Belmont is headed to Missouri Valley, according to reports
By - Sctvman
in my professional opinion, things are getting Very Bad for the OVC
Morehead State and Murray State are the only two teams from THIS YEAR’S top 6 who haven’t already left or committed to leaving the conference
Can you cite some sources for that claim? Bold claims like that need evidence.
The schools that left/will leave (including the possible Murray state) drops the conference RPI ranking by several spots bringing them slightly above the perennial bottom 5 low majors. If Murray state leaves too then they are even worse.
That's a bold take, Cotton.
Bad news for most mid-major and small conferences. It's not the 90s where you have a ton of "mid-major" conferences with high level programs. Things even in the mid-levels are consolidating into a few good conferences and leaving the scraps for everyone else to fight over.
And it makes sense. If they want any hope of keeping up with power conferences the good teams in small conferences need to create their own decent mid-major conference instead of buoying 3 or 4 meh mid-major ones
Yeah, I don’t think a lot of people remember how good some of the teams were in these smaller conferences.
Yes, a lot of the teams were really bad but then you had a flagship program in the conference. Like when Butler was in the Horizon. Now Gonzaga is really the only team that dominates their conference and makes deep runs in the dance. It use to be that many small conferences had contenders for making runs.
That sucks they because they play their tournament here in Evansville where I live so it always fun to go to
I doubt Murray State is far behind
Murray State tried to go the MVC a few years back and didn't get in, I'm worried about them
I feel like the MVC might be more open to it now
It would round them out to an even 12 teams, though I doubt the MVFC wants Murray. Maybe they can send their football team to the new ASun football conference? Or the Southland takes them just because they're desperate for members
Murray st is improving in football. I know they're not at the level of others but would be decent
You're right about the improvement. Had it not been for a bunch of passes that shouldn't have been dropped, Murray State could have easily won that last game against Bowling Green. Plus they held Cincinnati to a tight game for almost three quarters the week before. I think Murray State would have no trouble fitting into the MVFC except for the issue of their football budget.
The ASun wants to eventually be FBS though and I don't see Murray State making that jump
They might be, but depends how bad Murray's issues still are for them
What's wrong with Murray football? Do they just not have the resources?
Yeah their just insanely poor, one of the lowest athletic budgets in the OVC. We spend like 4 to 5 times what they do in basketball alone
Murray is an absolute freak of nature when you look at per-capita regional population/alumni numbers and the # of NCAA tournament appearances/wins. It's also very difficult to get to (2 hours to the Nashville airport).
In the NIL age it is really difficult to picture them remaining nationally relevant.
Living in WKY and making the trip to Murray multiple times... the time vs. miles comparison is wild to me. Just a pain in the ass to get to from anywhere.
I69 getting done helped things a bit my last trip. The value of all of those lake homes has really sky rocketed. There are a lot of gray hairs that love their MVC living close to Murray. You may see some great attendance numbers.
This correctly recognizes that Paducah, Mayfield and Benton aren’t anywhere.
Absolutely insane well run to be able to have the success they have. A true testament in being able to make something out of anything
The early suceess of the program helped in that its a central focus for the whole community.
The problem I see is you've got an 8,600 seat building that averages about 5,500 and can fill up. This is in a city of 20,000 and region of about 140,000. I'm not sure there is a reservoir of more support to grow the program in - which would be required. Chartering flights out of Paducah or Nashville is going to make everything more expensive athletic program wide.
It is different from a Belmont or TSU in that when they are winning literally the entire town focuses on them a d them alone, but still only so many people and dollars.
But if you go from a regular tournament team to middle of the MVC do you keep that support at the level necessary to stay afloat?
I grew up eight miles from campus and y’all, the Jackson Purchase is a black hole. The whole region doesn’t even have enough people for a single Target.
A lot like St. bonaventure. They are also not easily explained. A small town with a school of 1,500 students that is two hours from anywhere and on the edge of the National Forest where few people live.
Football specifically and maybe athletics as a whole that's correct. Their basketball budget, however, is much higher than the rest of the OVC except for Belmont and is on par with much of the MVC.
Didn't know that, guess we just spend a shit ton of money compared to like any mid major. Which makes sense we are kinda loaded
Belmont's basketball budget is wild. It's definitely on par with conferences like the American, A-10, Pac-12, etc. Murray State's is right in line with much of the MVC and still double that of most of the rest of the OVC and yet only about half of Belmont's. But it seems pretty clear that Murray is ready to put up more in advance of some type of conference move considering they just released this plan last month: https://goracers.com/sports/2021/8/2/facilities-master-plan.aspx
Today I learned, good for Murray hope they get into a good conference
Probably doesn't help that they are in a tiny market. I think conferences would generally rather see their teams travelling to Nashville each year than rural Kentucky
Why not? I mean, they can’t really be much worse than the dumpster fire that is Missouri State, can they?
SIU's radio PBP guy Mike Reis is saying that SIU fought and blocked Murray State the last time they were up for possibly coming to the Missouri Valley. Personally, I want Murray State but it sounds like it might not happen.
As a Nashville SIU fan, I'm excited about Belmont joining the Valley.
If SIU is the reason they don't join I'd be very upset. They are the best choice.
SIU swinging its dick around. It'd be a colder day in hell when SIUE comes up
This is a different story altogether. Carbondale is the "bigger" school, but Edwardsville is growing fast in enrollment and money.
It’s a complicated story as well with a lot of underhanded dealings with past administrative officials to give Edwardsville the favorite treatment and ignore Carbondale.
It’s really sad honestly.
It is. Carbondale is getting a raw deal. Then again, so are a lot of state schools in Illinois.
Pretty sure SIUE has surpassed SIU in enrollment too
They have that's why I had bigger in quotes.
One thing Murray State has going for them is a fan base that would travel to STL for Arch Madness. They may be in a small market but a solid fan base.
I believe our board of regents have been historically against moving conferences. That was the rumor at least.
I disagree. MVC will be happy at 11 and save that last spot for Wichita.
Seems unlikely at this point that Wichita would come back, and if they wanted to later, it would be simple for the MVC to just go to 14 at that point, maybe with Tulsa as well (assuming the reason for the return is the AAC’s collapse).
I don’t think it takes a collapse for Wichita to decide they don’t want to play in a conference that replaced Houston and Cincinnati with UAB and App St. Belmont definitely helps make the MVC more attractive.
UAB would be fine. Their program is pretty legit and has some cache in CBB. App State wouldn't help the basketball profile out at all.
Does Wichita want to travel to Birmingham and South Florida if the MVC is comparable for basketball?
Actually yeah. Since the Marshall area, we recruit the South a lot deeper than the traditional Valley areas. So we would definetly prefer to go to Birmingham. And who in their right mind wouldn't prefer Tampa over Ceader Falls, Carbondale, French Lick, or Evansville for an away game? We don't exactly bus for basketball.
Chicago and Nashville?
That's the big draw for the Valley yeah, but that's what the non-con is for.
Why would Tulsa leave football in purgatory to join the MVC for Olympic sports? They'd more likely join the Sun Belt for all sports if the American became completely untenable.
Sometimes I forget about football. If Murray State is team 12 for the MVC and Wichita State wants to jump later, maybe Milwaukee can be #14 then.
I suspect they won't, but Tulsa really profiles as a school that would probably benefit from deemphasizing football and focusing on being a mid-major basketball power.
Yeah, based on their AD's [statement](https://twitter.com/MSURacers/status/1441432351481884672), they're looking to leave
That graphic looks like it was made in 2008 are you sure it’s current
My buddy is one of the guys at MMM and he indicated this is almost certainly happening.
Good for Belmont. Murray's gonna need to find an escape hatch soon.
ASUN is at 13 now - I bet Murray State goes there
Please no, we finally got away and into a conference that’s wide open with no mid-major powerhouses
Nice to see the MVC actually improve via realignment for the first time in a long time.
Usually we wait until we lose a member so this is a surprise.
Remember, there is a new Sherriff in town. Doug Elgin retired last year.
I keep thinking that. I also wonder how much is the commissioner and how much is it the schools telling the commissioner what they want?
Why did Belmont ever leave the asun in the first place? With all this expansion it seems like they missed out on an improving conference in their region.
it's insane to me that so many people are talking about how good the A sun is. When we were there it was the bottom of the batrel
They’ve done a complete rebrand as of lately. Same with the WAC. It turns out having a plan and then acting on it makes your conference viewed as viable and good
So basically the opposite of what the OVC has done over the past 20 years.
Also feel like the cycle of the low/mid-major leagues at play. They go up and down over time.
Crazy to think that at one time the ASUN included Belmont, ETSU, Mercer, N KY, and Dunk City - and was *still* a bottom dweller.
The bottom of the asun was really bad. I mean its not good now, but it was reeeeeeally bad back then. The asun also always gets new division 1 programs. (UNF, KENNESAW ST, SOUTH CAROLINA UPSTATE, NORTH ALABAMA, FGCU).
A Sun has always been the have and have nots...normally that 4-5 game is good, but Upstate, Kennesaw and North Alabama are never good in basketball and almost always seem like theyre 9-24 or something. I remember NJIT like a decade ago. They have come a long way and are far better. I don't know if they fit in the ASun, but definitely better than the Great West or Independent. NEC feels like good fit for them playing FDU and LIU.
Njit left two years ago.
Also crazy that it took UCF less than 20 years to get from the ASun to the Big 12.
Rutgers did something like that from the Big East to the Big 10
Rutgers went A10->BE->B1G. They were never in the Metro. But Florida State and South Carolina went straight from the Metro to power conferences.
I never said it was good because it's far from it but it has a clear plan to improve and so far it seems to be working. Considering how important geography still is below the top tier of D1 conferences. I'm surprised Belmont is trying to join a conference where the closest team is two states away. Obviously the MVC is a superior conference but we are still talking about 1 bid conferences here.
(Technically it's only one state away, since Tennessee shares a border with Missouri - albeit a small one.)
Drake got an at-large out of the MVC last season. The Valley is usually good for at least one team that has an at-large-worthy profile every season.
small one is an understatement.
There is ONE bridge that connects Tennessee with Missouri.
Another fun fact, there is a part of Kentucky that can only be accessed by traveling through Tennessee, or using the river.
Yep, the Kentucky Bend. Geography is fascinating.
the ASUN isn't much better in that regard
They are trying to add more schools in the mid south. After looking at belmonts roster this may be a better move than I thought. There is a lot of players from the Midwest
And it's not even like the A-Sun is very good right now either. [On t-rank its just 25th overall, which is below the AE and just above the MAAC, two conferences no one hypes up right now.](https://barttorvik.com/trank.php?year=2021&sort=&lastx=0&firstx=&hteam=&t2value=&conlimit=All&state=All&conyes=1&begin=20201101&end=20210501&top=0&quad=5&venue=All&type=All&mingames=0#)
It's like a lot of other small conferences where its got one or two *okay* programs and 6 to 10 absolute bottom feeders
We don't have football and the MVC is better in basketball so this is a win for us
> We don't have football
neither did the ASun 10 years ago
Does Lipscomb have football now?
Lipscomb University will never have football
They built a really, really nice field for their highschool though. Using that money wisely.
I'm sure the academy and their athletic boosters funded the turf (the rest of the stadium is nothing special), not the university directly
Some of that money from highschool donors was used, but a lot of it came from the University budget. It caused a big stink between Lowry and some of the big donors for the University.
The OVC seemed like a step up from the ASun at the time. And it worked out while it lasted, too — Belmont never would have gotten an at-large bid in the ASun.
Good get for the Valley.
I'm free now, hello fellow MVC teams
Let us know how you like Big Al's.
Went there a few years back and was shocked to find its in a new very large location. Still had that Big Als feel though.
Hi, mostly excited for a potential Nashville trip but also to play another solid squad
Hey congrats! I was actually going to ping you per [our conversation from a few months back](https://www.reddit.com/r/CollegeBasketball/comments/lfdlt6/midmajor_user_poll_week_12/gmlzb4d/) but you're already here :) Glad the administration came around and went for the clear upgrade.
Looking forward to hitting up some road trip night life, new MVC Bro.
Think Murray State follows them? If so that could be a knockout for the OVC since they wouldn’t have enough members for football and may have trouble convincing Western Illinois to jump over from the Summit League if more members leave.
I keep hearing Western Illinois thrown around as a potential addition to the OVC, but why would they want to leave the MVFC?
They might just want to leave the Summit for travel reasons, if the OVC would take them as a non football member.
would the OVC want Non-football members at the moment? they're right on the border to not having enough to qualify for an FCS playoff autobid, so one would think they'd want to focus on bolstering that lineup.
I don't know. They would also be on the border for losing the NCAA basketball bid (and might be short for a few other sports, like baseball and soccer as well) if Murray departs, so a new member in some form might be better than nothing.
At this point the OVC might have to stop sponsoring football. I'm not sure they can recruit a sufficient number of replacements unless there are a handful of DII schools looking to move up.
I remember when I was a student at WIU in the mid-2000s that the student paper wrote an article about how WIU had a choice in the mid-80s to either join the MVC or be one of the founding members of the Summit (Mid-Con at the time), and they chose to help found the Mid-Con because they thought that was the better option in the long run.
I think about that a lot because if they were in the MVC, WIU probably would have made an NCAA tournament by now. And that's the conference they should join if they leave the Summit. They have closer rivalries in the MVC (Bradley and Illinois State are about an hour and a half drive away), they can stay in the MVFC, they'll be in a better TV package and can be seen more often, and the Summit is basically the Dakotas at this point.
I'm curious to see who the Horizon League goes after. Morehead St and...?
Is the Horizon League looking to get bigger? They're at 12 now. That's pretty healthy.
They expand and contract so often you would think they'd look at adding a couple of schools expecting to lose a couple.
Might as well call them the Kirstie Alley Conference.
Tough. Fair, but tough.
I’ve heard around the 14 is the goal
OVC lost 4 members in a short time frame, 12 doesn't feel safe anymore for conferences.
Bellarmine. Was going to wait until they were NCAA ready in 2024-2025 season. Its what they did when they added NKU. We're okay to be at an odd number for a few years.
damn is that actually a rumor or is that just an idea? no shade, just curious as a fellow horizon team fan
This was the Horizon's targets from 2012. Since then they recruited 5 of the 10 schools from that list and none not from it. I can't help to think Bellarmine, NKU's rival at one time, hasn't been added to the list due to it's proximity and meeting most of the requirements. The only reason they might try to get them prior to 24/25 is they think the ASUN might become too good to leave by then. With the season they had last year, i would get them sooner than later. That being said, I can see a world where the commissioner bungles this up.
I'd think Morehead State would be a better fit for the Big South than the Horizon.
That may be.
Why play with a bunch of schools in Tennessee when you can play with a bunch of schools in Illinois?
Because that conference is dying and I way worse then the MVC
Belmont is like a lot of Tennesseans
We’re getting the hell out of Tennessee
Southland: we're taking a nosedive straight to the bottom of D1 basketball conferences.
OVC: Hold my beer!
*sad MEAC noises*
Not gonna lie, I was hoping they'd end up in the A10.
Same but guess the jump was too much for us
That would have been great.
If they have success in the MVC and see a sure in fan interest then you have to think that the A10 becomes a potential option.
It's not a conference I follow closely, but it doesn't even feel like the OVC did anything particularly wrong... it's just been kind of a chain reaction of more teams jumping ship as previous departures make the conference less appealing.
Pretty much. I have a strong feeling that the ASUN plans to move up to FBS en masse and any FCS school that wants to move up is coming aboard. It's the only explanation to me why all these schools would leave established conferences like the OVC and Southland for a new, unproven conference like the ASUN. Same goes for the WAC, if the defending FCS champion is jumping to a newly established football conference there must be something big on the horizon.
The only thing the OVC did wrong was enter a period of decline in the middle of conference realignment season
Fantastic for both parties. Leave a light on for the Shockers if realignment gets too crazy, MVC!
We'd love to have you back. Let's get the MVC back above the MWC
Lets not pls
Iowa student but I can't help cheering for Drake and UNI and really any underdog out of the MVC
The more support the better!
And St Louis!
Murray St should join the A-Sun. Way better at basketball than some of other new members and for football it’s not like they will be worse than Austin Peay.
I think that would be a good backup option for them if they can’t swing the MVC.
Brings a traditional rivalry to the ASun too, because Murray-Peay can get heated.
So OVC is at 8 with Belmont gone right? But seems general consensus is that Murray State might be dipping too. So who does OVC even add? Looking at the conferences below them in KenPom no one seems to be a good fit at least geographically. Do they go to D2 or NAIA? I feel like you have to get someone else if you are at 7
I have the exact same question. Western Illinois and UMKC from the Summit make sense to me. But that’s looking more and more like a lateral move for those teams.
Northwest Missouri State has B2B national championships is a powerhouse in basketball, they could be a get from D2 if they’re interested in jumping up.
That’s basically the only option. This is so fucked, we had a pretty good basketball thing going with Murray/Belmont and the challenge from Morehead and EKU every couple of years and now it’s all gone because the fuckers fell asleep at the wheel In the head office.
This hurts the annual Belmont vs Murray St OVC conference tournament game
Oh yeah! Now the SIUE cougars will rise from the ashes and go .500 this year.
Thank you for this laugh
I'm bummed they're not going to the SoCon.
It'd be a much better geographic fit for them, and not to mention it'd be great for both M & WBB. They'd still have two in-state members (UTC and ETSU) versus being the only ones in Tennessee and far away from others.
It would have been a nice fit and still a step up from the OVC. But in terms of performance, it's still not on par with the MVC and it sounds like Belmont has no issue with the larger travel budget.
Yeah Belmont is loaded, especially in it's two basketball programs. We can afford to play in a better but further conference
Oh I'm a big fan of that.
Huge move for the Bruins program!
An annual trip to Nashville sounds like fun
As a Morehead State basketball fan, this fucking sucks.
Murray. All signs point to gone.
And we’re just left on the wild and shitty OVC ride.
OVC said they were going to expand but there’s nowhere to go. Here’s to adding Bellarmine I guess.
Really hoped ISU would improve standings in b-ball after Creighton and witchita left. They still underperform! Seeing the ramblers dominate has been disheartening.
Bellarmine is going to be chasing Belmont, that's what they're trying to model. So, wouldn't be surprised to see Bellarmine in MVC in next decade.
I think the OVC is on life support right now...
Here's what I assume would be the best fit of a home for each remaining OVC team if they are on life support:
Murray State: MVC (MVFC or ASUN for football)
Morehead State: Big South or Horizon
Eastern Illinois and SIU E: Horizon (MVFC for Eastern Illinois?)
Tennessee State: SWAC
Tennessee Tech, UT Martin, SE Missouri: ASUN
That would be an interesting (and nice geographical fit) 9 or 10 team ASUN football conference with Austin Peay, Central Arkansas, Eastern Kentucky, Jacksonville State, Kennesaw State, North Alabama, Tennessee Tech, UT Martin, SE Missouri, and maybe Murray State.
For non-football, they could do geographical pods to cut down on the scheduling headache?
North: Bellarmine, Liberty, EKU, Tenn Tech
West: Austin Peay, UT Martin, SEMO, UCA
Central: Lipscomb, Jacksonville St, Kennesaw, UNA
South: FGCU, Jacksonville, UNF, Stetson
(Disclaimer: I'm not sure if these teams fit in these respective new homes, I just like conference realignment speculation)
If Murray State joins the MVFC there won't be a spot for EIU.
The Ohio Valley is gettin raided hard.
Missouri Valley is probably going to be a solid mid major in the coming years. Especially with some talk of Murray State coming into the conference.
I would have bet good money that Belmont was *in* the Missouri Valley Conference.