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PostPosted: Sun Sep 21, 2003 5:44 am 
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The CUSA, largely through basketball, offered a better financial arrangement: Easier travel, more TV $ and better bowl ties. CUSA was also actively moving toward a conference championship and had a fairly bright future. Particularly given that Hawaii and Fresno St. were only just beginning to show signs of what they'd become. Or so I surmise.


gunnerfan its stupid for them to go and come back it seems they are using conferences then leaving. No stability will kill recruiting.

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PostPosted: Fri Sep 26, 2003 10:57 am 
8-)

The Sun Belt will stand the test I do believe.

I can see current scenarios where Rice, Tulsa, and SMU join CUSA and complete that conferences expansion with the addition of Central Florida.

MAC loses one team. The WAC loses three teams.

MAC looks over to Temple to replace Central Florida. Temple will exit the Big East after this year.

MAC is now has recovered for the loss of UCF.

The WAC will likely pronounce themselves more as a Western conference. To replace Tulsa, Rice, and SMU they will likely pick up a combo of Idaho, New Mexico State, and Utah State from the Sun Belt.

After this takes place, that would recover the WAC temporarily while the Sun Belt with Arkansas State, North Texas, Louisiana-Lafayette, Louisiana-Monroe, Middle Tennessee, and Troy State would have six football members, but five full-time members.

New NCAA requirements will require every league to have at least eight full-time members in order to sponsor football at Division 1-A. So the Sun Belt needs three full-time members.

My guess is that they will pick up 1-A newcomer, Florida A&M, as one of those three teams.

And then try to offer a full-time membership to Louisiana-Monroe who may be more prone to do so since they would no longer have to travel to Idaho, New Mexico State, and Utah State and pay high travel costs for all other sports teams which has been declared too much of a feat for the school based on their athletic budget.

That would give the Sun Belt seven full-time members.

The WAC without SMU, Rice, and Tulsa would put Louisiana Tech on an island all by itself, where their nearest conference mate would be 900 miles to the west in El Paso, Texas. Louisiana Tech would come back to the Sun Belt in all sports and give the Sun Belt their mandated eight full time members that they'd need.

Now the WAC could turn around and try to pull away North Texas. It would then be up to UNT on whether or not they want to play in an 8-team league with Louisiana Tech, Louisiana-Monroe, Louisiana-Lafayette, Arkansas State, Troy State, Middle Tennessee, and Florida A&M or play in a 10-team league with Boise State, Idaho, New Mexico State, Utah State, Nevada, Fresno State, San Jose State, Texas-El Paso, and Hawaii.

Then again, UNT could stay with the eight-member set up in the Sun Belt and let the WAC figure out what they want to do from there. The WAC would still have nine members without UNT. If the Sun Belt gains La Tech and keeps UNT and I think the WAC would be content on nine members.

The Mountain West currently fields eight teams. They'd need to add four teams in order to get a conference championship game. The Mountain West quite honestly has been quiet through this whole thing. I think the MWC is content on what they have.

I think 1-A Independents will be sealed as well. Beyond 2004, you probably won't see anymore until new 1-AA schools move up such as FIU or FAU if they will be allowed to move up.

You already have UConn going to the Big East. They will replace Temple. You have Troy State going to the Sun Belt. You have Army leaving CUSA.

I think there will be a league of 16 teams and I think that conference will be the MAC and here's why. The MAC will remain solid with everyone they have except Central Florida in which they will likely be simply replaced by Temple. You have the original 14 teams. But you still have Army and Navy without homes and with the Big East not likely to call for them, I think the MAC takes them and forms a 16-team league in effect ending a league of 1-A Independents.

Oh yeah, and Notre Dame goes to the ACC.

So to summarize, every conference will remain the same except for the ACC, the MAC, the Big East, the Sun Belt, CUSA, and the WAC.

As far as football is concerned. . . .

The new ACC will have these teams: Florida State, Georgia Tech, Clemson, Miami of Florida, North Carolina State, North Carolina-Chapel Hill, Wake Forest, Duke, Maryland, Virginia, Virginia Tech, and Notre Dame.

The new Big East will have these teams: Boston College, Syracuse, West Virginia, Pittsburgh, Rutgers, Connecticut, Cincinnati, and Louisville.

Conference USA will consist of these teams: Memphis, Southern Miss, Alabama-Birmingham, South Florida, Central Florida, Tulane, Texas Christian, Houston, Rice, Southern Methodist, Tulsa, and East Carolina.

The new Mid-American Conference would consist of these teams: Marshall, Miami of Ohio, Army, Navy, Temple, Toledo, Akron, Eastern Michigan, Western Michigan, Central Michigan, Northern Illinois, Ball State, Kent State, Bowling Green, Ohio, and Buffalo.

The new Western Athletic Conference would consist of these teams: Fresno State, Hawaii, San Jose State, Boise State, Idaho, Utah State, New Mexico State, Texas-El Paso, and Nevada.

The new Sun Belt Conference would consist of these teams: Florida A&M, Troy State, Middle Tennessee, Louisiana Tech, Louisiana-Monroe, Louisiana-Lafayette, Arkansas State, and North Texas.

And in this scenario there are no Indy's left.TEXT


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PostPosted: Fri Sep 26, 2003 12:21 pm 
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nice. very detailed and thought out scenario. however i believe that the mwc will expand to 12 by taking 4 of the following 5 fresno st, hawaii, boise st, nevada, and utep(the least talked about). This leaves la tech, san jose st (who might just drop to i-aa due to attendance), and one western school who got left behind. These 2-3 schools could join the sunbelt leaving the wac behind.


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PostPosted: Fri Sep 26, 2003 2:07 pm 
I just do not see LaTech moving back to the Sun Belt after leaving not so long ago.

They'll remain an independent before coming back to the Belt. If ULM drops down to 1-aa there may be a chance.

The Dawgs a good enough program (in all sports) that someone will give them an offer eventually (if they remain independent for a year or two).


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PostPosted: Fri Sep 26, 2003 3:33 pm 
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I just do not see LaTech moving back to the Sun Belt after leaving not so long ago.

They'll remain an independent before coming back to the Belt. If ULM drops down to 1-aa there may be a chance.

The Dawgs a good enough program (in all sports) that someone will give them an offer eventually (if they remain independent for a year or two).


Agree wholeheartedly. La Tech AND UL don't want to be in a conference with ULM. The Cajuns tolerate it in football (political trade off, but that is another post) but wouldn't in all-sports.


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PostPosted: Sat Sep 27, 2003 9:52 am 
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Agree wholeheartedly. La Tech AND UL don't want to be in a conference with ULM. The Cajuns tolerate it in football (political trade off, but that is another post) but wouldn't in all-sports.


These schools may have little choice in this, if the dominos fall to a point where they are left without a conference affiliation. NONE of these schools is good enough to get a bowl game without a conference affiliation, just look at So.Fla last year.

Pride is sometimes a difficult dish to swallow...
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PostPosted: Sat Sep 27, 2003 11:27 am 
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inform me on the reason the rest of the state has such a dislike for ulm. i know that they arent competitive but to try disassociate from them completely seems a bit extreme.


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PostPosted: Sat Sep 27, 2003 5:34 pm 
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Seems to me that the Sun Belt has serious competitive issues with the rest of I-A in football.

At mid-afternoon on 27 September, the only Sun Belt team to have defeated a I-A school was when North Texas defeated Baylor. Every other I-A game has been lost out-of-conference:

ASU beat 2 I-AA schools, lost to A&M, Memphis, and Tulsa.
NMSU beat a I-AA school and lost to Oregon State and Texas.
UNT beat Baylor and lost to Arkansas, AFA and Oklahoma.
USU lost to Nebraska, Arizona State and Utah.
Idaho lost to UW, Boise State and WSU, not to mention TWO I-AA schools.
ULL lost to South Carolina, Houston, Minnesota and LA Tech.
ULM lost to LSU and Mississippi, but also got beat by TWO I-AA schools.
MTSU lost to Georgia, Clemson, and Missouri, but add in that a I-AA got them too.

The Sun Belt is 4-27 overall, entirely out-of-conference.

That includes a 3-5 record against I-AA.

Granted, there's a tough schedule there for some of the teams. I can't see where that justifies a 3-5 I-AA record though. Overall, I-A was 52-8 against I-AA going into this weekend's games.

I also can't see where all of these schools are going to be staying in I-A. Some would (read: already are showing they would) not compete at the top in I-AA.

The only thing that would save teams like Idaho and ULM is that other programs will continue to use them for target practice out-of-conference to pad their annual wins for bowl eligibility. Only 4 of the I-A games mentioned above were home games for the Sun Belt:

Boise State at Idaho, a rivalry game that rotates venue
Baylor at North Texas
LA Tech at ULL
Houston at ULL

Everything else was for money. If big-name programs don't want to pursue such a course anymore, what can the Sun Belt teams do? That's right, schedule more I-AA schools. Not much money in those games.

If other teams decide that they want to move conferences, why would they want to join a conference that may or may not be solvent in 5 years?



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PostPosted: Sun Sep 28, 2003 11:23 pm 
that the NCAA is going to revisit the "butts in the seats" requirement.

I hear it will be paid attendance.

Middle Tennessee will survive for sure if that is the case. Monroe has a good chance as well, with a couple of large companies in the city (State Farm Regional Office, Chase Manhattan, Century Cellunet-sp?)

Not sure about Idaho.


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PostPosted: Mon Sep 29, 2003 1:36 am 
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MATTHEWS: Past time for ULM to return to I-AA
Jeff Matthews / Staff Reporter
Posted on September 27, 2003
With the NCAA set to implement stricter standards for football programs to compete in Division I-A, there has been talk of Louisiana-Monroe moving down to I-AA and rejoining the Southland Conference.

With the way it has played against SLC teams, that may not be the best idea for ULM.

The Indians have lost an embarrassing five straight games to their former conference brethren, including a last-second, 14-10 defeat against Northwestern State last Saturday and a 23-21 loss to Stephen F. Austin on Sept. 6.

In fact, ULM was better against Southland teams when it was actually in the Southland.

In its last 17 conference games as an SLC member, ULM was 16-1. In 17 games against SLC teams as a Division I-A program, ULM is 11-6.

That's just part of what has been a humiliating three-plus seasons in Monroe.

The time has long passed for debate on whether ULM is a legitimate I-A football program.

It isn't.

The Indians are a I-AA program - and potentially a very good one - masquerading as something they're not.

ULM is hardly the only I-A program in over its head - the list includes schedule-makers' darlings such as Buffalo, Texas-El Paso, Idaho and Louisiana-Lafayette.

But the Indians clearly are one of the worst pretenders.

The glory days of 1996-99 - when ULM won five games for four straight seasons and actually came close to posting a winning record - are gone.

The Indians were merely bad in those days. Now they're offensive.

ULM has won six of its last 31 games. It has lost six straight to the I-AA opposition it was supposed to be too good for when it moved up to I-A in 1994.

The Indians are a second-tier team in the Sun Belt, unquestionably the worst football conference in I-A, a league in which five of the eight teams have yet to win their first game this year.

Against quality I-A opposition, ULM has been a disaster.

The Indians are 2-29 against schools from the "BCS conferences" - the Big Eight, Big 12, Big 10, Pac-10, SEC, Atlantic Coast and Big East Conferences - since going I-A.

In the previous four years, ULM has lost its nine games against those teams by an average of 46.5 points, with the closest contest a 31-3 squeaker against Ole Miss last year.

ULM's only wins against schools from BCS conferences were a 21-14 victory against a 1994 Kentucky team that finished 1-10 and a 34-32 win over a 1995 Mississippi State team that finished 3-8.

So what is the answer for ULM?

The Indians have had good coaches. Ed Zaunbrecher, now the offensive coordinator at Florida, has coached big-time players at big-time schools for more than a quarter-century.

Bobby Keasler was the top coach in the Southland Conference at McNeese State.

Now comes Charie Weatherbie, a coach with a reputation for turning downtrodden programs around.

Can he replicate that magic at ULM?

Only the most optimistic of fans thinks it will happen.

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PostPosted: Mon Sep 29, 2003 1:37 am 
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Sun Belt doesn't look so hot now
Villarreal says, loud and clear, that UNT is open to idea of moving
09:26 PM CDT on Thursday, September 25, 2003
Covering athletics for more than a quarter-century has taught you a lot, but it was Carole King who counseled that sometimes you win, sometimes you lose, and sometimes you get splattered.
And, if you're SMU, it doesn't matter, because Conference USA is hot for you anyway.
Clean living, is all you can figure. And maybe the hope of Phil Bennett, not to mention a beautiful new football facility and a big TV market and a chance to stick it to the WAC.
Nothing makes you look better than conferences fighting over you. And in public, no less.
Meanwhile, you've got a wallflower up in Denton that romped over Baylor, which then took it out on SMU.
And you haven't heard a peep about any other league wanting to dance with North Texas.
Don't know what to make of it. Silence doesn't always indicate a lack of interest, although it usually seems to work for the wife.
For all you know, Rick Villarreal, UNT's athletic director, could be making covert plans with WAC or C-USA officials over Buster bars at the Lewisville Dairy Queen.
Don't want to blow anyone's cover here. UNT's still married to the Sun Belt Conference, and the Mean Green wouldn't want to appear unfaithful.
Or at least that's what you figure until you call Villarreal, and he's sending up flares.
"We all have to show our hand at this particular point," he all but shouts. "For a long time, we just kinda existed up here. We weren't out flexing our muscle."
So, uh, you're available, Rick?
"Yep."
No time to be modest or bashful, apparently. Not when conferences are starting to shake out all over the country, and the ripple effect is enough to swamp your little boat.
Time to make your move, if you can. Not that Villarreal's ungrateful to the Sun Belt. The conference football champion two years running, UNT has made it a good home, particularly in New Orleans at bowl time.
But the Sun Belt's not for everyone. You learned this by going to a Web site and looking up the Sun Belt fan forum, and the subject field in the e-mails read, "Sun Belt needs to forget about football" and "Sun Belt is finished!!!" and "Sun Belt stinks!!!"
And those are just the polite ones. Awash in exclamation points, the Sun Belt does not have TCU or SMU or any teams that tend to skew UNT's attendance figures.
Playing local schools is good business, at least if you're UNT. Not that SMU and TCU are much interested in reciprocating.
Remember '94, when Matt Simon challenged Tom Rossley to play on a Safeway parking lot?
Got UNT a lot of attention, which was the intent. But SMU reacted with all the vigor of Ross Perot challenged to a game of Monopoly, only he has to bring his wallet.
A college scheduling culture primer: No good can come from scheduling a team in your own market, especially if you're supposed to be the favorite. Win, and you're supposed to. Lose, and you're fired. Either way, you give the underdog credibility.
And then there's recruiting to consider: You don't want to give high school kids another local option.
"I think that's happening now anyway," Villarreal says. "And the other way to look at it is, if you had all three of those schools in the same league, you'd have even more kids staying at home."
Even better, if all three were in the same league, how much better would the rivalries be?
TCU's doing well now, but one team can't carry a rivalry by itself. Ask Villarreal, who once worked at TCU.
"Even when we were in the SWC," he says, "it wasn't like everyone was jacked up to play SMU every year."
Get this: Not even for the glory of the old iron skillet.
Some years, you could clean out the kitchen and it wouldn't be much incentive. But, if you added a third local team, chances are better that two of the three would be presentable.
Anyway, it all sounds like good fun, but it probably won't happen any time soon. In order to make itself attractive to other leagues, UNT still has work to do with its football facilities and fan support.
Darrell thingyey's pulling his end, though. Villarreal, too. Can't miss him. He's the one with the muscle shirt and megaphone.

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PostPosted: Mon Sep 29, 2003 4:17 pm 
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inform me on the reason the rest of the state has such a dislike for ulm. i know that they arent competitive but to try disassociate from them completely seems a bit extreme.


(Gathering Thoughts...)


1) Survival of the fittest
A little over 4 million people can't support 5 1-A teams.
LSU: Baton Rouge/NewOrleans (State Darling)
Tulane: New Orleans (Private School)
UL (Cajuns): South Louisiana
ULM: North Louisiana
LA Tech: North Louisiana

LA Tech & ULM are less than 60 miles apart- Grambling is in that same area, too. North Louisiana has less than 20% of the state's population. It can't float two 1-A schools.

Tech hates them because they are splitting a fan base.


2) The Albatros of the Second "L"
USL had been UL in the mid-80s before being forced by a new state law to change their name back to USL. Cajun fans never forgot what our name was and wanted the UL name again badly.
In 1995, a new state law said two schools in the UL System could change their name simultaneously.
It is widely rumored (in a state known for political trade-offs) that the NLU Indians would only change their name if they could get out of the 1-A Indy wasteland and join the USL Ragin' Cajuns in the new Sun Belt football conference... so ULM joined UL(-L) in the SBC.

Ragin' Cajun fans hate them for the second "L" in our name that came with them into our conference.


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PostPosted: Tue Sep 30, 2003 3:52 am 
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(Gathering Thoughts...)


1) Survival of the fittest
A little over 4 million people can't support 5 1-A teams.
LSU: Baton Rouge/NewOrleans (State Darling)
Tulane: New Orleans (Private School)
UL (Cajuns): South Louisiana
ULM: North Louisiana
LA Tech: North Louisiana

LA Tech & ULM are less than 60 miles apart- Grambling is in that same area, too. North Louisiana has less than 20% of the state's population. It can't float two 1-A schools.

Tech hates them because they are splitting a fan base.


2) The Albatros of the Second "L"
USL had been UL in the mid-80s before being forced by a new state law to change their name back to USL. Cajun fans never forgot what our name was and wanted the UL name again badly.
In 1995, a new state law said two schools in the UL System could change their name simultaneously.
It is widely rumored (in a state known for political trade-offs) that the NLU Indians would only change their name if they could get out of the 1-A Indy wasteland and join the USL Ragin' Cajuns in the new Sun Belt football conference... so ULM joined UL(-L) in the SBC.

Ragin' Cajun fans hate them for the second "L" in our name that came with them into our conference.


NLU is now ULM or ULL this confused me to death.

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PostPosted: Thu Oct 16, 2003 4:17 pm 
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Now that it looks like CUSA is going to win the tug-of-war with the WAC, the WAC will be coming to pick apart the SB.

With the WAC having better TV deals for BB & FB, more bowl tie-ins and more stability, how can any of them say "No"?


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PostPosted: Thu Oct 16, 2003 5:17 pm 
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Now that it looks like CUSA is going to win the tug-of-war with the WAC, the WAC will be coming to pick apart the SB.

With the WAC having better TV deals for BB & FB, more bowl tie-ins and more stability, how can any of them say "No"?


Simple. If the MWC takes two, there aren't enough teams left to hold the WAC together.

No automatic bid, two bowls possibly (probably) move to the MWC.

Sun Belt wins.


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