Foothill = SCIAC. Nine schools have commonality between the NCAA’s SCIAC and ICFB’s Foothill Conference. This includes Caltech, who are experiencing a football renaissance. Life is not worth living without Beaver football, and that is a fact. 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
Northern Woods = Michigan IAA. In this case, the iterations of the two conferences are almost identical, with the difference being that ICFB Northern Woods has added three NAIA Michigan schools: Concordia, Finlandia and Siena Heights. Given the geography and available options, it seems like a no-brainer to place these schools under one banner. In addition, Calvin has been awarded a football team. 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…and only 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 9th (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. The Virginia core of the conference is intact. The biggest move we are bringing forth is to place Salisbury in Tidewater. The inclusion of the Gulls is fairly intuitive: 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 inclusion of the Apprentice School, and brand-spankin’-new programs at Mary Washington and Roanoke. Programming Note: we’ll call this the “duh, I 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.
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 not even playing a nonconference schedule. Seriously, they play each other on the gridiron, and no one else. And – get this [nudge, nudge] – they miss one conference opponent each per football 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, and vice versa. 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.
ICFB’s Midwest Conference is quite similar to the NCAA version. 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 WI and Wisconsin Lutheran. This leaves the Midwest with schools from Illinois and Wisconsin only, which was not an initial goal when setting about building the conference. These conferences tend to come together naturally, augmenting the argument that this is how they could/should be constructed. And I love seeing a plan come together.
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. Thomas More is in the Heartland, and I plan on that remaining the case; 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 geographically nifty move. That’s right – nifty.
Pt Loma Nazarene
The Chesapeake Bay Athletic (CBAC) has collected schools from several different NCAA conferences, all gathered under one roof 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 reconstructed) 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.
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.
Franklin & Marshall
Washington & Jefferson
Washington College MD
Copyright © Steven Sugarman