The Summit League

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The Summit League

Postby theman » Wed May 13, 2015 8:10 am

How long do you think the Summit League can last as a legitimate Division 1 conference? It seems to be incredibly unstable, with only three athletically well-rounded universities (SDSU, NDSU, USD), and it's pretty much turning into easy auto-bids for whichever one of those three teams wins the conference championship in any given sport. I mean, am I the only one that sees the Summit League as an incredibly weak conference? Won't that, in time, affect recruiting for NDSU in non-football sports? And with how few schools are in the conference, isn't it at risk of being dissolved in the near future if anybody leaves?

IMO, NDSU should go to the Big Sky and be travel partners with UND, but I'm incredibly biased as a UND student. I'm not bashing NDSU by any means, but I'm simply wondering how being in the Summit League can be good for NDSU for any reason other than bragging about how many conference titles they have.

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Re: The Summit League

Postby Indy5 » Wed May 13, 2015 5:29 pm

The only problem with the Big Sky is I could argue the Missouri Valley as one of the top football conferences. That's good for Bison football. At the end of the day, football will drive their decisions.
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Re: The Summit League

Postby theman » Wed May 13, 2015 7:12 pm

Indy5 wrote:The only problem with the Big Sky is I could argue the Missouri Valley as one of the top football conferences. That's good for Bison football. At the end of the day, football will drive their decisions.


That's true. I would counter that the Big Sky is not a bad football conference by any means, and that by being the Big Sky NDSU football wouldn't necessarily suffer, because Eastern Washington and Montana would still present plenty of challenges. But you are right, football (and indirectly from that- money) drive the decisions.
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Re: The Summit League

Postby flatlander » Fri May 15, 2015 11:09 pm

Can you name a team sport that the Big Sky is actually better at than the Summit?

USD, SDSU, and NDSU keep raising the bar in the Summit, but Denver, Omaha, and Oral Roberts aren't sitting on their hands either.

The funny thing is that NDSU joining the Big Sky does almost nothing for UND. The travel budget would still be enormous and UND would still finish dead last in the all-sports race. On the flip side, UND joining the Summit would be a huge boost for UND, but UND will never do it because it would hurt their pride.
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Re: The Summit League

Postby theman » Sat May 16, 2015 2:07 pm

flatlander wrote:Can you name a team sport that the Big Sky is actually better at than the Summit?

USD, SDSU, and NDSU keep raising the bar in the Summit, but Denver, Omaha, and Oral Roberts aren't sitting on their hands either.

The funny thing is that NDSU joining the Big Sky does almost nothing for UND. The travel budget would still be enormous and UND would still finish dead last in the all-sports race. On the flip side, UND joining the Summit would be a huge boost for UND, but UND will never do it because it would hurt their pride.


You're kidding with that post right? Right?! Please tell me you're kidding.

1.) Cross Country and Track- The Big Sky is primarily a distance running conference, but track is good too. NDSU just won the Outdoor Summit League by 80+ points on both the men's and women's side (signs of an incredibly weak conference, not a great NDSU team), and neither would win the Big Sky- that's a fact. Add up the places. Just for an easy example- NDSU swept the top three places in the women's steeple, with the 3rd place time of 10:50 only good enough for 6th in the Big Sky. I could on and on about this.
2.) Men's and Women's Basketball- Summit League teams would not get the auto bid to the National tourney if they had to go through the Big Sky. Remember 2 years ago when UND beat NDSU by 15 in MBB at the Betty? Well UND got pounded by Weber State in the Big Sky tournament championship while NDSU had a cakewalk into nationals (yes, they won in the first round, but that doesn't help the Summit League as a conference, just NDSU)

That's just 4 examples (technically 8 if count M&W Xc, Indoor, and outdoor), which makes up most of the Big Sky sports.

Geographically the Summit League would be good for UND, but once people figure out that the Summit League is a joke, it would hurt them.
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Re: The Summit League

Postby flatlander » Sat May 16, 2015 5:36 pm

No, I'm not kidding and I don't think that you have a clue what you are talking about. :)

I'll give you this - the Big Sky has some pretty good track teams, but you might want to check some things:

1. What's UND's record against the Summit league in basketball? Last I checked, it was 1-8 since joining the Big Sky, but maybe I missed some games.
2. When is that last time a Big Sky won an NCAA tournament game? NDSU did it last year and SDSU has won a couple on the women's side. Over two million people watched NDSU and Dexter Werner battle Gonzaga in the tourney this year. All that is great for NDSU and North Dakota.

BTW, NDSU's best time in the steeplechase this year is about 30 seconds faster than the Big Sky meet record - and that time happened a month ago - who knows what she'll run in the national championships.

That said, I'm not trying to convince you to join the Summit though. Enjoy the Big Sky - hope UND stays there forever.
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Re: The Summit League

Postby theman » Sat May 16, 2015 8:23 pm

flatlander wrote:No, I'm not kidding and I don't think that you have a clue what you are talking about. :)

I'll give you this - the Big Sky has some pretty good track teams, but you might want to check some things:

1. What's UND's record against the Summit league in basketball? Last I checked, it was 1-8 since joining the Big Sky, but maybe I missed some games.
2. When is that last time a Big Sky won an NCAA tournament game? NDSU did it last year and SDSU has won a couple on the women's side. Over two million people watched NDSU and Dexter Werner battle Gonzaga in the tourney this year. All that is great for NDSU and North Dakota.

BTW, NDSU's best time in the steeplechase this year is about 30 seconds faster than the Big Sky meet record - and that time happened a month ago - who knows what she'll run in the national championships.

That said, I'm not trying to convince you to join the Summit though. Enjoy the Big Sky - hope UND stays there forever.


1.) UND's record against Summit League schools doesn't prove that the Summit League isn't a crappy conference. If you could find conf vs conf stats, then that'd be better to look at.
2.) Again, performances by one team does not a conference make. All that proves is that the conference can produce a stud team every now and again that can win a first-round game.
3.) Again, one great performance does not a conference make. Sure, Teschuk's steeple time at Mt. SAC was great and one of the fastest times in the country, but does that make the conference great? UMKC has a girl named Courtney Frerichs that ran faster in the steeple than Teschuk this season AND beat her at XC regionals. Does that make the WAC a better conference than the Summit League? By your logic it does.

My main point is that I don't disagree with the fact that the Summit League produces some stellar teams (heck look at NDSU's softball team right now), what I'm saying is that the Summit League lacks the overall depth of better conferences, like the Big Sky. You have yet to provide anything that would show that to be false. One good team in a sport does not a good conference make.
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Re: The Summit League

Postby flatlander » Sun May 17, 2015 9:03 am

Hey, you brought up the steeplechase, not me. :)

I don't see a problem. NDSU is happy in the Summit/Missouri Valley, and UND is happy in the Big Sky.

The only difference I see is that most NDSU seems happy that UND is in the Big Sky, while UND people don't seem to be happy that NDSU is in the Summit. Based on past attitudes, I'd expect UND folks to be ecstatic about NDSU being in the Summit if it was really hurting NDSU.
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Re: The Summit League

Postby theman » Sun May 17, 2015 2:22 pm

I'm nostalgic for the NCC days!

But do you think the Summit League will last a while as a conference? With so few teams it wouldn't take much for it to disband. Then what?
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Re: The Summit League

Postby ndlionsfan » Sun May 17, 2015 3:36 pm

I think you're going to see teams moving into the Summit before teams leaving
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Re: The Summit League

Postby theman » Mon May 18, 2015 11:08 am

Do you think that's because of the success that the top programs have been having on a national stage?
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Re: The Summit League

Postby flatlander » Mon May 18, 2015 4:45 pm

theman wrote:Do you think that's because of the success that the top programs have been having on a national stage?


Naw, I think that the last two schools who came to the Summit (Denver and Oral Roberts) just looked at their current conference, didn't like it, and decided that the Summit was a better option. For Denver, it doesn't take much to be better than the WAC. For Oral Roberts, they left when the Summit looked shaky and came back as soon as it stabilized.

The next school to join would probably be UMKC... it's actually kind of surprising to me that they haven't come back already. Personally, I want them back because they are a very good fit, both academically and geographically. Big media market too.

Conspiracy theory: It's crazy but maybe the Summit has a different 10th member in mind. :) I mean, the Summit/ MVFC is the DI version of the NCC (NDSU, USD, SDSU, Nebraska-Omaha, Northern Iowa.)
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Re: The Summit League

Postby theman » Tue May 19, 2015 8:59 am

I would love to get all the former NCC schools that went D1 into the same conference! I just don't see it happening though...
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Re: The Summit League

Postby flatlander » Thu May 21, 2015 11:03 am

Old NCC members (not counting short-timers): NDSU, SDSU, UND, USD, Northern Iowa, Nebraska-Omaha, St. Cloud State, Minnesota State-Mankato, Morningside, Augustana, Northern Colorado.

Five of of those schools are conference rivals with NDSU already.
Morningside and Augustana just don't belong in DI.
Northern Colorado is in the Big Sky with UND. Ironically, several schools, including UND, weren't that happy about them being in the NCC - the conference never let them host anything for a very long time and ADs constantly complained about the long bus trip.
Minnesota State and St. Cloud State? Maybe. SCSU would probably end up dropping football to make the move. Not sure that the region can support more DI schools though.
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Re: The Summit League

Postby go maji » Thu May 21, 2015 12:23 pm

Augustana was the #2 ranked team in d2. If Minot state lost to ndsu by 12 what do you think Augie would do to them

Augie could definitely compete with the top teams in the summit.
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Re: The Summit League

Postby flatlander » Fri May 22, 2015 12:40 pm

In one game, Augie could beat NDSU in basketball, but if they went DI, they'd bleed money, drop football, and become a perennial cellar dweller in just about every sport. Lots of D2 programs much stronger than Augustana went DI and are still struggling.

Wisconsin, Marquette, Notre Dame, and Oklahoma. They all have something in common.

The Vikings are much better off in D2.
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