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 Post subject: Gateway expansion
PostPosted: Tue Nov 07, 2006 2:59 pm 
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Exactly right. Generally there has to be a pull from above for the dominoes to start falling. So the timeframe for several of these moves is indefinite, perhaps 5-10 years down the road.

I did not suggest that NDSU / SDSU would be leaving the Mid-Con. I predict they will stay there, eventually to be joined by NDU / SDU. NDU and SDU will initially move up and exist as 1-AA independents until an opening presents itself.

My bet is that Tom Douple (commissioner of the Mid-Con) may feel the far-flung nature of the Mid-Con is a weakness, and look to tighten it up to be midwest / upper mid-west. SUU and Centenary are out-liers, and I think the Mid-Con would let them go without resistence, but not push them out. So you are correct, they are not going anywhere anytime soon.

You indicated that NDSU and SDSU have a hefty exit fee to leave the Mid-con. I doubt there is any similar arrangement with their football teams leaving the GWFC, or we'd have read about it. The move to the Gateway sounds like it's in the works. That will gut the GWFC, unless they react by staying together awaiting the move-up of North Dakota U and South Dakota U. The Gateway announced that a dialogue is in the works, the schools admitted it (if NDSU / SDSU preferred to stay in the GWFC, they'd have killed the conversation).

Here's a weird SUU scenario for you. Big East expands by plucking one team from C-USA (UCF, Memphis...), C-USA admits La Tech from WAC, WAC dips down into the Big Sky and invites Sacramento State. Big Sky invites SUU.

Purely hypothetical, but not that hard to envision really.
The last round that began with ACC expansion, cascaded down through 1-AA (with the Sun-Belt re-stocking with 1-AA schools FAU, FIU, ULM, and now WKU football).

Next announcement to come: South Dakota U decides to go 1-AA on same schedule as NDU. (they both will quietly begin discussions with the GWFC).

Also within the next few months, the Gateway will invite NDSU and SDSU, and they will accept.



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 Post subject: Gateway expansion
PostPosted: Tue Nov 07, 2006 9:11 pm 
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I think the WAC will take UC Davis before they take Sac State, but I defenitely agree that SUU will end up in the Big Sky. Cal Poly is the GWFC school that has knowhere to go in football and will probably be an inependent. They want to stay in the big west for all other sports.


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 Post subject: Gateway expansion
PostPosted: Tue Nov 07, 2006 9:19 pm 
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We see things about the same way tute79.

The GWFC has no exit penalty for the charter members, but if the new Dakota move ups join its very likely they will have an exit penalty. It makes sense for the GWFC to do that, just like it makes sense for the Mid Con. If that happens the GWFC will become a move up haven and hold those teams for 5-10 yrs.

Interesting about Sac State and SUU. Very possible indeed. Im not sure how long they have been in the Mid Con maybe long enough to have no exit penalty? The Mid Con has to bring in new members to compliment the outlying members or geography might tear them apart. It might mean the Mid Con could expand without an external catalyst event? Right now the Mid Con cant afford to lose a core member.

Hope your right about the Gateway. I know both NDSU and SDSU are hoping for it.


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 Post subject: Gateway expansion
PostPosted: Wed Nov 08, 2006 10:56 am 
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tute79's scenario sounds very reasonble... of course, a lot can change in a year. Kind of scary for NDSU fans though as the Mid Con will be screwed if it loses many more members. It'll be a loooong time until NDSU/SDSU count as core members and a whole lot longer still for NDU and SDU to do any conference any good in retaining the all-important autobid.

As for the GWFC, this doesn't really figure into long term stuff, but Cal Poly's football team would be a force as an independent... they run a style of option offense that almost nobody sees during the year and their defense is very unique too. By changing up their schedule every two years, they can really catch teams unprepared. I kinda wonder if that's part of the reason Georgia Southern had such great success. They played an independent schedule so teams never got many tries to figure out how to stop their offense. Once they got in a conference for a while, teams started to figure things out. Er, sorry for the digression.


Last edited by bisondefender on Wed Nov 08, 2006 10:59 am, edited 1 time in total.

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 Post subject: Gateway expansion
PostPosted: Wed Nov 08, 2006 1:05 pm 
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If Cal-Poly and UC Davis want to stay in a conference (the Big West) that doesn't sponsor football (and the Big West does offer great advantages to California schools), then they almost have to accept the fact that they are largely at the mercy of external circumstances with regard to Football. And theat may mean that they have to consider the possibility of "going it alone" as an independent. This may not be so bad, especially if 1-AA goes to 12-game schedules there will be lots of teams (Big Sky, Gateway) needing to fill slots in their schedule with OOC games. And since the GWFC does NOT have a 1-AA playoff autobid now, that is not something they give up as an independent.

Right now the geography of the Mid-Con is a joke. That has lent to it being perceived by all as a "move-up" conference, i.e. a temporary 1-AA parking place for your program until you wrangle an invitation from a more stable environment. The most recent Mid-con expansion (NDSU, SDSU, IPFW) seem to try to "tighten up" a bit. IPFW has a sister school (IUPUI) in the conference, and NDSU and SDSU (although stretching the conference northwestward) came as a package of natural rivals (with the potential of adding NDU and SDU down the road).
Building rivalries (establishing some reason to want to maintain a long-term relationship with other conference members) will move the Mid-Con away from the "move-up" conference status, and create more stability.

I was not aware (unitl reading it here) that NDSU and SDSU had exit fees imposed, upon joining. Do other members have the same ?

It makes sense that if the Mid-Con is staking out the Dakotas as part of its strategic future, they want some protection against the Big Sky expanding and stealing NDSU and SDSU in the near future. If SUU (I think they are perhaps 800 miles away from any other member) were to get a Big Sky invitation, they would be permitted to leave without a penalty. Same with Centenary.

What the Mid-Con office may be heading toward is tightening up their footprint to something approaching two other very successful midwestern conferences (MVC and Horizon), and having a shared 1-AA football conference (the Gateway).

You would think there is NO WAY that the Mid-Con (sponsor of the GWFC) had much leverage to dictate NDSU's / SDSU's long term football affiliation (via an exit fee), as long as Mid-Con member Western Illinois plays in the Gateway (rather than the GWFC).

Here is why I think NDSU / SDSU to the Gateway will deefinitely happen -

In the last few years, I don't think I can cite a single example where a conference started requesting information on schools, and didn't expand by inviting SOMEBODY (maybe not ALL the schools from which info was rquested, but THERE WAS AN EXPANSION).

NDSU and SDSU are a package. You don't want to break up a made-to-order rivalry like that, and neither school wants to move and leave the other behind, and that is clear to all.

Geographically it is a very nice fit, contiguous to the heart of the Gateway (especially Northern Iowa).

So once enough "due diligence" is performed, the deal will be consumated, and it didn't take very long at all when Youngstown State was added. WKU is bugging out pretty soon (can't remember if it's next season or the one after that), so that Gateway would want to bring the Dakota States in just as WKU departs. There is no point in this procedure being "drawn out".


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 Post subject: Gateway expansion
PostPosted: Wed Nov 08, 2006 5:36 pm 
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I wouldnt be surprised to see the Mid Con managers put an exit penalty on new GWFC members. They may want to protect the GWFC against the BSC and Gateway too. They dont have to join, they can remain independents.

Fortunately for the SUs, they are charter members of the GWFC and free to accept any opportunity that might come their way.

If the Mid Con were to add the two Dakota move ups they could split into 2 divisions, east and west, and gain some travel efficencies. The east would be very compact and stable and the west would be full of move ups and widely scattered. It might be tough to get NDSU and SDSU to vote in favor of that. It doesnt help the core member problem either.


Last edited by 11jbb11 on Wed Nov 08, 2006 5:37 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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 Post subject: Gateway expansion
PostPosted: Mon Nov 20, 2006 7:17 pm 
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WKU is out of the Gateway after the end of this season. The Hilltoppers will likely play six Division I-A opponents in 2007. It is possible that WKU could play a full Sun Belt schedule in 2008, even though WKU will not be eligible for postseason play or the conference championship until 2009.


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