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EKU Considers FBS Upgrade

Category: expansion, FBS, FCS, Featured News, MAC Expansion & Realignment, NCAA Conference Expansion & Realignment, NCAA Division Upgrades, Ohio Valley Conference Expansion, Sun Belt Expansion & Realignment

Eastern Kentucky University Conference Realignment

FBS could see another school added if Eastern Kentucky gets it’s way. EKU athletic director Mark Sandy recently gave a presentation to the Faculty Senate detailing why the school should upgrade to FBS and what would be needed to for it to happen.

When a school seeks to upgrade from FCS to FBS, they are required to have an invitation from an existing FBS conference. The two conferences that EKU would lobby for membership in would be the Sun Belt and the MAC. Neither school is in need of expanding at this time, but both have space if they chose to.

For now, the conversations at EKU about upgrading are the first step to draw some interest by these two conferences. Other FBS schools such as James Madison, Jacksonville St. and Liberty are also considered potential FBS upgrades.

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EKU Considers FBS Upgrade, 8.3 out of 10 based on 16 ratings

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  • David Stroud

    Colorado State
    U. Conn.
    U. Mass.

    Texas is also trying to get some more of their public schools as AAU as well. Houston, North Texas, UTSA, UTEP, West Texas A&M and some others on their list of candidates. I am wondering why Texas all of a sudden allowing some of their schools get football in regent years like UTSA or UT-Permian Basin? Grooming another school to be like them to join a better conference like the Big 10? Maybe state of Illinois should look at turning Northern Illinois into an AAU school. Should Georgia State become one as well? East Carolina should as well try. Maybe they would get the respect? Memphis and Cincinnati as well. Might not hurt get an AAU school in every state.

  • whittx

    I don’t think that they will go non AAU school since they’re still peeved about Nebraska getting dropped by AAU as soon as they joined the B1G. I do know that one of Florida State’s goals is to become an AAU school, but until they upgrade their engineering program it probably won’t happen.

  • David Stroud

    North Dakota State could make the move. Top 100 tv market in Fargo, Close to 20,000 seat stadium, and so forth. There are only a few that could make the move because of stadium size and all that.

    North Dakota State
    Montana State
    Eastern Washington
    Jacksonville State
    Alabama State
    Florida A&M
    James Madison

    North Alabama
    New Haven 22,000 seat stadium.
    West Florida (building a 15,000 seat stadium and could expand more.)

    Sun Belt’s Pipe dream teams that can’t move up right now.
    Eastern Kentucky
    Coastal Carolina
    North Florida (exploring football right now)
    UALR (could bring football back in a few years.)
    Lamar (unless they lose Texas State)
    Sam Houston State
    Central Arkansas
    Central Oklahoma
    Missouri State
    Kennesaw State

  • David Stroud

    Syracuse lost their AAU status as well. They would got a nod to join. I am not too sure if Oklahoma would join since they are not AAU, but trying to get there. Now, I heard Stony Brook is a pretty big campus which could do better than Buffalo. Too bad Johns Hopkins are in D3, or they would get the help to jump to big time football. Johns are already an affiliate in the Big 10.

  • whittx

    AAU only matters to the B1G. As much as I would like to see UB go in that direction, I doubt it will happen since their facilities don’t meet what the B1G wants, nor is the western NY market large enough to garner the eyeballs that the B1G Network wants. I see Texas or Oklahoma joining before I see anything else on the east coast.

  • David Stroud

    Who will get into the Sun Belt Conference first as the 12th football school? Eastern Kentucky or UALR? There was a lot of buzz on the local news that football could be back at UALR. The last time they played football was Little Rock Junior College back in the 50;s. Then, idaho could be bumped to add an eastern school. Missouri State could come in as well which New Mexico State could be booted.

  • David Stroud

    Hofstra is not an AAU school. It is either Buffalo or Stony Brook.

  • whittx

    If you had asked me this 10 years ago, I would have included Hofstra but since they gave up football a few years back….

  • David Stroud

    Will they might allow it since a Rutgers/Stony Brook games could attract viewers and money into NYC to boot.

  • whittx

    Probably not, only because SUNY tends to frown on it. Besides, Buffalo only did so because they had a history in DI before it became a SUNY school.

  • David Stroud

    Might see Stony Brook move up before them as well since they are growing, and an AAU to boot.

  • whittx

    Not a chance. Too small of a school to come up with the kinds of money to make the leap. You’re more likely to see a school that hasn’t opened yet or just opened (like Florida Poly or Texas A&M-Central Texas) before you would see CSU moving up.

  • David Stroud

    Somebody also mentioned Charleston Southern as well.

  • whittx

    I would add Coastal Carolina to this list (Potential Sun Belt School)

  • Arch Leester

    UMasswill be 12th team in SunBelt.

  • Arch Leester

    I s’pose UMass will be the 12th team in 2016 after the Minutemen leave the MAC.

  • Anonymous

    I don’t think the “doesn’t win big anymore in FCS” is a cogent argument. WKU wasn’t “winning big anymore in FCS” when they moved up to FBS. Neither was MTSU. Neither was Marshall. Neither are many of the other schools that have made that leap in the last 10-20 years. Western was bowl eligible their first season in FBS and went to a bowl game in their second season. Marshall looks great, this season. When they moved up, their average annual revenue probably went from $500,000 to $5,000,000, which made a huge difference in recruiting. As did the increased exposure from televised games that came with the change from FCS to FBS. To think that you have to win 10 straight FCS national championships to successfully transition into FBS is foolish, and probably the exact reason why EKU shouldn’t and honestly doesn’t deserve to move into the FBS – it’s current fanbase doesn’t really understand the need for the move or care about the program achieving all that it can.

  • David Stroud

    Yeah, that was before they talks about several schools in the MVC could bolt to an all sports FBS conference. They could bring this back up and tell the community that if they can not have football? They would be left behind, and that they could be also hurting in attracting good basketball players without football.

  • Gerald Levert

    EKU doesn’t win big anymore in FCS, why would they go to FBS?? They are a perfect fit for the OVC. Will the madness ever stop?

  • greg6363

    Army? In the American? They couldn’t compete in Conference USA so why would they put their football program through another disastrous experience in a conference where they have no chance to be competitive. Being a football independent is the best situation for the cadets at West Point.

  • greg6363

    Wichita State is not going to bring back their football program which was discontinued in 1986. They commissioned a feasibility study two years ago and there was not enough interest in the community to warrant such a move.

  • David Stroud

    Or he will destroy it like he did with the WAC. He failed to land Montana, but ignored schools like Eastern Washington.

  • David Stroud

    Liberty will go into the MAC. They are too far away for the SBC. Now, we need to learn where the faith of these schools.

    North Florida (looking to add football)
    Florida Gulf Coast (studied to add football)
    Jacksonville State
    Alabama State
    Stony Brook (AAU school like the Big 10)
    Buffalo another AAU school.
    Delaware State
    Youngstown State
    Wichita State
    Missouri State
    Northern Iowa
    Eastern Washington
    Sacramento State
    North Dakota State
    Eastern Kentucky
    North Alabama
    Sam Houston State
    Cal-San Diego
    South Dakota State
    Central Arkansas
    McNeese State
    MVFC schools
    West Texas A&M
    Northern Illinois
    Ohio U.
    Ball State
    Bowling Green
    James Madison
    West Florida
    Florida A&M
    Jackson State

    CW Post
    Colorado State-Peublo
    Columbus State

    There are many more that there are talks about moving to another conference. It seems the best schools want to join a better conference. Even Fordham was mentioned as well.

  • Arch Leester

    Karl Benson says there will be a 12th football team in the SunBelt by June 1.

  • Bob Marley

    Realignment after first CFB Playoff season.

    Big 12: Cincinnati & Memphis

    American Athletic Conference: Army (football-only) & UMass

    Sun Belt: Liberty

    After that, I think the football conferences will stabilize for the next decade.

  • David Stroud

    Alabama State and Jackson State are in much better shape than the rest of the SWAC.

    I would not count out Wichita State if they add football, they could get an invite to C-USA along with Missouri State. Those two are the only western side to help fill in voids if AAC picks a couple of more schools from that side. Not much left to draw from that could bring in markets except going into the FCS schools. Wichita State could get in just like Charlotte because they offered basketball power.

  • Nathan Brice

    Nobody is taking Alabama State or Jackson State. There are too many issues with those schools. Conference USA would only pick Sun Belt schools if they lose schools, which does not seem likely in the short-term. I wonder if the American could eventually take UMass if the MAC votes them out as a football-only member. If that happens, they would need one more member. Who knows who that could be.

  • David Stroud

    Lets not forget North Florida. They are looking into adding football, and they were on Benson’s list for expansions candidate. This would bring them back into Florida.

    Others to look out for?

    West Florida is building a stadium that could seat 15,000 down the road.
    Florida Gulf Coast
    Alabama State had been making calls to join. They already have a FBS stadium.
    North Alabama
    Tenn.-Chattanooga only said no for right now since they do not have money to upgrade yet.
    Jackson State which get that island of Mississippi.

    Schools that I think that could get a call to join another conference.
    Arkansas State
    Georgia Southern
    South Alabama


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