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PostPosted: Thu Sep 25, 2003 2:11 am 
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so is the MAC going pro-active? I see cusa extending invites soon maybe before the big east.

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PostPosted: Mon Sep 29, 2003 1:39 am 
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Jack Bogaczyk
September 25 2003
Conference USA easier path to Big East for Herd

Jack Bogaczyk <jackb@dailymail.com>
Daily Mail columnist

The dominoes falling in major college football had been a faint echo in Huntington. Now, they've landed -- and Conference USA will be on Marshall's doorstep soon.
C-USA, about to lose four members to Big East expansion and a pair of solid basketball programs to the Atlantic 10, needs to prop up its profile.
The Thundering Herd fits into the picture, but Marshall must be careful how the cards are played.
In the fall of 2001, Marshall was seemingly a C-USA expansion target.
A conference source says the league's presidents never formally voted on the Herd, because Marshall was only going to get 11 of 15 votes.
It needed 12.
So, potential expansion was tabled and deferred. Marshall was willing to pay the price of admission and deal with the added expense of travel in a league that stretches from North Carolina to Texas.
The Herd still is ready.
The question Marshall must ask before it tries to leap from the Mid-American Conference isn't simply whether it has the needed votes, but just how serious is what will be an all-sports C-USA about making a commitment to its potential.
C-USA will lose an overwhelming amount of its basketball profile when Louisville, Cincinnati, Marquette and DePaul head to the big East, and the Atlantic 10 grows with Saint Louis and Charlotte.
That's why Tulsa is in the C-USA expansion mix. You're looking at what has been a 4-5 NCAA Tournament bid league becoming a perennial two-bid conference. Tulsa helps the hoops profile.
Conference USA, also losing Army football to independence, wants four of these five -- Marshall, Central Florida, Tulsa, SMU and Rice. The quartet would join East Carolina, Memphis, South Florida, Tulane, Southern Mississippi, Houston, Alabama-Birmingham and TCU.
There is talk that the Big East is considering South Florida or UCF as a potential ninth member for football only.
That's a hedge against the possibility of Boston College still bolting its longtime home to become the ACC's 12th member.
Yes, that still could happen.
The MAC will not flinch if UCF -- a league member only in football -- exits for C-USA.
You can't fault a school for seeking a more lucrative, all-sports membership.
Marshall, however, would tear at the MAC's growing football presence if it leaves. The ramifications for MAC renegotiations of television opportunities and bowls without the Herd would be problematic.
However, if Conference USA calls, the Herd needs to move. Although no one can say for sure what will constitute the Bowl Championship Series after 2005, Marshall can get where it wants to go -- the Big East -- easier from C-USA than from the MAC.
It's all about perception, about reputation. The MAC is hot and is superbly run from the administration in Cleveland, but C-USA plays in major markets.
Its football homes, with potential expansion, include the Superdome, Raymond James Stadium, the Citrus Bowl and the Liberty Bowl. ECU is a solid draw.
If nothing else, Marshall must consider the more-lucrative possibilities.
C-USA has five bowl ties (Liberty, GMAC, Fort Worth, Hawaii and New Orleans). The MAC has two (Motor City and GMAC).
Last season, Conference USA received $5.75 million in bowl payouts. The MAC received $2.6 million.
C-USA has 11 ESPN/ESPN2 home telecasts in football this season. The MAC has five.
C-USA is in the third season of an eight-year, $84 million deal for football and basketball with ESPN/ESPN2. The MAC starts a five-year, $3 million deal for the same next season.
Would a home football schedule of ECU, South Florida, Memphis and SMU for Marshall sell more season tickets than Toledo, Kent State, Ohio and Akron?
"I don't think it would sell any less (than the current 12,000)," a Herdhead said Wednesday.
For whatever reasons, BCS conference schools are less reluctant to visit C-USA sites than MAC stadiums. Marshall will have a much better idea of financially what's possible after the C-USA athletic directors meet Oct. 6-7 to hash out future revenue sharing.
It may come down to who must pay what to whom to get into or out of conferences, and who gets to vote on what or whom.
The feeling here is that Marshall knows where it is going.
With a stronger athletic administration and more football bargaining power than it had two years ago, the Herd is ready to move.

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PostPosted: Mon Sep 29, 2003 1:40 am 
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Report: C-USA doesn’t want Herd

Let the contradicting reports begin.Days after newspaper reports indicated Marshall would be a leading candidate to go to Conference USA in the next round of conference shuffling, a CBS-Sportsline.com report hinted that the Thundering Herd would be frozen out.Sportsline.com writer Tony Mejia wrote Thursday, citing an unidentified source, that “inviting Southern Methodist, Rice and Tulsa, along with second-year [Mid-American Conference] member Central Florida, seems to be the most viable option to keep C-USA afloat as a 12-team league...”

The source is quoted as saying Tulsa and UCF have “conditionally accepted bids.”Assuming C-USA does indeed lose Louisville and Cincinnati to the Big East and basketball schools Charlotte and Saint Louis to the Atlantic 10, a turf war looms against the Western Athletic Conference. WAC commissioner Karl Benson did more than drop hints about going after Texas Christian, Houston and Tulane.In fact, a Houston television station obtained a letter from Benson, urging WAC schools to actively recruit C-USA’s southwestern-most members.“The question for us as a league has been, how do we fix our geography? We’ve looked for schools that can add to our league’s prestige and value, specifically TCU, Houston and Tulane,” Benson told Mejia.Mejia did mention Marshall, saying the Herd “might also be an active part of the reshuffling. Sources said the school was not given resounding approval by C-USA league presidents in recent meetings, but that could always change once the bullets start flying.”The Sportsline.com article even links Marshall to the WAC’s future, saying that league could end up desperate for an eighth member. Conferences with fewer than eight Division I-A members stand to lose NCAA voting rights in football’s top echelon.Southern Methodist athletic director Jim Copeland told Mejia he expects the entire shakeup to be set by Christmas.“I think it’s going to be an interesting couple of months,” Copeland said.

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PostPosted: Fri Oct 03, 2003 9:38 am 
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if c-usa loses current member usf and prospective member ucf to the big east then they are left with

ecu
memphis
uab
southern miss
tulane
houston
tcu (assuming they stay)
smu *
rice *
tulsa *
*=assuming they join

would they stay at 10 or go for 12. prospects for 12 include marshall, la tech, utep, the sunbelt, and temple. i would grab up marshall and la tech and try and maintain a strong southern/southwestern conference.


Last edited by accseahawk on Fri Oct 03, 2003 9:40 am, edited 1 time in total.

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PostPosted: Fri Oct 03, 2003 10:03 am 
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One thing they will do is review the situation and potential at UAB. If the school is expected to continue struggling in football, the conference may abandon the southeastern and midwestern fronts in favor of becoming something like a new SWC. Even at the expense of ECU.

Temple may be attractive at first, but prospective changes for the A-10 suggest they may wish to keep their other sports in a northeastern conference. Temple certainly does not seem as attractive without a Marshall on board, and even then I don't think Temple football would prosper under this arrangement.

CUSA could also consider NIU as a replacement for DePaul/Chicago Market if that might help keep St. Louis (if desired), but the writing on the wall is CUSA will seek to become a 12 member all-sport conference with a championship game. They had already recieved committments from some network (ESPN?) that such a game would be shown nationally.

I see them pillaging the WAC, opening the door for the MWC strike and thus effectively ending the WAC as we know it. For what it's worth, eliminating the WAC (as opposed to the MAC) would free up more bowl slots around the country.


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PostPosted: Mon Oct 06, 2003 4:03 am 
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Seems to me if the CUSA could it would keep all teams in the south.

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