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SOUTHERN CONFERENCE EXPANSION
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EPJr Offline
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SOUTHERN CONFERENCE EXPANSION
Southern Conference targets VMI, ETSU, Mercer
[Image: Southern_Conference_logo.png]

During a conference call Thursday that lasted about 20 minutes, the Southern Conference made major progress toward adding new members to replace the departing College of Charleston, Appalachian State and Georgia Southern.

Commissioner John Iamarino was upbeat during a post-meeting phone interview. He said the presidents and chancellors selected three schools for campus visits.

According to sources familiar with the SoCon's membership search, those three schools are Virginia Military Institute, Mercer and East Tennessee State.

VMI (1924-2003) and ETSU (1978-2005) are former full members of the SoCon, and VMI remains an associate member in wrestling. The Keydets already play football, while ETSU is restarting its program -- dropping the sport was why it had to leave the league -- and Mercer is bringing football back after a 70-year break.

Mercer, which will play in the nonscholarship Pioneer League this fall, is coached by former Furman player and coach Bobby Lamb.

No invitations will be issued during the visits, Iamarino said. The visits, which will last half a day, will take place before the SoCon's annual spring meetings at the end of the month in Hilton Head, S.C.

"It's part of the process to consider whether or not to take the next step, which would be to issue a formal invitation," the commissioner said of the visits

http://www.timesfreepress.com/news/2013/...rtscollege
05-07-2013 12:39 PM
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EPJr Offline
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RE: SOUTHERN CONFERENCE EXPANSION
VMI, ETSU, Mercer to join SoCon

COLUMBIA, S.C. -- Southern Conference officials believe they have secured the league's future -- and reversed a troubling trend -- by adding East Tennessee, Mercer and VMI as new members.

The conference announced Thursday that East Tennessee and Mercer accepted invitations, while VMI's addition must be ratified Friday by the school's Board of Visitors, something considered a formality. The SoCon had been one of the most plundered leagues recently with five of its 12 members choosing to leave since November.

East Tennessee was part of the Southern Conference from 1978 until 2005, when it left for the Atlantic Sun Conference. VMI competed in the Southern Conference for 79 years until 2003. Mercer had been one of the A-Sun's founding members in 1978.

All three are expected to join in July 2014, giving the league 10 members for the 2014-15 academic year.


http://espn.go.com/college-sports/story/...conference
05-30-2013 06:44 PM
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Buckminster Fuller Offline
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RE: SOUTHERN CONFERENCE EXPANSION
I see where ETSU is going to restart its football program, and Mercer is starting theirs next season, but what about VMI. Will their football compete in the conference as well? The press release seems to skirt that issue.
05-31-2013 06:15 PM
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ETSUfan1 Offline
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RE: SOUTHERN CONFERENCE EXPANSION
Yes, VMI will be a full member.
05-31-2013 07:05 PM
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Buckminster Fuller Offline
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RE: SOUTHERN CONFERENCE EXPANSION
The Citadel will be happy to have that rivalry be a conference game again.
05-31-2013 08:12 PM
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PurpleReigns Offline
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RE: SOUTHERN CONFERENCE EXPANSION
Basketball will be solid still, but football took a hit
06-01-2013 08:06 AM
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Buckminster Fuller Offline
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RE: SOUTHERN CONFERENCE EXPANSION
Yep. There's no replacing Appalachian and Georgia Southern.
06-01-2013 09:07 AM
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mufootballfan Offline
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RE: SOUTHERN CONFERENCE EXPANSION
What condition is VMI football in ?
06-01-2013 10:31 AM
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Buckminster Fuller Offline
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RE: SOUTHERN CONFERENCE EXPANSION
VMI played in the Big South Conference last year. They were 2-9.
06-01-2013 11:26 AM
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MercerFan Offline
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RE: SOUTHERN CONFERENCE EXPANSION
I like the new-look Southern, and I'm really happy Mercer is a part of it. Sure football will be hurt at first, there was no replacements possible to match ASU/GSU. There's no reason these new schools can't become good programs over the years.
06-03-2013 08:55 PM
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HerdZoned Online
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RE: SOUTHERN CONFERENCE EXPANSION
(06-01-2013 10:31 AM)mufootballfan Wrote:  What condition is VMI football in ?

VMI hasn't had a winning season since 1981. The deemphasized not only football but athletics over all about 25 years ago. This was a bad invite that I think was pushed by the privates and the Cit who is public but acts and votes with the privates.
06-03-2013 10:26 PM
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MercerFan Offline
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RE: SOUTHERN CONFERENCE EXPANSION
(06-03-2013 10:26 PM)HerdZoned Wrote:  
(06-01-2013 10:31 AM)mufootballfan Wrote:  What condition is VMI football in ?

VMI hasn't had a winning season since 1981. The deemphasized not only football but athletics over all about 25 years ago. This was a bad invite that I think was pushed by the privates and the Cit who is public but acts and votes with the privates.

I'd say VMI gets in for 2 reasons:

1) SoCon history. I'd say this also played into ETSU's hand. It helps bring credibility and image of longevity to a conference that just lost 5 members.

2) Football that is actually playing. No matter how bad, the team does go out there and play. Mercer and ETSU still waiting for the first snap.
06-04-2013 12:25 AM
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HerdZoned Online
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Post: #13
RE: SOUTHERN CONFERENCE EXPANSION
(06-04-2013 12:25 AM)MercerFan Wrote:  I'd say VMI gets in for 2 reasons:

1) SoCon history. I'd say this also played into ETSU's hand. It helps bring credibility and image of longevity to a conference that just lost 5 members.

2) Football that is actually playing. No matter how bad, the team does go out there and play. Mercer and ETSU still waiting for the first snap.

It has more to do with the Cit than anything else. VMI and the Cit have played 68 times going back to 1920. The CIT holds a 36-30 edge in the series with 2 ties. The 2 schools from 1936-2002 played each other 57 times (when both were in the SoCoN). VMIs invite has nothing to do with SoCon history, they are historically the worst team to ever compete in the SoCon. Its all to do with the Cit.

VMIs all time record is 464-651-42.

Coastal Carolina, Gardner Webb even Presbytrian would have been potential better invites.
06-04-2013 10:31 AM
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mufootballfan Offline
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RE: SOUTHERN CONFERENCE EXPANSION
(06-04-2013 12:25 AM)MercerFan Wrote:  
(06-03-2013 10:26 PM)HerdZoned Wrote:  
(06-01-2013 10:31 AM)mufootballfan Wrote:  What condition is VMI football in ?

VMI hasn't had a winning season since 1981. The deemphasized not only football but athletics over all about 25 years ago. This was a bad invite that I think was pushed by the privates and the Cit who is public but acts and votes with the privates.

I'd say VMI gets in for 2 reasons:

1) SoCon history. I'd say this also played into ETSU's hand. It helps bring credibility and image of longevity to a conference that just lost 5 members.

2) Football that is actually playing. No matter how bad, the team does go out there and play. Mercer and ETSU still waiting for the first snap.

And VMI brings men's lacrosse for the future SoCon Lacrosse .
06-04-2013 03:16 PM
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chargeradio Offline
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SOUTHERN CONFERENCE EXPANSION
Speaking of Lax, shouldn't that be a go for Spring 2015?

Mercer
Furman
VMI
Richmond (affiliate)
High Point (affiliate)
Jacksonville (affiliate)

If Richmond makes the Big East, Bellarmine would be on deck.
06-04-2013 11:23 PM
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GoApps70 Offline
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RE: SOUTHERN CONFERENCE EXPANSION
(06-04-2013 10:31 AM)HerdZoned Wrote:  
(06-04-2013 12:25 AM)MercerFan Wrote:  I'd say VMI gets in for 2 reasons:

1) SoCon history. I'd say this also played into ETSU's hand. It helps bring credibility and image of longevity to a conference that just lost 5 members.

2) Football that is actually playing. No matter how bad, the team does go out there and play. Mercer and ETSU still waiting for the first snap.

It has more to do with the Cit than anything else. VMI and the Cit have played 68 times going back to 1920. The CIT holds a 36-30 edge in the series with 2 ties. The 2 schools from 1936-2002 played each other 57 times (when both were in the SoCoN). VMIs invite has nothing to do with SoCon history, they are historically the worst team to ever compete in the SoCon. Its all to do with the Cit.

VMIs all time record is 464-651-42.

Coastal Carolina, Gardner Webb even Presbytrian would have been potential better invites.

The Citadel wanted VMI back in the SoCon badly. VMI should fit back in fairly well in the SoCon.
Western Carolina has a record in football of 313-467-23, ETSU coming back has a lifetime
342-403-26 so they are not going up against overwhelming teams.


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(This post was last modified: 06-05-2013 02:35 AM by GoApps70.)
06-05-2013 02:32 AM
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mufootballfan Offline
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RE: SOUTHERN CONFERENCE EXPANSION
(06-04-2013 11:23 PM)chargeradio Wrote:  Speaking of Lax, shouldn't that be a go for Spring 2015?

Mercer
Furman
VMI
Richmond (affiliate)
High Point (affiliate)
Jacksonville (affiliate)

If Richmond makes the Big East, Bellarmine would be on deck.

I like it but let's how it works in the ASun in 2014.
06-05-2013 08:23 AM
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HerdZoned Online
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RE: SOUTHERN CONFERENCE EXPANSION
(06-05-2013 02:32 AM)GoApps70 Wrote:  The Citadel wanted VMI back in the SoCon badly. VMI should fit back in fairly well in the SoCon.
Western Carolina has a record in football of 313-467-23, ETSU coming back has a lifetime
342-403-26 so they are not going up against overwhelming teams.

ETSU and WCU may not be juggernauts, but they own VMI. ETSU is 13-8 against VMI and VMI started the series out 7-3 in the 1st 10 games. The last 11 ETSU is 10-1. WCU is 17-3 against VMI, WCU has won the last 11 in a row.

I think ETSU has the right leadership in place now to restart their program right. I have nothing invested in the SoCon, I would love to see them restart the way ODU did. And become one of the better IAA programs in the nation. East Tenn, and the surrounding area has enough football talent to recruit from and do well.
06-05-2013 11:09 AM
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GoApps70 Offline
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RE: SOUTHERN CONFERENCE EXPANSION
Considering how poorly VMI has done, that will be like having a football revival.
Shame, we know Sparky Woods can be a good coach, must have real problems recruiting to VMI.
06-08-2013 05:51 PM
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HerdZoned Online
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RE: SOUTHERN CONFERENCE EXPANSION
(06-08-2013 05:51 PM)GoApps70 Wrote:  Considering how poorly VMI has done, that will be like having a football revival.
Shame, we know Sparky Woods can be a good coach, must have real problems recruiting to VMI.

If Sparky Woods were younger and I was an ETSU fan, I would be looking at him to come in and restart the program. I hope they get someone young and hungry. Someone like Bobby Wilder. My fear is they they will take an old vet, and if it isn't Fulmer then they start off wrong.

Recruiting at VMI, I don't know if those 2 things even go together. Is it even possible to recruit there once they deemphesized their athletics 20-25 years ago. If you go to play there I would think it's because 1 of 3 reasons: 1) VMI is your only offer, 2) For some reason you have always wanted to go to VMI, 3) VMI is where your dad went and you want to follow him.
06-08-2013 10:22 PM
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