^With all due respect Lash, where would those CUSA schools go for their bb and other sports?
Would UCF go back to the Atlantic Sun? Would they go back to the MAC? Would these conferences take them back after they had been betrayed, all in an effort to help out UCF and the Big East?
Or how about Marshall? Back to the days before '97, back to the Southern (SoCon)? Back to the MAC? Do you think the Southern or the MAC will accommodate Marshall after they betrayed them? All in an effort to help out Marshall and the Big East?
These teams, just like U Memphis and TCU would be called "migrating nomadic disloyal opportunists" by switching conferences all the time. Understandably, yes, teams try to shoot for the best. But maybe if they stay, it might be possible that they could make the best possible if they stay where they are, given some additional global change or dynamic in college football. I'll explain this in a second.
How about ECU? At least they have stayed in one conference for 5 years. But they weren't originally taken in by CUSA when CUSA began in 1996. They didn't join until the 2nd year, and were football-only members until just the last couple of years. They were really pleading their case to get into CUSA, and now if a Big East football-member opportunity came their way, they would go for it? Where would their bball and other sports go? CAA? SoCon? Just so they can help out ECU and the Big East? Not likely.
Okay, this gets at a bigger point about why I think the Northeast Footprint is very important to maintain for the Big East, given some of the possible developments being discussed for the BCS. You may think that I am just dragging the Northeast Footprint importance on and on, but this is a very important reason, in addition to travel considerations and regional identities of the conference, as well as "being out front" in a geographic region for media and TV coverage. All of those are compelling enough to keep your conference geographically tight, and not to have more than one "outpost", and not to become a "conference of outposts". But here is a reason that geographic footprint for the Big East, or for that matter the geographic footprint of any other 1-A conference, may be even more compelling to maintain.
From what I understand the BCS is discussing the automatic seeds for conferences for the 5 BCS games that will begin with the 2006 season, and what the criteria would be for a conference to have a retain the automatic seed. I understand that they are discussing the possibility that no conference will have a "entitled automatic seed", no matter how their conference performs. This means it is based on how the conference performs over a period of time. Like average ranking of the conference champion.
I also heard that this proposal could mean that there could be anywhere from 4 automatic seeds for 4 different conference, to 8 automatic seeds for 8 different conferences. So instead of 6 guaranteed automatic seeds for the six conferences of ACC, Big East, Big Ten Big XII, Pac 10, SEC, you have anywhere from 4 to 8 automatic seeds that are earned by any of the 11 conferences over a period of time: ACC, Big East, Big Ten, Big XII, CUSA, MAC, Mountain West, Pac 10, SEC, Sun Belt, or WAC. This makes for a very gooey situation for geographic allignment and for "migrating- nomadic-disloyal-conference-jumping opportunists" to run amuck all over the US map.
Consider this. This year, some of the college football annual pre-season magazines, for this year only, they have CUSA ranked as the 6th best conference in 1-A football, ahead of the Big East-7, which is number 7. MWC is number 8. They say this because these annuals have Louisville, TCU, and Memphis in the top-25s and USM is just outside of it. WVU is their only ranked team, generally, for the Big East.
Granted two of these teams, along with 2 others are bolting to other conferences next year. The Big East will get 3 new teams from CUSA. But given this flexibility of how many earned automatic BCS conference seeds they're talking about, and the lack of the old "hard and fast" rules and boundaries on these automatic seeds, it is possible for teams that are in BCS-seed conferences that are in a lower ranking BCS conference to be lured into a "bubble" BCS automatic-seed conference that is geographically close to them. It could also be a whole wing, or a separate amoeba members of a conference that could be lured into the present BCS "bubble" conference so they could then take the BCS bid away from the presently lower-ranked BCS automatic seed conference, and thus get higher-ranked to achieve that BCS bid.
Take for instance this example of the Big East/CUSA cusp region. U Louisville and UCincy, as discussed here are 2 of the 3 new members into the BCS-Big East Conference. The other, the very apparent Big East "outpost", USF. What if the BCS has an average ranking that is just barely above the minimum standards to maintain that BCS bid. Well, what happens if the Big East adds U Memphis for the purposes of a 9th Football school, and for the purposes of reunited the three rivals of U Cincy, U of Louisville, and U Memphis, so they would all be together as arch rivals and build onto that "River Wing" that they hope to weld together with Pitt and WVU. Their idea is to create a wing. But it could be an "amoeba", a separate "amoeba of outposts" just like the eastern amoeba of the old WAC (Texas schools).
Now what if CUSA has USM, and SMU, and some other school, lets say Houston are all ranked teams, and have each been champions of the CUSA. The Big East is struggling to keep its BCS bid, with its average just above the BCS automatic seed standard. CUSA is just below. Now in this new Big East with the new "River Wing", what if U Louisville, U Cincy, and U Memphis all become the best teams in this new 9-member Big East.
So, the CUSA then determines it needs to go on the offensive. They did not fill the 12 spot after Memphis left. La Tech just couldn't compell them enough. But then they really go on the offensive as they kick a couple teams out, like ECU or Rice or Tulane, or these teams leave because of not being able to keep their program up that they quit 1-A ball. Or they decide to go to 14 teams. So this leaves 1 to 3 openings in the CUSA, and the CUSA wants that coveted BCS bid. So they go behind the Big East back, and steal Memphis back from the Big East, and then a year later, U of L and U Cincy, missing their old rival, get lured back into the CUSA and this leads to the Big East not keeping their BCS bid and CUSA gains it from them, and have a BCS bid that the Big East used to have.
Having very tight geographic footprints is the way to protect from this happening. Where geographic wings, that seemingly look like wings, turn into separate "amoebas" that then get lured into another conference, the separate amoeba migrate like a nomad to another conference to help themselves out, as they are "nomadic opportunists", as well as helping out a bordering/neighboring BCS "bubble conference" so they could become a BCS automatic seed conference, and this lack of loyalty leads to the conference that they left behind, without a BCS automatic seed.
The tight geographic footprint keeps teams from having a lure into a neigboring conference as much as possible. The geographic footprint also gives the members of the conference a reason to be together and stay together. They are less likely to become attached to "migrating nomadic amoeba" that may emerge at a later time, and ruin the conferences BCS automatic seed.
Food for thought.
Again, the Big East should focus on the Northeast Footprint, not on schools way out of their footprint that could become "migrating nomadic amoeba". One outpost at the most, unless its Hawaii, where they are so far out, that if they left at a later date, after joining, they most likely wouldn't take anyone with them.
Last edited by sportsgeog on Fri Jul 30, 2004 12:58 pm, edited 1 time in total.