Why should college sports have all the fun with conference realignment?
We have been talking about it for a few years, I think I might have even written an article about it a couple of years ago. The time has officially come to put Waunakee in the Big 8.
This has come up again and again over the first four weeks of the football season, but with the 56-0 score at half against Reedsburg I thought it was time to come up with a plan to make it happen.
Now, this isn’t only a football thing. Waunakee excels across the board. If you look at WSN Cup Standings from last year, they rank 7th overall of ALL big schools in the state. They ranked 12th the year before. Only one Big 8 school, Middleton, finished ahead of them last season.
They have as good if not better facilities than the rest of the Big 8. Their enrollment has seen huge leaps in each of the past 8 years, it’s not going down anytime soon. Like Verona before them, it’s time.
So the first reaction is of course, the Big 8 already has 10 teams, it can’t have 11. Agreed. Let’s make it 8 again. Four city schools (East, West, Memorial, La Follette) and four suburb schools (Middleton, Sun Prairie, Verona, Waunakee).
So where does the Janesvilles and Beloit go? How about the Southern Lakes. A few of the drives would be long, but no longer than a trip to Middleton or Sun Prairie currently is. To keep this conference an appropriate size (8), you take out the three smallest schools – Elkhorn, Union Grove and Delavan-Darien.
Where do they go you ask? How about revamping the Badger-South with those three teams along with Oregon, MG, Milton, Fort Atkinson and Stoughton. While they would still be the smallest schools in the conference the enrollment difference wouldn’t be as big as it is in the current Southern-Lakes.
The Badger-North could then be made of the remaining Badger teams. Maybe a few longer trips up to Baraboo, but outside of that it’s pretty solid.
Done. This one is on the house WIAA, no consulting charge.
Here is a breakdown of my conference realignment with enrollments:
Big 8 (8)
Madison West (2166)
Sun Prairie (2006)
Madison Memorial (1849)
Madison East (1771)
Madison La Follette (1671)
Southern Lakes (8)
Beloit Memorial (1896)
Janesville Craig (1838)
Janesville Parker (1721)
Westosha Central (1184)
Badger – South (8)
Fort Atkinson (970)
Monona Grove (924)
Union Grove (909)
Badger – North (8)
Sauk Prairie (842)
Mount Horeb (701)
Madison Edgewood (650)
*Note - writing a column at night has it's downfalls... I forgot Monroe in the initial go around, to compensate I put them in the North and kept MG in the South... another thought would be to do Badger Large and Small divisions...