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PostPosted: Mon May 12, 2008 7:46 am 
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There are 23 campuses, consisting of 450,000 plus students, of the California State University system alone, of which Fresno is a single campus. The University of California is another multi-campus system.

Fresno hardly has the power or profile to even dream of such a name declaration.


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PostPosted: Mon May 12, 2008 12:11 pm 
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If I'm not mistaken (and I probably am) Fresno was known as 'California State' up until the early 90's. I don't know what caused the name change, but for branding purposes, a return to the old guard would make Fresno a world of differnence.

And while the California System is multi-campus, so are the Missouri State and Texas State University systems. Neither Texas State nor Missouri State are seen as head-and-shoulders above the other 'state' universities.


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PostPosted: Mon May 12, 2008 6:55 pm 
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What in the world is "Davis"? Never heard of it.


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PostPosted: Mon May 12, 2008 9:33 pm 
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thelurker wrote:
If I'm not mistaken (and I probably am) Fresno was known as 'California State' up until the early 90's. I don't know what caused the name change, but for branding purposes, a return to the old guard would make Fresno a world of differnence.


That name change was mandated by the state legistlature at the request of the Cal State system regents and system president.

If the campus Board of Deans, Faculty Senate, and Undergraduate Student Governmant of California State University at Fresno tried to change it back, no amount of tenure, right to access, or contract clauses would prevent the massive sackings, expulsions, and blacklistings that would result. The other California State University campuses (Including the Cal Polys and California Maritime Academy) guard their images too closely, and the U.C. Campuses would have an interest in preventing the branding of a THE Calfornia State as well.


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PostPosted: Mon May 12, 2008 9:44 pm 
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thelurker wrote:

And while the California System is multi-campus, so are the Missouri State and Texas State University systems. Neither Texas State nor Missouri State are seen as head-and-shoulders above the other 'state' universities.


Those campuses are the largest in their respective systems by student body.

Long Beach State, Cal State-Fullerton, and Cal State-Northridge, among others possess larger student bodies than Fresno State.


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PostPosted: Mon May 12, 2008 10:14 pm 
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benbreeck wrote:

thelurker wrote:
If I'm not mistaken (and I probably am) Fresno was known as 'California State' up until the early 90's. I don't know what caused the name change, but for branding purposes, a return to the old guard would make Fresno a world of differnence.


That name change was mandated by the state legistlature at the request of the Cal State system regents and system president.

If the campus Board of Deans, Faculty Senate, and Undergraduate Student Governmant of California State University at Fresno tried to change it back, no amount of tenure, right to access, or contract clauses would prevent the massive sackings, expulsions, and blacklistings that would result. The other California State University campuses (Including the Cal Polys and California Maritime Academy) guard their images too closely, and the U.C. Campuses would have an interest in preventing the branding of a THE Calfornia State as well.


Sorry, I just didn't know much about the situation. Thanks for the information, i'm a bit naive about the politics of California.


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PostPosted: Tue May 13, 2008 1:38 pm 
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Furthermore, while there were a million funky assumptions in that treatise, let me focus on just one:

Portland is not detached from Oregon and Oregon State. For that matter, both schools are trying to expand opportunities in the metro area- Oregon has secured a modestly famous Portland landmark (White Stag Building) for classes and research. The Oregonian is highly tied into the Pac-10 schools, and is even known to give Washington more inches than Portland State (Vancouver is right across the Columbia, after all).

Portland State drew under 1,000 for their spring game Saturday. So much for the Glanville bump... well, too soon to throw them under the bus, but I can kind of smell the apathy. Football could be in trouble on the Park Blocks at this rate.

I'll leave it there for now. There's a base of the treatise (Fresno first, Boise second) that's actually somewhat on the wise side, Davis can be a player down the road, but a lot of the rest of that just doesn't play.


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PostPosted: Tue May 13, 2008 8:28 pm 
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WAC, 7/1/2020:

Pacific - Hawaii, Nevada, Fresno State, San Jose State, Sacramento State, UC-Davis
Mountain - Utah State, Idaho, Montana, Montana State, New Mexico State, Northern Arizona

I'm assuming the WAC gets tired of Boise State's flirting with the MWC, and that Louisiana Tech finds a better fit.

Although they're not ready now, there's a chance that this could also be the WAC in 12 years:

North - North Dakota State, South Dakota State, Montana, Montana State, Idaho, Boise State
South - Nevada, Utah State, New Mexico State, Northern Arizona, Texas-San Antonio, Louisiana Tech


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PostPosted: Fri Jun 27, 2008 12:59 am 
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If I were the commissioner I would add Montana, and prepare to add UC Davis when they're ready. I would encourage La Tech to leave, although not force them. Portland State, Sac State, and Northern Arizona could also be long term expansion candidates.


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PostPosted: Fri Jul 04, 2008 9:04 pm 
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Lurker --- i very much enjoyed your post. It is a very interesting and valid attack to the WAC BCS problem to take the path of high academics to attempt a future run at BCS status.

With regards to New Mexico State and Louisiana Tech... La Tech really would make a lot of sense in the MVC for non football sports. Not sure who would take NM state. If you could find a taker it would work out for all parties to have both schools as football only WAC members for the short term.

I think your Boise/Fresno breakdown is dead on.

Regarding Portland State and Montana, I think that the budgets really tend to take care of themselves. I understand your desire to push them up to a more completive level, but I think most budgets go up that much just by making the jump.

I think PSU would be far, far more successful as an FBS school than they are as a FCS school. Big city fans are simply a lot less willing to show up for FCS opponents than FBS opponents. Additionally, PSU would recruit a ton better as a FBS school in a lower tier conference than they do as an FCS school. They could land the 25 players FBS level players required every 4 years to compete at top of non-BCS conferences. Finally they have a very large Alumni base. If they were playing for something that most perceived to matter, the alumni contributions would allow much greater success.

Montana has problems in that they are apparently joined at the hip with Montana state (in the state legislature's opinion) and in general are not taken with non-BCS FBS or the WAC. I'd seriously consider Denver instead as a non-football member --- remember you probably will have either NMSU or LA Tech as a football only for a while.

I like your Idaho plans, even though the much frustrated Pounder will nay say them. It is true that many have tried, but one of these days someone will succeed.

I generally agree that large publics are the way to go for football. British Columbia and California-Davis are great and viable choices. I would like to point out that UBC plays Canadian football ---wider Fields and 12 players --- it is unclear whether they would change to American. As a fan of Canadian football, it would be jarring to see one of Canada's better colleges commit heresy, but maybe that is EXACTLY what is required for Canadians to get on the ball and build CF stadiums. A LOT of Canadians complain incessantly about spending money of wasteful athletic pursuits and then spend millions and millions building brand new soccer stadiums. When they do actually pony up the dough for football and build multi-million dollar football stadiums they are...3-10K capacity stadiums. It is like they all spend their time trying to sabotage football in Canada in ways where they can later claim --- "Look, we tried!" Boggles the mind.

All the same, do not be surprised if BC is thinking "non-football" member so they can play CF.

With regards to the University of California-San Diego and Simon Fraser... UCSD is a pretty big advocate of staying in the lower tier...but maybe a change in president could change that at some point. I would certainly steer their school to IAAA if I ran it. SD is perfect for that. As non-football schools they are possibilities.

I think this is a very good direction to take...frankly, better than my own proposal, which honestly didn't even consider trying to eventually be BCS caliber.


Last edited by finiteman on Fri Jul 04, 2008 9:26 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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PostPosted: Fri Jul 04, 2008 11:10 pm 
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FiniteMan... thanks for the compliment. One of my major concerns when addng British Columbia to the future WAC was their ability to procure a stadium. My thought: They could always rent from the local CFL team [bc lions] which is around 40k. Hey, If temple can come up with the support to rent a pro staduim for football, I'm sure the Canadians can.

You literally finished my sentence about BC joining so they could play CF [after all, It's the money sport]. I'm for planning even farther ahead: I would look at British Columbia for their first two sports [at Div-1A]. If I'm not mistaken, NCAA allows a non-D1 school two D1 sports of their choice (not including bb, this is why John Hopkins can play D1 Lacrosse and Dallas Babtist plays D1 Baseball).

The articles I've read on UBC's move to DII says they're likely to have two sports in Division I before they move up, one of them likely College Baseball. As proved by Fresno State's recent miracle run, the WAC is a good mid-major baseball conference. I'm sure it'd be a lovely place for UBC's baseball program to get its feet wet. From there, Basketballl and olympic sports would follow as rivalries develop with (relatively) nearby D1 WAC schools.

Denver would be a pretty good addition, playing a similar role to Utah State in the conference. Decent academics, #3 in a big market, competitive basketball. They're probably the class of the non-football schools.

UC Irvine was the other non-football school I considered. They play Big West Basketball, are well funded with good academics, and provide a small outlet to the Los Angelos market. The school has rich boosters who could one day lead to a football program.












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PostPosted: Mon Jul 07, 2008 6:54 pm 
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Back to the start- Finite Man puts out a challenge to be the commissioner of this conference and to not just nay-say, but to give suggestions as to what you'd do. I usually don't whiz on people's cornflakes when it comes to dream scenarios, though I might offer a couple doses of realism.

Here, I simply do not envy Karl Benson. I don't want this job. I wouldn't have it for long, nor would anyone else.

Yes, Boise State won't sign a commitment. What you don't know is few others will, either. A commissioner will very quickly be disabused of the notion that schools answer to him instead of the other way around.

New Mexico State would LOVE to get people to sign this document. So would Idaho.

Fresno wouldn't touch that document with 5 layers of rubber gloves. That baseball championship has them giving some bloody obvious winks and nudges to the Mountain West, especially since the football team will be favored to win the WAC this year.

What are Karl Benson's current problems?

Four schools completely drag the conference down in the money sport:

Louisiana Tech does after actually winning a conference title, the kicker being them learning that the championship merely got them a nasty Boise bowl game. They've never contended since.

Idaho's woes should be obvious by now.

I'd rather have Idaho's facilities than New Mexico State's. Those Aggies are in a truly poor position, even with a possible core of support. They are dominated by New Mexico in state, and they are only 40-some miles from a similarly larger school in Texas-El Paso that has a relatively large football support AND trumps NMSU in the Aggies' good sport, men's basketball. I'm not surprised that the two true dreamers here both want to ship off this school.

Utah State has worked on its facilities rather diligently. They obviously have something of a donor base. They just don't have a fan base, they are way behind the Holy War schools in state, they're in shock at what's happened in Boise, yet even the people they've hired from Boise can't help them. They could be looking at 1-AA.

Then there's San Jose State's overall stature. Any number of things could happen to them.

Having said all this, having warned you about these schools in mountain climes, there's the other issue. What do you do about this?

The important point: $4/gallon gas is KILLING business out here right now. The nice resort towns 2-3 hours from Boise are hurting, central Washington resorts are hurting, this economy stinks. What happens now DOES matter 20 years down the road. What can be built now matters greatly. That's where Boise's work this summer helps. That's where funds pledged in the June Jones aftermath should help Hawai'i. That's where what Fresno has built to this point helps. That's where Utah State's donor base might save their hides.

The questions: who else can do that? And where? That's where Finite's hybrid declaration fits well, because that's the only option the WAC has besides imploding.

They have to attack the Big West... and I mean attack. They have to adjust to the big schools potentially preparing to fill a hole or two in the MWC, which will have their own problems (though none having to do with the Big 12 or Pac-10 tearing them apart). For the WAC to survive, they have to convince someone to dream before Fresno and maybe Boise runs to the Mountain West and causes a collapse.

If the WAC wants Portland State, for instance, count on having them without football. The lad who owns the Portland Beavers and Portland Timbers will have the city council votes to build a new baseball stadium and renovate (NOT EXPAND) PGE Park for Major League Soccer. That won't help Portland State, who now has no chance of inheriting the place. Their focus is about to turn to a rebuild of their basketball arena, which won't be much bigger than San Jose State's, but it will be new once the funding comes in. Even that funding might be in a bit of question, as Phil Knight's cronies are tying up a good chunk of the state's bonding authority for the new U of Oregon arena in Eugene... perhaps for a long time.

Sacramento State has long-standing plans for a new arena, which got bypassed by a fieldhouse for the football program. The good news for them is that they have their own stadium. The bad news is that nobody fills it. It's a stadium that's positioned to either help the AD... or become someone else's professional facility. Their funding is out of whack.

Northern Arizona... lots of people seem to think Flagstaff is getting part of Phoenix' growth. Truth is that Sacramento is closer to Berkeley than Flagstaff is to Phoenix, and Flagstaff is kind of a slow-going college town that's kind of the ski hub of desert-ridden Arizona. It's an odd place. It's not the place to try FBS football. Their attendance numbers do not merit consideration. Their BASKETBALL attendance, despite some good years of late, is awful. The temptation to think "Arizona" should be tempered by the Northern part. This is a bad choice waiting to happen.

UC Davis, while they have mustered new facilities... it took forever. You might remember that it started out as a 30K seater and then morphed into a 15K facility before not even reaching that number. It might garner them more money, but psychologically, they aren't that close. The funky part: they might be closer than Sacramento State. They might be worth an attack on the Big West.

Perhaps Cal Poly is worth it as well. San Luis Obispo is, by my reckoning, a touch more cosmopolitan than Flagstaff. More importantly, it has a semblance of suburbs and nearby burgs from which a fan base can be cultivated. They are more a football school than a basketball school, which makes them somewhat ripe for poaching from the Big West... but they will have facility commitments to make in both sports for that to work. Davis is actually ahead of them on this count.

After that, you really are trying to aim at Montana and Montana State. You're trying to convince a WCC school to add football, or to break up that conference and try to fill the hybrid notions of a plan. You're also aiming at Texas, which causes its own set of rifts in the conference (Texas is almost certainly the fallback if Boise gets poached, because you can count on Idaho getting jettisoned, THEN pare away another northern school or two, then the geography gets more reasonable toward that end. Montana is not an option in this scenario.

BTW... Canada? I see people are assuming they'd take to college football right away. British Columbia is full of people from everywhere else.... Toronto, the prairie of Canada, Europe, and a very sizeable number of Hong Kong ex-patriots. Assuming that college football would fill seats right away is laughable, and assuming that UBC would want to start playing that game is similarly laughable. CONSIDER THE POSSIBILITY THAT UBC IS THINKING ABOUT THEIR HOCKEY PROGRAM. Of course, as it pertains to hockey, remember that Canada's sport doesn't regard college as their primary development vehicle (and therefore worthy of attention). That's where Major Junior comes in. Their fans already take a dim view of NCAA manueverings of late... so don't be surprised if there is some spitting on whatever designs UBC has. I believe this pertains more to hockey than to anything else. Oh, BTW, expect an announcement this month of Vancouver Whitecaps sharing BC Place when a renovation is decided upon, including a downsizing of the stadium, MLS, and muddling the availability of the stadium.

One thing you should notice about this... people along the I-5 corridor may not share your optimism about college sports. Sure, some of the Pac-10 schools are having their best runs ever... and that merely cannibalizes support for "smaller" schools. Thing is, I think this applies to San Jose State... and, not far down the road, San DIEGO State. I think the Aztecs will be a hole the MWC will eventually fill, as it takes an annual air show for them to maintain attendance standards. I think, at least, Fresno and Boise will be necessary down the road for the Mountain West to maintain numbers. I'm not completely sold on the long term of UNLV football, I think Texas Christian would consider one of the Southwest Conference-type proposals, therefore the MWC will need a California presence that actually matters. Since UCLA and Stanford won't drop down, Fresno is kind of what the doctor orders.


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PostPosted: Tue Jul 08, 2008 8:12 pm 
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Another thing... MWC gets about $8 million per school per year from that wretched TV contract of theirs. Meanwhile, the article linked here shows this last season's distributions from all external sources for WAC schools.

http://www.honoluluadvertiser.com/apps/pbcs.dll/article?AID=/20080706/SPORTS02/807060362/1032

This conference is a very long way off.


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PostPosted: Tue Jul 08, 2008 9:52 pm 
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Pounder wrote:

BTW... Canada? I see people are assuming they'd take to college football right away. British Columbia is full of people from everywhere else.... Toronto, the prairie of Canada, Europe, and a very sizeable number of Hong Kong ex-patriots. Assuming that college football would fill seats right away is laughable, and assuming that UBC would want to start playing that game is similarly laughable. CONSIDER THE POSSIBILITY THAT UBC IS THINKING ABOUT THEIR HOCKEY PROGRAM. Of course, as it pertains to hockey, remember that Canada's sport doesn't regard college as their primary development vehicle (and therefore worthy of attention). That's where Major Junior comes in. Their fans already take a dim view of NCAA manueverings of late... so don't be surprised if there is some spitting on whatever designs UBC has. I believe this pertains more to hockey than to anything else. Oh, BTW, expect an announcement this month of Vancouver Whitecaps sharing BC Place when a renovation is decided upon, including a downsizing of the stadium, MLS, and muddling the availability of the stadium.



First, If I'm not mistaken, Candian Collegiate hockey teams play at about the same level as the current NCAA teams do; that really raise questions that Hockey is the motive.

Weren't you the guy who was recently touting UBC as a PAC-Ten canidate in the distant future? I digress.

I believe the people of Canada would provide more than enough support for a WAC-level football program; especially if that program could support itself financially. Heck, we've seen pro sports teams from American leagues suceed [at varying levels] in Toronto, Vancouver and Montreal. When given a professional team with high quality atheltes, Canadians have shown some intrest.

I don't think football is going to be the first [or even third] sport on Candians minds. I believe the articles posted here metioned baseball and basketball as the two major sports [If I'm not mistaken, the Thunderbirds baseball team made the playoffs in D-II]. I think if Canada was given a college that fielded teams at a higher level than CIS, people would take notice, much like how Toronto has shown so much love to the Raptors or the NHL.

Pounder, lost in the political and economical gears that work through your arguements is that basketball is a profession, and many players want to learn from the best professor they can find. If local talented canadian kids, ala Steve Nash, Larry Walker, Jason Bay, Rick Fox and Justin Morneau, were given a Division I school in their contry of birth, would they have opted for the Canadian School over the American or Pro options they chose? Even with players leaving early for the MLB draft, going through college can gain a player millions on their first contract or draft stock, especially if a player has little known professional experience.

Now imagine if Canada's finest had one NCAA Division I school to choose from in Canada. Don't you think they'd get some high level athletes? Last time I checked, the NFL pays alot more than the CFL, or even the NHL. I'm banking that the NFL talent British Columbia/Vancouver [or Canada in general] would rather filter through an NCAA school than a Canadian Minor league system, especially since American Football pretty much requires two years of college. ::)

So I think Canada will come out for a NCAA level team given that the team is competitive, much like they did for American pro sport leagues. Is football a requirement? No. The CFL seems to have done pretty good for itself the last time I checked, though. Plus, as Boise State has shown, there is serious green to be made even at the midmajor level, especially if you have a good place to play. Football is the money sport in NCAA, and in the end, the benifits of having it may outweigh the costs. An Example: UDelaware supports several of its sport programs through football revenue alone.

We aren't talking about miracles here. Only WAC-level support; schools like Memphis and Temple rent out pro-sized stadiums, so a school with 3 or 4 times the reputation as them should be able to field a decent school. BC place aside, I just can't see why a future WAC wouldn't try to capitalize on the opportunity. There are only two schools that have started the process: Ten or twenty years down the road, they could have a monopoly on local Canadian prospects [atleast ones not headed to the PACTen] recruiting the finest for the American money sports. The lure for the NBA, NFL or MLB is strong within the college ranks. Even if you want to just play the best and brightest, the NCAA is your fast track to success.

At worst, I think UBC's a better program than the WAC's other future options. Sure beats Portland State, Sacramento State or Northern Arizona, doesn't it?


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PostPosted: Sun Jul 13, 2008 9:23 pm 
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Baseball and basketball make the most sense. They could be money programs that would land the best players from all over canada. UBC could continue to play the VERY inexpensive Canadian football variety where partial scholarships and small stadiums are the norm.




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