Dom Izzo's Missouri Valley/Summit League notebook: FCS Playoffs stay the same and Sheyenne's football stud
The ASUN and WAC will partner again this fall
Thursday marks 100 days to the 2022 college football season kicks off with Week Zero, highlighted by Nebraska facing Northwestern in Dublin, Ireland.
There are six FCS games slated for August 27th, including a matchup between schools from the Atlantic Sun and Western Athletic Conferences that day, Jacksonville State and Stephen F Austin.
Those two schools made news Wednesday, annoucning they are extending their partnership in football for another two seasons.
This past fall, the two leagues came together with the winner, Sam Houston, earning an automatic bid to the FCS Playoffs.
It was expected that each conference would go its own way in 2022, with both leagues having an automatic bid to the postseason. But with the rash of movement that has happened over the past year, neither league is solidified with its membership.
Sam Houston is leaving the WAC after this season for the FBS and Conference USA. Lamar will also leave to return to the Southland Conference. Incarnate Word is joining the WAC in July, but is rumored to also return to the Southland.
The movement in the Atlantic Sun is almost as feverish. Jacksonville State will depart the ASUN for the FBS and CUSA in 2023. North Alabama, Kennesaw State and Austin Peay will join the league this fall, bringing the conference to six members. The NCAA minimum for an automatic bid is six teams, which the ASUN will be below that number in 2023.
That news is important for leagues like the Missouri Valley Football Conference and the Big Sky Conference because the amount of automatic bids will remain at 11 for this season. There will be 13 at-large bids.
Next season, that number will drop to ten automatic bids as the Big South and Ohio Valley will combine into an alliance as each of those conferences have been ravaged by realignment.
Hopefully this puts the breaks on playoff expansion, which has gained momentum in recent months, led by Big Sky commissioner Tom Wistricill.
SCHOLARSHIP LIMITS INCREASING IN FOOTBALL
The NCAA Division I Council approved a waiver that will allow schools to add more players than just the 25 that they sign on Signing Day.
Traditionally, a school like NDSU would only be able to sign 25 players and not add any players if they left for the transfer portal or the NFL. This waiver will now allow for that.
NDSU though, has not come close to signing that many players, which is capped at 85 on the roster. Those 85 players can have the 63 scholarships spread out among the team. You can't divide scholarships at the FBS level. This will go into effect for the next two school years.
SHEYENNE'S MENZ IS RED HOT
West Fargo Sheyenne senior to be Karter Menz is the top football prospect in North Dakota and is about to start the recruiting whirlwind.
Menz announced earlier this week that he will take an official visit to Minnesota on June 10th. Menz has offers from 16 schools, including NDSU, SDSU and Nebraska.
The defensive end racked up 11.5 sacks in leading the Mustangs to their first state championship last November.
HISTORY AT STAKE FOR BISON BASEBALL
The final weekend of the Summit League baseball regular season begins tomorrow (weather pending) as NDSU hosts Western Illinois.
The Bison begin the weekend at 15-4 in conference play, with Oral Roberts at 15-6. NDSU also holds the tiebreaker on the Golden Eagles by taking two of three in Tulsa earlier this season.
The scenario for NDSU to win its first regular season baseball championship at the D-1 level is pretty simple. Beat WIU twice and they win the league. If ORU gets two more wins than the Bison do this weekend, ORU wins the title.
The regular season title brings with it the number one seed and the chance to host the 2023 tournament at Newman Outdoor Field.
The weather though could be a huge factor, with rain in the forecast for Thursday night and it doesn't look much better for Friday. The Bison are going to do everything they can to play the games this weekend.
WDAY Xtra will televise the NDSU-Western Illinois game Thursday night at 6:30.
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