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 Post subject: Big East - 10 team model
PostPosted: Thu Aug 19, 2004 5:31 am 
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Lash & Sportsgeog, great discussion! 8-)

I only have time for 2 quick comments.

Sportsgeog, when you listed the 4 BE candidates, you mentioned th Philly market being fragmented for Temple, which is certainly true. It is a Penn State town for football. To me, the key is the size of the market - 6 mill as you metioned. Even if they could garner support in 1/3 of that market (alums, casual fans, those who don't want to drive to Happy Valley, etc.), that's 2 million - slightly bigger than the state of West Virginia. Maybe this is why you support their candidacy?

In considering the possibility of a BE split, consider this. Syracuse AD Jake Crouthamel will be gone in a year. Who knows if either Jim Boeheim or Jim Calhoun will still be around in 5 years. Both carry a lot of weight at Syracuse & UConn respectively. With a new wave of administrators & coaches coming into the Big East replacing the old tradional movers & shakers in Big East's core franchises, there will be new attitudes blended into the mix. It should be interesting.


Last edited by friarfan on Thu Aug 19, 2004 5:32 am, edited 1 time in total.

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 Post subject: Big East - 10 team model
PostPosted: Thu Aug 19, 2004 8:10 am 
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Do not worry Temple is not going to be in the BE after the 2004 football season.


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 Post subject: Big East - 10 team model
PostPosted: Thu Aug 19, 2004 10:09 am 
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If it's one thing that ESPN, the web and discussions like this have shown me, it's that the likes of Louisville can rise above perceptions of their institution. Or, perhaps more correctly, that they can use sports to influence the perception of their institution. Count me among those who knew about the Cardinals growing up. Pervis Ellison, the large crowds, the rivalry with UK. In knew all that despite living in Atlanta and not otherwise caring a lick about the state of Kentucky. As a program with a devoted following, they became a commodity that general sports fans understood.

Couple that with the fact that your average high school athlete and detatched sports fan does not know the full history, character or true mission of each university and it's easier to understand how Louisville and Cincinatti have used sports to place themselves among institutions with which they would otherwise have nothing in common. Even with notions of scholstic partnerships and more, these are essentially athletic relationships, and as such perhaps deserve some distancing from the deeper institutional issues.

Probably many fans came into the realignment era not understanding UNSWR rankings, which school was a land grant or historic normal, etc. They simply saw Louisville as a monster basketball program and said "That's what I want in my league." Many an ACC fan said that about Louisville, WVU and other schools early on based solely on what they saw on the field, on TV or in the standings. It's taken discussions and investigations likes those we've shared here to learn more of the whys and wherefors of things.

If the BE can succeed with UofL, Cincy and USF, as I suspect they will, more schools outside the standard BCS profile (State U, land grant, etc) will garner respect for their athletic prowess alone. Good or bad I don't know, but we do know ESPN is ever on the lookout for the next Marshall, TCU and others. This is not to say the standard mold for what consitutes an elite sports conference is in decline, but that alternatives have more resources than ever before to be successful.

I use to consider ECU as a possible ACC candidate when simply regarding sizable programs within the region. I know the average southeastern football fan knows of them and regards them above the likes of Sun Belt teams etc. I think the potential is there for them to prosper given more funding and recognition. They'll likely never match UNC and NCSU in academic support or notariety, but that's not reason enough to say their athletics couldn't someday fare well enough to warrant near equal footing.


Last edited by gunnerfan on Thu Aug 19, 2004 10:12 am, edited 1 time in total.

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 Post subject: Big East - 10 team model
PostPosted: Thu Aug 19, 2004 10:49 am 
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^I have more thoughts on this.

But I disagree with you GunnerFan.

I remember back in 1999, I was reading the ATS Consultants Football pre-season magazine. It predicted this incredible realignment of college football. It predicted that the BE would lose 3 teams to the ACC, which were, I believe Syracuse, BC and Miami. They were right on two of those. They also predicted that both Temple and Rutgers would drop down to 1-AA (which I think they were totally off base there). UConn was a 1-AA team then, so they didn't think of them in the BE.

For the other 3 teams, Pitt, WVU, and VT, they predicted that the BE would disolve as a football conference and these 3 teams would end up joining the non-BCS CUSA.

The Rutgers and Temple were the wrong predictions, and Syracuse was almost right, Va Tech was wrong on their predictions. But what we are looking at here is something very similar to that prediction. We have 3 schools that have come over from CUSA that are not in the Northeast footprint. The BE is putting every effort into making a 16-team confederation work. Such a alignment doesn't really allow for expansion until they break apart, unless they kept Temple and/or took in Army and Navy as football-only members.

But people now talk of 5 years will be given to see if it works. Well, people keep bringing up more CUSA teams as the potential of 1 to 4 more into the conference. If that happens, the 1999 ATS Consultants Predictions will be almost dead on, only it wouldn't be called CUSA, it would still be called the BE, but in all sense of the word, I think it would be CUSA, which they had as a non-BCS league.

If this happens, 7 of the 12 BE members would have been former CUSA members. It, thus takes on the character of the CUSA, not the BE. I see this as a risk for perception just as much as taking 1-AA teams in the NE. People that follow football won't pick this conference out as easily, and could easily be identified as a mid-major.

I think the BE, if it needs to expand, should examine all the possibilities and take time in doing so, to examine how they can improve the embrace of their footprint, before expanding to become a retitled CUSA, and a secondary southern conference to the SEC and ACC and not much "out-front" media geography.

RE: Louisville is the only exception to all this. As I pointed out, they are the only school that can go sorta head to toe with UK. Not completely. The role and identity of the school does matter. Sure there is growth, but urban grants and regional historic normals don't grant an identity statewide, which means the membership of these teams are creating a very regional location of the BE in greater and larger footprints of other conferences, and provides a mid-major like status of that conference's market. The only way to broadcast games is on cable networks and these non top-5 conferences will drift into the midweek, when people may or may not watch. I see this as a risk.


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 Post subject: Big East - 10 team model
PostPosted: Thu Aug 19, 2004 12:58 pm 
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No matter how you classify the NBE 8 football members, the group has a BCS nucleus to build on. This was the objective during expansion last summer. Each of the 8 schools bring something to the conference. Factor in the other 7 basketball schools and Notre Dame and the you see why the new BE is part of the 6 BCS conference. BCS is not just about football.

Black&Gold, if you are reviewing this thread, I have a question for you concerning Army and Navy. If not, will post this question on one of your threads.

USA Today did a very nice job yesterday on an article about Army.

We all know the so called academic BCS schools have double standards for athletes and other students.

The Dukes, Michigans, Souther Californias,Ohio States, all provide "learning to tie your shoe strings 101" or "basket weaving" to assist the athletes with graduation.

Why cant Army and Navy do the same. I realize that an Army graduate leaderhip will someday move our troops into harms way, however, not every graduate would have to accomplish these type of task. Some could help with marketing new requits, etc.

If Army and Navy lowered the academic standards for just the football athletes, maybe both could improve to the level that would be competative in the new Big East. Both would be ideal for Big East membership for football.

It was impressive to know that Army spent 65 million to upgrade the stadium and practice facilities and is paying a good salary for the new football coach.

Maybe Army and Navy are attempting to upgrade for future Big East membership.




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 Post subject: Big East - 10 team model
PostPosted: Thu Aug 19, 2004 1:35 pm 
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Sportsgeog,

Interesting about that article. I'd love to see it sometime if you can track it down.

I'm not saying that any mid-major could make the transition to BCS status, or that our historic normals could someday be exactly equal to primary state universities. There are those candidates, however, who've invested in their athletics in scales and means very similar to BCS programs and to ignore thier support, on-field performance and their potential would be foolish. The Term mid-major, after all, is to recognize that there are those schools that have distinguished themselves from the bottom of the barrell. Programs that may continue to excel at the next level if allowed equal funding and access. (Copywright concerns there, Tulane?)

Clearly UofL was one of the best options for the BE as a football program to help their BCS status, and many have touted Fresno St. as someone who'll help the MWC achieve a similar position. After all, while conferences may recieve benefits untold from their non-athletic activities and association, these remain athletic conferences we're talking about. And if the likes of Duke aren't interested in claiming BCS bowl berths, surely Marshall, USF and ECU would if given the chance.

Final judgement will have to wait till after this BE experiment is over, and they should be cautious to maintain a BCS image and not simply hasten themselves to CUSA status. But given the alterations to the football landscape I suspect more schools will become involved with the upper echelons and that their academic status will have less bearing on that fact than before. JMO, anyway.


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 Post subject: Big East - 10 team model
PostPosted: Thu Aug 19, 2004 6:01 pm 
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<<The Dukes, Michigans, Souther Californias,Ohio States, all provide "learning to tie your shoe strings 101" or "basket weaving" to assist the athletes with graduation.

Why cant Army and Navy do the same. I realize that an Army graduate leaderhip will someday move our troops into harms way, however, not every graduate would have to accomplish these type of task. Some could help with marketing new requits, etc.>>

I sure hope they don't do anything like that. I suspect they have too much integrity to. And there are some schools that don't have remedial courses. Texas has refused Darrell Royal's and Mack Brown's request for an easy major for athletes. Athletes get all kinds of special counseling/tutoring to help them keep up. Many choose relatively easy majors, but there is no program like Michigan has (I don't remember exactly what it is-something sports related). My guess is Michigan wouldn't start such a program today, but it has been around a long time.


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 Post subject: Big East - 10 team model
PostPosted: Thu Aug 19, 2004 6:22 pm 
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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.


No. I have never been to North Carolina. But may I ask the reversal? Have you ever been to Michigan? Or how about Ohio? Illinois? Indiana? The reason why I ask is that the knowledge and experience that people have about a state that they live in may be based on a perception that that state has of its own situation, without comparing it to a similar situation in another state, to get a national perception or comparison, because that is how something like conference alignment will be evaluated.

I could easily make a strong argument that Westerm Michigan University should be in the BE, because it nearly 30,000 students, and people from all over Michigan go to school there. My point is that you can make that point for any non-flagship state U in any state where that school has a high number for an enrollment. You can see from this thread how all the state universities in Michigan compare to one another and see there are 6 universities in Michigan that have over 20,000 in enrollment and have student from all over the state:

http://collegesportsinfo/forum/viewtopic.php?t=1605


Quote:


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.


The western part of North Carolina is closer to those two universities than UNC and NCSU. Whenever you are near a state line and close to a major state U across the border, you will find some support across that state line. Its like when I talked about there being Ole Miss supporters in the Memphis area in TN. Or Nebraska supporter in Council Bluffs, IA/Western Iowa, because Lincoln is 1 hour away, and Iowa State in Ames is 3 hours away, and U of Iowa in Iowa City is 5 hours away. It still doesn't dismiss Iowa and Iowa State as statewide support. You can see from the UNC Radio Network and NCSU Radio Network that there has to be support in those western areas near the TN and VA borders as they have radio affiliates out there:

UNC:

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

Western NC Radio affiliates for UNC are located in:

Asheville
Boone
Brevard
Bryson City
Canton
Hendersonville
Lenoir
Murphy
Robbinsville
Wilkesboro

and NCSU western NC Radio affiliates:

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

Where these NCSU Radio affiliates are in the west:

Asheville
Bryson City
Elkin
Hickory

So you may have U Tennessee playing 1st fiddle to UNC and NCSU in those parts of western NC, but probably UNC and NCSU are playing 2nd and 3rd fiddle. Same with Va Tech near Virginia. UNC plays 2nd fiddle and NCSU playes 3rd fiddle. It still doesn't take away from them being statewide supported teams, like my example in the Memphis area with U Tenn against Ole Miss, and my Western Iowa example with U Nebraska support mixed in with ISU and U Iowa. But the question is, what fiddle does ECU play in Western NC? Or how about Duke? Or how about Wake Forest?

Is ECU in Western NC, south central NC, and north central NC 3rd fiddle? 4th fiddle? 5th fiddle? 6th fiddle? How does it compare to Appallachian State? Western Carolina?, NC A & T? UNC-Greensboro? UNC-Asheville? UNC-Charlotte? What I am wondering is it a 3rd statewide team, or is it in a mix with Duke and WF and these other regional schools, all below UNC and NCSU?


Quote:
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.


Okay take out the party school argument. It certainly shouldn't be an arguement for being in any particular conference either. People here in Michigan call Michigan State a party school. Its athletic performance and academic standing and statewide status certainly qualify it to be in the Big 10. I've heard about WVU, but I know they belong in the Big East.

But if its an arguement for being included into a major conference, then the University of Nebraska at Kearney is Nebraska's "Party School". Maybe it should be included in the Big 12 if thats the case. It only has 6,500 students and certainly doesn't even come close to qualifying.


Quote:
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.


I don't think location has anything to do with its market, unless it is located a far far distance from major urban centers in the state. This is a problem in the western states, where I see the University of Idaho as a bad location for market access (300 miles from Boise, its most urban population base, and not a lot of population near it and its in a town of 22,000).

Rather, the market issue is how the the university's team's market is defined, the size of that market and the position of the university in comparison to other major state universities in the state. NC has 8.5 million people. Most states that size only have two major teams with statewide following (MI, GA, VA, NJ, are your best comparables to this state's pop, and all except NJ have two statewide teams which are both in BCS leagues). Indiana with 6.3 million people has 3 (IU, PU, ND) but that is an exception because of ND unusual national following, and IU and PU still get good support statewide.

NC has 2 statewide teams, 2 privates that have significant following. All 4 combined are BCS league teams. Is ECU on this level, with a market that goes beyond what looks to be a concentration in the "East of I-95" market and most likely contends as 3rd team, maybe some locales in this region it is 1st or 2nd, in this "East of I-95" market? That's what I am getting at. Its position doesn't seem to expand its market as a statewide team, so its:

*Local Mkt (Greenville) = 150,000
*Commuting Mkt (Combined Greenville, Goldsboro, Rocky Mount, Wilson, and Kinston) = ~550,000
*Regional Mkt ("East of I-95") = 1.7 to 2.3 million, with support for UNC and NCSU in that same region.
*Statewide postion: North Carolina = 8.5 million, may be 5th team in some locales west of I-95, but in some places like Boone area, Asheville area, Dillsboro/Webster/Sylva area, Charlotte, Greensboro, Wilmigton, it may be the 6th team.

If I could find that listing of ECU Football radio affiliates, I could find out if this is true or not, but this is what I gather from the information that I have looked-up and read.


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 Post subject: Big East - 10 team model
PostPosted: Thu Aug 19, 2004 6:37 pm 
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Since we are on the Big East 10 team model.

Whats up with Notre Dame clearing its football schedule for 2008.

Now this has stuff to get excited about.

We are starting to hear of Penn State plans to schedule old eastern rival Pitt and possibly WVU. Syracuse is already on the future shedule.

Big 10 goes back to a manageable 10. Big 10 and Pac 10 are a perfect aligned twosome.

Penn State and Notre Dame join the BE.

All is good in the world again.

We need to keep a close eye on the latest Notre Dame football development.

Could Notre Dame be making plans for Big 10 or Big East membership for football?


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 Post subject: Big East - 10 team model
PostPosted: Thu Aug 19, 2004 8:33 pm 
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Quote:
Sportsgeog,

Interesting about that article. I'd love to see it sometime if you can track it down.


Unfortunately I can't remember if I bought that College Football Annual back in 1999 or not. The problem is that I have moved twice since then, and may mot be able to track it down. But I do remember that CUSA alignment projected by them.


Quote:
I'm not saying that any mid-major could make the transition to BCS status, or that our historic normals could someday be exactly equal to primary state universities. There are those candidates, however, who've invested in their athletics in scales and means very similar to BCS programs and to ignore thier support, on-field performance and their potential would be foolish. The Term mid-major, after all, is to recognize that there are those schools that have distinguished themselves from the bottom of the barrell. Programs that may continue to excel at the next level if allowed equal funding and access. (Copywright concerns there, Tulane?)


I am not saying that there isn't that potential. Oddly enough, if you click backwards, one of my top choices for being a member of the BE, and the best candidate from the field of candidates from CUSA is Marshall. They have good following. Their market maybe either 1/2 of WV (900,000) or be West Virginia's 2nd team and share the whole state's 1.8 million. That would be the smallest state with 2 teams in the Top 6 conferences, (KS has 2 with 2.7 million, but KC metro helps it out), and its academic standing/institutional fit is awkward among BE schools, but at least it is in the near-northeast footprint and wouldn't be burying the conference in a secondary status of another major conference's footprint. So I think its possible to have a team a little out of the typical BCS mold for the BE or the other 5 major conferences. The NE + the academic fit + the relative state position and markets of ECU, Memphis, and UCF accummalitvely make them weaker candidates than Marshall, and Marshall's performance added to this makes its a slightly better than those 3, IMO.


Quote:
Clearly UofL was one of the best options for the BE as a football program to help their BCS status, and many have touted Fresno St. as someone who'll help the MWC achieve a similar position. After all, while conferences may recieve benefits untold from their non-athletic activities and association, these remain athletic conferences we're talking about. And if the likes of Duke aren't interested in claiming BCS bowl berths, surely Marshall, USF and ECU would if given the chance.


If Duke and Wake Forest were kicked out of the ACC, or they left on their own accord to join the league that U of Chicago and Washington U of St. Louis belong to in Div. 3 or joined the Ivy League, the ACC would not look at ECU, UCF, USF, Memphis, Louisville, UCincy, UAB, or USM. They would look at Syracuse and Pittsburgh. Rutgers and UConn would also be formidable candidates. Why? They are all on the East Coast and Academics. Even without Duke and WF, the ACC is still a very academic conference. FSU and Clemson are the lowest they go. They want to be like the Big 10 and the Pac 10.

As far as the MWC, they have limitations for their future candidates due to the population geography of the intermountain west, unless they went after Rice, SMU and Tulsa to join with TCU (like the old WAC-16). The Mountain West, and its former WAC-origins is an alignment that since the late 1960's when they asked UTEP to join, it has had a couple of teams that were out of the state-flagship/prestigious private membership pattern of the 6 BCS conferences. Originally, the WAC had Arizona and Arizona State as well as for a very brief time, I think, had U of Oregon, Ore State, Wash State. These all fit that typical state flagship membership pattern. As they needed to expand due to losing U of Ariz and ASU, the best available choice was UTEP, SDSU, then Fresno, then briefly SJSU, and then UNLV. All of these are Urban Grants-commuters. If you go back to my first 15 posts as a member here back in late May of 2004, here, this thread, The General WAC Realingment Thread, where I talk about U Idaho and its location problems and market issues related to that, you can see what the issue is for available teams for the Intermountain West for MWC expansion:

http://collegesportsinfo/forum/viewtopic.php?t=1464&action=display&start=15

You will see that teams located in Boise and Las Vegas are the largest concentration of population in the states of Idaho and Nevada and therefore these Urban Grants overshadow the state flagship. Utah, New Mexico and Colorado have a similar problem with Utah State, New Mexico State, and Colorado State. SDSU and Fresno are located in a very fragmented and nation-like state of CA and are of a different dynamic than most, and their focused markets compete and overshadow U Idaho, Utah State, and New Mexico State. The MWC can't help but be in that position and it is farther down that road than the BE. The BE has now entered a similar position by taking U of Louisville, UCincy, and USF. But at least all three of those U's, though all Urban Grants, have the ability to be 3rd Tier National U's according to USNWR. No schools prior to their inclusion in the current 6 BCS conferences have been below that academic level. The only exception in Major Conference Football history was U Houston as a member of the now defunct SWC.

I know that the MWC is in this position. But the BE has time and a different result could happen, as the market choice in the Northeast are a lot better than the Mountain West or the WAC. UConn is an example of how you can get a non-existant statewide market of 3.5 million people to be a part of a major football conference.

There's not really anything like that out in the inter-mountain west that involves a state flagship university that isn't already a part of the MWC or the Pac 10, or Colorado of the Big 12. U of Nevada and U of Hawaii are the only ones, and they are often mentioned as possible future MWC teams. Fresno, Boise St, are both ahead of U Idaho, Utah State, and New Mexico State, but unlike the three CUSA candidates of UCF, ECU, and Memphis, they are in the "Western/Intermountain" Footprint. That's why I think Marshall is the exception here and why they fit as a Northeastern team and could be in the BE over these other 3 CUSA teams.


Quote:
Final judgement will have to wait till after this BE experiment is over, and they should be cautious to maintain a BCS image and not simply hasten themselves to CUSA status. But given the alterations to the football landscape I suspect more schools will become involved with the upper echelons and that their academic status will have less bearing on that fact than before. JMO, anyway.


Yes this is true, and for the most part, several of these teams will have the opportunity to do so, and most likely do so, by qualifying as earned BCS seeds through the new BCS 10-seeds higher than #12 method. Its also theoretically and maybe even seriously possible that the MWC and the CUSA or for that matter the WAC, the MAC and possibly the Sun Belt to earn an average ranking of #12 for four years and earn either a 7th or 8th auto seed. They don't have to join the BE to get to the BCS. Access has been improved for all Div. I-A 11 conferences to the BCS. I am just saying what is important for the BE in the combination of national standing, athletic performance, national image, Northeast footprint and identity, academic and institutional fit, and TV markets to allow their conference to be "out front" the most. These are all important for the Big East's future, IMO.


Last edited by sportsgeog on Thu Aug 19, 2004 10:24 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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 Post subject: Big East - 10 team model
PostPosted: Thu Aug 19, 2004 8:52 pm 
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here is their website and you can back order it. http://www.atswins.com/

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 Post subject: Big East - 10 team model
PostPosted: Thu Aug 19, 2004 9:13 pm 
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here is their website and you can back order it. http://www.atswins.com/


Thanks footballgod.

Now the USNWR rankings, and guess what, my analysis on ECU has improved. They are now, this year, ranked as a 3rd Tier National University. They were 4th Tier last year. Also the U of Louisville is now a 3rd Tier National U. They were also 4th Tier as well. So all 3 of the new BE members are Tier 3 universities.

http://www.usnews.com/usnews/edu/college/rankings/brief/natudoc/tier3/t3natudoc_brief.php

Congrats Cardinals and Pirates. So the BE has all 2nd and 3rd Tier USNWR schools.

So now, I think ECU is a better choice for BE expansion over Memphis and UCF. Marshall I still think is slightly better because of near-NE footprint, but I think this makes ECU the 2nd best of all the CUSA candidates for BE expansion. There's still the issue of institutional fit -- would be only Historic Normal of the BE, unless they joined with Marshall. Also the NE footprint and being the 5th team from NC is a problem, but they edge out Memphis and UCF.

Everything that I stated in this thread about what I think are the important criteria for BE expansion still holds true, but this sheds some better light on ECU, IMO. There market isn't much different than Memphis and Orlando and they are closer to the BE footprint. Certainly not as optimal as Temple, Navy, Army or Marshall, but significantly better than Memphis and UCF.

The CUSA image is still somewhat of an issue though, but I see ECU as a slightly better candidate than my last post.


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 Post subject: Big East - 10 team model
PostPosted: Fri Aug 20, 2004 7:46 pm 
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Sportsgeog, Yes, yes I have been to Michigan. In fact, I lived in Grand Ledge (outside of Lansing) for a few years, as well as Big Rapids (north of Grand Rapids). However, I will concede that I was a young child and not very attuned to the world of college athletics and conference alliances.

I do want to agree with your point about the Big East and their footprint. The Conference would be better off with regional teams. If the Big East took the gamble to support a move from 1-AA to 1-A for schools such as Massachusetts, Delaware, and perhaps even Villanova and Rhode Island, their identity as the northeast conference would be secure. While it would be unpopular in the short term, in twenty years nobody would care.

I realize that such a move would take the political will within the universities themselves to make such an investment. However, a pledge of support from the conference in terms of membership guarantees would be a step in the right direction.

Also, keeping Temple and bringing in Buffalo would be a boost for regional identity. Consider a conference of this makeup:

WVU
Syracuse
Pittsburgh
Temple
Rutgers
Connecticut
Massachusetts
Delaware
Villanova
Buffalo / Rhode Island
Louisville (to make 12)
Cincinnati (to make 12)

Five of these twelve (possibly six of twelve) are the top public university within their respective state. Also, look at the states involved; clearly the northeast flavor that would and should be desired to retain regional identity. Though UL and UC are outliers, they are connected through WVU and Pittsburgh, which I have never particularly regarded as northeast, either, but has the traditional rivalries with many of the eastern members.


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 Post subject: Big East - 10 team model
PostPosted: Fri Aug 20, 2004 9:05 pm 
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^I agree that some of those teams make some sense, but a couple do not. Maybe thats what you wanted me to say.

I think the NE footprint is important, and you know why I think that. I think it is possible, given some time, to try out the UConn model on one or two more teams. This would be a 10 plan. The ones that make the most sense are UMass, because of the Massachusetts market (6.5 million) and only 1 team right now. Also UMass has been successful in winning a 1-AA championship and being consistently competitive there. UConn I don't think had that much success before moving up.

The other candidate that I think strongly of is Delaware. For the same reasons, and because their following/attendance is consistently high for 1-AA. Their weakness is market, but its actually not too terribly lower than Memphis, Marshall, and ECU. UCF may have a little bit more.

Marshall is my top choice of current 1-A teams and of the CUSA. Because they are consistently good, good following, and their market is 900,000 to 1.8 million. They are the 2nd team of WV. Though small of a pop there, I think they can claim the entire 1.8 million shared with WVU, with WVU being the clear first fiddle. Their radio network goes across the whole state, and it is small enough of a state that Marshall may be as close as WVU is to most locations in WV. Marshall is also closer to the two largest metros of the state, Huntington and Charleston, while WVU is farther away in the north of the state.

Retaining Temple would be the second choice. I think the turn around in attendance for Temple demonstrates that they are almost on the same footing as other candidates. Maybe if they go away for 5 years and demonstrate that they will make a committment, then maybe the BE would be interested in bringing them back in.

I've been to Kingston, RI. The URI campus is a beautiful campus. My paternal grandmother is actually from the Kingston area, although she died many years before I was born. Its my NE roots (in addition to my Midwestern, Great Plains, and Southern Roots that I have on both sides of my family). But URI is just not quite right for 1-A football. It would be cool to see them along with UNH and U Maine in the BE, but those schools would be less competitive and would saturate the New England states.

Buffalo is having problems as a 1-A school. It would be great if they could make it so the SUNY system would have at least one school sustain itself at the highest level, and Buffalo is a major market and could be a rival to Pitt, but they are having problems. The Buffalo Bills I think contribute to their attendance problem and interest.

I wouldn't get rid of USF. They fit now because they have been chosen and have shown they are competitive. But to maintain the conferene as primarily a NE conference, they should be the lone BE "outpost", with a dam placed on the Ohio River west of Louisville, to keep the BE from drifting into the SEC and being the old remake of the SWC. Ozarks are not the BE. Memphis vs. Rutgers on ESPN2 on Tuesday night in November doesn't help the BE major conference image. Nobody would know what that game means.

If the BE wants a team in 5 years if they wanted to exapnd and split with the bball schools, they should take Marshall, or Temple or both. They could take Temple now, but maybe it would be good for Temple to show their worth a little more so the BE will be more comfortable with retaining them.


Last edited by sportsgeog on Fri Aug 20, 2004 9:10 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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 Post subject: Big East - 10 team model
PostPosted: Fri Aug 20, 2004 10:00 pm 
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The big unkown here is whether the Big East will still be a BCS conference in 5 years. There is a lot of work to be done between now & then. If football is as shaky then as it is now - i.e. BCS status is gone - there will be no point in splitting & then expanding football membership. In that scenario, the conference will stick together & will focus on its historic strength - basketball.

On the other hand, if the Big East takes advantage of the gift that the BCS has given them & upgrades its football programs to solidify BCS status, then there will be no point in adding Marshall. IMO the only reason to add Marshall is to upgrade the caliber of football in the conference - & this is actually a good reason for their addition. However, historically the Big East has not expanded within a member's market - except for the addition of Rutgers in Seton Hall's market & this was a special case. I just don't see them invading the West Virginia market with a second team. A split, however, would open the door for Temple in order to keep the Philly market for hoops as well as for football. Beyond that, I see no other logical condidate. They could hold at 9 members. Long term planning for UMass would then make sense to eventually get to 10.


Last edited by friarfan on Fri Aug 20, 2004 10:01 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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