February 9, 2012

NEFC splits, will get two AQs

Bridgewater State and seven other schools are making a run for an automatic bid of their own, leaving the NEFC after this season.
Bridgewater State athletics photo

The Massachusetts State Collegiate Athletic Conference will sponsor football starting in 2013 as the conference's six teams and two others will pull out of the New England Football Conference following the 2012 season.

The schools, along with Western Connecticut from the New Jersey Athletic Conference, will form a nine-team league for 2013 and should be eligible for an automatic bid in 2015, following NCAA rules and precedent.

When the MASCAC receives an automatic bid, one at-large bid will be removed from the field, replacing a team such as St. John Fisher with the MASCAC champion.

The NEFC will function as an eight-team league and will retain the NEFC’s automatic bid to the NCAA playoffs as well. The MASCAC teams would be eligible for Pool B selection in the interim.

Bridgewater State, Fitchburg State, Framingham State, Massachusetts Maritime, Westfield State and Worcester State will join with affiliate member institutions Plymouth State, Mass-Dartmouth and Western Connecticut to form a nine-team league that will kick off conference competition for the 2013 season. Western Connecticut will leave the NJAC after this season, a season it will start with a 21-game losing streak and a 13-49 lifetime conference record.

The MASCAC becomes the sixth Division III football playing conference with institutions competing in New England, joining the New England Football Conference, the New England Small College Athletic Conference, the Eastern Collegiate Football Conference, the Liberty League and the Empire 8.

Here's a look at the split leagues, with their all-time NCAA playoff results. Wins bolded:

MASCAC
Bridgewater State (0-2, vs. CC, LL)
Fitchburg State (none)
Framingham State (none)
Mass-Dartmouth (0-1, vs. CC)
Mass Maritime (none)
Plymouth State (1-4, vs. LL, FFC, E8, LL)
Western Connecticut (1-3, vs. NJAC, NJAC, NEFC, NJAC)
Westfield State (0-1, vs. FFC)
Worcester State (none)
Total: 2-11 (.154)

NEFC
Coast Guard (0-2, vs. NJAC, NJAC)
Curry (2-6, vs. LL, LL, MAC, E8, E8, E8, E8, NJAC)
Endicott (0-1, vs. NJAC)
Maine Maritime (0-1, vs. NJAC)
MIT (none)
Nichols (none)
Salve Regina (none)
Western New England (0-1, vs. E8)

Total: 2-11 (.154)
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