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A Look At The “New” PSAC

Written by: on Tuesday, August 12th, 2008


As expected, West Chester and California (PA) are the picks to win the East and West respectively in the 2008 Pennsylvania State Athletic Conference.
In recent years, there was no clear-cut PSAC champion with the absence of a title game at the end of the regular season.
However, in 2008, that will change as the conference has chosen to reinstate the title game to decide the overall conference champion.
“Folks that have played in it and coached in it have talked about how exciting it was for everyone involved. I always felt like it was something that we missed,” said Murray PSAC Commissioner Steve Murray. “We’ve always had that divisional champion, but we never had a true conference champion. I think we are much more stable in the playoff situation, and it allows us to create that championship opportunity.”
So what if it doesn’t work or causes unforseen problems?
“Of all the changes in the league, this is the one that my eyes are the most open at,” added Murray. “It’s something that we don’t want to hurt the league for the postseason. You can’t look at it after one year. You have to take a couple of years. We have it designed that if it’s something that won’t work, we can get away from it easily and not have to re-work the schedules.”
For the first time in conference history, an expansion will officially take place with the beginning of the 2008 campaign.
The PSAC will welcome new members Gannon, Mercyhurst and C. W. Post to give the conference a total of 16 teams, equally divided into two divisions, the East and West.
Comprising the Western Division will be California, IUP, Edinboro, Slippery Rock, Mercyhurst, Clarion, Gannon and Lock Haven.
On the other side of the state, the East will be made up of West Chester, Bloomsburg, East Stroudsburg, Shippensburg (over from the west), C. W. Post, Kutztown, Millersville and Cheyney. “Expanding the conference is clearly a high priority for our Board of Directors as they look toward the future,” said PSAC Commissioner Steve Murray. “In our extensive interaction with the schools, we feel confident that all three share a number of common philosophies with our current members, not the least of which is a strong commitment to balancing athletics and academics. It’s pretty historic. It’s definitely a change.”
At the annual PSAC Kickoff Luncheon, the pre-season polls were announced. Here are those picks as a result of balloting by the conference’s 16 head coaches:

Eastern Division
1. West Chester (5)
2. Bloomsburg (2)
3. East Stroudsburg (1)
4. Shippensburg
5. C.W. Post
6. Kutztown
7. Millersville
8. Cheyney

Western Division
1. California (6)
2. IUP (2)
3. Edinboro
4. Slippery Rock
5. Mercyhurst
6. Clarion
7. Gannon
8. Lock Haven

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