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Incarnate Word, Abilene Christian are now Division I programs


Lamar basketball players reach to touch the championship trophy after winning the Southland Conference tournament championship basketball game Saturday, March 10, 2012, in Katy, Texas. Lamar beat McNeese State 70-49. (AP Photo/David J. Phillip)


Conference realignment will never end.

Remember when we talked about this post from Ken Pomeroy?

Schools are always looking to make improvements, and that fact only gets magnified when there are billions on the line television revenue.

But I think that we can definitively say that conference realignment has jumped the shark. The latest round of expansion comes from the Southland Conference, who filled two of the slots left by the departed Texas State, UT-San Antonio, and UT-Arlington with ... Abilene Christian and Incarnate Word?

Those are colleges?

Abilene Christian has been a Division I program before. They spent a decade back in the 60’s and 70’s in the Southland. But that doesn’t change the fact that they sound like a team that should be playing the Dillon Panthers in an episode of Friday Night Lights.

And Incarnate Word? Well, I’ll let my buddy Eamonn Brennan handle that one:

Incarnate Word, on the other hand -- I’m preemptively sorry to the folks at Incarnate Word for saying this, but it’s true -- sounds like the kind of questionable storefront diploma mill that the NCAA has so desperately attempted to destroy since 2007.

These two programs will spend five seasons as a Division I transitional program: in 2014-2015, they’ll play a Division I schedule and come 2017-2018, they’ll be allowed to compete for a national title.

Rob Dauster is the editor of the college basketball website Ballin’ is a Habit. You can find him on twitter @robdauster.