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 Post subject: Big East - 10 team model
PostPosted: Mon Aug 16, 2004 2:34 pm 
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Friarfan, I see your point as BE moves foreward and what needs are necessary for future stability. However, if Syracuse was looking for stablity in the ACC that will not change with the new configured BE including football concerns.

Couple of things that could become issues in the new Big East and are probable reasons that a lot of folks think a splits is inevitable.

16 teams for basketball. This is both good and bad. The 14 team conference always left 2 teams out of the tournament and 16 may leave 4 teams out of the tournament. The ability to play in a conference post season is critical for requiting, morale, sportmanship, etc.

The other issue is spliting into divisions. If 12 teams need to split into divisions for management (Big 12 is sceduled like divisions) then the BE at 16 really needs some managed method. The only fair or good approach is to align by fb and non fb schools. This just has controversy written all over it. Notre Dame will not want to play in a bb division etc. No coach is going to want to be ranked 16th in the final BE regular season if he wants to keep his job. The BE almost has to break into divisions with 16 members.


The question is, why did they pick up Marquette and DePaul if this is a problem? Are the BE administrators not thinking about these issues?


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As for defining footprints. A lot of conferences are fortuate to have built many years ago and have concurrent or joining states as part of the footprint.

A footprint is basically your group of TV markets. Having a connected region may be nice, however, markets are markets. If Memphis gets the same percentage of the Memphis market as Miami gets with south Florida, it has the same value with TV.

This is the primary reason the ACC has Boston and the Big East has Tampa. Neither markets are close to the core of the perceived footprints of those two respected conferences.


I already listed the U Tennessee statwide radio markets (including Memphis and other West TN locales), as well as the lone Memphis radio station that broadcasts the U Memphis games, and no other station according to the U Memphis athletic site. I couldn't find a list of radio stations for the Ole Miss Radio Network, nor the Miss State radio network, nor the U Arkansas Radio Network, but I have a strong sucispision that all 3 of those SEC teams have a Memphis radio affiliate to their athletic broadcasts networks. Some here also don't think Vandy has much of a following outside of Nashville, or is sporaditic throughout the southeast. Well, I think that's true, but even they have a radio affiliate in 3 of the 5 major mid-sized metro markets in TN, including Memphis, as you can see here:

http://vucommodores.com/page.cfm?template=MISC&name=radio#fb

The problem again is that Urban Grants are not statewide markets. Major Flagship Universities ARE.

The U Memphis market isn't like a "2nd Team in TN thing". Its a major local team in a "location of convergence" with many fball fan followings, of the U Memphis plus 1 major state team (primarily) (U Tenn), and 3 other nearby state flagship teams in nearby states (Ole Miss, MSU, U Ark). Plus a Sun Belt team nearby (Ark St), and another private SEC team located in a nearby city 200 miles away (Vandy). There is so much convergence here of followings. To me its not simple to say, well Memphis is located 400 miles from Knoxville, therefore Memphis probably has a "market of its own" because it is separated more from UTK. But that's not the case with state flagship universities. Their market is the entire state. It overlays on top of that very regional and local following of an Urban Grant. An Urban Grant is mainly the metropolitan area. Plus you throw in those other 4 bordering and nearby SEC teams, and Ark State 1 hour away and that 1.5 million market has some fragmentation.

You can list all of the markets of the following places for these Big East potential team markets, and you are not going to find something among any of them that really stands out as a "gem" of a market:

*Memphis (~1.2 million metro, and ~1.5 million west of Tenn River) ^see discussion above. Conclusion, fragment following market.
*Philadephia (~6 million) Temple the 2nd Team to PSU -- conclusion: fragmented following market
*Orlando (~1.7 Million) UCF local team with heavy following for UFla, FSU, and maybe some Miami and some USF. Conclusion: fragmented following market
*Greenville, NC "East of I-95 Market". Immediately, there is only ~160,000 people in Greenville, but you also have other small metros nearby like Rocky Mount, Wilson, Kinston, Goldsboro. I am still working on this one to calculate the market pop, but I still have doubts that this is NC 3rd Statewide team. They don't have a listing of a Radio Network for their fball team, but they do for their bball, and it reveals that all of the radio stattions are located in the Eastern 1/3 of their state, except 1, they don't into all the major metros of the state, and most are nearby in Eastern North Carolina, here as it shows:

http://www.ecupirates.com/index.php?well_id=2&url_publish_channel_id=1651

If they had the football one, I could tell for sure, but UNC and NCSU do go statewide in all sections of the state and in the major metros:

UNC:

http://tarheelblue.collegesports.com/genrel/090902aab.html

NCSU:

http://gopack.collegesports.com/multimedia/radio-affiliates.html

I couldn't find one for Duke, but even Wake Forest goes into the Eastern NC Market, as you can tell from this map and listing:

WFU:

http://graphics.fansonly.com/schools/wake/graphics/wakeradio.gif

http://wakeforestsports.collegesports.com/multimedia/wake-radio-tv-coverage.html

Conclusion on the Eastern NC market with ECU and other statewide teams: Seems fragmented in multiple followings, and ECU may only be regional ("East of I-95") in that state.

*Marshall does have statewide affilliates in West Virginia, as the following network affiliates show:

http://www.herdzone.com/info/multimedia/media.asp#network

So it could be the whole state of West Virginia, as Marshall as its 2nd Team in that statewide market. The states pop is 1.8 million.

So the point of all this is that relatively speaking there isn't a big media market on the level of a statewide team in a major state that is available near the NE footprint currently in 1-A. If this is the case, then when looking at Memphis, Orlando, Eastern North Carolina, 2nd West Virginia market, and a 2nd Philadelphia market -- none of these reveal profoundly that one is better than the other. If this is the case, why not strongly consider a current NE market or another NE market, as you would just be burying the conference into a shadow of supergiants if you go for these markets deep in SEC/ACCland, and just end up with a fragmented following.

If the BE hasn't utilized its footprint completely yet, then I think that is where it should focus to expand in that market, because coventional wisdom has shown with the other 5 BCS conferences is that is where their Conference can be "out front" and visible, in their respective predominant footprints, not in someone elses' footprint.

USF is the lone outpost of the BE. BC will be the lone outpost of the ACC. TCU is the lone outpost of the MWC. Its fine to have 1 and only 1 "outpost" in your conference. However, you should not be a whole "conference of outposts" ala the WAC-16, WAC-8, WAC-10. "Was Rice, SMU, La Tech, Tulsa, and UTEP an outpost to Fresno, Boise, Nevada, San Jose State and Hawaii, or was it the other way around? Wait, this conference does not make sense ??? "

I will have more analyis on the ECU market later, and if I can find it. I wish I had access to their Football Radio Network affiliate listing to see if they have a statewide market. Their bball affiliates reveal an eastern regional market.


Last edited by sportsgeogoffline on Mon Aug 16, 2004 3:35 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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 Post subject: Big East - 10 team model
PostPosted: Mon Aug 16, 2004 3:55 pm 
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Sportsgeog, I am the last person to beat up on BE officials. The BE has two entities to satisfy and thus we have Depaul and Marquette. Yes the BE officials are more in touch with the conference than ever because they have to be after the actions of the ACC last summer. It is much more difficult to deal with two conference in one than a conference trying to expand to reach a desirable number.

If there were no chance or concern that Syracuse, UConn and Pitt would leave someday, you think Depaul and Marquette would have been invitied.

First of all do not want to appear to be pushing Memphis as I have no ties to that school. However less use Memphis as a example for future BE expansion to 10 football members.

Who cares what people in east Tennessee are watching because we all know they are watching burnt orange.

Expanding with Memphis would provide the Memphis market. The SEC has CBS and ABC needs to select teams to televise in the Memphis market. Would Memphis fans care about any other conference after the SEC. ABC may try to force a conference into the Memphis market, however, this is getting difficult as fans will just turn to another station to view a team that want to see.
Now that were past football, how may western Tenn fans care more about Memphis or Tennessee basketball. Actually Arkansas may have a stake here. Miss schools dont evey play basketball (decent) so the issue is probably between Memphis and the UT. My bet would be on Memphis.

Lets cut to chace and compare UMass to Memphis as BE expansion candiates using both for all sports. Let set some rules that you can only look to the next five years as the BE will make an assumed decision on splitting at that time. We can not use NE footprint as an argument.

If the BE split would the football conference take on an expansion team that is trying to upgrade to 1A? probably not unless there were some serious financial backing guaranteed!

Would the BE want to expand into the heart of the SEC and pick up an urban school and its potential market. not sure as this could be a risk?

Summary: if the BE were to split in five years, UMass would be a good choice if the school had financial backing to upgrade to 1A. If smaller states like WVU can upgrade facilities with private donations, surely there is capital in Mass private sector to accomplish this.
Otherwise without this financial backing, the BE would be better to look else where for potential canidates.











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 Post subject: Big East - 10 team model
PostPosted: Mon Aug 16, 2004 6:06 pm 
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Sportsgeog, I am the last person to beat up on BE officials. The BE has two entities to satisfy and thus we have Depaul and Marquette. Yes the BE officials are more in touch with the conference than ever because they have to be after the actions of the ACC last summer. It is much more difficult to deal with two conference in one than a conference trying to expand to reach a desirable number.

If there were no chance or concern that Syracuse, UConn and Pitt would leave someday, you think Depaul and Marquette would have been invitied.


Yes, the BE officials have their work cut out don't they? Granted they are trying to satisfy two divergent needs in order to prevent a future realignment in the future, which is important when making expansion and realignment plans in the moment that you make them -- that is what future realignments and spin-offs could occur if we select certain teams that may compell them in another direction, in another conference and take some other teams with them? I've made this point before regarding this potential before and I'll mention it again later in this post. I still think it is possible that the 16-team confederation could work, otherwise why would they do it if they thought it might just break-away later on? Wouldn't they be just delaying the inevitable, if they didn't think it could work? The WAC didn't do too well by experimenting. If they felt this split, maybe they should have broke away now, instead of waiting. So maybe they see something that looks formidable to work, that is different than the WAC-16.


Quote:
First of all do not want to appear to be pushing Memphis as I have no ties to that school. However less use Memphis as a example for future BE expansion to 10 football members.

Who cares what people in east Tennessee are watching because we all know they are watching burnt orange.

Expanding with Memphis would provide the Memphis market. The SEC has CBS and ABC needs to select teams to televise in the Memphis market. Would Memphis fans care about any other conference after the SEC. ABC may try to force a conference into the Memphis market, however, this is getting difficult as fans will just turn to another station to view a team that want to see.
Now that were past football,


I don't think we are past football. I don't think ABC would be interested in the Memphis market period, if they don't have the SEC. They probably just concede it to CBS. They are not going to pick up many viewers by taking Memphis, or for that matter Cincinnati. They may pick up some in Louisville. By going more into these footprints, the major networks wouldn't see them as major markets, because they are not out front. If Memphis' market is part of the viewers of a 1.5 million market, ABC will go, "we concede this to CBS and concentrate on the other 4 BCS conferences". If they are present in an area where they are more clearly out-front, and had more market potential for viewers, then the big networks would be interested. The Big East is a cable conference, and will continue to be until they embrace more of their own footprint. The ABC would concede Memphis and all other "tucked under" markets in the SEC footprint to CBS, and the Memphis ABC station would simply broadcast a Big 10 or Big 12 or ACC game.

One thing is for sure, the Big East as a broadcast region already has this problem in the Cincy and Louisville markets, as ABC does the Big 10 on those ABC stations. Memphis deep in the SEC territory isn't going to bring ABC to the Big East either and the Louisville/Cincy thing is already a barrier for ABC in the Big East.

If the BE wants a major network they have to look to expand in their footprint. Otherwise they are a cable network conference -- which will seemingly become Mid-week-games conference -- an "Omen of a Mid-Major".


Quote:
how may western Tenn fans care more about Memphis or Tennessee basketball. Actually Arkansas may have a stake here. Miss schools dont evey play basketball (decent) so the issue is probably between Memphis and the UT. My bet would be on Memphis.


You're forgetting that Mississippi State was the dominant team the last few years in the SEC West. They were 26-4 last year, and have been dominating recently. DogsNC@cks already pointed out that Miss State goes to the Memphis market. My bet would be three, Memphis, UT, and MSU.


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Lets cut to chace and compare UMass to Memphis as BE expansion candiates using both for all sports. Let set some rules that you can only look to the next five years as the BE will make an assumed decision on splitting at that time. We can not use NE footprint as an argument.


Why can't I use it as an argument? This here is a fair question. The NE footprint is part of my reasoning.


Quote:
If the BE split would the football conference take on an expansion team that is trying to upgrade to 1A? probably not unless there were some serious financial backing guaranteed!


Who says that UMass or any other 1-AA team is the only option for the NE footprint? Click backwards and look at my listing of potential schools and why. I laid out 3 options. I have a 2010 model that includes taking 2 NE teams, which are Marshall and Temple, and I have explained the reasoning as to why, which includes the NE footprint.


Quote:
Would the BE want to expand into the heart of the SEC and pick up an urban school and its potential market. not sure as this could be a risk?


They may make that choice, but from a media, market and coverage standpoint, they would be burying themselves further in someone else's footprint, and potentially drift into taking on the character of a mid-major.


Quote:
Summary: if the BE were to split in five years, UMass would be a good choice if the school had financial backing to upgrade to 1A. If smaller states like WVU can upgrade facilities with private donations, surely there is capital in Mass private sector to accomplish this.


UMass isn't the only choice in 5 years. ^See above. Yes, if UMass would do that, then that would be a potential good choice for BE expansion.


Quote:
Otherwise without this financial backing, the BE would be better to look else where for potential canidates.


Not necessarily. Their other choice is simply not to expand at all in 5 years, and wait until the right candidate and timing is right.

Okay, here again is what I pointed out before. You're concerned about the potential of the BE-16 bball league splitting and the need to satisfy two potential divergent needs of the conference. Fball members and bball members. We've already had something like this satisfying of divergent needs in the fball or allsports type conference, only a geographic issue --> Yes its that dreaded "W" acronym with changing hyphenated numbers --> Here it is again --> The WAC-16, then the WAC-8, with "Texas/East Wing" and the "Cali-West-Wing", and the-need-for-something-in-the-"middle"-but-can't-as-we-got-to-feed-the-east-and-west-wings-with-more-teams-as-other-team s-leave-type-thing --> TCU leaves to CUSA, then we need to add teams so we take one for the "East" and one for the "West" --> But wait, CUSA takes almost our entire Texas/East wing.

This is what I am getting at. When you make the expansion decision, the BE (or for that matter any conference), needs to pay attention to what potentially might happen if you grow a geographic wing of your conference more, by taking in a team that fits in the mold of that wing only and not necessarily the whole conference. Well, you may be setting up the possibility of that entire geographic wing being pulled backed into another realignment and the whole wing leaves the conference as they are a "strong bonded and identify with each other group" that they take a seemingly better opportunity when it comes along. You could end up just losing that entire wing that you just grew.

I said this before but I called it a conference amoeba splitting into two amoeba of that conference, and then one of the amoebas drifts away to form a bond with aother conference's amoeba, and the originally amoeba ends up lacking nourishment and possibly faces perishment. I am saying its a risk to grow into another character, as later that other character of the conference may not want to stick with it and leave for another character that seemingly provides a better opportunity and that they identify with better.

The BE needs to maintain its NE character for this reason, and that and the media and coverage and following issues make the NE footprint important.


Last edited by sportsgeog on Mon Aug 16, 2004 7:28 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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 Post subject: Big East - 10 team model
PostPosted: Mon Aug 16, 2004 7:55 pm 
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sportgeog, good analysis.

First of all my mistake on Miss basketball and apologies to MSU fans, was referring to close by Ole Miss to Memphis.

Not sure I agree with ABC giving up on the SEC controlled markets to CBS. My guess is they will push ACC football into some of those markets regardless if an ACC team exist. In Memphis case, ABC may push the Big 12 or possibly Big 10. If Memphis were in a BCS conference, ABC may promote the Memphis market for that conference. At least some of the games may get exposure to ABC.

I do think ABC will market the Big East into Tampa when there is a good BE matchup such as USF and any BE team or Pitt/WVU, Syracuse/Louisville. Of course after the BE has a couple of years to build on. USF is primed to become a Miami type football school in a few years.

Yes I agree the Big East has every intentions of making the 16 team work, otherwise there would already be a split.

This thread is a "what if" and a 10 team alignment if a split were to occur.

Guess the issue with your argument on NE footprint has more to do with Penn State not part of the equation. The old proposed "East Indes" conference by Penn State would have accomphished your true NE footprint.

If we factor the NE footprint back into the debate, there are a couple of scenerios that could work and actually add more stability to the 16 team basketball alignment.

Notre Dame joining in football would provide the BE a national footprint, enough said. Notre Dame does have a vested interest to keep the Big East secure and who knows what someday may bring. It is not out of the question by any means regardless if some think Notre Dame is a given for the Big 10. I personally believe with no bias to the BE that Notre Dame would be much better served as a member of the Big East for all sports. The school would get the altimate power trip.

Now if we let Notre Dame have more than 5 years to pounder BE football membership, the other two teams that would support a northeast footprint are Army and Navy. Both were part of the Penn State proposal and both provide the much needed eastern seaboard push starting from Washington DC.

Navy would make a great rival game for WVU and Pitt and provide the Georgetown football gap.

Army with a new coach needs to improve, however, would further secure the eastern seaboard with another New York team. Army already plays or has played many of the eastern football teams.

Both Army and Navy need to improve, however, attendance is good for both schools and both have a great national reputation and to your point very good academics.

Best benefit, both are now football independents and have the Patriot league for all other sports.

The BE can get to a 10 team football format and secure the 16 team basketball league at the same time.

We just have to wait for Army and Navy to improve in football. If both can get to posting regular winning seasons, how may will jump on the Army/Navy to BE football ship.











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 Post subject: Big East - 10 team model
PostPosted: Mon Aug 16, 2004 10:21 pm 
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Lash, you've got a long wait for Army and Navy. Is one platoon football coming back? Division II does have a proposal out there to cut from 36 equalivalents to 24 equivalents in fb, but I don't see I-A scaling back anytime soon.

With 350 lb. lineman, 6'7" linemen out there, I just don't see Army and Navy competing. Those guys can't fit in a sub or a tank, so Army and Navy will be severely outsized. In addition, the academies are getting more and more females. And there are wars going on. I think their focus will be less on recruting fb players. Yes, AF has had some consistent competitive seasons, but that is in the MWC, and they are the more glamorous fly boys. If the BE gets where it wants to be, Army and Navy won't be competitive. Army hasn't been competitive in the CUSA.

I'd like to see Navy finally whip Notre Dame and then have the 3 academies drop to I-AA where they won't be so much smaller and slower and will be consistently competitive.


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 Post subject: Big East - 10 team model
PostPosted: Tue Aug 17, 2004 1:40 pm 
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Sans a corporate sponsor, the bowl game played at Joe Robbie Stadium was known as the "Sunshine Football Classic." The initial Blockbuster Bowl lucked out in that organizers were able to take advantage of the Fiesta Bowl/MLK controversy, inviting two top ten teams (Florida State and Penn State) to a December bowl game that I seem to recall being televised on Raycom (syndicated). The 1991 game landed two top fifteen teams (Alabama and Colorado), but yes, its fate was most likely sealed when it failed to secure a place as the ACC-BIG EAST championship game upon the imposition of the Bowl Coalition (January 1992). At least in 1990-1991 there was the perception that Clemson, Georgia Tech, Virginia, or even Syracuse could have played in such a game as opposed to an annual FSU-Miami rematch (on that note, the ACC badly needs divisional realignment). The final "Blockbuster" Bowl (game briefly moved to January) featured the 7th pick (out of an 8-team) coalition pool against Big Ten-elect Penn State (conditional PSU invitatin extended prior to the start of season). After the 1992-1993 game, Blockbuster withdrew (possibly because of Florida Marlins and Florida Panthers?) and Carquest stepped in at a reduced payout (leaving CBS with a less desirable game than that with which it originally contracted). Carquest Bowl was on New Year's in 1994 and 1995 (and 1993). Returning to December in 1995, Carquest held on as a sponsor through the 1997(?) game, when it was replaced by Micron PC, until a 2001 relocation to Orlando as the ("new") Tangerine Bowl...


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 Post subject: Big East - 10 team model
PostPosted: Tue Aug 17, 2004 2:54 pm 
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YungWun, thanks for the refesher on Sunshine Bowl/Blockbuster Bowl history.

Could the Blockbuster Bowl proposal to have ACC/BE championship been the culprit that planted expansion seed into the ACC. Why share with 8 BE teams and 9 ACC teams when you can expand one conference and share with 12 teams for a championship game? hmmm!

The Tangerine bowl may yet stage an ACC/BE matchup.

Bullet, you are probably correct on Army and Navy.

Geez, I am back to thinking that the current planned 8 football league members for the BE may be the best option for the future Big East.

If a split were to occur, this debate has convinced me that maybe 8 is enough for an all sports conference. Can't think of any good candidates to bring the football members to 9 or 10.

So then why would the BE want to split if no need to get more football members.

12 team format and 10 team format do not offer any benefits.


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 Post subject: Big East - 10 team model
PostPosted: Wed Aug 18, 2004 1:33 pm 
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Okay, I calculated the total population of all the counties located either partially or totally East of I-95 in North Carolina. It has a total population in 2002 of 2.3 million people which is about 1/4 of the total population of NC.

The tough thing about looking at this region is, is it the true region that is for East Carolina University? Its much more difficult than simply cutting out the western 1/3 of Tennessee, west of the Tennessee River for the Memphis market. Tennessee is a much more slender state from a north-south basis then the eastern portions of NC, where it gets wider. Also, there is only 1 other state university in the western 1/3 of Tennessee (UT-Martin), when compared to the Eastern 1/3 of NC. Here you have UNC-Wilmington, Fayatteville State, and Elizebeth City State.

Which brings up the point, are Fayetteville and Wilmington metro areas in the East Carolina region? They both have state Us and are both over 100 miles from Greenville. The Research Triangle Cities are closer than those metro centers.

If we exclude Fayetteville metro with ~330,000 and Wilmington with ~275,000 people, we get about 1.7 million in the balance of the Eastern 1/3.

Also the immediate population of Greenville is 150,000. There are also 4 other nearby metro and micro centers of Rocky Mount, Goldsboro, Wilson and Kinston that when agglomerated together = 1/2 million people. All within 1/2 hour of Greenville and ECU. This is the immediate population for the ECU market, with an outer pop of 1.7 million to 2.3 million, depending on whether Fayetteville and Wilmington should be included.

Important note is that Raleigh-Durham-Chappel Hill is not a part of this calculation, as that is clearly in the UNC, NCSU, and Duke population market.

The question to ask, is ECU North Carolina's 3rd Statewide team? An earlier post in this thread reveals that the ECU Basketball radio network is not statewide, it is only located in the Eastern 1/3 except for 1 station. The www.ecu.edu website did not have the listing for the football network. UNC and NCSU radio network listing does indeed reveal that those two schools do go statewide and into the major markets. Duke didn't have a listing, but Wake Forest's site did reveal that some of their radio affiliates, while not everywhere in the state, does penetrate into the "East of I-95" market. WF had significant radio markets in the Central part of the state near the three largests markets of Charlotte, G-WS-HP, and the Research Triangle and the I-95 corridor.

So the question is, does ECU have a statewide appeal and market? If the fball radio network is like the bball radio network, I would conclude that their market is concentrated "East of I-95" 1/3, that UNC and NCSU are a part of that market as well, and WF and possibly Duke also have a partial following there, as well as the UNC-Wilmington bball following. Fayetteville State and Elizabeth City State are probably lower divisional teams and would take a small chunk out of the "East of I-95" market.

The major market newspapers in the state don't show an ECU link nor significant coverage in all major market newspapers except 3 below:

Asheville Citizen-Times:

http://www.citizen-times.com/sports.shtml

Charlotte Observer:

http://www.charlotte.com/mld/observer/sports/

Durham Herald-Sun:

http://www.herald-sun.com/sports/

Fayetteville Observer (does reveal some ECU coverage):

http://www.fayettevillenc.com/sports/college/index.php

Greensboro News Record:

http://www.news-record.com/sports/college/main.shtml

Hickory Daily Record:

http://www.hickoryrecord.com/servlet/Satellite?pagename=HDR%2FPage%2FHDR_SectionFront&c=Page&cid=1035488815580

Raleigh News Observer (Does reveal ECU coverage):

http://www.newsobserver.com/sports/college/

Wilmington Star-News:

http://www.wilmingtonstar.com/apps/pbcs.dll/section?Category=sports

Winston-Salem Journal (does reveal ECU coverage):

http://www.journalnow.com/servlet/Satellite?pagename=WSJ%2FPage%2FWSJ_ContentPage&c=Page&cid=1041611505640

Now with the exception of Winston-Salem which is the only newspaper completely out of the "East of I-95", there were only 2 newspapers on the western edge of that "East of I-95" market (Raleigh -- not a part of "East of I-95" but borders it, and Fayetteville -- which is on the edge of that region).

So its hard to completely say whether ECU is statewide following or not. It seems regional. The Football Radio Network affiliate listing would give the complete picture.

But also to keep in mind not only the 4 ACC teams which all have significance in the state, but also Appallachian State (which revealed significance on the Winston-Salem Journal website), as well as UNC-Greensboro, UNC-Asheville, UNC-Wilmington (already mentioned), UNC-Charlotte, Western Carolina, NC A & T, and North Carolina Central. ECU is also competing with these teams too, and its hard to say whether ECU is significant West of I-95 given UNC, NCSU statewide teams, Duke and WF central significance, and then the App States, Western Carolinas, NC A & Ts, etc.

I still conclude that it is the 3rd NC school, that mostly is mostly concentrated in the "East of I-95" 1/3, and competes with UNC, NCSU, WF, Duke in that market, and has marginal folowing elsewhere in the state.

So, its the 1 of 3 teams in the "East of I-95" 1/3, with competition from Duke and WF there also, and marginal following statewide.

So its market is 1.7 to 2.3 million, sharing that with UNC, NCSU, and competition from WF and Duke in that regional market.


Last edited by sportsgeogoffline on Wed Aug 18, 2004 3:16 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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 Post subject: Big East - 10 team model
PostPosted: Wed Aug 18, 2004 7:42 pm 
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I do not deny that ECU has a fairly small market where it is located, but the University does have some decent following through the State. They certainly draw their students statewide. Having lived in Charlotte for a couple of years (my parents and brother still reside there) and my brother being an alumni of ECU, I know that the University gets some buzz in the Queen City, especially when they are doing well. There was a period in the mid-90’s when many felt that ECU had the best football program in North Carolina.

I really believe ECU would be a good addition to the Big East. When Virginia Tech first joined it did not have great support throughout Virginia. Only now that Tech is in the ACC has the statewide support really solidified. When in the Big East, Tech was able to recruit against the ACC and be very competitive. I feel the same could hold true for ECU. Being part of a BCS Big East would help their recruiting, both instate and regionally.

We already know that they have great fans. Their addition would not hurt television contracts, at least initially. As a football only member, they would help balance the schedule. In fact, the Big East should consider keeping Temple as a football only member as well. That would give the Conference the 10 members that so many deem a good number. When the conference splits, which I believe is inevitable, Temple and ECU could easily be made all sports members for a 10 team all sports conference.

Who else is really available? I do not think that there will be a big push for 1-AA upgrades. I will agree that for the sake of regional identity Massachusetts and Delaware would be great upgrades, but there are just too many variables. If the conference wanted to go to twelve after a split Memphis and Central Florida are right there waiting.


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 Post subject: Big East - 10 team model
PostPosted: Wed Aug 18, 2004 10:15 pm 
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^Do residents in Charlotte really root for ECU? How about Asheville?

When you say they draw students from all over the state, is it in consistent droves representing the entire state or are they just at least a few from each county, but the eastern 1/3 is where most of their students are from. Maybe I should visit their enrollment statistics if that's on their website.

The reason why I ask this is that there are a handful of states out there with these regional universities. Michigan, where I am from, has 15 public universities. Only U of M and MSU go statewide in following. Michigan is only 1.7 million people bigger than North Carolina. 13 of the 15 are regional. Western Michigan, the state's 4th largest university, both in enrollment and in terms of research, is big. In fact it is nearly 10,000 more students than East Carolina. It enrolls nearly 30,000. ECU has 20,000. Now I can certainly tell you that Western Michigan University draws students from all over Michigan. That's a true statement. But so do Eastern, Central, Grand Valley, etc. But the question is, is it really a statewide University on the level of UNC, and NCSU?

When North Carolina has UNC-Charlotte, UNC-Greensboro, UNC-Wilmington, and Appallachian State all over 10,000 to 20,000, can you say that these U's draw from the entire state?

Every state has anywhere from 1 or more regional U's. They are going to get students from all over. But are they on the magnitude of UNC or NCSU. That is what I am trying to determine. If its like Western Mich, Central Mich, or Eastern Michigan, I would say that does not put East Carolina on the level of UNC, or NCSU, as WMU, CMU, and EMU are not on the level of U of M nor MSU.

But more importantly than the students, does the ECU football team draw fans from Asheville? And I mean on the level of fans that are also follow UNC and NCSU? Western Michigan draws students from the eastern part of the state, and I see a few WMU Broncos emblems on Michigan Liscense plates, just as I see CMU and EMU, but most are U of M and MSU. But there isn't that many WMU fans around here.

North Carolina is just like Michigan only more fragmented with following. You have 4 BCS schools in the boundaries of that state. Yes Duke and WF are both not as big, but they cut into those other regional schools there. In Michigan, we have strong followings for the top 2, and the three regionals range from the best of the 3 at WMU to the worst, below the 15,000 standard at EMU. I know ECU has a fairly decent average attendance with ~33,000 on average per year, but are people driving in from Asheville, Charlotte, High Point, Raleigh, or whereever to go to an ECU game. Or are they mostly from Greenville, Rocky Mount, Goldsboro, Wilson, Kinston, New Bern, or Jacksonville? If its the latter, I would say that it is a regional team in a state with mouthfull of BCS teams, two of which do have statewide followings.

I think the football radio network of ECU would be the most telling to see if they are indeed a statewide team. The basketball radio network reveals a eastern regional team. The radio affiliates would reflect where in the state is their interest in ECU. If its Asheville, Waynesville, Forest City, Mount Airy, Reedsville, or any other non-east city in addition to east locations, then its statewide and can claim a bigger market than the "East of I-95" Market. If it reflects a similarity to the Basketball network, you have an eastern team. But with so many schools in NC and 8 million, it seems hard to beleive that ECU could sustain a broad geographic support, especially when they are penetrating through UNC, NCSU, Duke, and Wake Forest, on top of UNC-Charlotte, UNC-Greensboro, UNC-Wilmington, NC A & T, Appallachian State, Western Carolina and North Carolina Central.

I still have a tendancy to conclude that it is a regional team.

The overall problem with UCF, Memphis, and ECU is that they are all tucked under the ACC and SEC footprints and would not offer the advantage for them to get out front. These may be among the very few 1-A teams available, but I don't think they are of the right kind of markets, nor institutional fit to be in the Big East, as well as lacking a Northeast location. They would not warrent the Big East to expand.


Last edited by sportsgeog on Wed Aug 18, 2004 10:17 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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 Post subject: Big East - 10 team model
PostPosted: Wed Aug 18, 2004 10:24 pm 
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^Do residents in Charlotte really root for ECU? How about Asheville?

When you say they draw students from all over the state, is it in consistent droves representing the entire state or are they just at least a few from each county, but the eastern 1/3 is where most of their students are from. Maybe I should visit their enrollment statistics if that's on their website.

The reason why I ask this is that there are a handful of states out there with these regional universities. Michigan, where I am from, has 15 public universities. Only U of M and MSU go statewide in following. Michigan is only 1.7 million people bigger than North Carolina. 13 of the 15 are regional. Western Michigan, the state's 4th largest university, both in enrollment and in terms of research, is big. In fact it is nearly 10,000 more students than East Carolina. It enrolls nearly 30,000. ECU has 20,000. Now I can certainly tell you that Western Michigan University draws students from all over Michigan. That's a true statement. But so do Eastern, Central, Grand Valley, etc. But the question is, is it really a statewide University on the level of UNC, and NCSU?

When North Carolina has UNC-Charlotte, UNC-Greensboro, UNC-Wilmington, and Appallachian State all over 10,000 to 20,000, can you say that these U's draw from the entire state?

Every state has anywhere from 1 or more regional U's. They are going to get students from all over. But are they on the magnitude of UNC or NCSU. That is what I am trying to determine. If its like Western Mich, Central Mich, or Eastern Michigan, I would say that does not put East Carolina on the level of UNC, or NCSU, as WMU, CMU, and EMU are not on the level of U of M nor MSU.

But more importantly than the students, does the ECU football team draw fans from Asheville? And I mean on the level of fans that are also follow UNC and NCSU? Western Michigan draws students from the eastern part of the state, and I see a few WMU Broncos emblems on Michigan Liscense plates, just as I see CMU and EMU, but most are U of M and MSU. But there isn't that many WMU fans around here.

North Carolina is just like Michigan only more fragmented with following. You have 4 BCS schools in the boundaries of that state. Yes Duke and WF are both not as big, but they cut into those other regional schools there. In Michigan, we have strong followings for the top 2, and the three regionals range from the best of the 3 at WMU to the worst, below the 15,000 standard at EMU. I know ECU has a fairly decent average attendance with ~33,000 on average per year, but are people driving in from Asheville, Charlotte, High Point, Raleigh, or whereever to go to an ECU game. Or are they mostly from Greenville, Rocky Mount, Goldsboro, Wilson, Kinston, New Bern, or Jacksonville? If its the latter, I would say that it is a regional team in a state with mouthfull of BCS teams, two of which do have statewide followings.

I think the football radio network of ECU would be the most telling to see if they are indeed a statewide team. The basketball radio network reveals a eastern regional team. The radio affiliates would reflect where in the state is their interest in ECU. If its Asheville, Waynesville, Forest City, Mount Airy, Reedsville, or any other non-east city in addition to east locations, then its statewide and can claim a bigger market than the "East of I-95" Market. If it reflects a similarity to the Basketball network, you have an eastern team. But with so many schools in NC and 8 million, it seems hard to beleive that ECU could sustain a broad geographic support, especially when they are penetrating through UNC, NCSU, Duke, and Wake Forest, on top of UNC-Charlotte, UNC-Greensboro, UNC-Wilmington, NC A & T, Appallachian State, Western Carolina and North Carolina Central.

I still have a tendancy to conclude that it is a regional team.

The overall problem with UCF, Memphis, and ECU is that they are all tucked under the ACC and SEC footprints and would not offer the advantage for them to get out front. These may be among the very few 1-A teams available, but I don't think they are of the right kind of markets, nor institutional fit to be in the Big East, as well as lacking a Northeast location. They would not warrent the Big East to expand.


sportsgeog. i lived in fayette nam let me tell you ecu is followed big time in that state ncsu and ecu is a big game usually fight. Now you talk about western carolina alot there follow wcu and tennessee. Also ecu was once the number one party school voted by playboy so alot go their to party.

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 Post subject: Big East - 10 team model
PostPosted: Wed Aug 18, 2004 10:38 pm 
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sportsgeog. i lived in fayette nam let me tell you ecu is followed big time in that state ncsu and ecu is a big game usually fight. Now you talk about western carolina alot there follow wcu and tennessee. Also ecu was once the number one party school voted by playboy so alot go their to party.


Well then it shouldn't be in the Big East then.

Fayetteville is in the eastern part of the state, and as I showed from their newspaper, they follow ECU. So I wouldn't count that as anything atypical of being outside its region.

If the western part of the state follows WCU, then I would conclude that they are a regional team and do not go statewide if what you say is more than reflecting an anecdotal understanding.


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 Post subject: Big East - 10 team model
PostPosted: Wed Aug 18, 2004 11:08 pm 
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Well then it shouldn't be in the Big East then.

Fayetteville is in the eastern part of the state, and as I showed from their newspaper, they follow ECU. So I wouldn't count that as anything atypical of being outside its region.

If the western part of the state follows WCU, then I would conclude that they are a regional team and do not go statewide if what you say is more than reflecting an anecdotal understanding.


I would say they are regional. Yes most of western carolina go for ut and wcu. Very few NC fans mostly UT yuck.

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 Post subject: Big East - 10 team model
PostPosted: Thu Aug 19, 2004 3:30 am 
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Sportsgeog, have you ever been to North Carolina? I will admit that I have not checked any statistics as to where the students draw from, but ECU is the third largest university in the state. I am sure that they draw students statewide. Just because they are located in Greenville does not mean that kids in Ashville, Boone, Murphy, etc. do not chose to attend. When my brother was a student there, many of his friends were from Raleigh, NCSU’s home. I realize that is just my own experience, but it is a good place to start.

I concur with footballgod that many in the western part of North Carolina are UT fans, not NCSU or UNC fans. That holds true for the southwest corner of Virginia, not too far from Tech, so I fail to see some of your logic.

If you feel ECU is not a good fit because Playboy once rated it as the top party school, well so was WVU. This is an invalid criticism.

I am just trying to make a point that ECU would be a good fit. I believe that too much is made of market. A school cannot help where it is located.


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 Post subject: Big East - 10 team model
PostPosted: Thu Aug 19, 2004 5:21 am 
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ECU is the third largest university in the state. I am sure that they draw students statewide.


BCHokie, this is precisely the problem. Can you name even one other state of the size of NC (8.5 million pop)where the state's #3 school plays in a BCS conference? Not only do they have to compete with UNC & NC State, but Duke & Wake have some fan base eve though they are privates & UNC Charlotte is popular enough to make it even more difficult for ECU to be successful in basketball.


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