Upper Plains = IIAC. Same reasons as the others above. There is a great deal of similarity between the ICFB and NCAA versions of the UPAC, as membership has been fairly stable over the years. We are returning Cornell and IA Wesleyan to the ranks. In addition, Grinnell is in the UPAC. While the Pioneers have been in the Midwest Conference for many years, they are the only Iowa school in that league, and I’ve always seen them as more affiliated with the schools in this league. So this is your Upper Plains Athletic Conference going forward.
The big news concerning the Northwest Conference involves the addition of Carroll, so let’s get that right out in front. I realized this would be a bold – possibly controversial – move, yet the more I looked at the conferences involved, the more convincing it became that the move should happen. Carroll feels like more of an NWC school, and their battles against the other conference heavyweights (especially Linfield) should be epic. Aside from that, Whitman is gaining a football program (huzzah), while Menlo resurrects theirs and rejoins the NWC. Simon Fraser joins as the only school that competes in NCAA athletics from outside the US. The result is a 12-school comprehensive regional conference that should be very competitive in ICFB’s Division 6.
The Northern Conference = OAC. Very literally, in this case. ICFB’s Northern Conference = NCAA’s OAC exactly. In fact, the last change that I’m aware of concerning this NCAA conference came in 1999, when Hiram departed. The NC is the model of stability, and I see no reason (at this time) to change that.
Northwestern College MN
St John's MN
St Thomas MN
IDEAL COLLEGE FOOTBALL
Lewis & Clark
Middle Atlantic States
St John Fisher
The Adirondack is taking the place of the Empire 8, although there are significant differences between the two. The five football-playing members of the E8 are in the Adirondack (Alfred, Hartwick, Ithaca, St John Fisher and Utica), while the SUNY schools are not (see Northland in Division 8). Five additional football-playing schools who bolted for the Liberty League are returning to the ‘Dack (Hobart, RPI, St Lawrence, Union and Rochester). Alfred St and Rochester Tech round out the roster, the latter obtaining a football program. Thus, you could say the Adirondack is an amalgamation of E8 + Liberty, with a couple of strays thrown in for good measure. Don’t take “strays” personally, it’s just the first word that popped into my overworked brain.
Northern Lakes = MIAC. Picking up a theme here? A number of NCAA D-III conferences are named directly after states, which is a practice we don’t cotton to. So we’re renaming those conferences in Ideal College Football, to give them more of a regional feel. In the case of the Northern Lakes, the membership is quite similar. Macalester is welcomed as a full football partner. St Benedict, St Catherine and St Mary’s are not members in ICFB’s version (none play football, and the former two are women’s colleges). In their place we bring in Northwestern College of MN, a football-playing school that could have fit in the UMAC (see Division 8), but is a dandy fit here.
The American Southwest (ASW) is also a hybrid league – going by alliances in the NCAA. Six of our schools listed above are in the NCAA’s ASC, while four others are in the SCAC. Do you see a merger on the horizon? I do. Belhaven and Louisiana College belong elsewhere (see the MVAC in Division 8). Now, combine six parts ASC with four parts SCAC (it’s okay, I used to be a bartender), and presto change-o you have an American Southwest that truly works for the people of this great nation. All that’s left is to award a football program to the University of Dallas…..and our work here is done [mic drop].
Central College IA
ICFB’s Northern Athletic and the NCAA’s Northern Athletics do not square with each other. In fact, there are only four points of convergence (Aurora, Benedictine, Concordia IL and Lakeland). This is because our Northern Athletic overlaps more significantly with the CCIW, where there are the additional eight points of convergence. ‘Points of convergence’. I like this term. It’s kinda think tanky, but works well in this context. Let’s circle back, shall we? The conference as currently constituted in ICFB maintains its membership in Illinois and Wisconsin, maintaining its consistency with the NCAA conferences (which might be an issue for some people). The NATH is essentially CCIW + NACC. And all is right with the world.
North Bay = WIAC. The eight current members of the WIAC are in North Bay, along with the resuscitated program at Superior. Additionally, Parkside and Green Bay have been awarded football teams. While the Phoenix are generally regarded as an NCAA D-I team, the fit here is exemplary, and allows the MCC (see Division 3) to retain the full allotment of teams it has been given without going over quota.
The Middle Atlantic has a rich yet convoluted history involving many institutions. It currently operates as three conferences, yet for football purposes operates as one. I think. It is really difficult to ascertain what is actually going on here. However, at one point it was known as the Middle Atlantic States CAA/CAC, and this is the moniker I’ve always been familiar with. So, Middle Atlantic States (MASC) it is. The ICFB MASC and the NCAA MAC overlap with nine schools. Into this mix comes Moravian and Ursinus, who feel like great fits here. And then the big move: Wesley. The Wolverines are one of the big guns, so where they play is significant. In the NCAA, they play in the NJAC (Skyline for us), which is just not a good fit. If you’re going to call yourself the New Jersey Athletic Conference, then be comprised of schools from Jersey…and Jersey only. This is why I don’t like conferences named after states. What are schools from Maryland, Delaware, Pennsylvania and Virginia doing in the NJAC? C’mon guys, look at a map. Wesley feels like a MASC school. Geographically and conceptually, it seems right that they be aligned with these schools. And it should make for one helluva competitive football league, to boot.
East Texas Baptist
Southwestern Univ TX
Sul Ross State
Copyright © Steven Sugarman