Conference realignment officially takes hold for TU, ORU this week

Conference realignment for two of Oklahoma’s NCAA Division I schools became official on July 1 and included something old and something new.

And although both Tulsa and Oral Roberts athletic programs incorporate blue as one of their colors, it would be a stretch to find something borrowed in the mix.Summit League

So we begin with something old – the Summit League.

It’s not that the conference is old.  The league has been around since 1982 and is in just its fourth decade.  And it was known for many of those years as the Mid-Continent Conference, so the name is relatively new as well.  (The name Summit League took effect in 2007.)

It is ORU’s membership in the league that is an old thing.  The Golden Eagles held membership in the conference from 1997-2012.

ORU spent the past two seasons as a member of the Southland Conference.

The new is the American Athletic Conference.American Athletic Conference

Actually, the league starts its second season in 2014-2015, but it is the newest Division I conference.

And it is new to the Golden Hurricane.

Tulsa spent the previous nine seasons in Conference USA and will reunite with some old rivals that have also made the move.  Nine of the league’s members have are former members of C-USA.

Although it is fair to say that the conference itself is technically old, too, as it is formerly the Big East.  Sort of.

That’s a whole different story.

Beyond the semantics of it all, Tulsa and Oral Roberts will be participating in leagues in which neither was a part last season.  New rivalries will be forged; old ones revived.

And it is a good jumping-on point for casual observers of the programs to become fans.