So, the Aggies are probably the first shoe to drop as the Division 1A (what had been referred to as “College Premier League”) begins to break apart. The idea originally put forth had teams raising money locally and selling advertising using the “brand”.
Most non-rugby folk – and plenty of rugby folk – didn’t give a hoot.
Cal dropped out after one season, as did a few others with name recognition. A&M chose to stay, and the Southwest Conference Rugby Conference shunned them (more on that below). Arkansas State and Life were the cream of the Aggies’ division (both are in the national semi finals) – and the A&M players are probably MUCH better for banging heads against those teams. But costs add up for those of us playing rugby.
In the end, it is a lot cheaper to drive to Austin or Houston (or even Lubbock and Norman) than flying to South Bend or Atlanta.
As stated in this article from RugbyMag, the Oklahoma Sooners are gonna make a change, too.
So, what does this mean for college rugby in Texas and Oklahoma?
As a very-non-influential blog run by some marginally-talented rugby players (but REALLY huge rugby fans), we officially call on the Southwest Conference Rugby Conference to admit Texas A&M and Texas Tech. Sure, the Aggies will whip everyone at first, but the addition of a super power usually raises all the boats in the harbor.
In addition, there should be a relationship with the D-II conference and promotion/relegation put in place. Why couldn’t St. Ed’s build their program to a strength position to eventually play A&M? Anyhoo, we would love to read your thoughts.
Oklahoma has a potential league with some of the old Big 8 schools (K-State, Kansas, Okie State, Nebraska) nearby. But we’d love to hear other ideas about it.