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PostPosted: Sun Nov 02, 2014 8:33 pm 
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BePcr07 wrote:
The Bishin Cutter wrote:
$138 million across multiple facilities is nothing to sneeze at. NIU may just be shopping themselves around after all?


Northern Illinois does have a little bit of history of not being loyal to the MAC. They joined the MAC in 1973 then left in 1985 only to rejoin in 1998. In between their MAC terms, they were independent and in the Big West. I highly doubt they would be looking to the Mountain West now nor do I believe the Mountain West would even consider a school in Illinois. I do see them as a potential move by the American. They have a solid football program and would add to the conference's Midwest footprint. I don't see them leaving the MAC for CUSA or Sun Belt. Sun Belt is too much of a stepping stone conference for Northern Illinois to consider - however, the Sun Belt has had some solid teams in recent years. CUSA has lost most of its flair due to the American.

If Northern Illinois left for the American, I would see the MAC trying to refill that spot immediately to maintain a conference championship game. I think Marshall would get a call first. I think Marshall has its heart set on the American or higher (as well as probably many Go5 programs.) After Marshall, I could see the MAC talking to Old Dominion, Western Kentucky, and Massachusetts (only if they'd go all in.) If none of these work out, I could definitely see the MAC looking at possible FCS call-ups in James Madison, Delaware, Northern Iowa, North Dakota St, Illinois St, Southern Illinois, etc. --- just someone who would benefit the conference in athletics and academics.



I've posted before about how James Madison is a good fit, with their sports offered almost exactly matching what the MAC sponsors and southern recruiting access. However I think they'd rather even be in the Sun Belt if they move up simply for the regional benefit.

Delaware- lots of out of state students and name recognition, meaning there's no need to move up

I don't think anyone in the Missouri Valley has the resources to move to FBS except maybe North Dakota State. if NDSU is going to upgrade, they should find a way to do it soon because they're not as desirable for teams to schedule as an FCS buy game and their winning streak won't last forever. If they don't move up soon their name recognition will fade away and become less competitive overall, kind of like what's happening at Boise State.


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PostPosted: Sun Nov 02, 2014 10:38 pm 
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Would the MAC consider a hybrid approach by taking say, UMass for football only, and a non-football school? One of the Horizon League schools would be the top choice (probably UIC to maintain the presence in Illinois), but there are plenty of schools in and around the footprint that could work.


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PostPosted: Wed Nov 05, 2014 1:12 pm 
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wbyeager wrote:
Would the MAC consider a hybrid approach by taking say, UMass for football only, and a non-football school? One of the Horizon League schools would be the top choice (probably UIC to maintain the presence in Illinois), but there are plenty of schools in and around the footprint that could work.


I think the money's in football-only rather than all but fb. The issue kind of is that football programs can be somewhat detached, but basketball brings with it their entire AD. I think that's why you don't see those other kinds of hybrids, especially at the FBS level. They're already hurting financially...making a quick buck off of NCAA hoops still doesn't cover the tabs for the other sports.

Plus, just look at the politics that spew from conferences with schools that have football and those that don't. The MAC is wisely not going down that road, yet.

As to JMU...I think their administrators are obsessed with being linked to ODU. They'll go FBS when they know they'll be there with ODU. If the opportunities pass them by, so be it.

NDSU...it's a wild hunch, but I think they lost their coach because he knew NDSU wasn't serious about shopping itself to FBS conferences. That guy...going from NDSU to Wyo isn't exactly that big of a step up, unless Wyoming's going somewhere and isn't telling anyone.


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PostPosted: Fri Nov 21, 2014 9:28 am 
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The Bishin Cutter wrote:
wbyeager wrote:
Would the MAC consider a hybrid approach by taking say, UMass for football only, and a non-football school? One of the Horizon League schools would be the top choice (probably UIC to maintain the presence in Illinois), but there are plenty of schools in and around the footprint that could work.


I think the money's in football-only rather than all but fb. The issue kind of is that football programs can be somewhat detached, but basketball brings with it their entire AD. I think that's why you don't see those other kinds of hybrids, especially at the FBS level. They're already hurting financially...making a quick buck off of NCAA hoops still doesn't cover the tabs for the other sports.

Plus, just look at the politics that spew from conferences with schools that have football and those that don't. The MAC is wisely not going down that road, yet.

As to JMU...I think their administrators are obsessed with being linked to ODU. They'll go FBS when they know they'll be there with ODU. If the opportunities pass them by, so be it.

NDSU...it's a wild hunch, but I think they lost their coach because he knew NDSU wasn't serious about shopping itself to FBS conferences. That guy...going from NDSU to Wyo isn't exactly that big of a step up, unless Wyoming's going somewhere and isn't telling anyone.


I don't blame JMU. At this point, they know that for them to survive in FBS, they need a real partner. Ideally, you'd have Charlotte, ODU and JMU in the same conference for political reasons.

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PostPosted: Sat Nov 22, 2014 10:14 pm 
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If Pacific, Cal State Fullerton, and Cal State Northridge had never dropped football, keeping the WAC alive as an FBS conference, JMU may be FBS today:

Idaho and NMSU stay in WAC as full members (WAC at five with CSUF, CSUN, and UOP)

Texas State and UTSA stay in the WAC (7)

One or more FCS schools west of the Mississippi join the WAC - probably NDSU and Lamar, with the possibility of non-football member Texas-Arlington resuming its program down the road.

The Sun Belt is now on the ropes as it would have only 8 members for this year, and 7 in 2013. Since C-USA would not have UTSA, it doesn't invite Old Dominion. The Sun Belt then invites both Old Dominion and James Madison

CUSA (12)
West - UTEP, Rice, UNT, La Tech, So Miss, UAB
East - FAU, FIU, WKU, MTSU, Marshall, UNCC

WAC (9/12)
Idaho, Pacific, CSUN, CSUF, NMSU, UTSA, TX State, Lamar, NDSU, Seattle*, Denver*, TX Arlington*

Sun Belt (10/11)
Louisiana, ULM, Arkansas State, USA, Troy, Georgia State, Georgia Southern, App State, Old Dominion, James Madison, UALR*

This probably would have cleaned up the rest of Division I as well, as Bakersfield would be in the Big West (no Fullerton or Northridge in this case), and perhaps the Summit would have North Dakota and UMKC. Utah Valley and Grand Canyon would be the non-football stand-ins for UC Davis and Cal Poly in the Big Sky.


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PostPosted: Sun Nov 23, 2014 10:41 am 
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wbyeager wrote:
If Pacific, Cal State Fullerton, and Cal State Northridge had never dropped football, keeping the WAC alive as an FBS conference, JMU may be FBS today:

Idaho and NMSU stay in WAC as full members (WAC at five with CSUF, CSUN, and UOP)

Texas State and UTSA stay in the WAC (7)

One or more FCS schools west of the Mississippi join the WAC - probably NDSU and Lamar, with the possibility of non-football member Texas-Arlington resuming its program down the road.

The Sun Belt is now on the ropes as it would have only 8 members for this year, and 7 in 2013. Since C-USA would not have UTSA, it doesn't invite Old Dominion. The Sun Belt then invites both Old Dominion and James Madison

CUSA (12)
West - UTEP, Rice, UNT, La Tech, So Miss, UAB
East - FAU, FIU, WKU, MTSU, Marshall, UNCC

WAC (9/12)
Idaho, Pacific, CSUN, CSUF, NMSU, UTSA, TX State, Lamar, NDSU, Seattle*, Denver*, TX Arlington*

Sun Belt (10/11)
Louisiana, ULM, Arkansas State, USA, Troy, Georgia State, Georgia Southern, App State, Old Dominion, James Madison, UALR*

This probably would have cleaned up the rest of Division I as well, as Bakersfield would be in the Big West (no Fullerton or Northridge in this case), and perhaps the Summit would have North Dakota and UMKC. Utah Valley and Grand Canyon would be the non-football stand-ins for UC Davis and Cal Poly in the Big Sky.


Sorry to pick out 'one thing' but, here goes....
Lamar?
Lamar doesn't qualify to be included in the WAC because of their lack of competitiveness, now and in the past. Sam Houston is the obvious choice in that region for a school to call up. Mostly, because they compete in all three major sports. They just won their third SLC fb title in four years.
Lamar is getting better....they just aren't there yet.
Personally, I doubt that Lamar will be able to keep up in the Southland...until, Sam has moved on. When Sam moves up....all the Texas schools will be fighting to fill in their spot(sam's) against SFA for the 'big rivalry' game. And with the new blood in the SLC....I feel Lamar will have a real tough time keeping up with schools in San Antonio and Houston, as well as, the motivation ACU shows in their efforts....plus, McNeese and SeLa aren't laying down for anyone either. So, the SLC is pretty competitive on its own. Lamar's chances(?).......not too good.


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PostPosted: Sun Nov 23, 2014 11:47 am 
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I included Lamar simply because they had been making quite a bit of noise about wanting to move to FBS. However, if the Montana twins were to express interest, they move to the front of the line. I agree Sam Houston would probably be a better competitive fit, although their facilities would have needed more work for them to move to FBS.


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PostPosted: Sun Nov 23, 2014 7:11 pm 
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wbyeager wrote:
If Pacific, Cal State Fullerton, and Cal State Northridge had never dropped football, keeping the WAC alive as an FBS conference, JMU may be FBS today:

Idaho and NMSU stay in WAC as full members (WAC at five with CSUF, CSUN, and UOP)

Texas State and UTSA stay in the WAC (7)

One or more FCS schools west of the Mississippi join the WAC - probably NDSU and Lamar, with the possibility of non-football member Texas-Arlington resuming its program down the road.

The Sun Belt is now on the ropes as it would have only 8 members for this year, and 7 in 2013. Since C-USA would not have UTSA, it doesn't invite Old Dominion. The Sun Belt then invites both Old Dominion and James Madison

CUSA (12)
West - UTEP, Rice, UNT, La Tech, So Miss, UAB
East - FAU, FIU, WKU, MTSU, Marshall, UNCC

WAC (9/12)
Idaho, Pacific, CSUN, CSUF, NMSU, UTSA, TX State, Lamar, NDSU, Seattle*, Denver*, TX Arlington*

Sun Belt (10/11)
Louisiana, ULM, Arkansas State, USA, Troy, Georgia State, Georgia Southern, App State, Old Dominion, James Madison, UALR*

This probably would have cleaned up the rest of Division I as well, as Bakersfield would be in the Big West (no Fullerton or Northridge in this case), and perhaps the Summit would have North Dakota and UMKC. Utah Valley and Grand Canyon would be the non-football stand-ins for UC Davis and Cal Poly in the Big Sky.


While this is quite off topic for the MAC board it's intriguing so I'll bite. First a quick note, Cal St Northridge dropped football in the early '90's but they were playing in the Big Sky not the Big West. Long Beach St was the Cal State school who was playing Big West football with the others but I digress. Had that trio not dropped the sport in the early 1990's not only would there still be a WAC/Big West that played football but it would be a heavily California conference. I'd imagine with having those 3 California schools in the league moving up that Sacramento St, UC Davis, and Cal Poly would have moved up as well. Here's what I see the WAC looking like:

NMSU, Idaho, Pacific, Long Beach St, Cal St Fullerton, Cal Poly, Sacramento St, UC Davis, Montana, Montana St

In this scenario, the WAC never would have had to include non-football members unless it really wanted to. Seattle and Denver might have got invited and stayed in the league but UT-Arlington certainly never would have nor any of the other non-football schools who make up the league now. It probably still would have been necessary to invite UTSA and Texas St when they did but those schools would still have been lured away by more geographically friendly conferences the following year. I also think that the Montana schools would have accepted an invitation when it was offered to them because the WAC would have been far more stable than the one they were invited into. Eastern Washington or other Big Sky Schools might have been enticed to join too.

Another thing to think about when considering what might-have-beens with the old Big West football Conference is what impact it would have had on the development of the Sunbelt. Sunbelt schools LA Tech, UL Lafayette, and Arkansas St played in the Big Sky back then after the California trio dropped the sport creating a sense of urgency. They joined the Big West for the first time in 1993. They probably never would have been invited if a core of California schools kept the league strong. Those three schools might have started Sunbelt football far sooner had they not received the patronage of a desperate Big West. Those three, North Texas, UL Monroe, and Middle Tennessee might have banded together sooner to form a conference far sooner, possibly 1996. This could have given programs like UTSA and Texas St a gateway into FBS earlier as well, maybe around the same time FAU and FIU moved up.


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PostPosted: Mon Nov 24, 2014 12:24 pm 
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Wow Muskie! I am impressed. That was a very good post on what might have come to be had 3 Cal schools not dropped fb. Let me ask this: Would the WAC still have invited Louisiana Tech, Texas St., and UTSA? This would have made a decent southeastern corner with NM St. Also what about the former core of the WAC with Nevada, San Jose St., Utah St., and Hawaii?


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PostPosted: Mon Nov 24, 2014 6:55 pm 
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NorwichCat11 wrote:
Wow Muskie! I am impressed. That was a very good post on what might have come to be had 3 Cal schools not dropped fb. Let me ask this: Would the WAC still have invited Louisiana Tech, Texas St., and UTSA? This would have made a decent southeastern corner with NM St. Also what about the former core of the WAC with Nevada, San Jose St., Utah St., and Hawaii?


Hi NorwichCat! I'm glad you appreciated my post. I love going back and looking at hypothetical scenarios in realignment. I'm going to play you out how I think realignment might have played out had Cal St Fullerton, Long Beach St, and Pacific kept their FBS football programs. I'll point out this one caveat: the further back I go and the more I change the harder the future is to predict. I tried to factor in what else was occurring in the college football landscape. So here goes:

1992--Cal St Fullerton and Long Beach St keep their football programs, Fresno St still gets invited to the WAC and they leave, Nevada still still joins the Big West. Big West membership stands at: San Jose St, Pacific, Cal St-Fullerton, Long Beach St, Nevada, UNLV, Utah St, New Mexico St (UC-SB and UC Irvine non-football). An alliance between the Big West and NIU, Arkansas St, ULL, and La Tech never occurs. Those 4 programs remain independent but begin aspiring to create a football-sponsoring league.

1996--Pacific keeps its football program, San Jose St and UNLV both accept WAC invitations, the Big West replaces them with Boise St and Idaho and also stretches into Texas by adding North Texas-- a school being wooed by LA Tech, UL Lafayette, and Arkansas St who are still dreaming of Sunbelt conference football. They propose an affiliate relationship in football with the Big West but the Big West's membership is stable so they politely decline. Big West membership stands at: Pacific, Cal St-Fullerton, Long Beach St, Nevada, Utah St, New Mexico St, Idaho, Boise St, North Texas (UC-SB and UC Irvine non-football). in addition to taking to SJSU and UNLV the WAC also adds Tulsa, SMU, Rice, and TCU.

1999--8 WAC schools depart to form the Mountain West Conference. This leaves the WAC in a predicament--geographically there is a block of 5--UTEP, Tulsa, SMU, TCU, and Rice and then western outliers San Jose St, Fresno St, and Hawaii. The Big West sees an opportunity and asks San Jose St and Fresno St to rejoin and also extends an offer to Hawaii. Having a chance to return to a stable conference home with reasonable travel they become part of the Big West. Big West football has 12 members and two divisions-Hawaii, Pacific, San Jose St, Fresno St, Long Beach St, Cal St Fullerton are in the West, Idaho, Boise St, Nevada, Utah St, New Mexico St, and North Texas are in the East. Meanwhile, the WAC block of UTEP, Tulsa, SMU, TCU, and Rice are in search of conference mates. The logical group to approach are the football playing members of C-USA, which formed in 1996--Cincinnati, Louisville, Memphis, Tulane, Southern Miss, UAB,and Houston. Basketball powers Cincy, L'ville, and Memphis are reluctant to leave but are swayed to go. They agree to play under the name WAC. Arkansas St, UL Lafayette, and LA Tech finally get their wish of a football playing conference by building a league with UL Monroe, Middle Tennessee, Central Florida, South Florida, and ECU banding together orphan programs and FBS newcomers.


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PostPosted: Mon Nov 24, 2014 6:56 pm 
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When it comes to the 2005 realignment I think things get a little hard to predict--Louisville, Cincy, and USF probably still end up in the Big East. The WAC (which really looks more like what we know as the old C-USA) pulls from the "Sunbelt" group which fills in for their losses with programs like FAU, FIU, Troy, and WKU.

When we get to the realignment cycle that began in 2011 I think Utah and TCU both end up moving into FBS leagues and BYU goes Indy. The MWC ends up adding the best programs of the Big West (remember the Big West looks more like the old WAC) and the Big East/American still raids the best programs they can find in the Eastern US. The Big West however ends up being stronger than what the WAC was since it has 3 more programs in its core and they survive. They have the luxury of adding truely western schools like the Montanas or other California schools or adding programs in Texas like UTSA and Texas if they still have a presence in the state. If they don't I think UTSA and Texas St end up in a more southeastern conference from the start.


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