by Ken Pomeroy on Monday, August 6, 2012
We are in unusual times. Twenty teams are changing conferences this season and another 23 moves are set for next season. There’s a lot going on and the world seems out of balance with Florida International in Conference USA, San Jose State in the Sun Belt, and the WAC on life support.
A look back on the history of the game reveals that the sands of college basketball’s conference structure are constantly shifting. OK, not constantly. For instance, in 2002, the only change to a conference’s membership was when the Big South accepted the previously independent Gardner-Webb into its realm.
Normally, however, there’s some realignment going on each off-season. In fact, in the 64-team era (coincidentally, also the “football-driven realignment era”) there’s been an average of ten changes in conference membership per season, ranging from the single change in 2002 and 2010 to 31 in 1991. Here’s the…