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 Post subject: Idaho's Plans
PostPosted: Mon May 31, 2004 9:16 pm 
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My Post won't fit all on one post so it will be 15 posts, as it is 15 pages long

Page 1/Post 1:



Great news for you Idaho fans.

I have a question or two about the University of Idaho and its surrounding market.
Idaho is the 39th largest state in the nation as far as population goes. Its just slightly bigger than Hawaii, and way bigger than Wyoming (the nation's least populated state), which are the only two other state's that have at least one Division 1-A college football program located within their boundaries, but yet have smaller populations than Idaho. The next largest state in population to Idaho with a Division 1-A football program located within its boundaries is also the smallest state in population with a BCS conference school -- Nebraska with the University of Nebraska (of which I am an alumnus). West Virginia is next (with one BCS school -- WVU and one non-BCS school Marshall, then comes New Mexico, with 2 non-BCS schools (UNM and NMSU), then Nevada with 2 non-BCS schools (UNR and UNLV). Utah is next with 3 non-BCS schools (BYU, Utah, USU). Idaho's population is growing, and probably by 2020, may exceed both Nebraska and West Virginia in population.

In most states located completely east of the Continental Divide (with the exception of the Dakotas, Maine, NH, Vermont, Massachusetts, RI, and Delaware), the model is that if only one major flagship state university exists, then that major flagship state university is a BCS school. If two major flagship state universities exists, then both of those schools are BCS schools (except for one exception in Ohio, which I will explain). Following is what I would define as major flagship state universities and a listing for each state:
There can be two different major flagship state universities, and one major flagship state university could serve in both these roles. There are two states that have an exception to this. The two different types of major flagship state universities are:

1. The Historical State University -- Comprehensive Liberal Arts/Historical National Research/Historical PhDs/Professional Schools with an Historical Statewide mission. These are commonly known as “The University of’s”. They are usually the oldest state university in the state and usually the oldest college or university in the state. They include the state’s first and oldest medical schools and law schools on their campus or a part of their university systems. They may be referred as the “Snob State U’s”

2. The U.S. Morrill Act of 1862 Agricultural and Manufacturing Land Grant institutions with a Statewide Mission and National Research and Historical PhD granting capabilities. These are commonly known as the “...(insert state name here) State Universities”, but not always. These schools contain usually the state’s only agricultural school, and sometimes a state Veterinarian School, and also may be heavy into manufacturing and technology as an emphasis, however, in more recent years these schools have expanded in the liberal arts as well. They also house the state’s University Extension program, which is a federal program for Land Grant universities in cooperation with the USDA and local county governments. They are sometimes referred to as the “Moo U’s”

Below is a state by state account of these major state flagship universities according to these

(Cont in post 2)


Last edited by sportsgeog on Tue Jun 01, 2004 7:40 am, edited 1 time in total.

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 Post subject: Idaho's Plans
PostPosted: Mon May 31, 2004 9:18 pm 
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(Cont from post 1)

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definitions and a couple of exceptions (Universities in Bold are BCS schools, Universities in italics are Non-BCS Division 1-A schools):

Alabama:
University of Alabama (1)
Auburn University (2)
Alaska:
University of Alaska at Fairbanks (1 & 2)
Arizona:
University of Arizona (1 & 2)
Arizona State University (*Exception see below)
Arkansas:
University of Arkansas-Fayetteville (1 & 2)
California:
University of California-Berkeley (1 & 2 -- 2 was delegated to the Berkeley, Davis, and Riverside campuses)
Colorado:
University of Colorado-Boulder (1)
Colorado State University (2)
Connecticut:
University of Connecticut (1 & 2)
Delaware:
University of Delaware (1 & 2)
Florida:
University of Florida (1 & 2)
Florida State University (**Exception see below)
Georgia:
University of Georgia (1 & 2)
Georgia Institute of Technology (***Exception see below)
Hawaii:
University of Hawaii-Manoa (1 & 2)
Idaho:
University of Idaho (1 & 2)
Illinois:
University of Illinois-Urbana Champaign (1 & 2)
Indiana:
Indiana University (1)
Purdue University (2)
Iowa:
University of Iowa (1)
Iowa State University (2)
Kansas:
University of Kansas (1)
Kansas State University (2)

(Cont on Post 3)


Last edited by sportsgeog on Tue Jun 01, 2004 7:51 am, edited 1 time in total.

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 Post subject: Idaho's Plans
PostPosted: Mon May 31, 2004 9:19 pm 
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(Cont from Post 2)

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Kentucky:
University of Kentucky (1 & 2)
Louisiana:
Louisiana State University (1 & 2)
Maine:
University of Maine at Orono (1 & 2)
Maryland:
University of Maryland-College Park (1 & 2)
Massachusetts:
University of Massachusetts-Amherst (1 & 2)
Michigan:
University of Michigan (1)
Michigan State University (2)
Minnesota:
University of Minnesota-Twin Cities (1 & 2)
Mississippi:
University of Mississippi (1)
Mississippi State University (2)
Missouri:
University of Missouri-Columbia (1 & 2)
Montana:
University of Montana (1)
Montana State University (2)
Nebraska:
University of Nebraska-Lincoln (1 & 2)
Nevada:
University of Nevada-Reno (1 & 2)
New Hampshire:
University of New Hampshire (1 & 2)
New Jersey:
Rutgers University-New Brunswick -- The State University of New Jersey (1 & 2)
New Mexico:
University of New Mexico (1)
New Mexico State University (2)
New York:
University at Albany -- State University of New York (****Exception see below)
State University of New York at Binghamton (****Exception see below)
University at Buffalo -- State University of New York (****Exception see below)
Stony Brook University -- State University of New York (****Exception see below)
Cornell University (2 -- Special case of a private university being contracted by the state to serve as the State Land Grant Morrill Act of 1862)

(Cont of Post 4)


Last edited by sportsgeog on Tue Jun 01, 2004 7:58 am, edited 1 time in total.

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 Post subject: Idaho's Plans
PostPosted: Mon May 31, 2004 9:21 pm 
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(Cont from post 3)

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North Carolina:
University of North Carolina (1)
North Carolina State University (2)
North Dakota:
University of North Dakota (1)
North Dakota State University (2)
Ohio:
Ohio University (*****Exception see below -- hard to classify)
The Ohio State University (1 & 2)
Oklahoma:
University of Oklahoma (1)
Oklahoma State University (2)
Oregon:
University of Oregon (1)
Oregon State University (2)
Pennsylvania:
Pennsylvania State University (1 & 2)
Rhode Island:
University of Rhode Island (1 & 2)
South Carolina:
University of South Carolina (1)
Clemson University (2)
South Dakota:
University of South Dakota (1)
South Dakota State University (2)
Tennessee:
University of Tennessee (1 & 2)
Texas:
University of Texas-Austin (1)
Texas A & M University-College Station (2)
Texas Tech University (******Exception see below)
Utah:
University of Utah (1)
Utah State University (2)
Vermont:
University of Vermont (1 & 2)
Virginia:
University of Virginia (1)
Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University -- Virginia Tech (2)
Washington:
University of Washington (1)
Washington State University (2)
West Virginia:
West Virginia University (1 & 2)

(Cont on Post 5)


Last edited by sportsgeog on Tue Jun 01, 2004 8:08 am, edited 1 time in total.

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 Post subject: Idaho's Plans
PostPosted: Mon May 31, 2004 9:23 pm 
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(Cont from Post 4)

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Wisconsin:
University of Wisconsin-Madison (1 & 2)
Wyoming:
University of Wyoming (1 & 2)

Exceptions:
* Arizona State University was originally called Arizona State Teachers College -Tempe, it was originally a “Normal School”. But because Arizona has had very rapid population growth and the Phoenix metropolitan area has also experienced rapid population growth, ASU has become a major national research university and has the largest enrollment in the state of Arizona among its colleges and universities. For this reason it is classified among these major flagship state universities.
**Florida State University was originally called Florida Women’s University, and only admitted female students, until it went coed in the 1940’s and changed its name to Florida State University. Florida has also had rapid population growth and Florida has become the 4th largest state in population. FSU has become a significant national research university, and therefore is classified among the major flagship state universities.
***The Georgia Institute of Technology is a institution with a strong academic reputation with a focus on technology and has historical been a national research university. For this purpose it is included among the major flagship state universities.
**** The State of New York did not have any public universities until the 1960’s when they bought-up a number of private universities to start a state university system known as The State University of New York. There are several of these campuses throughout the state. However, there are 4 particular SUNY campuses that are all considered National Public Universities by US News and World Report. This system is hard to classify, and these 4 campuses are all pretty much equal in academic reputation and in enrollment. They all grant PhD’s and probably have national research occurring at each of these 4 campuses. For these reasons, they are classified as major flagship state universities. Cornell University, a very prestigious private Ivy League school was contracted with the State of New York to serve as the state’s Morrill Act Land Grant Agricultural University/University Extension (and Vet School too) and that portion of the university is considered state-publicly owned and thus is listed in this list as well.
*****Ohio University is hard to classify because its difficult to determine its original historic mission. It is the oldest university in Ohio, but not only that it is the oldest university in the Midwest -- dating back to 1805, predating Ohio State University by 65 years. The State of Ohio was admitted to the Union in 1803, so this university may have served as its major state university in the early years. It is included because of its unusually longer history over The Ohio State University, and may have been the original major flagship state university for the state of Ohio, and perhaps The Ohio State University was established because of the Morrill Act Land Grant purpose. This is the only university considered in this list of major flagship state universities that is located in a BCS state, but is not a BCS school.
******Texas Tech University was established in 1921 for the purposes of providing a comprehensive university in the western portions of Texas, which are a far distance from the University of Texas and Texas A & M University. Texas Tech was never affiliated with either UT or A & M systems. It itself is its own system, with branch medical school campuses located in Lubbock, Amarillo, Odessa, and El Paso. Since Texas is both the 2nd largest State in both population and size, and this university system was created to provide a comprehensive statewide university for the western portions of the state, and it has PhD granting capabilities, as well as national research, it is classified as a major flagship state university and is included in this list.

(Cont on Post 6)


Last edited by sportsgeog on Tue Jun 01, 2004 8:10 am, edited 1 time in total.

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 Post subject: Idaho's Plans
PostPosted: Mon May 31, 2004 9:26 pm 
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(Cont from Post 5)

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So, a number of BCS schools are these major state flagship universities. Mixed within these schools are a handful of private schools, and a couple of other state universities that are not of the major flagship state U type. I’ll explain this in just a second. The private BCS schools include the following:

BCS Privates:
Syracuse University
Boston College
Duke University
Wake Forest University
University of Miami
Northwestern University
University of Norte Dame
Vanderbilt University
Baylor University
University of Southern California
Stanford University

Non-BCS Privates:
Tulane University
Rice University
Southern Methodist University
Texas Christian University
University of Tulsa
Brigham Young University

Military Academies Non-BCS:
U.S. Air Force Academy
U.S. Military Academy
U.S. Naval Academy

There are two other general types of state universities that can be major, and at times have branch campuses, and major national research, but there historical missions and there original purpose don’t fit the major flagship state university model that are described in the two different types above. The following are the other two general types of state universities:

(Cont on Post 7)


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 Post subject: Idaho's Plans
PostPosted: Mon May 31, 2004 9:27 pm 
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(Cont from Post 6)

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3. Urban Grant/Metropolitan Grant/Commuter Universities: These are state and public universities located in a large city or metropolitan area with the focus of serving the population of that city or metropolitan area. Some of these schools can be major state universities and have major national research activities comparable to the first two state universities mentioned. They could also have branches of their university located nearby. The following are a list of BCS and Non-BCS Urban Grant/Metropolitan Grant/Commuter Universities:

BCS Urban/Metropolitan/Commuter Universities (Current):
University of California at Los Angeles (UCLA)
University of Pittsburgh

BCS Urban/Metropolitan/Commuter Universities (2005 additions)):
University of Cincinnati
University of Louisville
University of South Florida

Current BCS Urban/Metropolitan/Commuter Universities (2005 subtraction):
Temple University

Non-BCS Urban/Metropolitan/Commuter Universities:
University of Central Florida
University of Alabama-Birmingham
University of Memphis
University of Akron
University of Toledo
University of Houston
University of Texas at El Paso
Boise State University
University of Nevada at Las Vegas
San Diego State University
Fresno State University
San Jose State University
Florida Atlantic University
Florida International University

4. ]“The Normals”/Historical Teacher Colleges/Directional Universities/Regional Universities/Commuter Universities: These are universities that have original historical missions of providing education and training for teachers of public and private K-12 education. Most states have at least one of these schools, and a number of states have a handful of these universities for the purposes of providing educational resources in geographic locations throughout the state so teachers can be educated for K-12 education, so the university can be close to as many public K-12 schools. These universities have expanded their missions over the years, and have become more broad in liberal arts education, as well as more broad based in

(Cont on Post 8)


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 Post subject: Idaho's Plans
PostPosted: Mon May 31, 2004 9:28 pm 
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(Cont from Post 7)

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other professions and even into national research. They are taking on the roles that are found at the state schools listed under the first two types, but yet are not quite at that level, either comprehensively, or in fundraising to reach that level. These are sometimes called “Directional U’s” as well as “Normals”.

There are currently no BCS schools in this classification.

Non-BCS Normals/Directionals:
Marshall University
East Carolina University
University of Southern Mississippi
Kent State University
Bowling Green State University
Eastern Michigan University
Central Michigan University
Western Michigan University
Ball State University
Northern Illinois University
Middle Tennessee State University
Troy State University
Arkansas State University
University of Louisiana at Monroe
University of North Texas

5. Unclassified State Universities: These are state universities that don’t quite fit into any of these 4 other categories.

There are currently no BCS schools in this classification.

Non-BCS Unclassifieds:
Louisiana Tech University
University of Louisiana at Lafayette
Miami University (Oxford, OH)

Population Geography of the West or the BCS Gap Region:

The west seems to disintegrate when it comes to following models 1 and 2 above, when compared to the rest of the country entirely east of the continental divide. It seems to follow this pattern in the states of Washington, Oregon, California, Arizona, and almost in the state of Colorado (Colorado State University being the exception). I think there are two reasons for this. One is that the west is different than the states east of the continental divide. The population for those states east of the continental divide is more continuous. There is a continuous network of mid-sized to large metropolitan areas that are no more than 200 to 250

(Cont on Post 9)


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 Post subject: Idaho's Plans
PostPosted: Mon May 31, 2004 9:29 pm 
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(Cont from Post 8)

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miles apart from another metropolitan area of that size or larger. Plus there is a network of county-seat towns that are no more than 25 to 50 miles apart and their populations are no less than 2,000 people. This population geography exists like this from the east coast all the way to the eastern portions of the Great Plains states. Once you get west of the Great Plains states, the population geography changes.

Population in the western states are concentrated primarily in mid-sized to large metropolitan areas. These mid-sized to large metropolitan areas are also at least 400 to 500 miles apart from each other. These cities are like Denver, Colorado Springs, Albuquerque, Phoenix, Tucson, Salt Lake City, Boise, Las Vegas, Reno, Spokane, Seattle, Portland, and Eugene. California is an exception, as it really resembles the megalopolis-like population geography of the east coast, and Vancouver, BC to Eugene, OR is almost also like the east coast as well. The two western states that don’t have these mid-sized to large metropolitan areas, Montana, and Wyoming, there seems to still be this concentration around the small metropolitan areas that they do have. For Montana this is Billings, Missoula, and Great Falls, and for Wyoming there is Cheyenne and Casper. Also, county seat towns are more spread out, as counties are much larger in geographic size in the west, probably 50 to 100 miles apart from each other

The second reason why you don’t see BCS teams in the states of Utah, Nevada, New Mexico, and Idaho, and Colorado State University as the second BCS school from the above-average populated state of Colorado, is because these states haven’t had as long of a history of being more populated when compared to Nebraska, Kansas, Iowa, Oklahoma, Arkansas, Mississippi, and West Virginia (these are the smaller, less than national average populated, BCS states). For instance, Nebraska, which I mentioned earlier, at the time of the establishment of early traditional college football, the early part of the 20th century, it was the 29th largest state in population (1910 census), and it was a member of the 3rd most traditional college conference, the Missouri Valley Inter-Athletic Association, the forerunner to the Big 8 (Ivy League and Big Ten forerunner were the most traditional). So almost all of these other smaller than national average states were affiliated with alliances that are somewhat similar to today’s alliances -- Southern Conference --> SEC, MVIAA --> Big 8/Big 12. So they had a geographic region and were more prominent as far as national population rank which allowed a tradition to be established for college football in these states in the early years of college football.

The third reason relates to the first reason, and this is leading up to my question for the University of Idaho and the State of Idaho. This third reason that the major flagship state university model for the types 1 and 2 seems to disintegrate in the west is because in every state there is an unusual occurrence of either type 3 or 4 type school blocking the way, or a major private university blocking the way, or a the Air Force Academy gets in the way, causing a saturation of college football teams for it to occur, and may block the ability for this trend to occur in the future. I’ll explain this for each of the following states: Colorado, Utah, Nevada, New Mexico, and Idaho.

(Cont on Post 10)


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 Post subject: Idaho's Plans
PostPosted: Mon May 31, 2004 9:31 pm 
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For Colorado, the thing that may be keeping Colorado State from being a BCS school is that the Air Force Academy also exists within the boundaries of this state. Colorado has 4.5 million people and is the 22nd largest state in population, but yet has two major flagship state universities, but only one of these is a BCS school. It has about 1 million more people than Oregon, which has two BCS schools, almost 2 million more people than Iowa which has 2 BCS schools, and almost 2 million more people than Kansas, which has 2 BCS schools. It is odd that when the University of Colorado joined the Big 8 in the late 1940’s, that Colorado State (or what was, I think, Colorado A & M) wasn’t asked to join also. Either then, or a short time afterward. Perhaps along with Oklahoma State in the late 1950’s. It could have been called the Big 9. But it didn’t and its alliances with WAC schools formed traditional rivals. This is probably a significant reason why its not a BCS school today, by being a member of today’s Big 12. But the Air Force Academy may be another reason. The Air Force Academy actually has a larger stadium than Colorado State, and is in a larger metropolitan area than Colorado State. It almost seems the Air Force Academy is second to the University of Colorado in the amount of fans that come to their games. So this may lessen the ability for Colorado State to have become a BCS school, as it is difficult for 3 BCS teams to be from a state of 4.5 million people, so only one pops out -- that being the University of Colorado.

For Utah, the blocking of both major flagship state universities from becoming BCS schools is the existence of a very major private university, Brigham Young University. The existence of BYU has created probably the school with the strongest following in the inter-mountain west, and certainly in Utah. With Utah its more than just both major flagship state universities becoming BCS schools. Its all three of these schools all being in the same conference. The Mountain West currently probably has the highest rank of conferences that is geographically located between the Big 12 and the Pac 10. The combination of BYU and the University of Utah, I believe, has prevented Utah State University from becoming a member of the same conference over the years (whether it was the old WAC when Utah and BYU belonged, or the Mountain West). Like the Air Force Academy in Colorado, BYU is the equivalent for Utah for preventing the major flagship state university model for BCS schools or for preventing complete membership in the highest conference possible (Mountain West) for the two major flagship state universities. It seems BYU and the University of Utah have had a veto power over Utah State University becoming an old WAC school and now a Mountain West school. As this state grows in population, it could become a western equivalent to Indiana, with Indiana, Purdue, and Norte Dame (Indiana is the 14th largest state with over 6 million people, Utah currently has 2.4 million people). Utah’s population will be approaching 2.8 million by 2010, and 3.5 million by 2020. Salt Lake City’s metropolitan population (which includes Ogden to the immediate north and is currently 1.4 million people) will be approaching 1.7 million by 2010 and 2 million by 2020. So Utah is definitely a growing western state and will continue in the future.

For Nevada, New Mexico, and Idaho, the blocking agents in all three states are the existence of urban grant/metropolitan grant/commuter schools that are either located within the state or is located nearby and these urban schools have higher enrollments and are in a larger market than the major flagship state universities located in each of these states. For Nevada, there is only 2 state universities, University of Nevada-Reno, the only major flagship state university in Nevada

(Cont on Post 11)


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 Post subject: Idaho's Plans
PostPosted: Mon May 31, 2004 9:32 pm 
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(Cont from Post 10)

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as it is the Morrill Act of 1862 Land Grant University and was established in 1874, 10 years after Nevada became a state. The other state university is the University of Nevada-Las Vegas (UNLV), which is a Urban Grant/Metropolitan Grant/Commuter school that was established in 1957 as a branch of the University of Nevada flagship campus in Reno. I am not totally sure, but it may have had a history of being a junior college before becoming a branch of the University of Nevada system. The state of Nevada established its third state academic institution in the early part of this decade with the opening of Nevada State College in Henderson. But that point is somewhat of a digression, but illustrates that when these western states grow in population, new state universities and colleges emerge to provide more educational opportunities for the growing state population.

During the latter half of the 20th Century and continuing on into this century, the State of Nevada’s population has grown exponentially. It grew from 160,000 in 1950 to its present day population of 2.2 million people. This will continue into the future, with some projections exceeding 3 million by 2010 (and about 3.8 million by 2020). Historically, pre-1950, the state’s largest concentration of population was in the Reno/Carson City/Lake Tahoe Region in the north near the California border, tied to the silver mining history found in nearby Virginia City. This may be the reason why the capital city and the flagship state university are located in this part of the state. While Reno, Sparks, Carson City and the Lake Tahoe Region have all grown in population since 1950, the vast majority of the state’s population growth over the last 55 years has occurred in Clark County, where Las Vegas is located. This town was a mere 5,000 people in 1930, is now a metropolitan area that exceeds 1.5 million people (about the same size as Milwaukee, WI), and will reach over 2 million by 2010 and 2.8 million by 2020. This explains why the University of Nevada-Las Vegas has also out-grown its parent and flagship institution of the University of Nevada-Reno, both in student enrollment (UNLV = 25,000 students, UNR = 15,0000 students), but also in its alignment with other western schools (UNLV = MWC, UNR = WAC). However, the University of Nevada-Reno still exceeds the University of Nevada-Las Vegas in academic reputation (UNR = 3rd Tier National University by USNWR, and UNLV = 4th Tier National University by USNWR). This overshadowing may play a role in preventing a BCS team from emerging from the state of Nevada and/or prevent both schools from being in the same conference (MWC). It is definite that Nevada’s population will continue to grow, and both Las Vegas, and the Reno/Carson City/Lake Tahoe Region as well. The Pac 10 might be interested, but both schools have weaknesses. Both are a little to a lot of being sub-par academically for the Pac 10, which is a very academic conference. UNLV is definitely below the Pac 10 academic reputation, but yet offers the most as far as market population (Las Vegas is on par with Phoenix, Tucson, LA, SF Bay Area, Portland, and Seattle). UNR offers more academically, but has a shorter history of playing in Division 1-A and in a conference that is probably farther removed from the Pac 10 (WAC) than that of UNLV (MWC). If only UNR had the market of the equivalent of Las Vegas plus a slightly higher academic reputation (at least Tier 2 USNWR). It might be a shoe-in for the Pac 10 if this was the case.

(Cont on Post 12)


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 Post subject: Idaho's Plans
PostPosted: Mon May 31, 2004 9:33 pm 
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For New Mexico, the problem of the two schools (UNM, NMSU) from having BCS status and/or both being in the same conference, lies with the existence of a urban/commuter school located just outside the state’s boundaries, the University of Texas at El Paso (UTEP). For years both the University of New Mexico and UTEP were in the same conference, the WAC. Then of course UNM went along with 7 other western schools to form the MWC and UTEP stayed in the WAC, but now is off to Conference USA, a more southeastern conference with more Texas schools. It seems that UTEP, which is located in a metropolitan area of nearly 700,000 people, overshadows New Mexico’s second major flagship state university of New Mexico State University. It is located about 1 hour north of El Paso in Las Cruces, which has a metropolitan area population of 170,000 people (a little on the smaller side). In comparison, the University of New Mexico is situated about the best it can be as far as being in the largest market in the state, Albuquerque with 750,000 people, plus Sante Fe adds another 150,000 to that as it is about 1 hour north of campus. In fact there was somewhat of a remote chance that UNM could have became a Big 12 school, and thus a BCS school, as it would be aligned with Texas schools -- a neighboring state. New Mexico’s population is currently hovering around 1.8 to 1.9 million people and most likely will exceed 2 million by 2010, and probably close to 2.5 million by 2020. Albuquerque is also growing and is bound to be a metropolitan area of 1 million people by 2020 -- making it more of a major market like Salt Lake City, Memphis or Louisville. New Mexico has some potential of going into a BCS conference like the Big 12 or the Pac 10, or staying a strong member of a growing and establishing MWC. They are similar to Colorado State University, BYU and the University of Utah in this respect. However, for NMSU it may be difficult for it to ever reach BCS status or to be in the MWC with UNM, due to its more remote location in the state, and its overshadowing by both UTEP and UNM.

Now for the case of Idaho. The three state universities in Idaho were, for the longest time all members of the same conference, that being the University of Idaho (UI), Boise State University (BSU), and Idaho State University (ISU) were all members of the Big Sky Conference. This alignment made a lot of sense for a number of years, as Idaho as a state with less than 1 million people up until 1990, was more like the State of Montana than any other western state. After 1990 things began to change. Idaho has always been a growing state, but after it reached 1 million people in population in 1990 and after Boise moved from a smaller-sized metropolitan area to that of a mid-sized metropolitan area with comparisons to Des Moines, IA or Little Rock, AR or Madison, WI, it has become more different than that of Montana, which included the Big Sky conference members of Montana and Montana State as well as some other western schools. Idaho is now taking on some of the characteristics of Nevada, New Mexico, Hawaii, and Utah in the West, and also looking like Nebraska (a Great Plains-Midwestern state) and West Virginia (a northeast-like southern state) as far as its population of the state as a whole and its largest metropolitan area, a Reno-like, Albuquerque-like, Salt Lake City-like, Honolulu-like, Omaha-like Boise. Also Boise was now different than the smaller metropolitan areas of Montana -- Billings, Great Falls and Missoula. So in the 1990’s, both Boise State and the University of Idaho both jumped to Division 1-A and joining the now-defunct Big West Conference. In the earlier part of this decade, Boise State joined the more prestigious WAC and UI went to the Big West-equivalent Sun Belt Conference (a mostly southeasternish conference). Having these two schools in two different conferences is yet another example of a pattern that exists in the west. That being a non-major flagship state university or a major private university overshadows the major flagship state university for the state, and the non-major flagship state university goes into the more prestigious conference. Even if UI is invited to the WAC, there’s a strong potential that Boise State will eventually move on to the more prestigious MWC. Either way, the pattern of the major flagship state university(ies) being eventual members to the BCS or the most prestigious conference available (MWC) does not play out in yet another one of these BCS Gap States.

(Cont on Post 13)


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 Post subject: Idaho's Plans
PostPosted: Mon May 31, 2004 9:34 pm 
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(Cont from Post 12)

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By the year 2010, Idaho’s population will reach 1.5 to 1.6 million people, just slightly less than what Nebraska’s population is currently (1.7 million people). Boise by this time will reach a metropolitan population of 600,000 to 700,000 people (currently its at about 470,000). This means it will resemble what Albuquerque, NM, Omaha, NE, Tucson, AZ, Colorado Springs, CO, Wichita, KS and Tulsa, OK do today, instead of resembling Spokane, WA, Reno, NV, and Eugene, OR. By the year 2020, Idaho’s population will exceed 2 million people. This is more similar to what Nevada‘s, Utah‘s, Arkansas‘, and Kansas’s current populations are. Boise will most likely be approaching 1 million people in its metropolitan area, which is somewhat similar to the current populations of Salt Lake City, Memphis and Louisville. So Idaho will be like the states of Utah, Nevada and New Mexico, and will continue to grow quite rapidly. This means, just based on the population of each one of these 4 states, their schools, at least from a state’s total population goes, will be more appealing to reach BCS status and potentially expanding the geographic boundaries of the BCS, or its future equivalent, based only on the growing populations of these BCS Gap States.

And Now the Question (a Revisionist One) for the University of Idaho and the State of Idaho

The question I have is this. Why wasn’t the University of Idaho established in Boise instead of Moscow, some 300 miles to the north in what is a more remote and less-populated portion of the state? I know this is a revisionist type question, but its important for understanding the potential challenges of having Idaho ever becoming a BCS state or a complete Mountain West Conference state. Because Boise State University lies within the rapidly growing mid-sized metropolitan area of Boise, and because of its recent success on the football field, it makes it more attractive to the now WAC and the Mountain West Conference than that of UI. Boise is currently 470,000 people in metropolitan area population. This represents about 3/8th of the entire population of the state. Within 20 years from now, as I stated earlier, Boise could reach 1 million people in metropolitan population, making it a major US market. As I also stated, by the year 2020, Idaho’s population will likely exceed 2 million people, possibly surpassing the total populations of the two BCS states of Nebraska and West Virginia. This sounds like a potential for BCS inclusion.

But the problem lies within Idaho ever becoming a BCS state is that the market population of Boise makes Boise State University more appealing from a market standpoint, but from an academic standpoint which is probably is as important, the UI is of a higher academic reputation than that of Boise State, in that its considered a 3rd-Tier National University by USNWR and Boise State is a 2nd Tier Regional Master’s University (its not the same “National” status in academic reputation as UI). Also UI, as I listed earlier is the major flagship state university for the state of Idaho and Boise State is a urban grant/metropolitan grant/commuter university.

(Cont on Post 14)


Last edited by sportsgeog on Tue Jun 01, 2004 8:16 am, edited 1 time in total.

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 Post subject: Idaho's Plans
PostPosted: Mon May 31, 2004 9:35 pm 
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But the problem with UI, besides it not doing too well on the football field, for becoming a BCS school, or even a MWC school is that its situated in one of the most remote if not the most remote location in Division 1-A college football (based on proximity to mid to large metropolitan areas). Moscow, a city of 21,000 people is located 300 miles from the largest concentration of population in the state, Boise. The closest metropolitan area, Lewiston, which just recently was designated as a metropolitan area, is 1/2 hour to the south. However, Lewiston is the 2nd smallest metropolitan area in the nation out of 300 metropolitan areas, with about 57,000 people. Coeur d’ Alene is a smaller metropolitan are with a population of 108,000 is located 85 miles to the north. Moscow, which is in Latah County has about 35,000 people. Pullman, WA is located next door and adds another 40,000 people from Whitman County, WA. However, Pullman is home to a major flagship state university for the 15th largest state in the nation, Washington State University serving a state with 6 million people, and thus its fans would follow WSU. Spokane, WA, with 415,000 people in its metropolitan area is located 100 miles to north. This metro area is nearly the size of Boise. However, being that its in the State of Washington and 85 miles from Pullman and WSU, that market would predominantly follow WSU.

Now, granted being that UI is the only major flagship state university in the state of Idaho, and serves a statewide mission, it would have a fan base located throughout the state, including Boise, Pocatello, Idaho Falls, Twin Falls, and the Panhandle area cities that I mentioned that are near Moscow. However, its still an issue of immediate market population, and the Idaho panhandle doesn’t have a large population base and most likely won’t become a Boise or a Spokane (whether that be Coeur d’ Alene, Moscow, or Lewiston) in the near 20 or 30 year time frame. The Idaho Panhandle is still quite rural and will remain so 20 to 30 years into the future. This is coupled with the relatively inaccessibility of that region to a major airport. I remember sometime within the last 20 years I was watching a nationally televised college football game that was being announced by either Keith Jackson or Brent Musberger, I can’t remember which one. They were commenting on the most inaccessible college football towns to televise a college football game. Their two top choices were Pullman, WA which is 85 miles from Spokane (a relatively mid-sized airport), and State College, PA which is 85 miles from Harrisburg’s mid-sized airport. Well, if Pullman is relatively inaccessible, so is Moscow.

Now the case for Boise State University becoming a BCS school, which would mostly likely mean the Pac 10 would ask them to join, is also very complicated, and very not likely. Boise State is very likely to become a Mountain West Conference school because its similar to two of its current members, UNLV and San Diego State, that being it is a urban grant/metropolitan grant/commuter school. But when you look at all the current 64 members of the BCS conferences, 50 of them are major flagship state universities, as I have defined earlier, 11 of them are academically prestigious private universities. Only 3 of the current 64 BCS schools are defined as urban grant/metropolitan grant/commuter schools, which are the University of California at Los Angeles (UCLA), the University of Pittsburgh, and Temple University (technically it is one for the year 2004, but then will be removed from this list when it will leave the Big East and become a most-likely independent school). All three of these schools are a rare exception and all are not like most urban grant/metropolitan grant/commuter schools. For the case of the University of Pittsburgh and Temple University, which are considered 2 of the 3 Commonwealth of Pennsylvania’s major public research universities ( the other being Pennsylvania State University). Prior to 1965, both the University of Pittsburgh and Temple University were private universities with high academic reputations, and had a long history as major academic institutions nationally. Especially the University of Pittsburgh which dates back to 1787. So these two universities, while technically defined as urban grant/metropolitan grant/commuter schools, they really are like Syracuse University or Boston College, or perhaps a bit like Rutgers (as that was a private university that was converted to the State University of New Jersey), in academic reputation. So its only by a technical definition that Pitt and Temple are defined this way, and could be nationally prestigious private universities if the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania did not buy them in the mid 1960’s.

(Cont on Post 15)


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