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PostPosted: Fri Mar 14, 2003 10:10 am 
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Speculation: A new 1-AA Western based Conference?

UC-Davis has made it official: they are moving up to 1-AA.

While this helps the Big West conference and it's goal of becoming an All-California conference. If you recall, a few years ago, the Big West was a football conference and had the need for out-of-california schools. Those days are over....Utah State is leaving and Idaho should be gone in all-sports within a few years.

So now this leaves UC-Davis, a 1-AA upgrade with the need for a football conference since the Big West has none. The Big Sky? Not so fast. If they wanted partial members, they would have done so already.

So here is what I'm bringing to the table again: a new 1-AA football-only conference. This would mimic the Gatewat conference, a collection of various 1-AA teams from different overall conferences. The A-10 is similar in it's format, but does sponsor all-sports despite only 3 of the 12 football members (Towson is joining as #12) being in the A10 for all-sports.

Here are the western 1-AA indys:

UC-Davis
Cal Poly
Southern Utah
St. Mary's (CA)



You see the problem: only 4 teams. The conference would need 6.

So where do you find #5 and #6?
San Diego is non-scholarship but could be urged by St. Mary's and others.

Another option: Sacramento St.
With UC-Davis joining the Big West, it would be good to see Sacramento State back in the fold. They could join the new conference for football as well as the #6.

Others if you are just lookign for 2 teams to fill in the holes?
Fla Atlantic
Florida Intl
Morris Brown
Samford
Savannah State

Other solutioons?
Wait out the 1-A storm and see what happens to Idaho, Utah State, as well as any other Sunbelt or WAC teams. The new conference would only need 2 teams.



Thoughts?



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Last edited by Quinn on Thu Feb 26, 2004 9:01 am, edited 1 time in total.

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PostPosted: Fri Mar 14, 2003 3:03 pm 
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Quote:
Here are the western 1-AA indys:

UC-Davis
Cal Poly
Southern Utah
St. Mary's (CA)



You see the problem: only 4 teams. The conference would need 6.



I understand there is a movement afoot to bring football back to Santa Clara (it was mentioned in The Helmet Project) and you have schools that have played football in the last 10 years like Long Beach State and Cal State Fullerton. When LBSU originally canned the sport they announced that they would take a year off then return as a 1-AA school, so I'd have to think they would be interested. This is probably a touchy thing to mention, but San Jose State is in dire straits attendance-wise. According to an article I read, they tried all sorts of promotions, their head coach is highly regarded, yet still averaged only 10,000 a game. Cal State Bakersfield has talked about upgrading their basketball to Division I, maybe they would like 1-AA football in a well-populated city.

http://forums.delphiforums.com/SBCsports/start


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PostPosted: Sun Mar 16, 2003 10:20 pm 
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I doubt that Sacramento State would want to leave the Big Sky to align with those four teams. San Diego, however, might be persuaded since their closest conference opponent is in Des Moines, Iowa I believe.


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PostPosted: Sun Mar 16, 2003 11:52 pm 
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They'd probably wait out the storm....the addition of the east cost teams would make the conference too expensive to be feasible IMHO. Every week there would be at least one school flying cross continent to play football...and the money in 1-AA isn't anywhere near what it is in 1-A.

San Jose State is in real trouble if the new NCAA rules end up coming to pass. However, I look for legal action by several schools and/or conferences on the bubble if the NCAA actually goes thru with the proposals.


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PostPosted: Tue Mar 18, 2003 2:53 pm 
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CatDaddy is on the mark on this one.
The NCAA may not want the headache that the lawsuits of a forced recision to 1A might bring. The hope is to have these institutions see the error of their ways, and opt out themselves. ;)

Davis needed to make this move a while back. They are a huge state school that supports strong and diverse athletic programs. They are a natural for the Big West except...for football. There is not enough 1AA football out west to make a "real" conference. The only hope here for Davis would be some kind of Big Sky split. If the Big Sky picked up the Dakota schools and Northern Colorado, Sac State and Northern Arizona would pick up significant travel costs. These two would be good candidates to enter the Big West (UNA would break the all-Cal look however). You would then have the beginnings of a potential football league. San Diego and St. Mary's and Southern Utah could fill out as auxiliaries. I would think that Southern Utah would love to get in the Big Sky though.


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PostPosted: Sun Mar 23, 2003 5:34 pm 
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I am a North Dakota State alumnist. NDSU and South Dakota State have made a joint membership to get into the Big Sky. On February 24, the eight current presidents and athletic directors meet to see if expansion is feasible. The meeting said that the conference was open for expansion but not necessarily to the east. However, there have been further reports that 3 of the 8 schools in the conference want the Dakota teams in. It requries a 2/3rds majority for an expansion or 6 of the 8 schools. Sac. St. is not doing real great in the basketball attendence or football in the past couple seasons. I wonder if the conference would rather see them look at the Big West. The same goes for N. Arizona. These two schools are the two that are completely against the Dakota expansion. Three schools are undecided in Weber St., Portland St., and E. Washington.

As a Bison fan, I want NDSU to get into the Big Sky. It has similar sized schools and athletic teams as NDSU.

We will have to wait and see if and when the conference decides what to do.


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PostPosted: Fri Apr 04, 2003 12:36 pm 
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NDSU, other orphans may form own league
Associated Press

FARGO, N.D. - North Dakota State University might team up with six other colleges to form a new Division I-AA football conference, university officials say.

NDSU Athletic Director Gene Taylor said the interested schools will start discussing the option by the end of the school year.

The league would include the University of Northern Colorado; South Dakota State University; Southern Utah State College-Cedar City; University of California-Davis; Cal Poly-San Luis Obispo; and St. Mary's College in Moraga, Calif.

The schools want to start playing by the 2004-2005 season.

"It makes sense for all of us," said Northern Colorado Athletic Director Jim Fallis. "It would be stupid not to because we're all going to be playing each other anyway."

The timing would be ideal for North Dakota State, South Dakota State, Cal-Davis and Northern Colorado. All four are in the process of moving to the NCAA Division I.

North Dakota State has been searching for a leagues since Big Sky Conference officials said they were not inclined to expand into the Dakotas.

But talk of a new conference doesn't mean NDSU will end its pursuit to enter the Big Sky Conference, Taylor said.

"If all of a sudden the Big Sky comes back this fall and says, 'You're in,' then we have to take the best option available to us," he said.

Northern Colorado will play an independent schedule this fall. Cal-Davis is a Division II independent that plays several Division I-AA opponents each year.

Cal Poly isn't unhappy playing an independent schedule, said athletic director John McCutcheon.

"But we would prefer to be in a league," he said. "We always keep our options open in that area. If there is an interest from a group of schools, we would entertain those discussions."


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PostPosted: Fri Apr 04, 2003 12:38 pm 
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Nailed this one right on the head.

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PostPosted: Fri Apr 04, 2003 7:51 pm 
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Here's the story before it was cut up for the AP: -http://www.in-forum.com/articles/cache/?id=30963(you may have to register to view link)

NDSU, other orphans may form own league
By Jeff Kolpack
jkolpack@forumcomm.com
The Forum - 04/04/2003
Talks to create a new Division I-AA football conference to include North Dakota State University are expected to begin this spring.

NDSU Athletic Director Gene Taylor and University of Northern Colorado Athletic Director Jim Fallis say there is strong interest to form a seven-team football league.

It would include: NDSU; UNC; South Dakota State University, Southern Utah State College, Cedar City; University of California-Davis; Cal Poly-San Louis Obispo; and St. Mary’s College, Moraga, Calif.

The timing would be ideal for NDSU, SDSU, Cal-Davis and UNC, all in the process of moving to NCAA Division I. Southern Utah, Cal Poly and St. Mary’s are Division I-AA members who haven’t had success as independents. They have never made the playoffs.

Taylor and Fallis say they are targeting play to begin in 2004-05.

“We want to put together a conference call or a meeting, hopefully before the end of the school year,” Taylor said.

That does not mean NDSU would end its pursuit to enter the Big Sky Conference.

“If all of a sudden the Big Sky comes back this fall and says, ‘You’re in,’ then we have to take the best option available to us,” Taylor said.

But a new football league would allow for other sports to enter the Mid-Continent Conference. That league, which includes Southern Utah, does not have football.

Those in the Mid-Continent Conference include: Centenary College, Shreveport, La.; Chicago State University; Indiana University-Purdue University, Indianapolis; University of Missouri-Kansas City; Oakland University, Rochester, Mich.; Oral Roberts University, Tulsa, Okla.; Southern Utah; Valparaiso University, Indiana; and Western Illinois University, Macomb. “All options are still on the table,” said SDSU Athletic Director Fred Oien. “Nobody has told us ‘no.’”

Fallis acquired a copy of the Division I-AA Gateway Football Conference bylaws and said he would put together a list of rules and regulations.

“It makes sense for all of us,” Fallis said. “It would be stupid not to because we’re all going to be playing each other anyway.”

UNC will play an independent schedule this fall. Cal-Davis is a Division II independent that plays several I-AA opponents each year.

Cal Poly Athletic Director John McCutcheon says his school isn’t unhappy playing an independent schedule.

“But we would prefer to be in a league,” he said. “We always keep our options open in that area. If there is an interest from a group of schools, we would entertain those discussions.”

It would also help a school like Cal Poly gain a playoff bid as an automatic qualifier. Eight conferences are granted automatic qualifier status in the 16-team Division I-AA playoff field. The Patriot League in 1997 was the last conference to gain that acceptance.

If a new league is formed, however, it would probably take at least five years to gain automatic-qualifier status.

“Those are things we need to talk about,” Taylor said.

A conference needs at least six established Division I schools to immediately gain automatic-qualifier distinction. As for a potential name for the league, Fallis said, “That is the least of my worries right now. I just want to get this thing off the ground by 04-05.”


Last edited by bisonguy on Fri Apr 04, 2003 7:52 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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PostPosted: Fri Apr 04, 2003 11:25 pm 
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If I'm reading between the lines correctly - does that mean that SDSU, NDSU and NoColorado are considering asking to be let into the Mid-Cont for non-FB (provided that the BigSky doesn't take them)?

The addition of the three would make a very unreasonable conference alignment seem almost managable. With 12 teams they could split into east/west divisions (they will have 9 soon).

East: Oakland, IUPUI, Valparaiso, ChicagoSt, WestIll
West: SoUtah, SDSU, NDSU, NoColorado, OralRoberts

The only remaining question is whether to put Centenary in the east and Mo-KC in the west - or vice versa. Centenary (Louisiana) would have much cheaper travel if they were in the east - so I think they should be there. Asking a team from Louisiana to travel to the Dakotas and Southern Utah on a regular basis may be too much of a financial burden for them. I can't imagine it would make much difference to Mo-KC either way.

This would be a great opportunity for the Mid-Cont to become a stable conference. I'm not sure how competitive everybody is - but it would be geographically so much better.

I occasionally go to Oakland games - and would love seeing Oakland's conference get stabilized.


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PostPosted: Sat Apr 05, 2003 7:33 am 
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I have created a map showing locations of the schools for the proposed new I-AA football conference. Thought you would find it interesting to know where the school were located.

http://members.cox.net/kschmidt16/Other%20I-AA%20Conf/New%20Conf.%20Map.doc


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PostPosted: Sat Apr 05, 2003 12:38 pm 
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I have to admit, I'd still rather see the Big West revive football at a 1AA level. If Pacific and Long Beach and possibly a 3rd team started it up again, perhaps they could get Sac State to join up. Hell, sinc eUtah State and probalby Idaho will be leaving, it wouldn't hurt to bring Northern Arizona aboard as well.

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PostPosted: Sat Apr 05, 2003 2:19 pm 
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KingCal,

I like your idea. By Sac. St and N. Arizona moving to the Big West along with the three independent California teams and the teams you mentioned; Pacific and Long Beach State, this would allow expansion of the Big Sky to my school, NDSU and its travel partner South Dakota State.

I might think this new league would be formed first and then after the I-A realignment, there would be movement to different conferences.


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PostPosted: Fri May 09, 2003 4:50 pm 
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Sac State NOT moving to Big West. Sac AD Wanless had this to say about UCD moving to Big West:

"I think it's going to make [the rivalry] even stronger," Sac State athletic director Terry Wanless said of Davis moving into the Big West. "We are rivals by region, we are rivals by history and the fact that we are not in the same conference; we are rivals by attempted supremacy in regards to which is in the better league. We know we're in the better league, we just have to prove it to them."




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PostPosted: Thu Jun 05, 2003 10:19 am 
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How many members of The Big West is left? Didn't they lose Utah St and Idaho.

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