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
Arkansas SEC-Western 1991-92 Southwest 1st
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
Rider Northeast 1992-93 East Coast T2nd
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
Louisiana-Monroe* Sun Belt-West 2006-07 Southland T8th

*Tied for first place.