Dynamic Debuts: ORU Aspires to Become 2nd School to Win SLC in First Year
Oral Roberts, after winning the Summit League regular-season title last season in its conference swan song, is a favorite to achieve the same feat as a new member of the Southland Conference this year. An outsider might be unsure if it's a sufficiently charismatic request warranting inclusion at the on-campus 200-foot prayer tower. But it won't be a miracle if ORU reaches the NCAA playoffs in 2013.
ORU could become the fifth school in the last 30 years to capture a regular-season conference championship in their inaugural campaign as a member after joining an existing league following their departure from another DI alliance. Texas-San Antonio went unbeaten in the SLC in 1991-92 when it was one of four titlists as a league newcomer.
Arkansas is the only school in this category to capture a power conference title (1992 in SEC after winning SWC in 1991). Following is a chronological list of schools capturing a regular-season league crown in their initial year as a member after joining an existing conference following their departure from another loop:
|Newcomer Titlist||Conference||First Season||League Previous Year||Finish|
|La Salle*||Metro Atlantic Athletic||1983-84||East Coast-East||T1st|
|Delaware||North Atlantic||1991-92||East Coast||2nd|
|Louisiana Tech||Sun Belt||1991-92||American South||3rd|
|Texas-San Antonio||Southland||1991-92||Trans America Athletic||1st|
|Towson State||Big South||1992-93||East Coast||T2nd|
|Virginia Commonwealth||Colonial Athletic||1995-96||Metro||7th|
|Virginia Tech*||Atlantic 10-West||1995-96||Metro||T4th|
|College of Charleston||Southern||1998-99||Trans America Athletic-East||1st|
|Maryland-Baltimore County||Northeast||1998-99||Big South||3rd|
|American University||Patriot League||2001-02||Colonial Athletic||9th|
*Tied for first place.