Madison-area changes in 2020 football conference realignment

With implementation of the WFCA's proposal to realign all conferences in football in the state of Wisconsin for the year 2020, it's time now to take a look at what the conferences will look like in the Madison area.

You can see the full statewide list of conferences here.

Below are the current conferences with changes highlighted. The Madison area is loosely defined as south-central and southwestern Wisconsin, although some teams play well to the north or east in some of the new conferences.

BIG EIGHT

The conference will retain eight members: Beloit Memorial, Madison East, Madison La Follette, Madison Memorial, Madison West, Middleton, Sun Prairie, and Verona. Janesville Parker and Janesville Craig will leave to join the new Badger Large Conference.

BADGER

Notably, the conference will go from divisions of North and South to Large and Small, divided on enrollment. In terms of overall membership, Janesville Craig and Janesville Parker enter as the largest teams in the conference, while Monroe and Edgewood, the smallest teams in the league, will head to the Rock Valley.

Large: Janesville Craig (from Big 8), Janesville Parker (from Big 8), Watertown, Waunakee, Oregon, Milton, Beaver Dam, DeForest

Small: Monona Grove, Stoughton, Baraboo, Fort Atkinson, Mount Horeb/Barneveld, Reedsburg, Sauk Prairie, Portage

ROCK VALLEY

The dominoes fall in the area to the Rock Valley, where the 10-team conference will lose four existing members (Big Foot, Turner, Brodhead/Juda, Clinton) and add Monroe and Edgewood from the former Badger South. Six existing Rock Valley teams along with Edgewood and Monroe form the new Rock Valley: McFarland, Jefferson, East Troy, Whitewater, Evansville, and Edgerton. The Rock Valley was a closed conference for the past few seasons after Palmyra-Eagle and Parkview left, forcing the Rock Valley North and Rock Valley South to consolidate into one league.

CAPITOL

Perhaps the biggest change in the area, and one of the notable examples of the disparity in conference memberships in the state of Wisconsin, comes to the Capitol, as the previous North and South will look very different after this season. The North had six teams and the South had five teams--meaning in the South, it took just two conference wins to make the playoffs, where in larger conferences, it could take five wins to achieve the same feat. Now, the Capitol will have two eight-team conferences, pulling from several other area conferences to form the new leagues.

Most of the existing Capitol North will form the bulk of the new Capitol Large Conference, with five teams (Lodi, Lake Mills, Luther Prep, Columbus, and Lakeside Lutheran) remaining and one team leaving (Poynette will rejoin the South Central Conference). Three of the five Capitol South teams will be part of the Capitol Small (Marshall, Cambridge, and Waterloo), with New Glarus/Monticello moving over to the Southwest Conference and Belleville heading over into the SWAL. All told, eighit of the 11 current Capitol Conference teams will remain.

Capitol Large: Big Foot (from Rock Valley), Lodi, Turner (from Rock Valley), Lake Mills, Luther Prep, Columbus, Lakeside Lutheran, Horicon/Hustisford (from Trailways-Large).

Capitol Small: Clinton (from Rock Valley), Marshall, Palmyra-Eagle (from Trailways-Large), Cambridge, Waterloo, Dodgeland (from Trailways-Large), Markesan (from Trailways-Large), Pardeeville (from Trailways-Large).

SWAL, Six Rivers, Ridge & Valley, South Central, Scenic Bluffs, and Southwest

A big makeover is in place for these six conferences. All of them are slated to be seven-team leagues with one mandated crossover with a partner conference. The SWAL and Six Rivers form one such pairing, with the Scenic Bluffs and Ridge & Valley forming another and the Southwest and South Central being the third.

  • The Six Rivers will include the new Benton/Shullsburg/Scales Mound co-op, as well as Pecatonica/Argyle, Potosi/Cassville, Iowa-Grant, River Ridge, Southwestern, and Black Hawk/Warren
  • The new SWAL will include Parkview/Albany, Belleville, Cuba City, Darlington, Mineral Point, Lancaster, and Fennimore
  • The Southwest Conference will be River Valley, Platteville, Dodgeville, Brodhead/Juda, Richland Center, Prairie du Chien, and New Glarus/Monticello
  • The South Central Conference will be largely intact, but includes Mauston, Adams-Friendship, Montello/Princeton/Green Lake, Wisconsin Dells, Wautoma, and Poynette
  • Ridge & Valley has Boscobel, Wauzeka/Seneca, Hillsboro, Riverdale, De Soto, Ithaca, and Highland
  • Scenic Bluffs will include Necedah, Luther, Brookwood, Cashton, Bangor, New Lisbon, and Royall

WIAA gives final approval for football-only conference realignment in 2020
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