/notables/2014/03/njac-goes-big-for-2015

NJAC goes big for 2015


Could Wesley quarterback Joe Callahan be the NJAC player of the year in 2015?
Photo by Larry Radloff, d3photography.com

The New Jersey Athletic Conference is getting a lot bigger and a lot stronger in football in 2015, as Wesley, Salisbury, Christopher Newport and Frostburg State join the league, while Morrisville State moves to the Empire 8.

The additions, announced Monday, will return the NJAC to 10 teams and give the league a lineup of teams that have combined for 41 playoff appearances in the 15 years of the automatic bid era.

As the NJAC has tried first to gain, then maintain that automatic bid, it has welcomed associate members from Connecticut (Western Connecticut State) and New York (Brockport, Buffalo, Cortland and Morrisville State). But Western Connecticut left for easier competition in New England, Brockport and Buffalo will be in the Empire 8 this year and earlier this offseason, Cortland announced it was leaving for the Empire 8 as well. With this move, Morrisville State will join them.

The core members of the conference are all New Jersey state schools: Kean, Montclair State, Rowan, TCNJ and William Paterson. They will be joined by the five football-sponsoring members of the Capital Athletic Conference to form this super-sized league. Southern Virginia becomes an NJAC member starting with the 2014 season, with the rest joining in 2015.

For Wesley, it will be the first opportunity to compete for an automatic bid in football in the program’s history. As an independent, the Wolverines have had to schedule 10 non-conference games every year and played last year in Texas, Alabama, New Jersey and North Carolina. Now Wesley will need just one non-conference opponent each season.

Call it the New-JAC

The NJAC's 2015 alignment will feature three schools who have been to the playoffs eight or more times in the 15 years of the automatic bid era, and five schools who have participated in the NCAA playoffs six or more times since 1999. Their 2013 results: 

School W-L Conf W-L Overall Playoff appearances
Wesley 0-0 IND 10-3 0.769 10
Rowan 6-1 NJAC 9-3 0.750 8
Christopher Newport 5-2 USAC 8-2 0.800 9
Southern Virginia * 0-0 IND 8-2 0.800 --
Salisbury 5-2 E8 7-4 0.636 6
TCNJ 4-3 NJAC 5-5 0.500 1
Montclair State 3-4 NJAC 4-6 0.400 6
William Paterson 1-6 NJAC 3-7 0.300 0
Kean 1-6 NJAC 2-8 0.200 1
Frostburg State 0-7 E8 1-9 0.100 0
Southern Virginia is a provisional member of Division III.

“We are extremely excited about the future of our football conference with the addition of these tremendous programs,” said NJAC commissioner Terry Small. “Our presidents and athletic administrators have been seeking stability in terms of our football membership, and we now believe that we have assembled one of the strongest football conferences in all of NCAA Division III. By adding these quality programs and partnering with these outstanding institutions, we believe we have aligned many of the top Division III football programs in the region while helping to ease the burden of scheduling that all of the institutions have experienced throughout the years.”

Now spanning from northern New Jersey to southern Virginia, the new conference is only slightly more compact – the longest trip is the 412 miles from William Paterson to Southern Virginia – but it will be a significant improvement for Salisbury and Frostburg, who were members of the Empire 8 in football. Christopher Newport has remained a member of the USA South in football despite bolting the conference in other sports. And the five NJAC members who sponsor football will at least have a chance on paper at an automatic bid.

Football is a big driver of enrollment numbers for the two private schools in this league, Wesley and Southern Virginia. The NJAC's 100-man roster limit will be raised to include a 25-man developmental squad (junior varsity) to try to mitigate the effects of moving into the league.

The move also takes a little of the strength out of the Empire 8, taking Salisbury. But it also makes that league more compact, as the Empire 8 in 2015 will consist solely of schools in the Empire State, barring future moves. The 2015 Empire 8 lineup is Alfred, Brockport State, Buffalo State, Cortland State, Hartwick, Ithaca, Morrisville State, St. John Fisher and Utica. The E8 could add Division III provisional member Alfred State to get to an even 10 schools.

Oct. 16: All times Eastern
Final
at Wheaton (Ill.) 42, North Central (Ill.) 20
Box Score Recap
Oct. 20: All times Eastern
7:00 PM
Gettysburg at Johns Hopkins
Video Video Live stats Live stats
Oct. 21: All times Eastern
12:00 PM
Westfield State at Framingham State
Video Live stats
12:00 PM
Moravian at Juniata
Live stats
12:00 PM
Endicott at Salve Regina
Video Live stats Audio
12:00 PM
St. Vincent at Thomas More
Video Live stats Audio
12:00 PM
Hobart at Union
Video Live stats Audio
1:00 PM
Colby at Hamilton
Video Live stats
1:00 PM
William Paterson at Christopher Newport
Video Live stats Audio
1:00 PM
St. John Fisher at Ithaca
Video Live stats Audio
1:00 PM
Kenyon at Allegheny
Video Live stats Audio
1:00 PM
SUNY-Maritime at Mount Ida
Video Live stats
1:00 PM
Middlebury at Bates
Video Preview Live stats
1:00 PM
Catholic at Springfield
Video Live stats
1:00 PM
Wesleyan at Amherst
Video Live stats
1:00 PM
Bowdoin at Trinity (Conn.)
Video Live stats
1:00 PM
Husson at Gallaudet
Video Live stats
1:00 PM
Wabash at Oberlin
Audio Audio
1:00 PM
Buffalo State at Utica
Video Live stats
1:00 PM
Ohio Northern at Muskingum
Video Live stats Audio Audio
1:00 PM
Montclair State at Frostburg State
Video Live stats
1:00 PM
Rowan at Wesley
Video Live stats Audio Audio
1:00 PM
Albright at Stevenson
Video Live stats Audio Tickets
1:00 PM
Wittenberg at DePauw
Video Live stats Audio
1:00 PM
Alma at Albion
Video Live stats Audio
1:00 PM
Shenandoah at Guilford
Video Preview Live stats
1:00 PM
Plymouth State at Massachusetts Maritime
Video Preview Live stats
1:00 PM
Wooster at Hiram
Preview Audio
1:00 PM
Washington and Lee at Hampden-Sydney
Video Live stats Audio
1:00 PM
Alfred State at Anna Maria
Video Live stats
1:00 PM
Bridgewater at Emory and Henry
Video Live stats Audio Audio
1:00 PM
Wilkes at FDU-Florham
Video Live stats
1:00 PM
Lebanon Valley at Misericordia
Video Live stats Audio
1:00 PM
Rochester at St. Lawrence
Video Live stats Audio Audio
1:00 PM
RPI at Alfred
Video Live stats
1:00 PM
Nichols at Curry
Video Live stats
1:00 PM
Southern Virginia at Salisbury
Video Live stats Audio
1:00 PM
Ferrum at Brevard
Video Live stats Audio
1:00 PM
Randolph-Macon at Apprentice
Audio
1:00 PM
Ursinus at Susquehanna
Video Live stats
1:00 PM
Cortland at Morrisville State
Video Live stats
1:00 PM
Hope at Trine
Video Live stats Audio
1:00 PM
UW-Whitewater at UW-River Falls
Video
1:00 PM
Trinity (Texas) at Sewanee
Video Live stats
1:30 PM
Dickinson at Franklin and Marshall
Video Video Live stats
1:30 PM
Tufts at Williams
Video Live stats
1:30 PM
Mount Union at Wilmington
Video Live stats Audio
1:30 PM
MIT at Coast Guard
Video Live stats Audio
1:30 PM
Maine Maritime at Norwich
Video Live stats
1:30 PM
Heidelberg at Marietta
Video Live stats Audio
1:30 PM
Franklin at Rose-Hulman
Video Live stats
1:30 PM
John Carroll at Capital
Video Live stats Audio
1:30 PM
Bluffton at Manchester
Video Live stats
1:30 PM
Mount St. Joseph at Anderson
2:00 PM
Kean at TCNJ
Live stats
2:00 PM
Greensboro at LaGrange
Video Live stats Audio
2:00 PM
Mass-Dartmouth at Worcester State
Video Live stats
2:00 PM
Muhlenberg at McDaniel
Video Preview Live stats
2:00 PM
Western New England at Becker
Video Live stats
2:00 PM
Methodist at Maryville (Tenn.)
Video Live stats
2:00 PM
Adrian at Kalamazoo
Video Live stats Audio
2:00 PM
Denison at Ohio Wesleyan
Video Live stats
2:00 PM
Westminster (Pa.) at Washington and Jefferson
Video Live stats Live stats Audio Audio
2:00 PM
Berry at Millsaps
Audio
2:00 PM
Olivet at Benedictine
Video Live stats Audio
2:00 PM
Birmingham-Southern at Austin
Video Live stats
2:00 PM
Belhaven at Mary Hardin-Baylor
Video Live stats Audio
2:00 PM
UW-Stevens Point at UW-Stout
Audio
2:00 PM
Eureka at MacMurray
Video
2:00 PM
Carthage at Illinois Wesleyan
Video Live stats Audio Audio
2:00 PM
Wartburg at Luther
Video Live stats
2:00 PM
Nebraska Wesleyan at Buena Vista
Video Live stats Audio
2:00 PM
Lakeland at Wisconsin Lutheran
Video Preview Live stats
2:00 PM
Rockford at Aurora
Video Live stats
2:00 PM
Concordia (Wis.) at Concordia-Chicago
Video Live stats
2:00 PM
Carleton at St. Olaf
Video Live stats Audio
2:00 PM
Gustavus Adolphus at St. John's
Video Live stats Audio
2:00 PM
Augsburg at Concordia-Moorhead
Video Live stats Audio
2:00 PM
St. Thomas at Hamline
Video Live stats Audio
2:00 PM
Westminster (Mo.) at Greenville
Video Live stats
2:00 PM
Coe at Loras
Video Live stats
2:00 PM
Monmouth at Cornell
Video Live stats
2:00 PM
Wheaton (Ill.) at North Park
Live stats
2:00 PM
Northwestern (Minn.) at Martin Luther
Video Live stats
2:00 PM
Hardin-Simmons at Texas Lutheran
Video Live stats Audio Audio
2:00 PM
Grinnell at Lake Forest
Video Live stats
2:00 PM
Carroll at Millikin
Video Live stats Audio
2:00 PM
Ripon at Macalester
Video Live stats
2:00 PM
Lawrence at St. Norbert
Video Live stats
2:00 PM
St. Scholastica at Crown
Video Live stats
2:00 PM
Minnesota-Morris at Iowa Wesleyan
2:10 PM
UW-Platteville at UW-Eau Claire
Video Live stats Audio
2:30 PM
Merchant Marine at WPI
Video Live stats
2:30 PM
Rhodes at Centre
Video Live stats
2:30 PM
Hanover at Earlham
Video Preview Live stats Audio
2:30 PM
Beloit at Chicago
Video Preview Live stats
3:00 PM
UW-Oshkosh at UW-La Crosse
Video Live stats Audio Audio
3:00 PM
Simpson at Dubuque
Video Live stats Audio
3:00 PM
Augustana at North Central (Ill.)
Video Live stats Audio
3:00 PM
East Texas Baptist at Louisiana College
Live stats
4:00 PM
Hartwick at Brockport
Video Live stats
4:00 PM
Western Connecticut at Bridgewater State
Video Live stats
4:00 PM
Chapman at La Verne
Video Live stats
4:00 PM
Pacific at Lewis and Clark
Video Live stats Audio Audio Tickets
4:00 PM
Pacific Lutheran at Willamette
Video Live stats
4:00 PM
Puget Sound at Whitworth
Video Live stats Audio
4:00 PM
Redlands at Claremont-Mudd-Scripps
Video Audio
4:30 PM
George Fox at Linfield
Video Live stats
5:00 PM
Sul Ross State at Howard Payne
Video Live stats
6:00 PM
Dean at Castleton
Video Live stats Tickets
6:00 PM
N.C. Wesleyan at Averett
Video Live stats
7:00 PM
Baldwin Wallace at Otterbein
Audio
7:00 PM
Case Western Reserve at Geneva
Video Preview Live stats
7:00 PM
Carnegie Mellon at Thiel
Video Preview Live stats
7:00 PM
Knox at Illinois College
Video Live stats
10:00 PM
Whittier at Cal Lutheran
Video Live stats
Cancelled
Occidental at Pomona-Pitzer
Oct. 16: All times Eastern
Final
at Wheaton (Ill.) 42, North Central (Ill.) 20
Box Score Recap
Oct. 20: All times Eastern
7:00 PM
Gettysburg at Johns Hopkins
Video Video Live stats Live stats
Oct. 21: All times Eastern
1:00 PM
Rowan at Wesley
Video Live stats Audio Audio
1:00 PM
RPI at Alfred
Video Live stats
1:00 PM
Montclair State at Frostburg State
Video Live stats
1:00 PM
Wittenberg at DePauw
Video Live stats Audio
1:00 PM
Wabash at Oberlin
Audio Audio
1:00 PM
Catholic at Springfield
Video Live stats
1:30 PM
Mount Union at Wilmington
Video Live stats Audio
2:00 PM
Westminster (Pa.) at Washington and Jefferson
Video Live stats Live stats Audio Audio
2:00 PM
Hardin-Simmons at Texas Lutheran
Video Live stats Audio Audio
2:00 PM
Belhaven at Mary Hardin-Baylor
Video Live stats Audio
2:00 PM
St. Thomas at Hamline
Video Live stats Audio
2:00 PM
Gustavus Adolphus at St. John's
Video Live stats Audio Audio
2:00 PM
Carthage at Illinois Wesleyan
Video Live stats Audio Audio
2:00 PM
Augsburg at Concordia-Moorhead
Video Live stats Audio
2:00 PM
Berry at Millsaps
Audio
2:00 PM
Wartburg at Luther
Video Live stats
2:10 PM
UW-Platteville at UW-Eau Claire
Video Live stats Audio
3:00 PM
UW-Oshkosh at UW-La Crosse
Video Live stats Audio Audio
3:00 PM
Augustana at North Central (Ill.)
Video Live stats Audio
4:00 PM
Hartwick at Brockport
Video Live stats
4:30 PM
George Fox at Linfield
Video Live stats
7:00 PM
Case Western Reserve at Geneva
Live stats Video Preview