Sycamore Rivalries

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The Varsity Level
One thing that could help with student involvement in athletics support is an in state, in conference rivalry. I have to think this will help draw students out to support the programs. The natural rival is probably Ball State, but without FBS football I don't see the in conference part happening. Butler is another good candidate but not sure we are really peer institutions. Same really goes for Evansville, in conference but not really peer institutions. You can feel the spirited rivalry between SIU, Ill State & Bradley (probably more SIU & IlSU). If the NCAA enforces the attendance regulation for FBS football, I could see some MAC programs looking for other homes. I would think Ball State might come looking towards the Valley as a good fit for basketball. Does anyone else see the need for an in state, in conference rival? :sycamores:
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The Kleuh Level
I agree somewhat to your thesis...

The old ICC (Indiana Collegiate Conference) was the BEST Small College hoop conference in America during the 50's & 60's (St. Josephs, Depauw, Butler, Ball State, Evansville) and the GEOGRAPHY was suredly a factor in driving the competitive element between the schools. As ISU & BSU began to outgrow the others, this "naturalness" eroded, hence the separate directions for the Cards & Sycamores. Strangely enough, Butler & UE have pretty much remained competitive over the years although having sizable distinctions in enrollment.

ISU's poor hoop record since joining the MVC has not helped the Sycamore fans develop a similar consistent "passion" in Valley competition. This, plus the GEOGRAPHY (lack of knowledge & rivalry) are hard factors to overcome, thus impacting ISU attendance. The University has to step it up a notch in their efforts to promote MVC "tradition" & "rivalry" if they ever plan to gain a foothold and overcome this problem against Valley schools.
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The Recruit Level
You can feel the spirited rivalry between SIU, Ill State & Bradley (probably more SIU & IlSU).

The most passion is between the braves and the 'birds. It's two schools, communties and fan bases that are total opposites and share the same media market.

Nice looking site.