Posted: Jan 22, 2013 10:51 AM
Updated: Jan 22, 2013 9:42 PM
RICHARDSON, Texas - A conference playoff in football was arguably the most notable in a series of changes endorsed by the Lone Star Conference Council of Presidents this past Friday at the annual winter meeting for the league's governing group.
President Dan Jones of Texas A&M University-Commerce served as chair for the meeting, which was held in conjunction with the NCAA Convention in Grapevine.
The Council's unanimous approval of a conference playoff is set to begin with the 2014 football schedule. After playing six conference games over the first nine weeks of an 11-week regular season, the LSC's seven football teams will split into two brackets to conduct a two-week conference playoff.
"College football fans everywhere believe in the playoff system, and this is going to transform the back end of our schedules and add some real excitement with high stakes," LSC commissioner Stan Wagnon said. "Not many conferences get the opportunity to conduct their own two-week playoff, and I applaud our presidents for seeing this as a creative solution to the challenge of finding enough non-conference opponents to accommodate our teams."
In the LSC's playoff, the top four teams will comprise a championship bracket, with higher seeds hosting each round. Week 10 winners will play for the league title in Week 11, whereas Week 10 losers will meet for third place. The other half of the bracket is set to include four teams, with the league planning to secure a non-conference team in addition to the three remaining LSC squads.
"This playoff concept, and the schedule in general, is both fan friendly and cost effective. It works even better with eight teams, and we remain intent on adding an eighth football team to the conference," Wagnon stated.
The Presidents also took action on conference postseason events for the 2013-14 athletic seasons to reflect the change in membership, with Abilene Christian and Incarnate Word departing the LSC.
The women's soccer, volleyball, softball and baseball tournaments were modified, while the championship formats are expected to remain the same in all other sports.
In 2013, both the women's soccer and volleyball tournaments will continue to be hosted by the respective No. 1 seeds, but women's soccer moves to a three-day, four-team postseason tournament while volleyball will change to a six-team bracket in which the top two seeds receive a bye.
The 2014 LSC softball tournament will be a two-day, six-team single-elimination event with the top two seeds receiving a bye. The site has yet to be determined.
Additionally, the 2014 LSC baseball tournament will be altered to a three-day, four-team double elimination format at a site to be determined. Also, the date gets pushed back a week later to May 8-10, a move aimed at providing a more seamless transition for teams advancing to regional play. The tournament's current timing results in about a 12-day break before the start of the NCAA postseason.
The LSC Council of Presidents, which meets quarterly, serves as the governing board of the Conference and has final decision-making authority regarding any legislation, policy or activity pertaining to the Conference.
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