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The Journal of SPORT

Abstract

Numerous studies (Perline & Stoldt, 2007; Perline, Stoldt & Vermillion, 2012: Rhoads, 2004) have indicated that changes in college athletic conference membership at the NCAA Division I FBS level result in greater levels of competitive balance in football. The purpose of this study is to determine if member churning in the Atlantic Coast Conference (ACC) and the Big East between the years of 1999 and 2011 led to a greater degree of competitive analysis. Three methods of assessing competitive balance were employed. Two—the standard deviation of winning percentages and the Hirfindahl-Hirschman Index—are commonly used in competitive balance studies. The authors included range of winning percentages as an additional method. Results indicate that competitive balance in football improved in both conferences after changes in membership. This aligns the findings of this study with previous research and supports the contention that football is the primary consideration when conferences make changes in their membership (Fort & Quirk, 1999).

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