Friday, August 8, 2008

Big South to get playoffs' automatic bid in 2010

The Big South Conference, which is headed into its 25th season but has played football only since 2002, has finally made it.

The league will receive an automatic bid to the national playoffs that the Football Championship Subdivision (formerly Division I-AA) features, in 2010. That's because the league - with the addition of Stony Brook (N.Y.) - finally has the six members required to land the automatic berth.

Those members must play together for two years before the bid is awarded, and this fall will be the first.

It could have happened much earlier. The league had just four members in its inaugural football season, but talked VMI into switching from the Southern Conference to the Big South, and also added Coastal Carolina.

But then Elon, a first-year member, dropped out to take the Keydets' slot in the Southern Conference in the seemingly never-ending game of conference musical chairs.

"That was frustrating," Big South Commissioner Kyle Kallander said Thursday evening from Seattle. "We spent a long time persuading VMI to join us, and when it finally happens, Elon turns around and takes VMI's place in the Southern."

So the Big South had five teams instead of the required six in '03, and it stayed that way until this year. Not to worry, the number will soon be seven, as Presbyterian prepares to join the league.

- Stan Olson


Anonymous said...

The reason ChickenHeels want play ASU, is they know who will win. ASU
will win annd embarrass the Heels
out of them.