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Conference Realignment Rumblings - The Topic That Never Goes Away


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5 minutes ago, Indiana Fan said:

Really Carmel wins in every sport. Usually the top of the state. CG only has football and track. I don’t see them dominating in other sports all that much. Why is there such a reluctance to let them in a conference?

Carmel and CG consistently finish 1 and 2 in the combined MIC sports overall for both fall and spring.  CG has won a number of girls state softball championships, many state appearances in tennis (boys and girls), and consistently one of the top programs in the state in boys golf...usually with Carmel, Westfield and Zionsville.  But I agree with your comments about Carmel and their overall sports dominance....so is the relunctance to admit Carmel greater than just football?

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20 minutes ago, Bash Riprock said:

Carmel and CG consistently finish 1 and 2 in the combined MIC sports overall for both fall and spring.  CG has won a number of girls state softball championships, many state appearances in tennis (boys and girls), and consistently one of the top programs in the state in boys golf...usually with Carmel, Westfield and Zionsville.  But I agree with your comments about Carmel and their overall sports dominance....so is the relunctance to admit Carmel greater than just football?

Not sure about the rest of the CG wrestling team, but they have very good Heavyweights. And great mullets.

 

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36 minutes ago, Indiana Fan said:

Ben Davis and brownsburg will stop playing in regular season within the next year or so. Not sure who was the one who wanted this to stop.

Really Carmel wins in every sport. Usually the top of the state. CG only has football and track. I don’t see them dominating in other sports all that much. Why is there such a reluctance to let them in a conference?

CG has much more than just football and track. Softball, baseball, golf, XC just off the top of my head.

26 minutes ago, Bash Riprock said:

Carmel and CG consistently finish 1 and 2 in the combined MIC sports overall for both fall and spring.  CG has won a number of girls state softball championships, many state appearances in tennis (boys and girls), and consistently one of the top programs in the state in boys golf...usually with Carmel, Westfield and Zionsville.  But I agree with your comments about Carmel and their overall sports dominance....so is the relunctance to admit Carmel greater than just football?

Sorry, just saw this.  Took the words right out of my mouth.

I think Carmel has this “larger than life” stigma attached to them and are sort of like the Yankees or Duke basketball of the IHSAA.

In talking to folks from a variety of walks of life, Carmel is usually the common enemy of most… and it’s because they win.

Edited by temptation
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12 minutes ago, temptation said:

CG has much more than just football and track. Softball, baseball, golf, XC just off the top of my head.

Sorry, just saw this.  Took the words right out of my mouth.

I think Carmel has this “larger than life” stigma attached to them and are sort of like the Yankees or Duke basketball of the IHSAA.

In talking to folks from a variety of walks of life, Carmel is usually the common enemy of most… and it’s because they win.

But they are not dominant like they are in football. Basketball programs are rarely at the top, they don’t dominate in those other sports. Carmel does in about everything.

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3 minutes ago, Indiana Fan said:

But they are not dominant like they are in football. Basketball programs are rarely at the top, they don’t dominate in those other sports. Carmel does in about everything.

Competitive on a statewide level though.

Of course Carmel does in everything and if you are going to compare your school’s athletic program to Carmel you’re going to be disappointed every damn time.

5000+ kids with a FRL under 10 percent vs 3000 kids with a FRL in the high 20’s if I’m not mistaken.

You can break through and slay the giant every now and again but it’s hard to do consistently across the board.

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1 hour ago, temptation said:

Competitive on a statewide level though.

Of course Carmel does in everything and if you are going to compare your school’s athletic program to Carmel you’re going to be disappointed every damn time.

5000+ kids with a FRL under 10 percent vs 3000 kids with a FRL in the high 20’s if I’m not mistaken.

You can break through and slay the giant every now and again but it’s hard to do consistently across the board.

Oh for sure CG is competitive in a lot of sports. I’m just saying it’s not Carmel. 
 

Conference talk is exciting and I do believe there will be some shake ups because of everything right now. However, I’m still a firm believer of conferences being put together based off of geographics as well as competition. Everyone on here wants these outrageous matchups with out of state teams all the time, but people do need to realize that coaches and parents don’t always want that. It makes it very very difficult for JV and Freshman. Conferences are important for scheduling stability as well. A lot more goes into this than just wanting to play big time matchups all the time.

I think Tech will have some implications on further realignment and determining on what conferences change and what other schools do in the Indy Metro area. I think Conference Indiana is on the brink of folding, but Tech could help revive it.

I think the MIC may stay put at 6 for a while. It will make it tough for scheduling teams outside of conference play. I believe Franklin Central should make the move to the MIC, but will stay put.

HCC is the king right now. They are set and have taken over the top conference. I believe they made a mistake not voting Carmel and CG in. CG might still make another run in a year or so and get in. HCC is not safe though. Carmel and or CG could pull some of those HCC schools to create a new conference. This has some legitimate background to it and has been discussed by many. 
 

Mid State is a very solid conference as well. They are solid at their 8 teams, but potentially in the near future you could see some shuffling take place. With Whiteland growing and Greenwood getting smaller, it’s only a matter of time before something gives.

The last domino/wild card is New Pal. Athletics are on the up, football is very good, growing. Could they potentially want out of their conference and look to join mid state or potentially look for other to create. 
 

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4 hours ago, gonzoron said:

Not sure about the rest of the CG wrestling team, but they have very good Heavyweights. And great mullets.

 

Good call....didn't mean to leave them out.  2 individual state champions this past season.  One going to the Air Force Academy, the other to The Citadel...both wrestling.

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9 hours ago, gonzoron said:

Not sure about the rest of the CG wrestling team, but they have very good Heavyweights. And great mullets.

 

There are 3-4 elite teams in the state.  CG is possibly the best of the rest.  They have some very good classes coming up.

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4 hours ago, Bash Riprock said:

Good call....didn't mean to leave them out.  2 individual state champions this past season.  One going to the Air Force Academy, the other to The Citadel...both wrestling.

And the mullet heavyweight will be wreaking havoc from the defensive line this fall.  Tremendous athlete for a big boy.  He won't be tall enough to get Power 5 offers but a smart coach at smaller schools might want to pay attention.

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1 minute ago, Grover said:

And the mullet heavyweight will be wreaking havoc from the defensive line this fall.  Tremendous athlete for a big boy.  He won't be tall enough to get Power 5 offers but a smart coach at smaller schools might want to pay attention.

Yep, he's a good kid. Has wrestled my son a couple times at Indy Nationals. The JV Hwt would be varsity at most schools.

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  • 2 weeks later...
On 7/12/2022 at 8:27 AM, Footballking16 said:

Could be the case.

Unless there's a plan to build a second high school to accommodate the fast growing Whitestown, it's not out of the question to think Zionsville could be pushing 3k students sometime in the next decade. If you subscribe to the theory that low F/R/L makes a spectacular football program, Zionsville should be a major player in 6A for years to come. 

Same rule applies to Westfield. Without a second high school in the works, they will be approaching mega-enrollment sooner than later. Both Westfield and Zionsville's enrollments have doubled in the last 10-15 years. 

Westfield is not even close to built out and Carmel is growing north. It's likely their growth isn't going to stop. 

One thing about Whitestown - a big chunk of it is actually in Lebanon's district. They may see a lot of growth as Whitestown grows. 

Basically, where I-65 meets (what used to be) SR 334, anything west of that line is Lebanon, and then the line significantly jogs east not far north of there. 

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On 7/12/2022 at 2:40 PM, Indiana Fan said:

I think Tech will have some implications on further realignment and determining on what conferences change and what other schools do in the Indy Metro area. I think Conference Indiana is on the brink of folding, but Tech could help revive it.

I think the MIC may stay put at 6 for a while. It will make it tough for scheduling teams outside of conference play. I believe Franklin Central should make the move to the MIC, but will stay put.

HCC is the king right now. They are set and have taken over the top conference. I believe they made a mistake not voting Carmel and CG in. CG might still make another run in a year or so and get in. HCC is not safe though. Carmel and or CG could pull some of those HCC schools to create a new conference. This has some legitimate background to it and has been discussed by many. 
 

Mid State is a very solid conference as well. They are solid at their 8 teams, but potentially in the near future you could see some shuffling take place. With Whiteland growing and Greenwood getting smaller, it’s only a matter of time before something gives.

The last domino/wild card is New Pal. Athletics are on the up, football is very good, growing. Could they potentially want out of their conference and look to join mid state or potentially look for other to create. 
 

Remember, football is not the only determining factor in conference affiliation. It's the most important sport, but it's not the only one. 

If Eugene White was still in charge of IPS, he'd be pushing for Tech to be taken into the MIC (he was trying to turn Tech into an athletic factory and gain MIC admission when he was super). Conference Indiana would likely be a better competitive fit even though the travel (outside of Southport) would only be slightly better than the NCC. Major problem with CI is that IPS isn't exactly flush with cash and you're going to Terre Haute every year, Bloomington every year and Columbus every other year. 

The Mid-State has a lot of history and tradition behind it and fits neatly into that Johnson-Morgan (and into the small corner of Marion & Hendricks counties to get DC & Plainfield) area. You have a lot of longtime rivals (Franklin-Whiteland-Greenwood, Mooresville-Plainfield, Mooresville-Martinsville). DC & PM feel like outliers who would be better fits in Conference Indiana and the league is getting too big for Greenwood. 

New Pal is happy in the HHC. Yes, it's a bit of a top-heavy football conference right now, but it's a very competitive league in other sports, is largely geographically compact, et al. However, Mt. Vernon is growing fast and will likely top 2K within the decade. New Pal is also growing quickly and probably will be 1,600+ before long. Most of the other schools in the league have stagnant or declining enrollments, though, and there might be some movement ... problem is, unless the eastern NCC schools (Richmond, Anderson, Muncie Central especially) finally say "enough" and leave the NCC, there really aren't any landing spots for the HHC schools. Shelbyville might fit in the EIAC (and I wouldn't be surprised to see them jump if given the opportunity) but otherwise, most of the conferences in the area are 1A/2A leagues and the HHC's schools are big 3As & 4As. 

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1 hour ago, crimsonace1 said:

Remember, football is not the only determining factor in conference affiliation. It's the most important sport, but it's not the only one. 

If Eugene White was still in charge of IPS, he'd be pushing for Tech to be taken into the MIC (he was trying to turn Tech into an athletic factory and gain MIC admission when he was super). Conference Indiana would likely be a better competitive fit even though the travel (outside of Southport) would only be slightly better than the NCC. Major problem with CI is that IPS isn't exactly flush with cash and you're going to Terre Haute every year, Bloomington every year and Columbus every other year. 

The Mid-State has a lot of history and tradition behind it and fits neatly into that Johnson-Morgan (and into the small corner of Marion & Hendricks counties to get DC & Plainfield) area. You have a lot of longtime rivals (Franklin-Whiteland-Greenwood, Mooresville-Plainfield, Mooresville-Martinsville). DC & PM feel like outliers who would be better fits in Conference Indiana and the league is getting too big for Greenwood. 

New Pal is happy in the HHC. Yes, it's a bit of a top-heavy football conference right now, but it's a very competitive league in other sports, is largely geographically compact, et al. However, Mt. Vernon is growing fast and will likely top 2K within the decade. New Pal is also growing quickly and probably will be 1,600+ before long. Most of the other schools in the league have stagnant or declining enrollments, though, and there might be some movement ... problem is, unless the eastern NCC schools (Richmond, Anderson, Muncie Central especially) finally say "enough" and leave the NCC, there really aren't any landing spots for the HHC schools. Shelbyville might fit in the EIAC (and I wouldn't be surprised to see them jump if given the opportunity) but otherwise, most of the conferences in the area are 1A/2A leagues and the HHC's schools are big 3As & 4As. 

The Muncie based HHC schools (Delta/Yorktown) will be leaving the conference due to travel and competitive issues, and joining with Centerville and Muncie Central to start a new conference.  The additional slots will fill in with 2a to 4a enrollment schools in the area.  New castle will not stay in The HHC if the Muncie schools leave, and Shelby is looking to get out as they cannot compete with the Indy based HHC schools.  I expect to see some type of MSC/HHC merger in the future.  

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On 7/24/2022 at 9:47 PM, Guest said:

The Muncie based HHC schools (Delta/Yorktown) will be leaving the conference due to travel and competitive issues, and joining with Centerville and Muncie Central to start a new conference.  The additional slots will fill in with 2a to 4a enrollment schools in the area.  New castle will not stay in The HHC if the Muncie schools leave, and Shelby is looking to get out as they cannot compete with the Indy based HHC schools.  I expect to see some type of MSC/HHC merger in the future.  

Rumor has it that Delta, Yorktown and New Castle will be leaving the HHC within the next year or so and will be joining  Muncie Central, Centerville, Richmond, Jay Co. and Oak Hill. Marion and Ole Miss might also get a call.

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47 minutes ago, Hoosierdaddy said:

Rumor has it that Delta, Yorktown and New Castle will be leaving the HHC within the next year or so and will be joining  Muncie Central, Centerville, Richmond, Jay Co. and Oak Hill. Marion and Ole Miss might also get a call.

That's take three out of the NCC, if it happens ... and the NCC announced earlier this month that Tech will be leaving after the 2022-2023 season.  If Richmond, MC, and Marion depart, that puts Anderson in a world of hurt from a football perspective.  The last time that Anderson has beaten what would be one of the remaining teams ... Harrison, Jeff, McCutcheon, Logansport, or Kokomo ... in football, would have been back in 2016 when they beat Logansport 35-16. 

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1 hour ago, Hoosierdaddy said:

Rumor has it that Delta, Yorktown and New Castle will be leaving the HHC within the next year or so and will be joining  Muncie Central, Centerville, Richmond, Jay Co. and Oak Hill. Marion and Ole Miss might also get a call.

I don't anything about Centerville but Oak Hill seems a little light on enrollment in regards to most of this bunch.  It's used to playing mostly 1A & 2A competition:

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On 7/24/2022 at 7:47 PM, crimsonace1 said:

Westfield is not even close to built out and Carmel is growing north. It's likely their growth isn't going to stop. 

 

Keep in mind….Westfield school district is just one township (Washington).  They don’t have as much geography to “build out” like Carmel and HSE schools (whose geographic boundaries are HUGE and already built a second high school).  I believe Hamilton Heights has two townships to draw from in the NE corner of HamCo.  Westfield will never be a Carmel….but maybe a 3-3.5K enrollment.

Heights is getting some “flight” from folks put off of “big school culture” of the rest of the county.  They may be 4A before Westfield even builds a second middle school🤡
 

 

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22 minutes ago, US31 said:

Heights is getting some “flight” from folks put off of “big school culture” of the rest of the county.  They may be 4A before Westfield even builds a second middle school🤡

Not many. Heights just tore down a school, not many projections on them getting much larger  in the foreseeable future.

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On 7/12/2022 at 10:37 AM, Guest said:

Outside of the Indy Metro madness, high school football is really a local game.  The vast majority of schools in this state will never get past the sectional round.  So winning at the local level, whether it be a conference championship, a county championship, or just winning a rivalry game, are the primary goals for many programs around the state.  

We have a handful of contenders in each class.  After that, everybody is playing to be the best in their own backyard.

What do you mean a vast majority will never win a sectional? A vast majority of teams have won sectionals. 

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On 7/24/2022 at 9:47 PM, Guest said:

The Muncie based HHC schools (Delta/Yorktown) will be leaving the conference due to travel and competitive issues, and joining with Centerville and Muncie Central to start a new conference.  The additional slots will fill in with 2a to 4a enrollment schools in the area.  New castle will not stay in The HHC if the Muncie schools leave, and Shelby is looking to get out as they cannot compete with the Indy based HHC schools.  I expect to see some type of MSC/HHC merger in the future.  

Muncie Central, Delta, and Yorktown - possibly. Centerville - very unlikely.

7 hours ago, Hoosierdaddy said:

Rumor has it that Delta, Yorktown and New Castle will be leaving the HHC within the next year or so and will be joining  Muncie Central, Centerville, Richmond, Jay Co. and Oak Hill. Marion and Ole Miss might also get a call.

I think Oak Hill is even less likely to join that group than Centerville.  They are a very good fit in the CIC and they would be foolish to choose to leave for a conference that would double their travel.

It would be interesting to see several of those schools form a new conference of large 3A, 4A, and small 5A members centered around Muncie.  Throw out NCC history (the biggest obstacle to this) and go with Delta, Jay County, Muncie Central, Yorktown, Mississinewa, Marion, Anderson, and Richmond.  New Castle would be a great fit instead of Anderson, but I think there are still some hard feelings over New Castle leaving the NCC.  If Jay County doesn’t think they can compete, then give the Trojans an invite.  Anderson might be interested in taking their place in the Hoosier Heritage, and the HHC might consider the Indians if they lose Delta, Yorktown, and New Castle.  As much as I like fantasy booking, none of this will actually happen.

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21 hours ago, foxbat said:

That's take three out of the NCC, if it happens ... and the NCC announced earlier this month that Tech will be leaving after the 2022-2023 season.  If Richmond, MC, and Marion depart, that puts Anderson in a world of hurt from a football perspective.  The last time that Anderson has beaten what would be one of the remaining teams ... Harrison, Jeff, McCutcheon, Logansport, or Kokomo ... in football, would have been back in 2016 when they beat Logansport 35-16. 

That would be an interesting scenario to me. Would Harrison, Jeff, McCutcheon, Logan, and Kokomo just stay at 5 and increase their OOC schedule in all sports or try to expand? I can't think of any reasonable option outside of trying to bring in West Lafayette. 

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1 hour ago, Boilernation said:

That would be an interesting scenario to me. Would Harrison, Jeff, McCutcheon, Logan, and Kokomo just stay at 5 and increase their OOC schedule in all sports or try to expand? I can't think of any reasonable option outside of trying to bring in West Lafayette. 

IMO, Marion would probably remain in that league as it's only a two-county drive to get to Lafayette and Kokomo is one county away. 

I could see the eastern NCC schools - Richmond, Muncie Central, Anderson - breaking away. All three communities have lost significant population and finances are tight. At some point, the travel is too much. 

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30 minutes ago, Boilernation said:

That would be an interesting scenario to me. Would Harrison, Jeff, McCutcheon, Logan, and Kokomo just stay at 5 and increase their OOC schedule in all sports or try to expand? I can't think of any reasonable option outside of trying to bring in West Lafayette. 

I think West Lafayette might be interesting, but right now West Lafayette already plays or played a mix of McCutcheon/Jeff or McCutcheon/Harrison as part of their OOC.  Matter of fact, Harrison and West Lafayette will kickoff the season in Lucas Oil this season.  As such, West Lafayette already sees a couple bigger schools as part of their OCC.  Benefits might come in playing Logansport and Kokomo as well, but the question might be, "Is their much more to be gained with those two than potential mixes in the HC AND is it worth the potential shifts/changes to make that move?"  Yes, WL has dominated the HC for the past few years, but just as recently as 2019, 2A Cass knocked them off right before post-season started. 

The potential danger to West Lafayette would be leaving the HC to join up with a mini-NCC and then a couple years later Kokomo and/or Logansport leaves.  If the HCC decided to take back Jeff, McCutcheon, and Harrison ... yes, I know a very long shot ... and perhaps Center Grove, that leaves WL hanging.  Again, I'm not sure from a cost/benefit and risk situation it would make a lot of sense for WL to jump ship at this point given that they play or have played three of the bigger dogs in the NCC, from an enrollment standpoint, already.  The HC also provides LOTS of different offensive looks for WL even if the current argument might be that there are light versions of that set of looks.  WL dominates now, but the HC is a conference that's had its fair share of headbangers from multiple classes ... LCC and Sheridan both won the HC en route to LOS blue rings as did RCHS.  Tipton did so en route to a red ring at LOS. In 11 of the last 17 seasons, the HC has had a representative at LOS at the end of the season.

I could see the HC attempting to bring in the likes of Pioneer who I think would benefit tremendously from being in the HC.  Frankly, I'd like to see Sheridan return as well, but I just don't know where that program sits right now in terms of building back to the top-tier of 1A.  Just need a couple of 4A or 3A players in there too.  The other thing that would be VERY interesting, but won't happen due to the history of the NCC is for Harrison, McCutcheon, and Jeff to join the HC.  Harrison and McCutcheon were once in the HC in the latter part of the 20th century.  It would provide, if you you could bring in a couple of 4A players, like Logansport/Kokomo, a potential for a big-team/smaller-team divisional split and also plenty more opportunities for "sharpening knives," but the cross-division would be more by request than by rotation.

To your other question though, about OOC play for the remaining folks in the NCC, I think that's certainly doable.  I don't know about the other schools in the NCC, but I know that Harrison has forged undercard relationships with several schools more recently having played Chatard, Cathedral, THS, Lowell, Brebeuf, and Tri-West.  Until recently, they used to play Westfield on a regular basis including the varsity level.  They also played Roncalli a couple years ago in a quick-pickup and also had a quick pickup game against Hammond Central.  On a side note, despite their rawness, I really liked the Hammond Central team ... never quit.  Many of those undercard games came in lieu of playing the NCC undercard or punching up when they did ... e.g., the Harrison freshman squad might play the JV squad for another NCC opponent.  Harrison is adding Plainfield this season in lieu of THS and I think that might be at all levels.  In any case, at a minimum, Harrison's shown a propensity for having a larger circle of OOC takers.  Granted, that might be more by COVID desperation or sheer happenstance, but they have had a bigger circle than just the NCC sphere.  

 

26 minutes ago, crimsonace1 said:

IMO, Marion would probably remain in that league as it's only a two-county drive to get to Lafayette and Kokomo is one county away. 

I could see the eastern NCC schools - Richmond, Muncie Central, Anderson - breaking away. All are having some degree of financial difficulty. At some point, the travel is too much. 

These teams have also tended to feed off of each other in terms of football success ... and to a lesser degree, Logansport.

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55 minutes ago, foxbat said:

Frankly, I'd like to see Sheridan return as well, but I just don't know where that program sits right now in terms of building back to the top-tier of 1A.  

I don't think this is a possibility unless the school shows some growth in the next 10 years.  Football was the reason they stayed in the HC for so long, but the other sports were suffering from being in the HC.  They have competed much better in the Hoosier Heartland.

The school that I see outgrowing the HHC is Eastern.  They would be a better fit in the CIC or HC than Sheridan or maybe even Pioneer.  Probably just a little too far away for some of the HC schools though.

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