Foothill = SCIAC. Nine schools have commonality between the NCAA’s SCIAC and ICFB’s Foothill Conference. This includes Caltech, whose students are about to experience a football renaissance. Life is not worth living without Beaver football. We are bringing Azusa in from the NAIA, as this is the only ideal spot for them. Finally, we are expanding the conference north and south with the inclusion of fledgling programs at Westmont and Point Loma. The Foothill now stretches from Santa Barbara to San Diego, which is what you want in a conference based in Southern California.
New England Small College
Franklin & Marshall
Washington & Jefferson
Washington College MD
Northern Woods = Michigan IAA. In this case, the iterations of the two conferences are almost identical, with the difference being that ICFB's Northern Woods has added three Michigan NAIA schools: Concordia, Finlandia and Siena Heights. Given the geography and available options, it's a natural fit to place these schools under one aegis. In addition, Calvin has been awarded a football team. I understand the student body is going nuts. Thus, the Northern Woods has expanded to 11 member institutions, and all is as it should be. Well, not all, but at least the state of intercollegiate football in Michigan (…and northern Indiana). Okay, not all of Michigan…the smaller schools…a subset of the smaller schools….oh forget it.
Mount St Joseph
ICFB’s Heartland and the NCAA’s Heartland Collegiate are quite similar. Eight schools share common ancestry, with a ninth (DePauw) rejoining the fray. The Heartland is rounded out by two strong football institutions in Thomas More and Centre. Both are located in Kentucky, fleshing out the league’s regional footprint a bit. And if we’re not fleshing out footprints, then what the hell are we doing here?
IDEAL COLLEGE FOOTBALL
Tidewater = ODAC. There are many points of convergence (see, there’s that term again – I really like it) between the NCAA’s ODAC and ICFB’s Tidewater, particularly the Virginia core of the conference remaining intact. The biggest move we are bringing forth is to place Salisbury in Tidewater. The inclusion of the Gulls is fairly straightforward: a team on the Eastern Shore of Maryland, with natural rivalries in comparable areas of Virginia, should cultivate those rivalries, rather than being lumped in with schools from New Jersey. The other additions are the Apprentice School, and brand-spankin’-new programs at Mary Washington and Roanoke. Programming Note: we’ll call this the “duh, I should have looked at a map” conclusion. For Season 2 of Ideal College Football, Guilford will be moving to the Mountain South (see Division 8) with Shenandoah moving into Tidewater. Geographic consistency, it's all the rage.
Emory & Henry
Newport News Apprentice
Washington & Lee
Case Western Reserve
The NESCAC, aka Little Ivies, has the distinction (at least in football) of not only refraining from the NCAA playoffs, but also of refraining from even playing a nonconference schedule. Seriously, these schools play each other and no one else. And – get this [nudge, nudge] – they miss one conference opponent each per season. At least the Ivies play a couple of local nonconference games and the full conference slate. Now, I’m not picking on the NESCAC. They do what they do for a reason, and they’re far smarter than me. But in terms of balanced athletic competition, it leaves a lot to be desired. So…you know what’s coming, you’ve been reading along…we’re going to open the NESCAC up to the world. The 10 football-playing schools are all here, and we have added MIT, which should be a lot of fun. Like the Ivies, let’s see what the NESCAC schools can do on a national stage.
The Midwest Conference in Ideal is quite similar to the NCAA version, with a few adjustments. Carroll is being reabsorbed, while Cornell is being shipped back to the Upper Plains. Grinnell is also shifting to the UPAC. The final tweaks are the additions of Concordia and WiscLu, both of whom are natural fits for the Midwest. A note about construction: these conferences tend to congeal naturally/intuitively, which is to say that there is no forcing memberships. Rather, there tends to be an a-ha when a conference comes together, in a sense verifying the legitimacy of this project. It's nice when a plan comes together. I trust you're enjoying it with equal fervor.
The Allegheny Mountain’s analog in the NCAA is the Presidents’ Athletic Conference. The largest point of divergence between the two is the issue of Washington & Jefferson, and I’ll admit…I goofed. Wash & Jeff should be here in the Allegheny. It was an oversight and will be rectified for Season 2. How, you ask? With W&J moving into the Allegheny, Juniata and Susquehanna will shift to the Chesapeake. Yeah, I should have looked at a map. Thomas More is now in the Heartland, as the Cincinnati area is a tad too far west for the Allegheny, but perfect for the Heartland. The final addition is the inclusion of Frostburg St, a nifty little move for a school located in far western Maryland. I was shooting for nifty.
Pt Loma Nazarene
The Chesapeake Bay Athletic (CBAC) has amassed schools from several different NCAA conferences, all gathered under one banner to play tackle football. The closest analog between the Chesapeake and the NCAA is the Centennial Conference, which houses six of these schools (Dickinson, F&M, Gettysburg, Hopkins, McDaniel and Muhlenberg), plus the discontinued (and now re-emboweled) Swarthmore Garnet. Wash & Jeff, Catholic and Gallaudet drift in from disparate NCAA conferences. The final two schools in the CBAC are new programs at Washington College MD and Marymount VA. Programming Note: There will be some changes to the CBAC for Season 2, including the big gun, Wash & Jeff, being shipped out to the Allegheny Mountain (see below) in exchange for Juniata and Susquehanna. Stay tuned. Hang on, did I just use the word "re-emboweled"...?
The North Coast has had a pretty stable run over its 30+ years of existence. That stability is reflected here. We’re swapping out DePauw to the Heartland in exchange for Earlham’s return to the North Coast. And we are done. Mic drop? Nah, we'll save it for a tougher league.
Copyright © Steven Sugarman