fighting muskie wrote:
Out of the 3 Texas schools--Lamar, Sam Houston St, and Stephen F. Austin--are any of them ready to make the jump right now? I'm not really in the know about schools in Texas. I know that San Houston has been hot on the field lately and Lamar has decent attendance but I know very little about their facilities or finances.
I'd like to see them go East and take Georgia Southern, Appalachian St, Liberty, and James Madison. If WKU leaves I'd see if Delaware wanted in.
However, when you consider Karl Benson's track record as a sheepish conference commissioner I could very easily see him creating 9 fb/12 all sports hybrid league.
Sam Houston State has the best fan support and fb team right now (back to back NCG appearances '11/'12). Though they need some facility upgrades, they have the funds to do so. The administration is considering it but is no way as crazy about the idea as the fans are.
Stephen F Austin State has good fans too but the fb is down right now (just made back to back playoff appearances in '09/'10). They obviously need some facility upgrade but has less money available after splitting off from the Texas State Univeristy System and the administration doesn't seem to have any want to move up. However if SHSU goes SFA will try to jump ASAP, they don't care about much but they love the Battle of the Piney Woods game against SHSU.
Lamar is the best market of the three and its administration is fully committed to FBS but the money (while more than SFA but less than SHSU) is not quite there yet. They've been upgrading/planning to upgrade facilities for the last few years but they have the least fan support of the three and the athletics aren't anything worth talking about.
That being said, these schools were happy to be associated with each other and Texas St, UT-Arlington, and UT-San Antonio but now that those three are gone they've all grown some what uncomfortable in the Southland that's backfilled with D2 upgrades like Incarnate Word and Abeline Christian some non fb programs including Houston Baptist who just start fb to get the invite.
Add in that Central Arkansas is having budget issues as well as the entire state of Louisiana which was considering closing McNeese State, Nicholls and Northwestern State or possibly just moving them down to D2 and you can see why moving up to FBS may look better despite all the obsticles.
FYI while I don't think its feasible I also saw something on Southeastern Louisiana University moving up as a Sunbelt replacement for ULL if they get taken to CUSA and becoming UL-Hammond
Fan of the Big 12 Conference, the Mountain West Conference and...