say "Hey, let's contact the MEC and see what they have to offer as far as reduced travel required and missed class time." .
    Agreed. No way no how is it Ashland. I thought of Bluefield too, but ignored it as its in Va. Didn't know the field was actually in W.Va. They had been rumored as a potential SAC member a few years back. Could be a possibility for the MEC.

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    Default Re: Should the MEC Expand to 16 Teams?

    Quote Originally Posted by cneagle99 View Post
    Agreed. No way no how is it Ashland. I thought of Bluefield too, but ignored it as its in Va. Didn't know the field was actually in W.Va. They had been rumored as a potential SAC member a few years back. Could be a possibility for the MEC.
    There's the state-owned Bluefield State College in West Virginia, which currently competes as a D2 independent and would not be on the MEC's radar due to a lack of required core sports, specifically football, and there's the private Bluefield College in Virginia, which sponsors football, but is an NAIA member.
    Cal U (Pa.) Class of 2014

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    Default Re: Should the MEC Expand to 16 Teams?

    Quote Originally Posted by ctrabs74 View Post
    There's the state-owned Bluefield State College in West Virginia, which currently competes as a D2 independent and would not be on the MEC's radar due to a lack of required core sports, specifically football, and there's the private Bluefield College in Virginia, which sponsors football, but is an NAIA member.
    I knew that, but thanks.

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    Default Re: Should the MEC Expand to 16 Teams?

    Quote Originally Posted by UFOILERFAN View Post
    "While AU's sports programs compete in the Great Lakes Intercollegiate Athletic Conference, AU administrators and Board examined the possibility of changing conferences due potential increased costs and the amount of class time missed by students associated with the amount of travel required with the reconfigured GLIAC."

    http://www.goashlandeagles.com/gener...20180129jsm25l

    Doesn't sound like a school that, all of a sudden, would say "Hey, let's contact the MEC and see what they have to offer as far as reduced travel required and missed class time." .
    OK...Then who is the OH based school that has expressed interest? According to the GMAC faithful, can't be an existing D3 program, and according to the same folks, it isn't Central or now Ashland. So which GMAC team in OH is looking to leave??

  12. #12

    Default Re: Should the MEC Expand to 16 Teams?

    I'm going to double down on AB, Davis and Elkin and Ohio Valley. First, it fits with what I've heard separately. Secondly, it almost fits (by a mile or two) the two WV, one OH quote. I reread the college newspaper article. It just said the schools expressed interest, it didn't say they had football or that they met all the current requirements of membership. Just interest.

    That's my best guess.

  13. #13

    Default Re: Should the MEC Expand to 16 Teams?

    Frostburg
    Alderson Broadous
    Davis and Elkin
    Ohio Valley

    Minus UVA-Wise, Shepherd, NDC and Urbana

    That gets the conference back to 12 schools, 10 with football. Nice tight footprint for the scholar athletes.
    Last edited by Stea1th; 05-17-2018 at 08:30 PM.

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    Default Re: Should the MEC Expand to 16 Teams?

    Quote Originally Posted by Stea1th View Post
    I'm going to double down on AB, Davis and Elkin and Ohio Valley. First, it fits with what I've heard separately. Secondly, it almost fits (by a mile or two) the two WV, one OH quote. I reread the college newspaper article. It just said the schools expressed interest, it didn't say they had football or that they met all the current requirements of membership. Just interest.

    That's my best guess.
    That's as crazy as saying that I heard a rumor saying that the MEC and GMAC have a secret plan to trade ODU and Findley for Concord and Wesleyan AND the MEC and PSAC have a concurrent secret plan to trade WLU and WJ for Cal and IUP!

    You need to clean your ears! Were do I begin with this one. Let's start with enrolment...BOTH D&E and Ohio Valley are WAY below the minimum number established for membership. MEC members are also required to be compatible with the goals and aspirations of the conference as set forth in the constitution and by-laws...BOTH fail that point also. MEC schools are like minded colleges and universities with a common dedication to excellence in intercollegiate athletics...AGAIN, both schools fail this test. And oh year...ALL MEC schools are required to play football which obviously, neither do.

    IF the fix was in and this was the secret goal of the MEC, I think they would have made some sort of move to amend their constitution and by-laws to remove the school size requirement for members, the requirement of all members to play football, there requirement that all schools be like minded in their dedication to excellence in intercollegiate athletics.

    Imagine the hue and cry from WJ if the MEC decided to step back from their football requirement? I would imagine that that alone would cause them to drop football and go independent! Also would be a direct slap in the face of new member Frostburg which would likewise probably decide to either back out on the MEC or drop back down to D3.

    For this to be the secret plan, all current members would need to be in on it. Do you really think your school, and Urbana would sit idely by for a number of years saying and doing nothing? If this was the plan, I would imagine that the NDC president would say, I ain't waiting...I'm jumping ship right NOW! Same with Urbana. And how do you suppose D&E and Ohio would feel about being nothing more than pawns being moved around without their knowledge or agreement? Of course, knowing how those two schools approach athletics, they are probably perfectly OK with it. They approach intercollegiate athletics as little more than intermurals played against other schools.

    If the MEC presidents were intent on closing down the conference, the plan you lay out would be a very effective way of doing just that. I trust that that is NOT the goal of the MEC Presidents which makes what you are proposing more than a little far fetched! Sounds like the person that told you this was trying to come up with the most far fetched rumor to see if he could get you to spread it!

    If this did happen, I would immediately start pestering my schools president and AD for us to go independent and I would imagine their would be many other fans of other MEC schools that make a real commitment to athletics would demand the same thing of their schools.
    Last edited by boatcapt; 05-17-2018 at 10:43 PM.

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    Default Re: Should the MEC Expand to 16 Teams?

    Quote Originally Posted by cneagle99 View Post
    I knew that, but thanks.
    I don't doubt that you did (which was not the intent of my reply); sometimes, my replies are for the benefit of those who might not be as familiar with the topic in question. No disrespect was intended.
    Cal U (Pa.) Class of 2014

  16. #16

    Default Re: Should the MEC Expand to 16 Teams?

    Quote Originally Posted by boatcapt View Post
    You need to clean your ears! Were do I begin with this one. Let's start with enrolment...BOTH D&E and Ohio Valley are WAY below the minimum number established for membership.
    I've heard you mention this minimum enrollment standard before. What is the actual minimum enrollment number? Urbana has 417 full time students. Wheeling Jesuit has 790.

    Is it really that difficult to believe that if AB INQUIRED that Davis and Elkin would INQUIRE too? I think their leadership would be completely irresponsible if they didn't. They are pretty much screwed if AB moves without them. All the article said is that they had 3 schools INQUIRE.

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    Default Re: Should the MEC Expand to 16 Teams?

    Quote Originally Posted by Stea1th View Post
    I've heard you mention this minimum enrollment standard before. What is the actual minimum enrollment number? Urbana has 417 full time students. Wheeling Jesuit has 790.

    Is it really that difficult to believe that if AB INQUIRED that Davis and Elkin would INQUIRE too? I think their leadership would be completely irresponsible if they didn't. They are pretty much screwed if AB moves without them. All the article said is that they had 3 schools INQUIRE.
    The MEC was making a pitch to Frostburg. It helps to say that you are a sought after conference and other schools are trying to join too. Not trying to say it’s a lie, but it could have been a minor inquiry—“hey, heard you are losing Wise, any chance you’d be interested in us?” They may have just been sticking their toe in the water as opposed to serious inquiries. Bethany, AB, Marietta?

    A D3 school that to me appears wooable would be Southern Virginia. They are a long way from other conference members and would have to be looking.

  18. #18

    Default Re: Should the MEC Expand to 16 Teams?

    Quote Originally Posted by cneagle99 View Post
    The MEC was making a pitch to Frostburg. It helps to say that you are a sought after conference and other schools are trying to join too. Not trying to say it’s a lie, but it could have been a minor inquiry
    I agree. Its better to say that we have 3 schools that inquired recently than to focus on "we just lost a member and another one has publicly acknowledged that they are considering leaving"

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    Default Re: Should the MEC Expand to 16 Teams?

    Quote Originally Posted by Stea1th View Post
    I've heard you mention this minimum enrollment standard before. What is the actual minimum enrollment number? Urbana has 417 full time students. Wheeling Jesuit has 790.

    Is it really that difficult to believe that if AB INQUIRED that Davis and Elkin would INQUIRE too? I think their leadership would be completely irresponsible if they didn't. They are pretty much screwed if AB moves without them. All the article said is that they had 3 schools INQUIRE.
    There's a difference between schools that are already in the conference and two that would be applying to join from the outside. Also there is a difference in the level of commitment to athletics between WJ/Urbana and D&E/Ohio Valley. And lastly, and I can't emphasize this enough, both WJ and Urbana sponsor the requisite core sports while neither D&E or Ohio Valley do (nor have shown ANY inclination or desire to do so). The MEC just went through a five year long battle with WJ to force them to comply with the conference constitution/by-laws and start a football program. What do you suppose their mood would be if less than a year after the conference forced them to comply with the conference rules, the conference said, we've changed our minds and are now going to bring in D&E and Ohio Valley and not require them to ever start football?

    Now, if you are a fan of the GMAC, trading NDC and Urbana for D&E and Ohio Valley is a GREAT idea!! Get rid of two of your bottom feeder teams that don't contribute a whole lot in exchange for two schools with football that have a pretty high commitment to athletics.

    The most logical plan for D&E and Ohio Valley is to drop down to D3 along with Bluefield State College (WV) and Salem International and offer the four schools as a package to the CAC or perhaps the ODAC.

  20. #20

    Default Re: Should the MEC Expand to 16 Teams?

    Shepherd holds the cards.

    Frostburg State simply filling UVA-Wise's spot probably extends the current conference alignment status quo.

    Shepherd moving may lead to a domino effect (does AB get the MEC call?, if they do, does the G-MAC try to get one or both of the MEC OH schools to "come home"?, what does D&E do?, etc)

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