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PostPosted: Tue Oct 04, 2005 8:22 pm 

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NAU needs a stadium. They can't have two Kibbie Dome situations in the WAC, nor would they desire it.


I also doubt that NAU has the financial resources or the interest to move football to DI-A. Sac State isn't in the position to move to the WAC right now, either.



Other than UTEP coming back from CUSA, the WAC has no ideal choices. The best suited may very well be Montana - supposedly the WAC wanted them before they offered Idaho, but Montana said no. So the choices are: Sac St., NAU, Davis, and Cal Poly SLO. None of them are ready, but the WAC may be left with no choice, so they take a two or more to hedge their bet.

One interesting sidebar is that NDSU's longer-term vision is to be a DIA football playing school. Their goal is to be the next Boise State in football and get in the WAC or MAC. With the Fargodome’s capacity, attendance could exceed the 15,000 minimum. Supposedly, NDSU has long-term plans to build an outdoor 35,000 seat stadium. When the Sunbelt was hunting up IA teams, NDSU had the chutzpah to place their names in the hat. But with the issues they’ve had getting into a IAA conference, a IA conference would be even more difficult. But then again, the WAC may someday be in a position where they have no options.



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PostPosted: Tue Oct 04, 2005 9:45 pm 
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Quote:
[quote author=North Dakota Bison board=misc thread=1128187532 post=1128462225]
But then again, the WAC may someday be in a position where they have no options.



Or more like not exist.

There's two things that can happen when conferences have high turnover.

One example is that they become a Southern conference, which in its early days was the forrunner to a hybrid of what the SEC and ACC are today. Both of those conference sprang out of the SoCon. Today they are a southern 1-AA Midmajor with Furman, Georgia Southern, UT Chatanooga. That's a big difference. They survived, but they aren't the major conference they were at one time and they are not 1-A, as the Sun Belt, and CUSA have replaced them and they compete with the OVC and other neighboring leagues.

The other example is the Southwest Conference discontinuing after a really long history. They may decide at a point that there are not any viable alternatives for them to be competitive in 1-A anymore, and leave.

What is more likely to happen is that the WAC merges with the Sun Belt. The Big West and the Sun Belt have had a similar footprint and that would probably return. Otherwise it might require the need for many moveups to happen.

The problem with North Dakota State in 1-A is its market and its location. The location issue is explained in their market study as it relates to conference alignment.


Last edited by metropolitan on Tue Oct 04, 2005 9:48 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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PostPosted: Tue Oct 04, 2005 10:10 pm 
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I have said earlier that the WAC could survie very nicely if BYU and Utah go to the Pac-10. For one alot of people want the SWC back. 5 of the MWC schools plus 5 of CUSA schools would make a pretty good conference. Plus I think SDSU and UNLV like the WAC schools alot, they just stick with the Gang of 5 for obviou$ rea$on$. I doubt it happens but it could make 2 really good conferences, they would be the 2nd leagues for sure in their regions but they make some sense.

WAC
Boise State
Fresno State
Hawaii
Idaho
Nevada
New Mexico St
San Jose State
Utah State
*San Diego St
*UNLV

SWC
Air Force
Colorado St
Houston
New Mexico
Rice
SMU
TCU
Tulsa
UTEP
Wyoming


Last edited by sportskc on Tue Oct 04, 2005 10:15 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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PostPosted: Tue Oct 04, 2005 10:44 pm 
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Yep, SportsKC, that's the other alternative. The rebirth of the SWC, like a Phoenix from its dead ashes.


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PostPosted: Wed Oct 05, 2005 7:14 am 

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That depends on your definition of nearly equal.

NDSU had 2,000 more in attendance than UND did this last week for their homecoming while ranked number one in the country in D2. We'll probably average 4 to 5 thousand more than UND on average this season (and not be giving away free tickets for a fill up at Valley Dairy).

If UND moved up, there is no way that their basketball attendance would be within one thousand butts of the NDSU most years based on simple demographics (you know demographics, metro, admit it they're not in UND's favor).

Feel free to maintaining your condescending attitude toward North Dakota State, but there's a reason the Fighting Sioux, or whatever they'll be called next year, aren't moving and that's because it makes no sense for them to do so. (your president's words, not mine).

But yeah, our followings are the same. :P


I'm not a UND alum. *correction*

You have the condescending attitude.

Without UND, there is really no way that the Big Sky can get to an "even", "paired-up", "divisional" lineup if they even followed the Dakota expansion scenario.


Where again did I say that you were a UND alum?


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PostPosted: Wed Oct 05, 2005 7:18 am 

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Point #3. NDSU is the only DI institution in the state, as is the University of Wyoming.


The most popular sports team in North Dakota is UND hockey.

Powerhouse in the most popular college sport in New England, the Upper Midwest, and Alaska... as well as popularity in the lower midwest, New York, and Colorado, is far superior to provisional division I and independent in all other sports. NDSU has a loooooong way to go to claim athletic superiority over UND.


I think my Point is still correct.

I agree with your post in principal, however it relies on the UND's success in hockey which NDSU doesn't sponsor, nor does the Big Sky.


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PostPosted: Wed Oct 05, 2005 7:19 am 

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That sounds like an argument for UND and USD, tman.


I was actually talking more about NAU but yes, USD and UND would not have trouble finding more money with the alumni they have in high places.


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PostPosted: Wed Oct 05, 2005 7:31 am 

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That sounds like an argument for UND and USD, tman.


I was actually talking more about NAU but yes, USD and UND would not have trouble finding more money with the alumni they have in high places.


I think that argument is completely ridiculous.

In my opinion UND has an extremely successful atheletic department (USD certainly does not) and does well with fundraising.

However, to assume that all it takes is the effort to make the decision has no grounding in logic and is not supported in UND or USD's case by the facts. I think that UND booster's, predominantly hockey fans, are nearly tapped out. I also wonder if the hockey fans realize that moving to DI is going to require additional resources from a pot that is only so big (albeit growing).



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PostPosted: Wed Oct 05, 2005 7:36 am 
I question the likelihood of NDSU joining the Big Sky in the near future.

While there needs to be some balance of needs among the conference members, why would any pressure be put on institutions who are considering leaving the conference?

(this is based on my believe that nobody plans on leaving the Big Sky for at least 5 years)

They add NDSU only to see Sac State leave, good for 'SU bad for Sac State, bad for the conference.


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PostPosted: Wed Oct 05, 2005 9:26 am 
I seem to recall that a year ago, when the Big Sky was contemplating expansion (and ultimately settled on Nothern Colorado), Fullerton mentioned that NDSU, SDSU, SUU were also getting a close look, then surprised some people by saying that they had made inquiries with NDU, about how far they might be from contemplating the move to 1-AA.

So if they go to 12, I think we know who the candidates are: 0, 2, or 3 Dakota schools, SUU, Cal-Davis, and Cal-Poly SLO.

Should the WAC expand in the future at the expense of the BSC (by taking NAU, Sac State, or Montana schools), the Washington schools would then get consideration (if they want to move up).

I see UTEP wanting to eventually land in the MWC. An arrangement like SportsKC suggested with the MWC in the eastern side of the mountain time zone and the WAC to its west, works nice from a geographical standpoint. However the dynamics and greed and politics make me doubt that such an alignment could ever happen.

Long term the WAC needs to plan for LaTech departing. LaTech is holding out for CUSA, and a slot might open for them, if the BE raids CUSA after the rumored split.
Then the WAC is at the minimum size = 8, and the Sun Belt teams (other than non-football Denver) seem to think that the reconfigured SunBelt (a southeastern conf) promises better stability than the WAC (for evidence of this, review the inquiries the WAC made, prior to settling on Idaho). So the WAC will look to the BigSky / 1-AA. I agree that the prime candidates will be (in no particular order): Sac State, UCD, NAU, and the Montanas (probably as a twosome).

The Big Sky needs to prepare now for what may happen with the WAC down the road.


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PostPosted: Wed Oct 05, 2005 9:45 am 
The Big Sky sent out letters to a number of schools including UND in August, September. The fact that they received a letter was surprising to a lot of folks, given they were D2.

I believe that NDSU, SDSU, UNC, and SUU were the only schools to complete an "application".

NDSU, SDSU, and SUU (UVSU when they add football) are really the only alternatives for the Big Sky right now. And I don't think the Big Sky likes any of them.

The Dakotas are too far away, SUU and UVSU have academic quality perception issues.

Of course in conference expansion necessity is the mother of invitation. ;)

I think there is too much uncertainty for the Big Sky to ignore conference expansion, but there doesn't team seem to be any good fits out there.


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PostPosted: Wed Oct 05, 2005 9:54 am 

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II think we know who the candidates are: 0, 2, or 3 Dakota schools, SUU, Cal-Davis, and Cal-Poly SLO.

So the WAC will look to the BigSky / 1-AA. I agree that the prime candidates will be (in no particular order): Sac State, UCD, NAU, and the Montanas (probably as a twosome).



I don't see Cal-Poly and Davis trading the Big West/Great West (or I-AA independence) for the Big Sky. I'd also expect Sac State to go to the Big West/Great West or Indie before going to the WAC.

I could see Davis going to the WAC in the next five/ten years.

I don't expect (actually hope that) either Montana school goes to the WAC. Though they've been successful in FOOTBALL (mainly the griz) there probability of success in DI-A is questionable.


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PostPosted: Wed Oct 05, 2005 10:04 am 
I agree Cal-Poly is likely to stay put. They just need a home for their football, and the Great West may be threatened.

I could see Cal Davis and / or Sacramento State in the WAC.

I agree that Montana is probably better suited to remaining 1-AA, and I hope they don't feel tempted to "over-reach".

I wouldn't be floored to see the Big Sky pursue an expansion to 12 with NDSU, SDSU, and eithet NDU or SUU.

Then those 3 would be the BigSky East with Northern Colorado + the Montana schools. The remaining 6 would be the BigSky West.


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PostPosted: Wed Oct 05, 2005 10:29 am 
Just checked the good 'ole ope website.

Sac State spent just 5.5 million on athletics in '03.

I don't see how they can compete in the WAC.

Idaho $11 million
Fresno State $27 million
Boise State $13 million



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PostPosted: Wed Oct 05, 2005 11:42 am 
not YET anyway.

However some new facilities and some well-to-do boosters may change things.

I think Pounder or someone posted some articles that Alex Spanos (who does or used to own the San Diego Chargers) was throwing a lot of money their way.

First they need to invest in facilities, then they can divert the funds toward athletic operations.

You are correct, though, their athletic budget will need to more than double, before they can contemplate the jump to 1-A.


Sacramento State is part of the same system as Fresno State (WAC) and San Jose State (WAC) and San Diego State (MWC), so it seems possible to get there. I assume the state government's allocation for athletics may be somehow proportionate to enrollment. So as the school grows in enrollment, the state may fork over comparible funding.

I think it has been pointed out that the 2 (?) Sac. State sports that play in the WAC, may do so because the Big Sky Conference does not offer those sports. Which, if true, may diffuse the idea that any all-sports move to the WAC is NOT under consideration. The new Sac St. president and AD have been talking about the big-time, but financial constraints will certainly trump any big talk.


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