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PostPosted: Wed Oct 08, 2003 8:26 am 
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Here is a CUSA realignment thread...

Will post the latest summary below to get us started...

:D


Last edited by javaman on Thu Oct 23, 2003 6:34 am, edited 1 time in total.

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PostPosted: Wed Oct 08, 2003 8:29 am 
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C-USA's realignment possibilities take on new twist

From Bonesville.net staff and wire reports

Conference USA may be ready to pull the trigger on an ambitious expansion plan of its own if it loses several current members to the Big East and the Atlantic 10.

If a telecast out of Memphis turns out to be correct, the shifts in the landscape could lead to C-USA slipping a bit in basketball but emerging stronger in football, baseball and regional rivalries — and with a conference football title game to boot.

Various media accounts have Cincinnati, DePaul, Louisville and Marquette leaving C-USA for the Big East, and Charlotte and Saint Louis departing for the A-10. In addition, football-only member Army announced in July it would withdraw from C-USA after the 2004 season to rejoin the independent ranks.

A Memphis television station is reporting that C-USA is poised to invite five schools into the fold, structuring itself into an association of programs with similar athletic interests, in that all members would field Division I-A football teams.

Western Athletic Conference members Rice, Southern Methodist and Tulsa, and Central Florida and Marshall of the Mid-American Conference are set to move to C-USA if the next round of realignment unfolds as expected, according to WREG News Channel 3.

Under the C-USA contingency plan, the league would forge ahead with 13 members and would split into two divisions.

A six-team Western Division would group C-USA holdovers Houston, Texas Christian and Tulane with WAC targets Rice, Southern Methodist and Tulsa.

The seven-team Eastern Division would include current members East Carolina, Memphis, Southern Miss, South Florida and UAB, along with newcomers Central Florida and Marshall from the MAC.

One line of reasoning for having seven teams in the Eastern Division might be to protect against the unsettling scenario that could develop if one of that Division's members — East Carolina, Central Florida or South Florida — is added to the Big East's shopping list for expansion.

In the event of such a move by the Big East — which is not far-fetched considering the scheduling advantages the Big East could achieve with the nine-team football alignment that would result — C-USA would still be left with two stable and evenly dispersed six-team divisions.

The Big East is actively analyzing formulas for reconstituting itself in the wake of its losses of Miami and Virginia Tech to the Atlantic Coast Conference.

The defection of marquee programs Cincinnati, DePaul, Louisville and Marquette would be seen as a blow to C-USA, particularly in basketball, but Tulsa would bring the league impressive hoops credentials of its own.

Significantly, the new conference configuration would offer some distinct advantages that might help offset the loss of several of its higher-profile basketball members.

Marshall would be seen as more than offsetting the loss of Louisville's football stature, while UCF would give C-USA a second bridgehead in the fertile prep football recruiting grounds of Florida.

Rice and SMU would add to the the market presence Houston and TCU give the league in Texas, one of the nation's most populated states.

C-USA, already one of the nation's premier college baseball leagues, would get a substantial further boost on the diamond with the addition of the Owls, last season's College World Series champions.

With each division devised along geographic lines, travel expenses could be reigned in somewhat by weighting each school's schedule towards teams in its own division.

From a revenue perspective, the divisional lineup would meet NCAA requirements for staging a lucrative conference football championship game.

In addition, the new mix of schools would spawn a number of fan-friendly rivalries, an ingredient that has for the most part been missing in the league's far-flung, single-division current alignment.

UCF versus USF could be expected to become an instant rivalry. Houston versus Rice (both located in Houston) and TCU versus SMU (both located in Dallas-Fort Worth) would also assume big stakes.

East Carolina and Marshall, whose past meetings have produced two of the bigger news stories in college football history, would seem to be naturals to become heated rivals.

The Thundering Herd, led by current Jacksonville Jaguars quarterback Byron Leftwich, overcame a large halftime deficit to defeat the Pirates 64-61 in triple overtime in the 2001 Mobile Bowl. That ECU team was quarterbacked by David Garrard, who is Leftwich's backup with the Jaguars.

On Nov. 14, 1970, after suffering a 17-14 loss at East Carolina, the Marshall team's return home ended in tragedy. The team plane went down on a Wayne County, WV, hillside in bad weather on its approach to the Tri-State Airport, killing all 75 aboard.

Fans of both schools recall the crash as a particularly poignant moment in the histories of their programs.


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PostPosted: Fri Oct 17, 2003 6:28 am 
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There are too many news stories breaking here to post on the news board, so allow me to summarize some of the things we are discovering...

1. Contrary to earlier impressions, CUSA has turned aggressively proactive and seems to have all its ducks in a row. Presidents have met, authorized invitations, and Banowski is actually on the road visiting the Presidents and AD's of the target schools.

2. Initial attention is focussed on the old SWC schools, particularly Rice and SMU. Reports from Houston indicate meeting has taken place and Rice will accept the invitation if offered. Banowski is on his was to SMU and Tulsa for similar meetings with presidents and AD's.

3. Marshall also seems to be a target, although I'm sure CUSA is not being as aggressive about it, since there is no duel with WAC going on there... Reports from Marshall indicate it would accept. UCF also in the mix, probably not high priority either, since minor press reports indicate BE is thinking about UCF for #9.

4. Interersting to note the comments coming from Benson, the WAC comissioner. In all reports he talks about being in contact with AD's but no indication he is actually meeting with presidents.

5. A six-team western CUSA seems to be emerging, reuniting old SWC friends--to consist of TCU/Houston/Rice/SMU/Tulsa/Tulane. Looks real nice on paper--tight geographically, natural rivals.

One of the better links:

http://www.chron.com/cs/CDA/ssistory.mpl/sports/2162556

Stay tuned for developments...

8-)



Last edited by javaman on Fri Oct 17, 2003 8:52 am, edited 1 time in total.

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PostPosted: Fri Oct 17, 2003 7:03 am 
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the new cusa looks like it will be an extended version on the old swc. it looks very promising and with possible changes coming to the bcs the conference may have a strong, bright future.


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PostPosted: Fri Oct 17, 2003 1:33 pm 
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Quote:
There are too many news stories breaking here to post on the news board, so allow me to summarize some of the things we are discovering...
javaman, Thanks for your ongoing efforts to synthesize these vast quantities of data points, which often have conflicting and/or varying levels of detail, into concise meaningful information. Your efforts are sincerely appreciated! ;D 8-)


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PostPosted: Fri Oct 17, 2003 9:20 pm 
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Looks like it's official: Rice, SMU, & Tulsa are C-USAers, and Marshall is getting an invite.

If MU accepts, they will split into Eastern & Western divisions:

East
Alabama-Birmingham
East Carolina
Marshall
Memphis
South Florida
Southern Mississippi

West
Houston
Rice
Southern Methodist
Texas Christian
Tulane
Tulsa


So...2005...C-USA...BCS?

Close, but no cigar. Had this exact conference formed right at the implosion of the SWC, maybe. But not now.


Last edited by lsutootnanny on Fri Oct 17, 2003 9:21 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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PostPosted: Fri Oct 17, 2003 10:47 pm 
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http://www.riceowls.com/sports/news/release.asp?RELEASE_ID=1953

http://tulsahurricane.ocsn.com/genrel/101703aaa.html

Rice and Tulsa have announced they are moving to CUSA. The Rice announcement mentions several undisclosed conditions, presumably BE invitations to CUSA members.

I would hope the new members would insist on a BE type withdrawal penalty for the first few years, $5 million and 27 months (isn't clear if the BE penalty is going to be AND 27 months or OR 27 months). The CUSA is very close to losing its automatic bid and potentially its role as one of the 7 "equity" conferences. If as expected the 4 schools + USF join the BE and UNC-Charlotte and St. Louis leave in 2005, CUSA WILL lose its automatic bid for one year as they would only have 7 members and ECU and TCU joined in 2001 (you need 8 members, 6 of whom have been together for 5 years, along with a few additional requirements). And it would be 2009 before they could afford the loss of 2 more existing members. Logically, they would try to keep Charlotte and SL until 2006.


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PostPosted: Sat Oct 18, 2003 5:34 am 
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Looking at how the possible divisions pan out, and some observations:

CUSA might actually be stronger in the new allignment, since they too see the writing on the wall and are moving to an "all-sports" configuration. I won't go into the detail why "mixed" configurations, such as the BE, are destined for perrennial trouble, since that topic has been covered ad infinitum on BE threads (by the way, I still think bb-only conferences have a tremendous future--its only "mixed" conferences that will always be disfunctional)

On the two projected CUSA divisions, it might really be nice if they didn't name them "East" and "West"

Rather, I prefer "SOUTHWEST", to incorporate a little of the mystique and heritage of the old SWC, bless its heart, and "SOUTHEAST", to incorporate a little of the panache of the SEC. Invocation and allusion to heritage and revered regions in football is always a good thing.

8-)


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PostPosted: Sat Oct 18, 2003 8:55 am 
It looks like C-USA is getting itself set to absorb defections by having solid additions lined up i. e. Rice, Tulsa, and SMU as starters. Contrast this to the BE, a BCS conference which has been reactionary and impotent and fretted over even added L'ville and Cincy (STILL NOT FORMALLY ANNOUNCED).

The MWC could start picking too from the WAC. However, the WAC can adjust. For example, to replace Rice, SMU, and Tulsa, the WAC could draw from the Sun Belt and take regional schools such as New Mexico State, Utah State, and North Texas.

If Marshall defected to C-USA and/or the BE added a MAC school or two, then the better leftovers from the MAC that can maintain 1-A, could combine with a couple of the better Sun Belt schools.

Not to demean certain schools in any way, but maybe those such as L-Monroe or L-Layf., EMU, Idaho, etc. would fit better playing 1-AA.

In this scenario, the WAC survives, C-USA survives, and the MWC expands. The best of the left over MAC and Sun Belt consolidate (Middle Tenn., Miami, Oh., etc.), with those not meeting 1-A criteria dropping down. Maybe Temple and the eastern sevice academies could fit into the consolidated arrangement with the MAC?SB.

If 1-AA schools wanted to move up to 1-A, there would need to be candidates from 1-A to drop down, and a conference willing to absorb them, or the understanding they may be an independent a long time.



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PostPosted: Sat Oct 18, 2003 9:55 am 
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Wonder if Rice/Tulsa/SMU will have "escape clauses" in their agreements if TCU goes to the MWC. There are reports over the last several days that for both MWC presidents and AD's, TCU is their top choice. There are also other reports that TCU wants to keep its options open... Very interesting...

8-)


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PostPosted: Sat Oct 18, 2003 10:11 am 
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If I was TCU, I wouldn't want to go through the trouble of changing conferences unless it was guaranteed that the conference would have an automatic BCS bid. I bet TCU stays put.


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PostPosted: Sat Oct 18, 2003 1:23 pm 
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I'm with you, LSUtootnanny...

BCS status is everything. It might be better to wait out BCS decisions before switching... MWC's strategy seems to be to "cherry-pick" the remaining mess, so it would be better to not have acted precipitously...

8-)


Last edited by javaman on Sat Oct 18, 2003 1:25 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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PostPosted: Sat Oct 18, 2003 9:12 pm 
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I find it hard to believe TCU would want to add the travel for no significant increase in $ with the airport 5. I don't think they will forget the desertion of the WAC by the MWC schools just a few years after inviting 6 of the 8 WAC members they left behind.


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PostPosted: Sat Oct 18, 2003 9:54 pm 
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Quote:
Wonder if Rice/Tulsa/SMU will have "escape clauses" in their agreements if TCU goes to the MWC. There are reports over the last several days that for both MWC presidents and AD's, TCU is their top choice. There are also other reports that TCU wants to keep its options open... Very interesting...


Obviously, this move will prevent that from ever happening.

CUSA has more bowl deals, a better BB deal and now 3 rivals within driving distance.

CUSA is looking plenty stable, so there's no real reason to move now.


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PostPosted: Sun Oct 19, 2003 8:20 am 
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The MWC is better served staying with the wetern time zones. TCU should stay put.


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