The Tulsa World reported Wednesday that Oral Roberts University, which has been a member of the Southland Conference for a year and is the closest league rival to the University of Central Arkansas, has had preliminary discussions about shifting to the Missouri Valley Conference.
The MVC is looking for a new member after Creighton announced its intentions to join the new Big East. ORU had been a member of the Summit League for 15 years before joining the Southland.
Reportedly, the major reason for ORU's interest in the Missouri Valley is that it's a better basketball league, which usually sends multiple teams to the NCAA tournament, not just its conference tournament champ. This season, the MVC was ranked ninth among 32 Division I basketball conferences in RPI. The Southland, known as a one-bid league, was 25th.
Other teams mentioned as interested in the MVC opening are Valparaiso, Belmont and the University of Denver.
And I'm ready to eliminate geographic names for conferences because they are becoming meaningless.