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PostPosted: Tue Jul 13, 2004 3:18 pm 
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Other than adding Notre Dame or Penn State. I'll be honest, and say I wouldn't care if ND joins the Big East or the Big Ten. It makes no difference to me. In fact, to be honest, I think ND would be a better fit in the Big East than the Big Ten. But that's just my opinion.
Anyway, back to the topic, how would you improve Big East football other than adding Notre Dame or Penn State?
I would add either of these two: Delaware or Navy. Even though Delaware is I-AA, they have a long history and a tradition of winning. They may have had some offers to move up before but turned them down because they want to be in the spotlight. They would definitely be in the BE spotlight. In addition, the Big East could probably get a better share of the Philadelphia market than it currently gets even with Temple.
Navy has definitely went through some bad seasons. But the new coach has them winning now. Question is: could Navy survive in the Big East? It's a legitimate question to ask because Army has no desire to have any conference affliation after its bad experiment with CUSA. Would Navy commit to the Big East?? Would the Big East be willing to give Navy all-sports membership? Although many would say that would be sheer stupidity, think about this:
1. it would definitely make Navy commit to the Big East long term. This is not something to be overlooked.
2. it would force Navy to upgrade its other sports. This is what the MWC has done for Air Force. One thing I would definitely love to get my hands on is some history on how Air Force did as an independent, and compare to how Air Force is currently doing.
While Memphis is a decent program, its not really in the BE's footprint and doesn't really belong, IMO.


Last edited by dawgnduckfan on Tue Jul 13, 2004 3:19 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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PostPosted: Tue Jul 13, 2004 4:04 pm 
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Navy, Army, Air Force, Marines, and Coast Guard have better things to do than upgrade their sports.

Actually, if I recall correctly, we're a couple handfuls of years into a 30-year plan to merge the armed services. That doesn't necessarily affect the academies, for all I know (cadets, et al, will probably have to specialize anyway), and politics will dictate whether the final few steps are taken, but the point is to keep it cheaper. It's easier to push college football as a tax-supported tourism inducement in Alabama than it is nationwide.


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PostPosted: Tue Jul 13, 2004 7:27 pm 
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[quote author=Pounder link=board=acc&thread=1089753506&start=1#0 date=1089756253]Navy, Army, Air Force, Marines, and Coast Guard have better things to do than upgrade their sports.

Quote:

The actual Navy, Army, Air Force, etc. do have better things to do than upgrade their sports (yes, there actually are some.) The U.S. Naval Academy, the U.S. Military Academy, and the U.S. Air Force Academy probably do have better things to do than upgrade their sports, but they already been upgrading sports anyway. How do you explain Army and Navy getting rid of their old coaches and hiring new ones?? This is a very expensive proposition for these academies. It would have been more cost efficient to simply let the old coaches' contracts expire rather than buy them out. This did not happen at all. It would have made more sense, from a $$'s perspective, for Air Force to have football independent and put all the other sports in the Big West. But this is just my opinion.
[quote]
Actually, if I recall correctly, we're a couple handfuls of years into a 30-year plan to merge the armed services. That doesn't necessarily affect the academies, for all I know (cadets, et al, will probably have to specialize anyway), and politics will dictate whether the final few steps are taken, but the point is to keep it cheaper. It's easier to push college football as a tax-supported tourism inducement in Alabama than it is nationwide.

This 30 yr plan to merge the armed services will flop. Each branch of the armed forces is very different from each other with the exception of the Navy and the Coast Guard. I suppose those two could be merged, but that's it. Trying to merge all of the armed forces would be like trying to merge all of the fraternities and the sororities into a one huge fraternity and one huge sorority. Won't work. As for national taxes, they've actually been decreasing. (Just like state colleges get support from their alums, military academies get support from their alums too. And some of that support goes right to sports. Therefore, national taxes do not have to be increased for Navy or Army to upgrade their basketball programs.) It's state taxes that have jumped considerably in recent years. (I've got a lot more to say on this subject, but I'll save it for another post on another board.)


Last edited by dawgnduckfan on Tue Jul 13, 2004 7:29 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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PostPosted: Wed Jul 14, 2004 9:09 am 
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...but I digress. How would I improve BE football?

Caveat 1: We've yet to determine the extent, if any, BE football needs to be improved. Perhaps we should say, make it more attractive to the national public?

Caveat 2: I assume the scenario is to be played out assuming a) niether PSU nor ND will join, and that 2) the remaining programs won't turn into perennial BCS titans overnight.

That being said, here's my incredibly valuable (sic ;) ) advice to the BE football powers-that-be:

- Schedule as many home games as possible, even against pushovers. This builds fan support, revenue and hopefully wins. Assuring 6 and preferably 7 home games per year is something the big football programs do and at least creates the perception of legitimacy.

- As best as possible, ooc road match-ups are a) national TV games for the larger programs and b) against BCS bottom feeders for the weaker programs.

- Create home-field advantage. Pitt and UConn play off campus, where the atmosphere can feel different, almost neutral. Find ways to improve tailgating and true connectivity to the school and make sure students are there.

- Invest in the facilities. Nippert is considerably small and the Carrier Dome is getting old. The schools should make sure their stadia match the level of desired respect for the programs for a long time. It's not necessarily size that's needed, but quality facilities to remind everyone this sport is respected here too.

- Help Rutgers. The school has size, history, market and only itself holding it back. As with Maryland this school should mimic Big 10 levels of fan support and always craving success.

- I don't think Navy or Army is truly interested or able to contribute to a BCS conference. They have plenty of other modest opponents in the region to pursue, whereas Air Force is, shall we say, landlocked among MWC and WAC teams. They needed that level of play to draw fans and stay alive.

The prospect of additional teams, split or no split, will be dependent on the state of the league years from now. While Memphis will represent the overall best program available, I'm unsure if the conference will desire to reach that far. Other considerations:

Temple - For a chance to work with BCS level revenues they might respond to directives and ultimatums. Helps to be out of the Vet and we're trying to foster traveling fan support.

Toledo - 26k for football, 5k for basketball, not too close to Pitt or Cincy. Decent programs, near Detroit market, fits BE urban, rust-belt profile

ECU - UCF doesn't match-up to USF yet and the Bulls may not welcome them. ECU is tougher to get to and isn't a BE type of school, but their fans can respond to success and if added football support is needed they could fit the bill.

Northern Illinois - If they go this far they'll likely be thinking for #12. Has been investing it's way up to MAC contender and could milk some Chicago market.

Any and all of these programs may be fodder for the more established schools, but that's fine. They could improve given their new budgets and the Mountaineers and Huskies may simply benefit by notching a few more wins.


Last edited by gunnerfan on Wed Jul 14, 2004 9:12 am, edited 1 time in total.

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PostPosted: Wed Jul 14, 2004 9:42 am 
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If the BE would add a team other than ND it would be from in the BE.That is Villanova.The uncertainty surrounding A-10/CAA may cause this.However,this is not a certainty.iIf the BE goes outside to get another team it would be CFLA not Memphis.


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PostPosted: Wed Jul 14, 2004 11:57 am 
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Yes, I agree UCF (as it now wishes to be called) would make more sense than Memphis for the NBE. It would give S. Florida a travel partner as well as a needed rival.


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PostPosted: Wed Jul 14, 2004 12:21 pm 
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Gunnerfan, agree with your post with of course some minor modifications.

Other than Notre Dame, there are no other teams outside of a current BCS conference that could or would make the BE any better.

As for national perception, the BCS membership speaks for it self.

The BE is doing presicely as you have suggested and scheduling more SOS with other BCS members. Remaining an 8 member football conference provides the BE the ability to accomplish this task and continue to have 6 or 7 home games for additional revenue. Every future BE school has multiple games with other BCS members which is key to national perception and TV interest and SOS.

I disagree with your assessment on Pitt and UConn home field advandage. Every been to Harford for a UConn Game. I can tell the difference in Storrs or Hatford is not much. Pittsburgh campus is not that far from Heinz Field and Pitt has a good home field advantage when the attendance is good. Pro Stadiums can be lacking with small attendance and Pitt appears to be building back to its glory day which will only improve attendance.

As for the Carrier Dome, there is no better home field advantage expecially when the Orange is playing well. Penn State, Ohio State, Michigan with there 100,000 plus do not produce any more decimals.

WVU, UConn and most BE schools have constuction taking place on almost every sports venue.

The Big East football just needs to focus on football including emphases on requiting, academics and graduations rates, attendance, fan interest and the conference will be just fine in a few years.

Actually I predict the BE will be better in the long run without Miami as a true eastern team will emerge again as a top football program unless South Florida steps up and steels the show. Either way its a win win situation for BE football. Once again it will take some time for the BE to establish football a gain back the football reputation in post Miami-less days.

The most important thing is for the BE fans is to be patient and let the new football rivals build strong relationships and the conference should be back to its current level in 5 to 10 years. In the mean time, BE fans should take pride and be very excited to be part of America's new premier basketball league.


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PostPosted: Wed Jul 14, 2004 12:51 pm 
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I agree with what has been said here. However, I don't think Army and Navy are a great fit for the Big East. They fit best as independents. Norte Dame, as what has been pointed out, is really the only team that could provide a big boost to the league by joining. The only other teams that would make sense, but yet not really provide a boost, are some teams that could be added from the "Northeast Footprint", or a significant rivalry.

The latter adds to a point I have about one thing the Big East will need to work on, in addition to other major items already discussed in this thread. This is not as major as those. It would be advantageous to get the U of Cincy to have a greater following -- greater attendance, greater following etc. They're a great basketball school. But they seem to have lower attendance than any of the other current and future Big East schools. Maybe a way to increase their attendance and raise the interest of the new Big East presence in Ohio (the nation's 7th most populated state) is to look to Miami U (Oxford, OH) as a pontential new member of the Big East. This would add a long-time rival with U Cincy, and greater intereset in the "Ohio Valley" wing of the Big East Conference. If Ohio U was good in football, I would also consider them. Both schools are very historic as is U Cincy. All three are all older than Ohio State, and Miami I think has the largest statewide following of a MAC school in Ohio. Miami U calls itself one of 8 "Public Ivy" schools and it and Ohio U are both very reputable academic inistitutions (on the same level with Ohio State). So they would add an academic presence, and would provide strong rivals with U Cincy, and perhaps U Louisville, WVU (which is not far from Ohio U).

Other than those two, the three or four best additions that would fit the "Northeast Footprint" as well as a good fit for the type of institutions and fit as capturing some of the northeast major city markets and and statewide markets, would be U Delaware, UMass, Fordham, and either move Villanova up, or retain Temple and work on their following like they need to for UCincy. Of course most of these would be move ups from 1-AA, but maybe over time they could reach the success so far seen with UConn, and increase interest in the immediate coastal -- Big City megalopolis areas of the Big East. That part of the Northeast footprint has the most population, but only 3 of the Big East teams (really only 2 with UConn and Rutgers but Syracuse has a big following in NYC statewide).

But, these would be things that could only be accomplished through time. Only Norte Dame can add the immediate impact. Memphis, USM are really out of the "Northeast footprint". UCincy, U Louisville, and USF are too, but they are at least in the Eastern Time Zone. Memphis and USM are not. UCF wouldn't add too much more other than a travel partner and a potential rival. They do have good attendance. But by adding more teams from the "mid sections" of the country to the Big East, when does the conference get to the point that its no longer the "Northeast" College conference, and becomes a secondary conference in the southeast and the midwest to the SEC and the Big 10?



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PostPosted: Wed Jul 14, 2004 1:12 pm 
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Enrollment FB Att. (00-03) BB Att. (00-04) Op. Exp. Op Rev.
Temple 32,359 20,067 6,745 $20.9 mil $20.9 mil
Villanova 10,473 8,437 7,708 $16.7 $6.6
Delaware 21,289 20,302 4,784 $11.6 $11.7
UCF 38,501 22,163 1,233 $13.2 $14.8
Georgetown 12,856 1,752 8,375 $16.9 $16.9


I'd been among those last year advocating Villanova as a candidate for ACC #12 or for BE to lure into all-sport status, but at the time I did not know as much about the school. After considering how small it was (comparably speaking) I passed them over. Well, I thought I'd revisit some figures behind the concept of the BE brining in football from the Philly/ DC area or UCF, some of the most commonly mentioned candidates.

- While I'm not yet sold on Villanova's ability to move up to 1-A in terms of fan support, their ratio of athletic department expenses to revenues could use a lot of improvement. (Data from Dept. of Education; See conferences and money thread) Their stadium seats about 12,600 (as far as I know). They could use some BCS cash flow, but can they afford to pay for the step up?

- Props to Blue Hen fans! Always near the top in 1-AA support, if I recall correctly this school has only a meager academic reputation holding it back.

- UCF sponsors the least amount of sports, and shows the most profit. Ugly basketball support, however.

- Whither Georgetown's football support? Alas, 'tis a land filled with Terp and 'Skins faithful.


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PostPosted: Wed Jul 14, 2004 1:25 pm 
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Quote:

- Props to Blue Hen fans! Always near the top in 1-AA support, if I recall correctly this school has only a meager academic reputation holding it back.


They are a 2nd Tier National University according to USNWR, so they would be on the same level as UConn. Certainly very reputable and add to the Big East. Yes, I know, the USNWR rankings have weaknesses, but so do all surveys and polls measuring cultural institutions.

^The point of my post up above was that if the Big East wanted to expand football interest in the "Northeast Footprint", it may need some "homegrown" growth rather than looking to become a secondary conference in the midwest's Big 10 and the southeast's SEC. This of course takes time, probably a decade. Without Norte Dame, there are very few options to the Big East if they indeed would like to expand. Maybe it is best to stick with only 8 for a long time. But if they want to take hold of the largest media markets, they need to increase interest. "Homegrown", though a long-term strategy, may be just as advantageous, if not more than taking Memphis, UCF, UAB, USM, or even ECU. Marshall may be a good fit, but WVU is already there and the West Virginia statewide market is relatively small for two BCS teams (1.8 million and not climbing).

This speculated Big Apple Bowl may also be a great "homegrown" strategy to increase interests.


Last edited by sportsgeog on Wed Jul 14, 2004 1:32 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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PostPosted: Thu Jul 15, 2004 8:15 am 
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Many excellent comments above on this post.

IMO, Big East Football can do 2 things:

1. Do not expand. There is no one out there who will do anything other than water down the pool of member teams. Additional teams will increase the conference schedule; the Big East needs to keep the # of conference games at 7 so they can schedule schedule tough OOC games & win them to establish credibility & a high BCS ranking. Adding members only makes sense when the caliber of current members is high. That is certainly not the case now.

2. Schedule football members to play each other in other sports as much as possible. I favor a 2 division split in basketball: a football division & a Vatican division. Competition in other sports will intensify rivalries & thereby promote fan interest in football match-ups as well. Pitt & West Virginia already have a great rivaly. Basketball has created strong rivalries between UConn & Syracuse and between Louisville & Cincinnati. Rutgers & UConn are natural rivals as the 2 major state universities (for sports) in the tri-state NYC metro area. Such a potential rivalry needs to be fostered. South Florida has no natural rivals for any sports in the Big East. There is a need to bring them into competition with long time Big East members as often as possible in as many sports as possible & to enhance their relationships with Louisville & Cincinnati, which are still emerging.

My 2 cents. :)


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PostPosted: Thu Jul 15, 2004 9:05 am 
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The only way I can think of for the BE to improve for FB is to invest in facilities, recruit, and play a some cupcakes in the beginning then upgrade to a stronger OOC schedule. If the BE does well in OOC and bowl games on a consistent basis, national perseption will change a bit. Hopefully, the BE champion this year will perform well in the bowl game, otherwise there will be more talk of removing the BCS bid.

Basically, perform on the field, and things will take care of themselves.

Good point about Nova Gunnerfan. Private Universities might have a hard time upgrading at this point to 1-A FB UNLESS there is a serious change in revenue distribution from the haves all the way down to the havenots. A university needs to build infrastructure and stadium improvements to be competitive in 1-A. I can only see Delware or similar "state-schools" or schools with large enrollments to make the jump. Even then, success isn't guarenteed.

BE won't add Temple unless they break away from the BB-only schools. Why would TU come back to the BE with a FB-only membership again and with MT at the helm?



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PostPosted: Thu Jul 15, 2004 9:37 am 
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Nice discussion, ya'll!

Lash, I agree the BE will likely be better off in the future. I liken this to a wake up call. And the comment on the Carrier Dome was nothing against it as a venue; I know it's a great home field advantage. I also know the poor thing takes a beating, that's all.

Sportsgeog, I did some more digging on Delaware and they do seem like a solid candidate for 1-A. Good for them. And I'm surprised I failed to mention the bowl thing in my earlier posts. You're correct in asserting that a bowl game and possible conf. championship in NYC would do wonders for increasing the exposure of the game and the conference in the northeast.

Panther, I don't think anyone is envisioning a football only membership. For me Temple makes sense as an all-sport candidate should the league split and the 1-A conference want to re-establish a Philly presence. In which case Temple would be considered but it would probably be conditional given their poor track record at supporting football. I also don't think Tranghese would ride with the football schools in the event of a split.

If there is a split, at what point do the 1-A schools consider the value of investing in building up another UConn (UMass, Delware, whatever) versus needing another Louisville (Memphis, ECU...)? We mention regionalism and market value, but how much of the decision will be quantitative and how much will be qualitative?


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PostPosted: Thu Jul 15, 2004 10:05 am 
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UMass is running out of money and needs a stadium.
The BE football group is getting rid of Temple.They are highly unlikely to invite them back.Delaware seems to be happy at 1AA.The BE had a choice with Memphis and ECU and did not take them.What happens with Army or Navy depends on ND and that subject seems to have no obvious answers.If ND leaves the BE then CFLa comes into play.The move of Marshal or Miami of Ohio to the BE also seems quite unlikely.I expect that ND will like what it has and will do nothing.I suggest that the BE programs invest more funds into their programs(ie UCONN,Rutgers and Louisville etc)Also when hiring new HC's the BE not make the mistake of hiring bargain basement coaCHES WITHOUT PREVIOUS 1A HC experience as HC.No more assistants with 1-2 years as a coordinator be hires ie(rutgers gregs.) be hired.


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PostPosted: Thu Jul 15, 2004 11:43 am 
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I agree with those who say the only way to improve BE fb is to grow it within. UConn and Rutgers need to get up to speed. Cincy and USF have potential, but then so has Rutgers for the last 20 years. As they say, "Just win, baby!"

The concrete steps the conference can make are:

1) SPLIT! The rivalries will be better if they are in all sports and there are not so many teams. In addition, there are traditional bb rivalries with some of the non-fb members that will make it more difficult to develop rivalries with the new members.

2) Expand to 10 teams. 8 just isn't a good number for an all sports conference. An 8 game conference schedule helps them get a guaranteed 4 home/4 away every year. But a 7 game schedule could work with 10 teams. The SEC and Big 10 did it for years. The expansion would be more to solidify the conference in all sports than adding someone who helps in fb. If I were BE czar, I think the 2 teams would be ECU and UMass. ECU has an excellent fan base and a proven bowl following-very important for getting and keeping bowls. UMass adds potential, strengthens the hold on the NE and adds a program with a solid bb history. That helps the conference overall which helps fb indirectly.

Temple would be preferable to UMass if they could demonstrate some fan support over the next 2 or 3 years. Otherwise, their bb doesn't add enough to offset the drag of their fb program. ECU gets the nod over Memphis because of their history of good fan support in fb and in bowl games and their geography. But it is a close call. Memphis has potential as Tennessee's BCS team (Vandy barely counts) is hundreds of miles away and their bb program is a plus.

I don't think the MAC programs have demonstrated enough fan support with the possible exception of Toledo and WMU. And those 2 have limited regional followings and Toledo has never been particularly good in bb. Marshall is, of course, in sparsely populated WV and WVU would object anyway. UCF might be a good 12th member, but the BE is already in FL and another team would add to the travel costs for the non-FL teams. I would not include them as #9 or #10.


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