Thursday, July 23, 2009
Exeter Moving Up To D-I, BG Staying in D-II
Roger Brown broke the story Wednesday on the NH Football Report. The entire story can be found here: http://www.nhfootballreport.com/2009/11/exeter_i_bg_ii.html
Manchester West is moving down to Division II. These changes will be in effect starting next season, and it will stay this way for at least 2 years. BG was asked to move up to D-I, they decided not to. The NHIAA then asked Exeter to move up, and they accepted. I have a feeling that even if BG accepted, the NHIAA still would have asked Exeter to move up as well. Then if they still accepted, Concord probably would have been moved down.
One school is content beating up on weaker opponents year after year, while another school isn't. Exeter is ready to step it up and play a tougher schedule. BG is not.
This news is both good and bad for NH football. It is good, because now in D-I you will now have 7 top notch football teams competing against each other for the D-I title in South, North, Central, Salem, Exeter, Londonderry and Pinkerton. It'll be a lot of fun to watch these teams go at it every week. It's also good because with Exeter moving up, West moves down, and thus D-I loses one of its three doormats. West will now be playing teams closer to their talent level.
Of course this news is also bad for NH football, because BG will now win Division-II every year, without a fight. Exeter has been the only team to even give BG a game last couple years, so now BG loses them on their schedule and replaces them with West. How much satisfaction can you really get from beating a team 51-0?
Not to mention if they went to D-I then BG would be able to play against North and South, have more games at Stellos Stadium. Heck the games as a whole would be closer for them in D-I which would mean less traveling costs for both them and their opponents.
Travel was likely the one reason Exeter had for staying in D-II. They'll now be the only seacoast team in D-I, as opposed to D-II where you also have Dover, Spaulding and Winnacunnet. The Exeter/Winnacunnet rivalry is huge, especially for the Warriors. I'm sure they will still try to schedule each other for a non-league game now.
Which brings us to the other question. Will we see anymore Exeter/BG games after this year? The rivalry is definitely a good thing to keep going, but with the underlying hatred between the two programs perhaps it won't continue.