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PostPosted: Fri Mar 21, 2003 2:05 pm 
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Junior
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Location: London, England
The problem with Conference USA is that it was not meant to be a football conference from the beginning. In the 80s the Metro Conference which included Cincy, Louisville, South Carolina, Florida State, Va Tech, Tulane, Memphis State, and Southern Mississippi was a decent 'all sports but football league'. When the conference expansion boom came along in the late 80s the Metro tried to include football. The top football schools it the conference, FSU and USC wanted no part of it and sought better leagues. FSU to the ACC and Carolina to the SEC. The other Metro schools did not decide on football until the mid 90s and it was too their detriment. They should have stayed as they were and found two/three new football members. Instead they added new basketball schools such as Marquette, UNCC, Depaul and St Louis. They really dropped the ball with Va Tech who after having disagreements with the CUSA formation bolted to the BEast. When it became obvious that it was not possible to continue as independents they pasted together a football league which is what we have today.

Here is what they should have done. It might not have gotten them BCS membership, but they would not be in the mess they are in today.

Departed members (there was no way to keep the big two)
Florida State
South Carolina

Remaining
Lou
Cin
Tulane
USM
VA Tech (big mistake letting them go)
Memphis

Who they should have gotten:
Any of the SWC leftovers: Rice, TCU, SMU, Houston
Marshall (not sure if they were 1A at the time)
ECU (very solid pick up)
Army (only if they brought all sports)
Navy (only if they brought all sports)
La Tech
North Texas
South Florida (will turn out to be a good pickup)
Central Florida

Any combination of these and you would have had a decent all sports league. This some sports in, some out is B/S. With this combo, the would have never had the problems they face today.

One man's take.




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PostPosted: Fri Mar 21, 2003 3:28 pm 
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All-Star
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arbitrage97, good point on the old Metro. Florida State would not join the metro for football unless Miami and West Virginia were part of the conference. This was stated in many Florida newspaper during that decade. At the time Miami wanted to remain independent and WVU did not want to leave its old eastern independent rivals. There has always been an assumption of a pact between Syracuse, Pitt, and WVU that each team would not join a football conference unless all three were invited. Penn State at one time was part of this pact. The Big East was always destined to officially form as a football conference. Penn State wanted more than just an eastern football conference and Miami replaced them in the new eastern pact. If you could turn back time, not sure it would make any difference. As for football the old Metro with the addition of Miami and WV would have been one heck of a 10 member football conference.


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PostPosted: Fri Mar 21, 2003 3:34 pm 
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Junior
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Joined: Tue Nov 05, 2002 3:28 am
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When C-USA was formed, Marshall was still Div 1-AA. From 1977 up until 1996 when they moved to the Div 1-A ranks, Marshall was in the Southern Conference.


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PostPosted: Fri Mar 21, 2003 3:58 pm 
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All-Conference
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Joined: Mon Dec 09, 2002 1:17 pm
Posts: 822
Location: Dothan, AL for the time being.

Quote:
The problem with Conference USA is that it was not meant to be a football conference from the beginning. In the 80s the Metro Conference which included Cincy, Louisville, South Carolina, Florida State, Va Tech, Tulane, Memphis State, and Southern Mississippi was a decent 'all sports but football league'. When the conference expansion boom came along in the late 80s the Metro tried to include football. The top football schools it the conference, FSU and USC wanted no part of it and sought better leagues. FSU to the ACC and Carolina to the SEC. The other Metro schools did not decide on football until the mid 90s and it was too their detriment. They should have stayed as they were and found two/three new football members. Instead they added new basketball schools such as Marquette, UNCC, Depaul and St Louis. They really dropped the ball with Va Tech who after having disagreements with the CUSA formation bolted to the BEast. When it became obvious that it was not possible to continue as independents they pasted together a football league which is what we have today.

Here is what they should have done. It might not have gotten them BCS membership, but they would not be in the mess they are in today.

Departed members (there was no way to keep the big two)
Florida State
South Carolina

Remaining
Lou
Cin
Tulane
USM
VA Tech (big mistake letting them go)
Memphis

Who they should have gotten:
Any of the SWC leftovers: Rice, TCU, SMU, Houston
Marshall (not sure if they were 1A at the time)
ECU (very solid pick up)
Army (only if they brought all sports)
Navy (only if they brought all sports)
La Tech
North Texas
South Florida (will turn out to be a good pickup)
Central Florida

Any combination of these and you would have had a decent all sports league. This some sports in, some out is B/S. With this combo, the would have never had the problems they face today.

One man's take.



You're forgetting a member of the old Metro Conference: Georgia Tech. It's easy to overlook the 'Bees, but at one time, they also were in the Metro. They bolted for the ACC shortly before FSU did. IMO, this was the Metro's second biggest mistake. GT actually made a better Metro school than an ACC school.


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PostPosted: Fri Mar 21, 2003 4:01 pm 
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All-Conference
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Location: Dothan, AL for the time being.

Quote:
When C-USA was formed, Marshall was still Div 1-AA. From 1977 up until 1996 when they moved to the Div 1-A ranks, Marshall was in the Southern Conference.


This is true, but if the old Metro still had existed back during the '70s and the '80s, they could have picked up Marshall also.


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PostPosted: Fri Mar 21, 2003 4:33 pm 
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DawgnDuckfan, forgot about Ga Tech in the Metro. Not sure what year they left to the ACC. If the Metro would have got Miami, WV, and possibly East Carolina for 12.

North: Va Tech, WVU, Cincy, Louisville, East Carolina, Memphis

South: Miami, Florida State, South Carolina, Ga Tech, Southern Miss, Tulane



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PostPosted: Sat Mar 22, 2003 3:19 am 
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Junior
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Location: London, England
Yeah, I forgot about GT in the Metro. I know that they dropped out of the SEC in '63 and joined the ACC in '78. That would have been on heck of a football league.


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PostPosted: Mon Mar 24, 2003 5:21 pm 
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Freshman
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Don't forget Louisville - they didn't want football either. Had they started football 25 years ago, it very well may be an equity conference, just from an extra 18 or so years of conference affiliation (even had they lost G Tech, FSU and USC, as they probably would have regardless).


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PostPosted: Mon Mar 24, 2003 6:53 pm 
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PaulDrake, I agree any conference will improve over time with rivalries and fan support, however, this does not guarantee you will have a BCS type football conference. The MAC has been together for many of years.

A lot of people try to compare Conf USA to the Big East. The Big East is fortuante to have Miami, however, the Big East football indpendents were long consider major football teams.

The East Indes as they were callled in old days were compared to the big conferences SWC, Big 10 etc.

There were never any comparisons to the Missouri valley independents or mid south independents. My point is that most of the non BCS colleges have never played on a national scale. Agreed there are some BCS members that are not any better than non BCS members, however, they were either associated with these old national players in conference alignments or as independent rivals.

Regardless if we like or not, the only way to get BCS status is join one of the six BCS conferences.


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PostPosted: Thu Mar 27, 2003 3:27 pm 
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Joined: Fri Nov 29, 2002 7:53 am
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Really what the mid majors should do is get together and decide amongst themselves what new confences should be formed/merged/expanded etc.

Rather than get into the politics of having uni presidents and athletic directors meeting secretly and such to swipe members, just have an all out debate about it and carve out conferences that are geographically and mission specific. This would solve a lot of problems.


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PostPosted: Tue Apr 01, 2003 12:32 pm 
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Sounds like a good idea accjoker, but unfortunately I believe the non-BCS conferences will have nothing to do with each other. Perhaps this will change when the five I-A home game rule takes affect next year.


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PostPosted: Wed Apr 02, 2003 7:54 am 
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Junior
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not only will the conferences not work together... individual schools are jealous of each other n worry about one another.. and often hurt themselves in order to try n hold back a percieved rival.


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PostPosted: Wed Apr 02, 2003 8:06 am 
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Example #1: 11 teams play C-USA football. 14 play MAC football. How many cross-conference games are there in 2003? One, the annual Cincinnati/Miami(OH) game.

::)


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PostPosted: Wed Apr 02, 2003 9:18 am 
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Joined: Sun Jan 19, 2003 10:07 pm
Posts: 41
accjoker is exactly right. Ther only way for the non-BCS schools to survive and prosper is to band together.

There shoud be four large conferences based geographically in the west, southwest, southeast and northeast. If it requires larger than 12-team conferences, so be it. By setting up divisions, we can reduce travel expenses considerably. This is especially true for the women's sports and the non-revenue sports. In addition, rivalries will develop, which will enhance attendancce. TV contracts are easier to sell because many potential sponsors have regional presence only. Even some that are national might be willing to "sponsor" a regional conference. I remember Humble Oil (later Exxon) sponsoring the entire Southwest Conference for a number of years.

The problem is leadership. I think that we need four large conferences, rather than five of varying size and importance. Which commissioner goes away? Which one (or ones) step forward and get this moving?

Timing will be tough. We son't know who the survivors are for sure for two more years. Even then, a few who might qualify initially will do so with special promotions and may not be able to sustain 1-A membership. There are a lot of decisions to be made regarding membership and then they need to be sold to the president and athletic directors of each university. Sports egos need to be left at the door. Teams that would not consider playing lesser regarded teams are going to have to subordinate those desires for the good of the division. Olive branches are going to have to be exchanged between such schools as Utah/Brigham Young and Utah State, UTEP and New Mexico State, SMU and North Texas, Tulane and Louisiana Tech/Louisiana, Memphis and Middle Tennessee, etc. Funny thing, most of these are either former conference mates and/or still play each other in many sports.

Right now, I love South Florida. They've put together fine football and basketball programs. They're so new that they haven't formed an arrogant attitude yet. They seem to love everybody. To me, that's the way it should be. Sports should be friendly rivalries. There used to be a word, sportsmanship, that was coined from consideration for others (while playing sports). The word still exists but I seldom see it used anymore. Everyone wants to excel but when that desire turns to greed and regresses fair-play, we need to take another look at ourselves.


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PostPosted: Fri Apr 04, 2003 9:40 am 
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You guys are right about the mid-majors having some sort of summit. Not only could they reduce costs and improve tv ratings, they could form a united front for pushing for admission into the BCS in some way.

If you had 4 conferences as JFin suggested, they could have a play-in (take what you can get). Or at least they could set up more appealing bowl match-ups between the best teams from the mid-major conferences. I'd definitely tune in to any match-up between Boise St., Fresno St., Colorado St., Air Force, Marshall, UCF, USF, and TCU. The unfortunate thing is that the conferences ar eprobably better off scheduling distant bowl games against 5th place SEC teams than against the top programs from a mid-major conference, though that may not be true in every case. But I have to think that by forming four strong, regionally based conferences with strong ties to one another, they'd have more clout than they currently do. To pull this off though, the upper crust form these conferences would probably have to meet in secret to push the initiative, because the bottom dwellers in these conferences have to know they'd be on the chopping block. In the long run though, all the schools would benefit. Better match-ups, better rivarly games, lower travels costs across the board, and ultimately, some sort of access to the BCS system. Four well structured conferences lobbying in unison would be much stronger than one conference lobbying every few years when one of it's teams is left out.

This idea wouldn't just benefit football, I think you'd see some much stronger basketball conferences.


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