The addition of Cleveland State to the foray of Division 1 Men’s Lacrosse has been rumored since January. It turned out to be official Monday afternoon, as the Vikings will be the 70th Division 1 team beginning in the 2017 season, which is a little less than two years from now. With Cleveland State adding lacrosse, what teams may be next? There are some very good club teams that should consider moving up to Division 1, but some can’t due to Title IX. So I’m throwing away Title IX and other roadblocks for this post. Here are ten teams that I think should make the jump to Division 1:
- Colorado Buffaloes
Colorado has one of the best-run programs in the MCLA (Division 1 club level). In an area where Denver dominates and Air Force is also present, along with a budding high school scene with teams such as Regis Jesuit and Mountain Vista being nationally ranked, it would be a huge benefit to the game. Plus, a Pac-12 school would have a lacrosse team, would that mean more schools would add teams later on?
- Florida State Seminoles
Why not Florida some people might say? They already have a Division 1 women’s team; wouldn’t it make sense to have them have a men’s team as well? Yes and no. Yes because of the women’s factor and the fact that it’s a well-known school. But also no, because Florida State has a better club team right now, and they’re in a conference that does have lacrosse as a sponsor sport in the ACC (there is no SEC lacrosse conference, obviously because there are no SEC schools with the sport). But in the dog-eat-dog world of the ACC, good luck winning a conference game early on.
- Texas Longhorns
There have always been rumors about whether or not Texas should add Men’s Lacrosse to their well-known athletics program. There are zero teams in Texas, well known for their football. There are plenty of good Texas schools such as Highland Park, Episcopal School of Dallas, and Coppell. There are a handful of players that are playing at Division 1 schools as well, including Syracuse defenseman Brandon Mullins, a star at Coppell. If the Longhorns added lacrosse, I would imagine that there would be so many players from the southwest that would want to play there. I think Texas would be a middle-of-the-road team early on in their program.
- USC Trojans
California is going to have a Division 1 Men’s team in the near future. USC would be a great place to start. It has been rumored that the school was considering adding lacrosse, which would be huge. Look at Arizona State adding college hockey about a year ago. If hockey can accomplish that, then it should happen as well in lacrosse.
- Kennesaw State Owls
Having Mercer in the south is great for the sport. But given the popularity of the game the past few years at the university, Kennesaw State looks to have the facilities that are ready to host a Division 1 lacrosse team. The guys at LB3 Lacrosse Club in Atlanta have done a great job getting the best lacrosse teams down for a neutral site game, which have been entertaining. I wouldn’t be surprised to see this happening in the next five-ten years.
- Boston College Eagles
Yet another ACC school on this list, but more north than Florida State. Boston College used to have a Division 1 team and it was pretty good. Why not bring it back and have a semi-rivalry with Boston University? Maybe have Harvard and add Northeastern as well and you got yourself another Beanpot competition.
- Michigan State Spartans
Same scenario with BC, they had a Division 1 team, but got dissolved a short time ago. Having Sparty back in Division 1 would be great, plus it would give the Big Ten Conference another member to join the six already there.
- Connecticut Huskies
UConn has a good Division 1 women’s team, so why not add a men’s team? Plus, Connecticut is right near the New England area, with schools such as Darien and Greenwich breeding future division 1 athletes.
- Minnesota Golden Gophers
This would be a great addition to the Midwest portion of the game. However, since it’s really cold and sometimes snowy in Minnesota, where would the team play games? I would think that many players would not want to play outside for most of their career as a Golden Gopher. An indoor place, like the Carrier Dome, might help.
- Arizona State Sun Devils
If they can add a hockey program, it wouldn’t be surprising if they added a lacrosse program as well. Both programs would have some good teams in the western part of the country (Denver), but with lacrosse, what conference would they join?