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Has conference expansion been for the better?

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Round-robin play a thing of the past

By Bobby Brockman

 

The last wave of conference expansion seems to be completed with the 2014-15 seasons. But, has it really been for the better?
Probably not and here’s why.
While it’s a blessing that the University of Louisville is going to the Atlantic Coast Conference from the depleted former Big East Conference, a move by 2016 could make the Commonwealth blink.
The Southeastern Conference will more than likely go to a nine-game conference scheduled in 2016.
What will that mean?
While the SEC wants its teams to play a tougher non-conference slate and Florida will probably keep playing Florida State, South Carolina will still tangle with Clemson and Georgia will continue to battle Georgia Tech, will Kentucky hang on to its state-rival gridiron contest against the University of Louisville?
The majority think no and here’s why.
When the SEC goes to nine games and the years five of those games are on the road, it will be a huge loss to have only seven home games.
Oh yeh, it’s just simple to have the Louisville game in Commonwealth Stadium and then play in Papa John’s the next season when the Cats have five SEC home games.
The thinking on why they won’t do it is because when the series resumed in 1994, most Big Blue die-hards assumed it would be another guaranteed W.
However, that hasn’t been the case (U of L leads 11-8) and playing nine games in a conference where it’s almost impossible for UK to have a winning record, a loss in one of their three non-conference gimmies is the “kiss of death” and makes most seasons a non-bowl campaign.
Speaking of the SEC, will it help,  when they go to nine games, to play a more balanced conference schedule?
Hopefully, since this year South Carolina does not play Alabama, LSU and Texas A&M from the SEC Eastern Division and Alabama and Texas A&M do not have Florida, Georgia or South Carolina on their 2013 schedule.
That also means Georgia and Florida do not have to battle Alabama and Texas A&M while, on the other hand, LSU has to play both Georgia and Florida in addition to Alabama and LSU.
The days of an eight-to-10-team league, where each team could play a perfect round-robin, are long gone.

New cross country and track alignment announced by KHSAA
The KHSAA laid out its new alignment for cross country and track and field on Monday.
Locally, Campbellsville and Green County have been moved from Class A, Region 2 to Class A, Region 3 along with Class AA move-downs Presentation, Shawnee and Washington County. Bardstown, DeSales and Thomas Nelson have been shifted to Class AA.
Taylor County’s Class 2A, Region 2 set-up, which the Cardinals share with Adair County, LaRue County and Marion County, gets even tougher with the additions of Bardstown, John Hardin, Nelson County, Thomas Nelson and Warren Central.
Butler County moves to Class A, Region along with Washington County to Class A, Region 3.

2013-14 Cross country and track alignments
Class A, Region 3

Beth Haven
Bethlehem
Brown
Campbellsville
Evangel Christian
Fort Knox
Green County
Holy Cross
Ky. Country Day
Ky. School  f/t Blind
Louisville Collegiate
Portland Christian
Presentation
Shawnee
St. Francis
Valor Traditional
Walden
Washington County
Whitefield Academy
Class 2A, Region 2

Adair County
Allen Co.-Scottsville
Bardstown
Breckinridge County
Edmonson County
Elizabethtown
Franklin-Simpson
Hart County
John Hardin
LaRue County
Marion County
Nelson County
South Warren
Taylor County
Thomas Nelson
Warren Central
Warren East
Notes: Chris Corder resigned last Thursday as the North Hardin girls’ basketball coach to become an assistant principal at J.T. Alton Middle School. Hardin County Schools policy doesn’t allow principals, assistant principals and athletic directors to be head coaches. . . Athletics director James Slaven resigned his post at North Hardin Monday.