Posted Online: Sept. 26, 2012, 5:43 pm
Meet the new Mid-West 10 Football Conference
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By Daniel Makarewicz, firstname.lastname@example.org
A process that involved years of discussions and months of planning finally reached its conclusion on Wednesday afternoon.
More photos from this shoot
Photo: Mike Bradley|
Alleman quarterback John Tracey rushes during a game against Richwoods in Peoria on Friday, September 7, 2012. Alleman won 41-26.
Officials from the Western Big 6 and Mid-State 6 conferences unanimously approved a two-year football schedule during a meeting in Galesburg. The expanded Big 6 -- renamed the Mid-West 10 Football Conference by league officials in what Alleman athletic director Steve Smithers called a "compromise" between the two -- will start play next fall.
"We're pretty much done," Big 6 president and United Township principal Carl Johnson said. "We have the tough spots ironed out."
Created in 1969, the Big 6 -- comprised of Alleman, Galesburg, Moline, Quincy, Rock Island and United Township -- officially has its first expansion in league history. All changes are for football only.
"Of course there is sadness," Johnson said, "but we're keeping our stability and adding great opportunities."
Peoria High, Manual, Notre Dame and Richwoods will fill out the 10-team conference starting next season. The expansion officially was approved in July after being discussed for years, but Wednesday offered the final steps in completing the process.
The schedule, which Johnson said will be released to the public shorty, is a random draw created by UT athletic director Mike Tracey. Johnson said the schedule is "designed for equity and gate purposes" with a two-year rotation. Johnson declined to reveal week-by-week contests.
The construction of the schedule and rotation means rivalry games could open or close the regular season.
"Theoretically, that could happen," Johnson said.
Either way, the nine-game schedule means no team within the league will need non-conference dates. In recent years, that has been a struggle for some schools.
Since 2001, Big 6 programs have played opponents from Indiana, Iowa, Michigan, Missouri and Wisconsin.
"Everybody was excited to see something in print and know how much easier it will be for athletic directors" to schedule games, Smithers said.
It did not take long for the schedule to gain approval.
"We wanted it to be equitable and changing," Johnson said. "As soon as everyone sat down and looked at the proposal, there were a few questions, but everyone was agreeable."
One lingering hurdle is finalizing league bylaws, which Johnson said has three significant amendments. The only changes that need to be written are three-way tie formulas, scouting rules and freshmen scheduling.
Other than that, everything is ready for kickoff next August with both sides believing this is a long-term commitment.
Next on the agenda are possible discussions about the two leagues turning the Mid-West 10 into an all-sports arrangement. The two sides are expected to meet again shortly.
"I've got a feeling that it's going to be asked (by the Mid-State 6) at some point," Smithers said. "We'll take it as it comes. We understand why it will be asked. They want to take it to another level and we're going to be have be prepared for those discussions."
Until then, the Mid-West 10 Football Conference moves forward.
Mid-West 10 Football Conference schedule
Here are a few details regarding the yet-to-be-released Mid-West 10 Football Conference schedule for the 2013-14 season. According to Western Big 6 president Carl Johnson, it should be released in the next week.
- No team will play back-to-back home or road games to start the season
- No team will play more than two consecutive home or road games during the season
- All varsity contests are scheduled to start at 7:30 p.m., with sophomores kicking off at 5
- Each school will have five home dates every other year
- The schedule rotates every two years
- Freshmen schedules will be determined by athletic directors at a future date