Thumbs up to MC's proposed move up
Mississippi College Thursday announced its intention to return to NCAA Division II, the level on which its teams played until 1996 when the school dropped back to Division III.
This is good news for Mississippi College, good news for Delta State and good news for the Gulf South Conference, which already has tendered MC an invitation to rejoin the conference, contingent on the NCAA’s approval of the Choctaws’ move to Division II.
It is not a done deal. The NCAA carefully weighs the pros and cons of any move such as this one, and many applications to move up a division are turned down. My guess is that this one won’t be. We’ll see.
“It’s a process,” MC athletic director Mike Jones said. “We’ve made the first step in the process but there’s a long way to go.”
If the process goes as expected, the NCAA would announce a decision on MC’s request as early as next July.
Why is this good for Delta State, you ask? Because Delta State misses the arch-rivalry it had with Mississippi College. Delta State-MC was an Alabama-Auburn type rivalry of Division II. Having MC back as a regular rival would increase DSU’s publicity in central and south Mississippi.
Why is it good for Mississippi College? Because MC fans identify more with the Gulf South Conference than with their recent Division III rivals. Because the road trips will be shorter. Because media exposure, especially the Gulf South’s TV exposure, will be much better.
Why is it good for the Gulf South Conference? Because the Gulf South is Division II’s SEC, the best D-II league in the land. What the GSC doesn’t have are a lot of big markets. The Jackson metropolitan area will add much to the GSC’s footprint.
It’s a good deal for all involved. I can’t imagine that the NCAA would say no, not when the Gulf South is clearly backing MC’s move.