Friday, July 11, 2008

Great West Conference to Expand Beyond Football!


The Great West Conference, formerly known as The Great West Football Conference is expanding into an all-sport conference. The announcement came today. Joining together to make the conference are the University of North Dakota, the University of South Dakota, Utah Valley State, Texas-Pan American, Houston Baptist, and New Jersey Institute of Technology.


The Great West Football Conference includes the University of North Dakota, the University of South Dakota, Cal Poly, UC Davis and Southern Utah. Football-only members Cal Poly and UC Davis will remain in the Great West for the balance of their athletic teams, while Southern Utah will continue to compete in the Summit League.


North Dakota and South Dakota, new football members that will begin play in the fall, as well as Houston Baptist are currently in their second year of transition up to the Division I level. All three schools will become NCAA Division I counters for scheduling purposes in 2009-10. Texas-Pan American has been a member of NCAA Division I for many years, while Utah Valley University and NJIT become active Division I members in 2009-10.


I'm all for independents finding a home, especially since I go to the University of North Dakota. Finding a conference home is the next step in the D-1 transition and this will surely benefit all schools involved, and that's what counts. It will be really interesting to see where this goes but to me it seems as though The Great West will be used mainly as a stepping stone for independents (like they have been in the past for football). There is also a couple speculated/expected acceptees in the futures. Expected to join soon are Seattle University and Chicago State.


This is a really exciting time for a lot of athletes, students, coaches, and fans. I myself am a little excited. I think the Great West really has something to offer to the D-1 transitionee's (notice how I no longer said independents!)

6 comments:

Stefan Ming said...

What? UND gets to play Houston Baptist, Utah Valley State, and the New Jersey Inst. of Tech.? What? And NDSU gets to play Oral Roberts and IUPUI and Southern Illinois, Northern Iowa, and Youngstown in football? I am jealous...

Well look at the good point you guys will have a good chance to win some conference championships. Maybe UND will make the Big Dance when they're eligible.

grittysquirrels said...

Yeah I guess. Well the conference, although now an all sport conference, will still be used like the GWFC was and that is as a stepping stone. UND will try to win a few GW Championships and then move on. Much like NDSU did.

Stefan Ming said...

That's if they can get in another conference

Stefan Ming said...

actually i take that back, UND wouldn't be able to make the big dance because this won't be recognized as a conference for a long time. Too many transitional teams. And this really isn't anything like the GWFC, the GWFC at least has some stability. I can see UND joining a good football conference possibly the MVFC in the future but I think they will have a hard time joining a real conference for all other sports. Should be interesting though.

grittysquirrels said...

Yeah it will be really interesting. The main advantage in this new GWC is scheduling. It is designed to give independents a home and help out with the first few years of scheduling.

I agree with you I am not very worried about UND Football finding a good home beyond the GWFC but I'm very unsure about WBB and MBB, etc.

On a third note I will feel a lot better about the competitiveness of this conference once Seattle U. and Chicago St. accept (hopefully)

Nate Gonner said...

We will sure miss North Dakota in D2 football but I am happy for you guys. Good luck at the next level.