One story that continues to gain traction is that when Longwood University becomes an official Big South Conference member on July 1 that the baseball team will be left behind for a number of years. There is no official word or sentiment from the Big South but from talking to others with knowledge, in regards to the Big South landscape, it seems increasingly likely that the Lancers will not be playing Big South baseball in 2013. So the question is why?
The answer comes down to one current Big South member, Coastal Carolina. The Chanticleers are perennial national power in baseball and have made it to NCAA Super-Regionals several times. The Chants also happen to be shopping for a new conference via a recent vote by their board. Speculation is that Coastal will most likely end up in the Colonial Athletic Association or the Southern Conference. Coastal obviously raises the awareness and bottom line of Big South baseball. The thought is that Coastal does not want to add another member that will lower the overall conference RPI. Generally, its hard to gauge how Longwood’s RPI would be historically due to the fact of, basically, having to play whoever is willing. LU has had close call against some nationally ranked opponent, which results in those opponents removing the Lancers from their schedule. Honestly, I think Longwood would rank in the middle of the pack in BSC baseball, but its hard to prove it. Also, Buddy Bolding’s squad is not making a real compelling case so far this year. The young edition of the Lancers are just 12-13 and have an RPI of 249, which would be ranked eleventh out of twelve Big South schools. Only VMI is worse with an RPI of 274.
The Big South likely believes they have to cater to Coastal’s every need at this point to keep the Chanticleers within the conference. One stipulation seems to be keeping LU off the diamond.
Only time will tell to see if the Lancers get to play ball in 2013. This will certainly be a story to keep an eye on.