As the July 1 deadline for College Premier Division teams to decide whether they're going to stay in the CPD or reenter DI approaches, RUGBYMag.com has learned what we believe will be the result of DI conference realignment for the the 2011/2012 competitive cycles. 14 conferences and one independent team have been identified.
For the 2011/2012 season, conferences will be allowed to count a CPD team toward their minimum number of seven participants, per competitions committee chair Kevin Battle. Southern California, where Battle's UC Santa Barbara competes, is the only conference with less than seven teams. Battle said Southern Caliifornia is still in the process of finding its seventh team.
The chair said the competitions committee is also working on a way to give independent teams (so far the only one is New Mexico) a pathway to the playoffs, but one has not yet been determined.
With 14 conferences, there would likely be two at-large bids into the DI playoffs. Battle said the competitions committee does not want to determine which conference or team would receive those bids before the season starts, as they want to give teams something to play for. He indicated the competitions committee would likely take non-conference and inter-conference games into consideration when awarding the at-large bids.
So far, only LSU and Tennessee have confirmed their exit of the CPD. Others, like Dartmouth, UC Davis, Claremont Colleges, Army and Cal Poly have either hinted they may follow suit or are rumored to be doing so. For now, those teams and other participants in the initial CPD season are marked with an asterisk.
DI teams moving up from DII or lower: 14
New Conferences: 4
Total teams eligible for postseason: 98
Italics indicates Canadian teams
North Carolina State
San Jose State
New York State
|Eastern Pa. |
Middle Tenn. State
|Heart of America|
UC Santa Barbara