I dunno how it affects it, but Michigan lacrosse is on the upward trajectory either way. Michigan is a well-known brand in lacrosse-rich areas and the sport has become more popular in the midwest. I think having matchups with Maryland and having games available on the BTN will definitely help.
How will Maryland's move to the B1G affect Michigan LAX?
If I'm not mistaken lacrosse is the fastest growing sport in the United States, so lacrosse in general is on the rise. It is very established on the east and as we're seeing with Michigan more and more Midwest/west teams are starting to make lacrosse a d-1 sport. I think the addition will be huge for the establishment of the Big ten lacrosse conference. Maryland is on an elite level in lacrosse and the talent and exposure they are going bring to the big ten will be huge for Michigan and the sport.
Boooooo. I should have expected this when I typed "LAX" in the title. Don't make me turn this car around! I'll do it! I'll unpublish my own thread!
only 14 year olds call it lax (as far as Tim is concerned)!
If your school used to have lacrosse then would only 14 year olds call it ex-lax? (according to Tim, naturally)
Only parents trying to newly embrace the sport and lingo call it LAX (with capitals).
Or, if you're familiar with the airport and have access to the elite or Pre-Check lines, get there 45 minutes before your flight.
I think it's far far more likely that we see B1G teams adding men's lax before we see them adding men's hockey (assuming no one wants to dump $100 million dollars on their alma mater).
- Lacrosse is much cheaper than hockey (rink vs field upkeep)
- and it makes really good TV in a gap where there aren't other major college sports on (after basketball)
- and the whole sport seems to be growing
I'd bet that in 20 years we have 10+ B1G lacrosse teams but only 1-2 more B1G hockey teams
I think it only helps the sport out more... im sure at one point people thought they wouldnt see a professional hockey team in Dallas, Tampa, Raleigh, Phoenix... but if there's a market, there's a way... sure we are talking about college athletics, but the B1G has a large market that would only help the sport grow more.
With schools like UNC and Virginia being major players in lacrosse and possible candidates to join the B1G, im sure they'll be keeping an eye in how the B1G reacts to the sport.
By the way, doesnt Rutgers have a decent lacrosse program?
but only 6-9 in 2012.
Yeah, they're one of the oldest lacrosse programs in the country and was really good back in the day, but has been an average team lately. Certainly not a weak program, but they haven't been a contender for a while either.
Um, they have played in the national championship game the past two years. I would call that a contender.
They're talking about Rutgers, man.
Are you talking about Maryland? I assume you are. We were talking about Rutgers, who has never played for an NCAA championship.
Oh my fault. Neg my ass to the land in South America.
I'm excited about the lacrosse teams. It's one of the reasons I'm hoping UVa and UNC come aboard. I can't get into soccer, but the fast pace action of lacrosse sounds like fun.
Living in NC I would just about die seeing a lacrosse game between UNC vs Michigan being played at the big house!
Just "throwing" it out there... with the potential of ACC schools (like an UNC) joining the B1G, I can see it benefiting lacrosse, but also think the additions would also benefit the conference in baseball.... when was the last time the big ten was competitive in baseball? the 1950's and 60's?
Purdue sniffed the top 10 for a while last season. And Michigan knocked off #1 Vanderbilt in a regional a few years ago.
unfortunately, thats it...The B1G is never going to be more than a MAC level baseball conference due to recruiting and the fact the season takes place close to our winter.
If UVA and UNC joined the B1G it would murder their baseball programs, not the other way around. For one I'm sure there would be other schools calling up their baseball coaches within milliseconds of that announcement.
I'm pretty sure it won't have much an affect unless B1G adds another good lacrosse program. Currently, with Michigan, PSU, OSU and the additions of RU and MD the conference would need another program or three to make an entirely viable conference.
Big East (losing Rutgers) goes to: Georgetown, ND, Villanova, Syracuse, Providence, and St. Johns
ECAC (losing Mich/OSU) goes to: Air Force, Bellarmine, Fairfield, Hobart, Loyola, and Denver
ACC (losing MD) goes to: Duke, UNC, and UVA
CAA (losing PSU) goes to: Drexel, Hofstra, St. Joes, Towson, Delaware, and UMass
The B1G could pick up Marquette when they go D1 in a couple years, or try and steal another school, but I'm not sure which would make sense. Also MD doesn't want to bail on the ACC tournament, which is pretty awesome end of year stuff. Also, there are 7 AQ slots for the NCAA tourney (which does not include ACC), which might have to be altered if a power team like MD, or solid teams like PSU and OSU move around. I bet nothing happens for a couple years until Michigan gets good (or doesn't) enough to get some leverage.
Also, adding all the ACC schools would mean Michigan pretty much gets slaughtered forever.
There has actually been good discussion about this over at greatlaxstate.com. Although mgoblog touches on lax occasionally, that's a much better site than this one for lax info. It's run by Tim Sullivan.
None of this will matter until 2015, the first lacrosse season that Maryland and Rutgers are Big Ten members, but until there's a 6th Big Ten lacrosse team, there won't be a Big Ten lacrosse conference (the NCAA requires 6 teams to get an auto-bid). So unless another Big Ten team starts a D1 lacrosse team, everyone else will be on their own, although I'm sure all of the Big Ten schools will schedule each other to get the rivalries going (and to make for good BTN matchups).
That said, word on the street is that Minnesota is the closest Big Ten team to go D1 in lax. Convention wisdom suggests Northwestern and MSU would be good options as well.
EDIT: To touch on your Marquette suggestion - they are full-on D1 this season, but the Big Ten won't add a team for one sport unless they are a member for all sports, and there's no way the Big Ten adds Marquette to the conference (not having FBS football being one of, but no the only, big reason).
I just see so much resistance from Duke, UNC, UVA. Losing MD would essentially eliminate their mini conference. Would they go the independant route like Hop, or would they tag onto other conferences?
What kind of resistance? Maryland left. These sports are not handled separately. If the ACC is OK with it, Maryland can stay with them until the Big Ten gets a 6th member, but after that Duke, UNC and UVA don't have a say.
And yes, I think Maryland might go indie for a few years, knowing they can get an NCAA at-large bid and that the Big Ten lax league isn't far off.
Also - remember that Syracuse and ND will be in the ACC starting before Maryland leaves, so they'll be just fine.
The ACC loses Maryland but gains ND. The mini conference remains.
EDIT: Very late with this post. Refresh should be my friend.
I believe if the B1G has 6 teams with the sport it's a rule that they have to form a B1G conference, thus the ECAC and other conferences that currently hold the B1G lax teams would lose them automatically.
Adding MD and Rutgers is great for B1G lacrosse because it greatly accelerates that timeline, because now we only need one more team. MSU, Illinois, NW ... I'm looking at you. It also makes it more attractive for a team to be added, because that school will know that their creation of a team will form a B1G conference, and with that come all the benefits. With B1G network needing spring programming (they broadcast UM/OSU last year), it's low hanging fruit for any savvy athletic director.
Anyone correct me if I'm wrong about this.
How do you mean "automatically"? If Sparty goes D1, does Maryland just cease to exist in the ACC?
First of all - with Maryland no longer in the ACC, I'm sure they won't be playing lacrosse in that conference regardless of there being Big Ten lacrosse, but yes, if the Big Ten starts playing lax, all member schools will participate. Maryland didn't join the Big Ten to play in some sports, they joined for all.
With B1G network needing spring programming (they broadcast UM/OSU last year), it's low hanging fruit for any savvy athletic director.
Not sure what you mean by fruit? Its not a profitable thing to put lacrosse on tv yet, lacrosse gets really low TV veiwership
Not for long. Have you noticed ESPN2 and ESPNU picking up more and more lacrosse games lately? People want to watch it. BTN did the UM-OSU game last year, and I bet they pick up a few more games every year. Also, the lacrosse NCAA tourney games get pretty decent viewership.
For midafternoon television on ESPN not really
Sure it does, right now. As the sport expands through SE Michigan (many of the large High Schools in Oakland and McComb counties have teams). Will it ever be the top dog? No, but it is growing in popularity every year.
Not just SE Michigan. Greater Grand Rapids has a large number of lax teams, and many of them (both Forest Hills, EGR, Rockford) are very good. Any Class B or above school in West Michigan has lacrosse, and many schools near Lansing do as well, led by Holt who had one of the top teams in the state last year.
I live in NJ and have a graduate degree from Michigan. Last year I went to the Rutgers-Michigan, and we had a stunning turnout from the UofM alumni club of NYC. Outside of that tons of youngsters and their parents saw the Michigan throng and were visibly impressed. Given that MD is the Mecca of college lacrosse, it is hard to believe that seeing Michigan come into the that neck of the woods will not lead to some recruiting inroads. Also, while NJ is not on par with MD or NY in terms of producing top-tier DI talent, it is not that far behind. Michigan, Ohio State should all get some really good recruits who want to play at a high level and be able to get a scholarship in the process. The Ivy League conference has great lacrosse, and I think that they still will be very good. I would imagine, though, that several families will see the schools in the Big 10 as a viable alternative with the opportunity to significantly lower their kids' debt upon graduation. In many ways, I think that may end up hurting the Patriot Conference most, since the kids who play and study there seem like an obvious fit at a school like Michigan, which can offer a really meaningful degree and experience.
The MD prep and public school lacrosse leagues produce tons of talent, and this will definitely yield some of the midwestern schools more top-tier players. I would love to see Northwestern add a program given their academic prestige and the incredible success of their women's programs.
I am not a fan of reallignment, as I feel like the conference of my youth has lost a lot of its cultural, Midwestern identy, but the chance to be better in lacrosse will be one of the positives that comes out of this. I remember going to MSU club games in East Lansing as a kid and thinking that this would be a great game for the Big Ten to have at the varsity level. It has everything that Americans love (lots of scoring, great end-to-end action, physical checking), and it would be a great excuse for all of us to work on our tailgating skills in the spring.
I think that maryland and rutgers are going to join the B1G teams that play lacrosse (Michigan, ohio and penn state) in the ECAC when they leave they leave their respective conferences.
On the women's side, I think the B1G will sponsor women's lacrosse since there are now 6 programs which is enough for an automatic bid to the NCAA tournament. Michigan starts their program in 2013-14.
I think it will strongly help Mich lax, especially if there's eventually a BIG lax conference. I'm from MD and the area is a hot bed of lax talent. I think there's like 4 colleges in md that are lax powerhouses because they are able to recruit instate. Also, people in the area think extremely high of UofM, especially the parents of these kids going to prep schools. I can see us pulling some major talent, selling that you can come get a great education and still play a school like MD regularly.
Agreed. Telling a recruit in NJ or MD that he'll play in his home state at least once every two years will help pull them away from the East Coast. ND and other western lax teams won't be able to say that.
lacrosse,,how much revenue does that generate. You can just tell the interest by all the games found on ESPN every week..
I can tell you're being sarcastic, but lax is the fastest growing sport on the planet and is actually getting more TV time. Watch this season, there will be a lot of weekends with lacrosse on TV. Look again in five years and you'll be shocked.
It all sounds really familiar.
Glad to have a program, and I like the coach a lot, but every fan of some niche sport says that it's "the next big thing."
I would tend to agree with you. The only difference here is that lacrosse already is a major-ish sport at some schools. I would equate it to the UM hockey program in many ways at schools like Virginia, Maryland, Syracuse, etc. At many of the smaller schools that sponsor D1 lacrosse, it is THE premier sport (Hopkins, Loyola, Denver along with hockey, etc.) I don't know if another sport really has that except for maybe baseball at some southern schools? and hockey obviously.
The growth spurt over the last decade or so is similar to the soccer boom in the 80s. The major differences? It's an American sport. It already had a very strong foothold as a major sport on the east coast. It's more watchable than soccer (ask any soccer/lacrosse parent).
I don't think any sane lacrosse enthusiast expects the sport to become the next football. But I do think it's reasonable that the sport could reach a hockey level of exposure and interest over the next 20 years, with a more national footprint since it doesn't require ice. Time will tell.
I agree - I think a realistic ceiling for lacrosse in terms of popularity is hockey - but among more schools. College hockey is big at the schools that have it, but it's confined to only the Midwest and Northeast. Lacrosse is already (albeit slightly) more national than hockey, and lacrosse is growing like crazy in areas where hockey never will - the South and California.
Not only that, but the schools that play lacrosse (and are soon to add it) are bigger name schools, in terms of a national draw. Michigan, ND, OSU and PSU are a wash since they have both, but Maryland, UNC, Duke, Virginia, Rutgers, Syracuse are bigger names than Wisconsin, Minnesota and BC, and it's much more likely those hockey-only schools add lacrosse before the others add hockey.
Point is - college lacrosse is huge where it has always been huge (like college hockey) but lacrosse is soon to be huge almost everywhere else, something hockey will never do. Like laxalum said, lacrosse will never come close to football and will never eclipse basketball, but don't be surprised if NCAA lacrosse is the third revenue sport 10ish years from now.
I mean, it could become the #3 sport. But I think because the midwest isn't good at it, we forget baseball is pretty big in the west, southwest, and south. The soccer comparison may not be completely fair because its proponents have been saying it's going to be up there with football and baseball for years. If the goal is to become "bigger than hockey", I can certainly see that. Less regional bias, easier to pick up, and translates to more people (no ice).
But I do think you can find smaller sports that are big at schools if they're good. There are hotbeds of not only hockey program, but baseball, softball, women's basketball and such that are really big at certain schools. And being a premier sport at a small school is nice, but it doesn't translate. No major sports program is ever going to be led by Lacrosse, anymore than it is hockey or even college baseball.
I'm not a Lacrosse hater. It IS more watchable than other sports, and isn't hampered like some of the other major-minor college sports in that they're not developmental league that takes all the best talent. And that's the next step to making it a bigger sport is to get kids in it earlier and open it up past the stereotype rich northeastern white kids. That's not really fair, but untill you can get kids of all classes and races playing it, the talent level will never be what it can be and won't be as compelling. Now, in an era where guys don't generally play more than one sport it's never going to get the very best guys, because there's no lacrosse league with millions of ducats waiting for them. But there's no reason they can't get guys who would have been great track athletes or hockey players or any number of other sports that aren't majoring in the pros.
They will never get anyone like this again-
But they need more like him.
To be fair, football may never get a guy like him again either. Class of his own at the time. Lacrosse does get more guys these days that decline D1 football opportunities to play, and there are even a few former college lacrosse players in the NFL. But you're right that football and basketball overwhelmingly monopolize the best athletes, and the attention and potential for big payouts at the end are the driver for that.
I hadn't thought of the fact that there's no developmental league pulling away the top lacrosse players - like minor league baseball, hockey, soccer and even international olympic sports to some extent (Phelps didn't swim for Michigan while there, for example). Good point. The best lacrosse athletes who stick with the sport in college are in fact the best lacrosse players out there. Even if college lacrosse gets another Jim Brown, I don't think it will make a huge difference. Only a popular professional league will pull the sport up into the major sport category. The MLL and NLL both have a long, long way to go.
Ultimately UM will be getting some of the best players, and the addition of Maryland and the eventual formation of B1G lacrosse will help.
I still think lax will get its share of great athletes. Lacrosse is a spring sport, so kids who are stand out basketball, football or soccer players can also play lacrosse. At some point, these kids will start to focus on one sport, and more often than not, that ends up being the sport they're best at, or that they have the best shot at playing in college.
This will be especially true for the elite sub-6-foot athletes. Sure, size is important in lacrosse, but less so than basketball (height) and football (height and weight). A kid who is 5'10 170 has almost no prayer at a future in basketball, and would need to be incredibly skilled to have one in football. However, if that kid focused on lacrosse, his only limitations would be his own play.
They need a BUNCH of Roy Roundtrees, Jordan Morgans, or Shawn Hunwicks*. Guys who are great athletes, but probably aren't headed to pro-careers anyway, so what does it matter if you go to college for four years on a scholly playing a sport with a pro league you're not going to get into, or one where the best players in the country are playing at your level. And once the sports appeals to a poor black kid in Detroit, or rural white kid in Texas, or a middle class Hispanic family in Denver, and the talent pool doesn't (primarily) consist of "privileged white kids from the East Coast" the quality of play will rise because the talent pool will not only be bigger, it'll be better. The game, which is already pretty fast and exciting, will speed up more and be even stronger and rougher. And it'll be a better product to market to a bigger base. Otherwise you become rowing or something else that people associate with Ivies and small schools, and not the masses.
*Edit: I'm not really talking body type or skill set as much as level of athletic talent. Guys who are really good players at their sport, but not elite likely future pros.
OK, very few sports appeal to all groups. That poor black kid in Detroit isn't playing hockey or probably soccer, and that Hispanic kid in Denver isn't playing hockey or football or basketball (at least in large numbers). Although lacrosse is still pretty white, it's getting a lot more rural than it ever has been, and that's evidenced by the high schools who play it. It's not as much of an inner-city sport yet, mostly based on the equipment needed, but that will change as the sport grows. Lacrosse may never be confused for the United Colors of Beneton, but it's way ahead of rowing already.
And desire to play and athletic level. It's more socio-economic than anything. And numbers. Just less people with money so a smaller gene pool of talent. Better athletes make for a better product. And it wouldn't hurt marketing either if it wasn't seen as a rich preppie sport. If the goal is really to be a country wide popular sport challenging for the #3 spot and not just a successful niche sport.
We can argue about this all day, but only time will tell. And I don't it's seen as a rich preppy sport, at least not anymore. There are 103 high school teams in the state of Michigan, and those aren't all private or rich suburban schools. Two Ypsilanti high schools have a team. Romulus has a team, so does Lansing Waverly. Public schools in Warren, Saginaw, and Bay City have teams. And lots of rural high schools have teams, and this is in a state that is still pretty new to the sport.
I'd argue hockey is a lot more of a rich white kid sport than lacrosse, and it's pretty popular.
We'll have an auto-loss on the schedule?
For awhile. But Maryland's recruiting will take a bit of hit from this (see recent Starsia quotes) and Michigan's will keep getting better, especially once facilities are done.