The Missouri Valley School will be a member of the Saint Louis conference for the next season in All Sports in July 2022.
The family at Atlantic 10 is getting a bit bigger as the Loyola Chicago Ramblers join the conference as a full-time member in July 2022.
In an announcement on Tuesday afternoon, Atlantic 10 surprised everyone with the announcement of its newest member school. While fans in the A10 often saw Loyola as a potential fit for the conference, rumors or news were only suspected 30 minutes before the official announcement.
“The Atlantic 10 Conference Presidents Council has officially approved Loyola University Chicago’s motion as the League’s 15th member institution.” The clearance of the A-10 begins with a comment from Commissioner Bernadette McGlade:
“I am honored to welcome Loyola University Chicago to the Atlantic 10 Conference, and we look forward to working closely with an exceptional group of administrators, coaches and student athletes,” said McGlade. “Loyola’s dedication to the high academic achievement of all of his students, coupled with his outstanding athletic profile, from success in basketball, soccer and volleyball to excellent facilities and resources, fits the A-10 perfectly. The expansion extends A-10’s presence in the Chicago market and gives the conference a presence in three of the top five media markets in the United States. “
With the addition of Loyola-Chicago and the Chicago Metro market, the A-10 now has member institutions in seven of the country’s thirty largest media markets.
“I am pleased to announce that Loyola University Chicago will be attending the Atlantic 10 Conference from the 2022/23 academic year,” said Dr. Jo Ann Rooney, President of Loyola, in the joint statement. “The A-10 is widely recognized as one of the top conferences in the country for its success in competition and in the classroom. This step will further increase our visibility at national level and at the same time place us in a league with three other Jesuit institutions. We are confident that this is a step that will enable Loyola to be even more successful both athletically and academically in the future. “
The Ramblers were a success story at the Missouri Valley Conference. After taking part in the NCAA tournament twice in the past five years, including a Sweet Sixteen and a Final Four appearance. They also made a NIT appearance and won the CBI for the past 7 years. Your departure from the MVC is a blow to the annual MVC conference tournament “Arch Madness”, which takes place every March at the Enterprise Center.
But what the loss of one group is the gain of another. The Ramblers will join the SLU Billikens at Atlantic 10 and create a new rivalry not just locally but as both Jesuit institutions. With another matchup in the St. Louis-Chicago rivalry that builds on the Cardinals-Cubs and Blues Blackhawks, Loyola becomes by far the Billikens’ closest conference rival.
With the Atlantic 10 expanding and now having an odd number of teams (15), many are speculating about a potential 16th team to join the league. The preference is an even number and while 16 is an unprecedented number it would strike a balance and have a matchup for everyone in the league every week.
Some speculative names that come up are that of Wichita State, which may need a new home in a basketball conference as the American Athletic Conference loses members. The former A-10 ancestral temple has also been raised as much as possible, and while Belmont has only recently joined the Missouri Valley, leaving Loyola could result in a possible change of course.
Alternatively, Massachusetts was named as a potential exit factor who would like a more football-oriented situation.
Given the dynamic nature of conference hosting in the current landscape, particularly since Texas and Oklahoma opting for a move to the SEC triggered a domino effect of change, it felt like it was a time when the A10 made its move would do.
It was yesterday. And the A10 got its program.
Carter Chapley stepped onto the scene and became one of the most trusted voices in Billikens Athletics and beyond for Scoops with Danny Mac.
Carter started on University News and joined Scoops in 2019, covering mostly Saint Louis University athletics, including basketball, soccer, and baseball. He has also written on key events such as the NCAA tournament, Arch Madness, the NHL All-Star Game, the creation of STL City FC, and the NCAA’s response to the Covid-19 pandemic.
You can find Carter on Twitter @ChapleyMedia, where he’s always talking about Billikens, sports, and more!