Published on 04-19-2013 12:34 PM
With today's very awkward, very odd press conference over, Loyola is now a former Horizon League member. So, we move on. Losing Loyola is certainly not the worst thing in the world; it's not like losing Butler, or even like losing UIC would have been. But these are the times, and we move on.
So where to next? With Butler and Loyola gone, it's kind of exciting to think of what schools the Horizon League could be adding to the conference. We've taken a look at it many times before, but the news of Loyola's departure has given me renewed vigor.
I didn't want to come at it completely based on opinion. I've taken JGPanthers' table from the forum and I've decided to put my own scores, based on a scale of 1-10, for each of the categories. At the end, each school will be added up and their scores will give us a determination as to who the Horizon League should add. Our scoring system:
Sports - What sports do these schools have? Baseball needs to find a new member or else it will lose the automatic bid to the NCAA Tournament. Softball just lost Loyola as a member, and we need to make sure the key Horizon sports in basketball, soccer and baseball are available. Do they have a sport that will drag down the rest of their program financially?
Facilities - Loyola would not be going to the MVC without the major upgrade to their facilities. For the Horizon League, we need to make sure we are following the same path and bringing in schools that have good enough facilities.
Location - There's a reason Gonzaga isn't in the Big East, and it has nothing to do with their program. It's about location. The Horizon League needs to add programs that will keep the travel budget within a reasonable number. Airport hubs are important, but land miles are important as well - not all teams will be traveling by plane.
Budget - How much does the school spend in athletics?