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PostPosted: Tue Apr 27, 2004 2:38 pm 
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Junior
Junior

Joined: Mon Oct 13, 2003 11:35 am
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Location: North Carolina
www.r-assoc.com
(link is to R Association for R letter-winners from Rice)
The link above shows that Rice is considering dropping football, all athletics, going to D3 as possibilities. That could throw a dent into CUSA.
Note: Tulane did the same thing last year and voted to keep D-1 level and used the press as a fundraising ploy. Rice has discussed these options before back in the mid 90's. Stay tuned!


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PostPosted: Tue Apr 27, 2004 9:16 pm 
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All-Conference
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My interpretation is that this is a due diligence report. Its something any organization should do: stop and see if what you are doing makes sense. I don't get a sense that this was done in order to de-emphasize athletics. Obviously, anytime it is reviewed, fans are nervous, because anything could happen, but I don't think it is likely.

And the result will be obvious: either stay I-A or drop football. Div III is not a viable option for a current Div I school outside the NE or MW. There aren't enough schools. For example, Trinity University, a highly regarded liberal arts school in Texas is in a conference with Sewanee (TN) and Washington U. of MO. So, the travel for Rice in Div III would probably be worse. Div I-AA is not reasonable. Their only option would be the Southland with a bunch of regional state schools. Dropping fb is not particularly good, since they would likely have to leave CUSA, leaving them the options of the Southland, Sun Belt or maybe the MVC. Only the Southland would reduce travel costs and all would reduce revenue.


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PostPosted: Thu Apr 29, 2004 11:25 am 
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All-Star
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Some former classmates of mine in Baton Rouge and Austin have participated in some discussion concerning the evolution of CUSA, and say the prospects for a new from of "Southwest" Conference have gained in popularity. Obviously the value of those markets has increased since the original SWC died, as have the nature of college athletics and media marketing. While there remains a good bit of indecision (obviously) over how such a conference should look exactly, the general make-up based on the CUSA west and a few others seems quite popular. Many suspect, however, that Banowsky (sp?) has already studied the $$ behind a league that might someday shave/lose an ECU, Marshall, etc. IE, the regional thing we've all bantied about before. Keeping Memphis will be key, as will be fostering better programs in Houston and Birmingham.

If UTEP "brings" the Sun Bowl, expectations are that will foster a CUSA/Pac 10 contest while the Fort Worth Bowl replaces the CUSA/MWC rivalry currently played in Memphis. Obviously bowls are becoming much more critical, these days: The MWC and CUSA are making changes that secured/increase post-season access, options the WAC does not really have.


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PostPosted: Thu Apr 29, 2004 11:45 am 
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Joined: Wed Oct 29, 2003 10:57 pm
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Location: Portland! (and about time!)

Quote:
If UTEP "brings" the Sun Bowl, expectations are that will foster a CUSA/Pac 10 contest...


Ah yes, youth will be served. What they're being served, well, ;D.

If UTEP "brings" the Sun Bowl for C-USA use, it will be without the Big 10, Pac-10, and CBS. In some ways, the Pac might be relieved.


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PostPosted: Thu Apr 29, 2004 12:02 pm 
Don't worry, Pounder, I realize it's all just talk. Over time, however, I do know these lesser bowl alignments will evolve and some Big 10 pundits have expressed displeasure with the El Paso offering. Should the Big 10 find greener pastures elsewhere... you get the idea.

The point is that the energy from my friends' comments about the proposed CUSA lineup was more positive than I'd expected. Moreso than the MWC folks, perhaps, was this concept of gaining more access, prestige, whatever, at the expense of a WAC they project as dead-conference-walking. Not that they'd considered the actual fates of the members left behind, but simply focusing on the notions of "Hey, more bowl games and NCAA bids we can try for!" They made it sound like that's part of the goal behind the CUSA leadership, something I didn't see from the MWC expansion process.

Maybe a lot of it has to do with the geography and the exultation of the first wave of WAC evacuees, but it simply sounded different than what I'd heard before. As i said, though, it's all just talk.


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