The NCAA is once again realigning its regions for football and all sports. Hillsdale and the GLIAC remain in the Northwest Region but trade the liquidating NCC for the Rocky Mountain Athletic Conference.
Here is D2football.com’s Bob Eblen’s take on the matter:
New Regional Alignment
Beginning next season, Division II will once again be realigning the regions for football. The basic alignment as far as conferences go:
The GNAC’s five teams (not an official conference) will be in the southwest region.
As I understand it, the driving force behind this new alignment is, as strange as it may sound, volleyball. D-II’s leadership wanted to equalize playoff opportunities for volleyball and at the same time, create regions that were the same for all sports. Hence the new alignment.
The problem with these new regions in football is that they are stupid. You’re going to put four conferences in one region and two in another call it fair? I thought this was the reason we changed everything around back in 2004– to equalize the number of teams in each region. Now we swing back the other way and put over 40 teams in the Northeast again? This makes zero sense.
I understand the concept behind regionalization and it probably does make sense at this level in sports like basketball where there are 280+ teams. But the folks setting the rules in this division have to understand that strict regionalization makes no sense in football and only serves to hurt the sport.
Division II is claiming to have made many strides over the past couple of years in shoring up its image and establishing an identity. As far as I’m concerned, decisions like this one make those claims pretty hollow.