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PostPosted: Thu Feb 18, 2016 5:44 pm 
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FBS football for UTRGV is a pretty ambitious goal but if their enrollment is that large and they can engage their student body and community they could get this thing off the ground.

The FCS part is easy. Even if they don't get an immediate invite into the Southland--if they end up staying at the FCS level for longer than hoped--they can still play a bunch of those Southland schools out-of-conference. It also gives the Sunbelt notice that they have their eyes set on joining their league and if there is mutual interest the two sides can work on plans to get them in. Maybe it means dumping Idaho as a football affiliate and swapping them for the more geographically friendly UTRGV.

It'll be interesting to see how FCS schools who also have grand ambitions--Lamar, SF Austin, and Sam Houston St--react to the news.


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PostPosted: Thu Feb 18, 2016 6:46 pm 
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With RGV going FCS, it would be that all-important 12th non-Big West school playing scholarship FCS football. The WAC could invite five Big Sky schools, and the Big Sky could take some non-football schools (like Bakersfield and Seattle) off the WAC's hands.


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PostPosted: Fri Feb 19, 2016 10:52 am 
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The WAC is the bottom rung of D-1 in terms of stability.

It is held together with scotch tape.... every institution (perhaps excepting UMKC) would prefer to be in another league (which makes UMKC's decision to join it so very mysterious...)

The Big Sky looks pretty stable, since a few years ago when Benson (formerly WAC, now Sun-Belt) took in the WAC FBS schools and any speculation of Big Sky teams (like the Montanas) moving up to FBS settled down.

I can't see a school in a solid league such s the Big Sky voluntarily "moving down" to join the WAC.

If the Sun-Belt were to kick out FBS affiliates Idaho and NMSU, both would conduct a study ("cause you HAVE to perform a study...) and then one or both would move to FCS / Big Sky (Idaho already has their other sports in the Big Sky and an open invitation to join for football).


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PostPosted: Fri Feb 19, 2016 10:41 pm 
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UTRGV had talks with the SLC in the last round of expansion. They add football if and only if they have been told they'll get the 12th/14th spot in the SLC.

The UT system is establishing a medical school for UTGRV and will be pushing it towards Tier 1 status in the next few years. They'll be a force in South Texas in the coming years.

While non-Longhorn athletics aren't at the top of the UT system's priority, I've been told getting UTRGV into the SLC is one of the top priorities (along with getting UTD more involved with athletics, likely DII).

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PostPosted: Sat Feb 27, 2016 11:10 pm 
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TKthunder wrote:
UTRGV had talks with the SLC in the last round of expansion. They add football if and only if they have been told they'll get the 12th/14th spot in the SLC.

The UT system is establishing a medical school for UTGRV and will be pushing it towards Tier 1 status in the next few years. They'll be a force in South Texas in the coming years.

While non-Longhorn athletics aren't at the top of the UT system's priority, I've been told getting UTRGV into the SLC is one of the top priorities (along with getting UTD more involved with athletics, likely DII).


It's like I'm psychic...

http://www.texasmonthly.com/the-daily-p ... l-program/

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PostPosted: Sun Feb 28, 2016 6:01 pm 
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This may become a higher priority should Chicago State drop athletics, which will put the WAC in serious jeopardy. The question will be is can the WAC and Southland work out a reorganization to preserve the WAC's auto bid, and possibly have a second auto bid to the FCS Playoffs.


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PostPosted: Sun Feb 28, 2016 11:08 pm 
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wbyeager wrote:
This may become a higher priority should Chicago State drop athletics, which will put the WAC in serious jeopardy. The question will be is can the WAC and Southland work out a reorganization to preserve the WAC's auto bid, and possibly have a second auto bid to the FCS Playoffs.


I'm not sure that anyone from the Southland would voluntarily give up the stability and compact travel for a far flung, unstable league. I also think that UTRGV has its sights set on FBS rather that FCS football so I don't see them being part of any long term.

The only way I see the WAC ever having its own FCS football is if UTRGV, Utah Valley, and Grand Canyon all entered a pact to start the sport together and they invited 2-3 RMAC or other western DII upgrades to come up and join them. It also would help if Cal Poly and UC Davis switched their affiliate membership to the WAC, knowing that they would dominate early on and be a lock for the tournament.

For the health of the WAC, They really need to find some schools willing to upgrade and find UMKC and Chcago St a different home as soon as the other upgrade schools have full DI status.


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PostPosted: Mon Feb 29, 2016 12:01 pm 
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It sure seems that where this is headed is FCS FB for UTRGV.

The SLC is a natural home for them. Once they have FCS football, it could well become a reality.
It's going to take time and money to get the program up and running, and more time and money to get competitive.

Don't see a FB future for the WAC at this point in time.

It's WAY too early to talk about FBS football at UTRGV, when they haven't even announced a FB program. That's a much larger investment, and the Texas legislature may have something to say about that, when the time comes.


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PostPosted: Mon Feb 29, 2016 12:54 pm 
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tute79 wrote:
It sure seems that where this is headed is FCS FB for UTRGV.

The SLC is a natural home for them. Once they have FCS football, it could well become a reality.
It's going to take time and money to get the program up and running, and more time and money to get competitive.

Don't see a FB future for the WAC at this point in time.

It's WAY too early to talk about FBS football at UTRGV, when they haven't even announced a FB program. That's a much larger investment, and the Texas legislature may have something to say about that, when the time comes.


South Alabama, Georgia St, Old Dominion, Charlotte, and UTSA all brought incredibly young football programs into FBS with very short stays in FBS. About a decade ago FAU and FIU did the same thing. I surmise that if UTRGV is super ambitious and has the enrollment and local draw to back it they too could make the giant leap. I would imagine that they would fancy themselves an upstart rival to fellow UT school UTSA.

Honestly, they would fit in well with either conference--Sunbelt or Southland. It's just a matter of where they feel comfortable and who is willing to take them.

With a football program they would fit in nicely as a 14th all sports member and 12th football member of the Southland. 14 is awfully crowded for a 1-bid league though. I'd try to see if UALR and UT-A would be interested in joining and then forming a two 8-team conferences with a scheduling alliance and then try to grow the two leagues from there. It would give everyone better access to the NCAA men's bb tournament and other tournament sports.


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PostPosted: Mon Feb 29, 2016 5:42 pm 
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fighting muskie wrote:
With a football program they would fit in nicely as a 14th all sports member and 12th football member of the Southland. 14 is awfully crowded for a 1-bid league though. I'd try to see if UALR and UT-A would be interested in joining and then forming a two 8-team conferences with a scheduling alliance and then try to grow the two leagues from there. It would give everyone better access to the NCAA men's bb tournament and other tournament sports.

This might be the WAC's only way to survive - have NMSU and UTRGV grab 6 Southland schools. Since RGV will start out in FCS, the WAC takes Abilene Christian, Incarnate Word, Texas A&M-Corpus Christi, Houston Baptist, Lamar, and Sam Houston State.

The remaining 7 Southland schools grab UALR and UTA, and stops at 9 members.

Seattle, Bakersfield, Utah Valley, and Grand Canyon would need exit strategies though.


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PostPosted: Mon Feb 29, 2016 10:32 pm 
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wbyeager wrote:
fighting muskie wrote:
With a football program they would fit in nicely as a 14th all sports member and 12th football member of the Southland. 14 is awfully crowded for a 1-bid league though. I'd try to see if UALR and UT-A would be interested in joining and then forming a two 8-team conferences with a scheduling alliance and then try to grow the two leagues from there. It would give everyone better access to the NCAA men's bb tournament and other tournament sports.

This might be the WAC's only way to survive - have NMSU and UTRGV grab 6 Southland schools. Since RGV will start out in FCS, the WAC takes Abilene Christian, Incarnate Word, Texas A&M-Corpus Christi, Houston Baptist, Lamar, and Sam Houston State.

The remaining 7 Southland schools grab UALR and UTA, and stops at 9 members.

Seattle, Bakersfield, Utah Valley, and Grand Canyon would need exit strategies though.


I understand that you want to see the WAC to survive, but I can see absolutely zero benefits for any of the Southland Conference schools to leave for the Southland to join the WAC. They would be leaving a stable, relatively compact conference for at best an uncertain future. The best opportunity for the WAC in my opinion would to work hard ago find and attract some schools that want to move up to DI. (I am a fan of the Summit League). Neither would I see any benefit for UALR and UTA to move to the Southland. The Southland is a much weaker conference for basketball than the Sunbelt. If they want out of a football dominated league, they would probably look to the Summit which is a much stronger basketball conference than either the Southland or the Sunbelt. Depending on the rating system you look at, the Summit is somewhere between th2 12th (ESPN RPI) or 16th (Sagarin) conference in men's basketball.


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PostPosted: Tue Mar 01, 2016 1:15 pm 
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What the WAC ultimately needs is for its members to stop being singularly focused on where there next conference home and focus on building the conference they have now. Seattle, Cal St Bakersfield, Utah Valley, and Grand Canyon need to take the initiative and identify four western universities that will fit within their long term vision and work towards preparing them for membership.

Personally, I think that Grand Canyon and Utah Valley need to determine a date in which they feel like they will both be prepared to launch football and that those 4 DII schools should be football schools as well. UTRGV could potentially fit into those plans if they don't receive full Southland membership by then. I would also try to recruit non-scholarship San Diego as a football affiliate to help fill out the fledgling league and save San Diego some travel.


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PostPosted: Tue Mar 01, 2016 8:26 pm 
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fighting muskie wrote:
What the WAC ultimately needs is for its members to stop being singularly focused on where there next conference home and focus on building the conference they have now. Seattle, Cal St Bakersfield, Utah Valley, and Grand Canyon need to take the initiative and identify four western universities that will fit within their long term vision and work towards preparing them for membership.

Metro State should be the first priority - everyone in the conference can live with a school in Denver, even Chicago State should they survive.

If FCS football is in the WAC's future, the next add needs to be Dixie State in Utah. This gives them a home for all their sports, and the Big Sky isn't going to take them since Southern Utah and Weber State are already in the conference.

Once the FCS football barrier is broken, keep working both edges of the footprint - for example, Central Washington and Tarleton State (TX) can come in at the same time, or very close to each other. Central Oklahoma would be an excellent addition, especially if UMKC can add football. Even the Minnesota D-II schools may be able to bite.


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PostPosted: Tue Mar 01, 2016 9:57 pm 
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Dixie St would work. I was thinking Mesa St and Colorado St-Peublo would make a good Colorado pairing. This might be a little out there but what about Simon Frasier as another Pacific Northwest school? They have a huge enrollment.


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PostPosted: Sat Apr 16, 2016 10:30 am 
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BYU blog article discussing WAC membership situation at http://www.vanquishthefoe.com/byu-baske ... cc-omg-bbq


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