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Story Archives: Changes on the way
|Changes on the way|
I remember when I was a lot younger when I would walk up to the Vidalia post office on Texas Street to what is now Westaff and bug Jack Milligan to death asking if the Strat-O-Matic baseball game we ordered every year had come in. (And, no, I wasn't there when they moved the town).
When he finally gave that Jack Milligan wisecrack and patented smile I knew it was here and I would race home so my brothers and all the neighborhood kids could dig in and pick out there favorite team for that season.
I usually got the Houston Astros except for one year when I played for Marty's Mets in Dixie Youth and had to have the New York Mets.
We would browse through the cards and only have to make a couple of switches to keep up with changes.
That whole spring and summer would be spent with the game board and cards scattered all over the front room. We played it so much we didn't have to go to the large cardboard for when a player's fielding went into effect, we knew from picking the split card and the rating on the card most of the time what the result would be.
I can only imagine if we continued to purchase that game today.
We would be switching cards faster than an old game of battle.
By the end, we would probably have about six original players and our team would look like some kind of tournament team.
Well, don't look now, but that goes for all sports.
Remember when the Southeastern Conference consisted of 10 teams?
How about the Southwestern Athletic Conference with Texas and Arkansas battling for superiority.
The Pac 8 was actually eight teams.
The Big Eight was Nebraska and Oklahoma and six other teams.
The Big 10 was just that and the Atlantic Coast Conference was eight teams located near the coast.
In 1971, the Mid-Souith Conference changed its name to the Gulf South Conference; adding Southeastern Louisiana and Nicholls State. The following year, Mississippi Colllege and Northwestern Louisiana were added.
Northeast Louisiana was an independent before joining the Southland Conference in 1982.
Now there are basically 11 conferences and six are divided into two divisions. Next year is when it really gets jumbled up.
The Atlantic Coast Conference will have 14 teams, with seven each in the Atlantic and Coastal Divisions as Syracuse and Pittsburgh move in from the Big East
The Big 12 will have 10 teams, with three from Texas.
The Big East will have 12 teams making up the East and West as Central Florida, Houston, Memphis and SMU move in from Conference USA, while Boise State and San Diego State arrive from Mountain West.
The Big 10 will have Legends and Leaders divisions with six teams in each division which actually adds up to 12.
Conference USA adds Louisiana Tech from the Western Athletic Conference, Texas-San Antonio from the WAC, Old Dominion for FCS and Florida International to total 13 teams for its East and West Divisions. Charlotte will join the conference in all sports by football until 2015.
The Mountain West picks up San Jose State and Utah State from the WAC.
The now Pac-12 has 12 teams for its North and South divisions.
The SEC added Arkansas and Missouri this year to total 14 teams playing in the East and West.
Louisiana-Monroe and Louisiana Lafayette, will be in the Sun Belt as newcomer Georgia State moves in next year.
The WAC will have only two football-playing teams. How wacky is that?
And good ol' Notre Dame remains an independent, along with Army, Navy and Brigham Young.
Things sure used to be a lot simpler back in the day. I would hate to work for Strat-O-Matic now.
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