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PostPosted: Mon Dec 31, 2007 10:39 am 
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I came accross a university that I haven't seen mentioned here that sounds like it have a chance to make an impact on Div 1 in the next 5-15 years. Utah Valley State College is becoming a full university ("Utah Valley University") in July 2008. It has an enrollment of almost 24,000 students and apparently is Non-football Div 1 --- not at all comfortable in saying that as I can't find them on the attendance sheets and whatnot --- but Wikipedia suggests they are looking for a Div 1 home. The WAC? The Big Sky? The Summit League?

If I were Utah State, I would be screaming for the invitation of Utah Valley to the WAC. Maybe if a WAC invite was dependent on them adding football they would. Now that they are jumping to full University Status, adding football might be considered with a much more open mind by the school admins to "announce" their new status. It seems like a potential window of opportunity is there.

Utah state is the redhead stepchild of Utah schools. Adding Utah Valley University, would make the WAC much more relavant in the SLC market, in much the same way that the MWC is with stepchilds CSU, Wyoming, and Air Force combine to make them relevant in the Denver market.

The hurdle is IMO that the WAC likes to think of themselves as "better than the Sunbelt and MAC". They resist the idea of schools jumping to FBS and their conference. That is dumb thinking that is only bleeding the conference.


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PostPosted: Wed Jan 02, 2008 3:30 pm 
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I came accross a university that I haven't seen mentioned here that sounds like it have a chance to make an impact on Div 1 in the next 5-15 years. Utah Valley State College is becoming a full university ("Utah Valley University") in July 2008. It has an enrollment of almost 24,000 students and apparently is Non-football Div 1 --- not at all comfortable in saying that as I can't find them on the attendance sheets and whatnot --- but Wikipedia suggests they are looking for a Div 1 home. The WAC? The Big Sky? The Summit League?

If I were Utah State, I would be screaming for the invitation of Utah Valley to the WAC. Maybe if a WAC invite was dependent on them adding football they would. Now that they are jumping to full University Status, adding football might be considered with a much more open mind by the school admins to "announce" their new status. It seems like a potential window of opportunity is there.

Utah state is the redhead stepchild of Utah schools. Adding Utah Valley University, would make the WAC much more relavant in the SLC market, in much the same way that the MWC is with stepchilds CSU, Wyoming, and Air Force combine to make them relevant in the Denver market.

The hurdle is IMO that the WAC likes to think of themselves as "better than the Sunbelt and MAC". They resist the idea of schools jumping to FBS and their conference. That is dumb thinking that is only bleeding the conference.


It's not a matter of "thinking they're better than" anyone, it's a matter of making their conference brand better after being burned twice by the MWC and C-USA, especially football-wise. UVU really doesn't bring much to the table at this point, especially not having football (which could change if Dixie State moves up to D-IA in the future). It's almost like the new version of C-USA, you have to have football or they're not interested.


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PostPosted: Sat Jan 05, 2008 1:30 am 
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The hurdle is IMO that the WAC likes to think of themselves as "better than the Sunbelt and MAC". They resist the idea of schools jumping to FBS and their conference. That is dumb thinking that is only bleeding the conference.


It's not a matter of "thinking they're better than" anyone, it's a matter of making their conference brand better after being burned twice by the MWC and C-USA, especially football-wise. UVU really doesn't bring much to the table at this point, especially not having football (which could change if Dixie State moves up to D-IA in the future). It's almost like the new version of C-USA, you have to have football or they're not interested.


I think it goes a little beyond just having football. The WAC thinks of themselves as on a higher tier than the sunbelt in part because schools jump from FCS to the sunbelt. The WAC has not allowed or encoraged that so they can claim a higher status.

UVU would be a nice school to add BECAUSE the MWC won't ever want them. One could make the same arguement about Weber State --- and they have football. (FCS, but football none-the-less.)

I suspect the WAC will not groom a school ala the Sunbelt and that eventually that will kill the conference.

You and I will have to disagree a bit on the motivations of the WAC. I think the WAC member schools are a little greedy, self-absorbed, and egotistical. There are no schools floating out there who the WAC can recruit who immediately just make the WAC better. IMO, the WAC needs to think realistically and practically about bringing in schools who can evolve into schools who could make the conference healthier, but that involves either investment or patience on their part --- neither one of which the member schools seem willing to consider. The top half of the WAC is just ridiculous about waiting for the BCS fairy or the Pac 10 fairy or the MWC fairy to come take them away from the dregs they are forced to associate with in the WAC. That mentality is really retarding the maturation of their conference.

Again, IMO.


Last edited by finiteman on Sun Jan 13, 2008 11:11 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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PostPosted: Sat Jan 05, 2008 5:28 pm 
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I don't think UVU gets in a conference for a while without football, unless if the Summit is sure that Southern Utah is staying, and is willing to admit another singleton like SIU-Edwardsville or Denver. If UVU adds FCS football, they should be able to get in the Big Sky with ease.


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PostPosted: Sun Jan 13, 2008 5:29 am 
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UVSC / UVU is at the west end of University Parkway running from Orem to Provo. Brigham Young University is at the east end of the same parkway. It's pretty easy to figure out which school will get more pub.

Sorry, but the notion of UVU having relevance in Salt Lake City brought the wrong smile to my face. Only some truly bizarre circumstances could change this.


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PostPosted: Sun Jan 13, 2008 8:17 pm 
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UVSC / UVU is at the west end of University Parkway running from Orem to Provo. Brigham Young University is at the east end of the same parkway. It's pretty easy to figure out which school will get more pub.

Sorry, but the notion of UVU having relevance in Salt Lake City brought the wrong smile to my face. Only some truly bizarre circumstances could change this.


The Salt Lake City Media Market is all of Utah.

It is very easy to just dismiss a university as a candidate to move up. People said the same about Boise State, South Florida, Central Florida, and Troy 10 years ago. Commuter schools! Small Market school in Auburn's shadow! Troy even commisioned a feasibility report that told them to stay in IAA!!!

All 4 schools were able to leverage their large enrollments into healthy attendance numbers that in turn have allowed them to become healthy FBS schools. UVU's 24K enrollment means they have a shot at success if other attributes are favorable. I think they happen to have some pretty good attributes.

I am certainly not stating that UVU will displace BYU or come close to passing Utah for #2 if they start playing football.

What i am saying is that BYU draws 60K a game for football and 12K per game in Basketball. Those are extremely healthy numbers. Now to be sure, BYU is the flagship school for the mormon faith, but I suspect there are a fair portion of their fans who attend games who are not mormons who may feel a untended need to rebel against the mormon current and might be just as interested in going to UVU football and maybe in time, basketball games, if UVU developed into a solid non-BCS FBS school. In that regard, it is kind of similar to the Troy scenario, where Troy probably got a lot of football crazy displaced Bama fans attending their games because they don't like the idea of going to Auburn games.

Utah is the state flagship located in SLC. BYU is a large university servicing the dominant religious group in a multi-state area. No one is going to displace either school.

But relevance is possible. Utah State is borderline relevant today. Weber State is FCS and they are mentioned from time to time. Both have very respectable basketball programs with very healthy attendance numbers (= above average fan interest in their DI basketball programs)..

I think the WAC could become relevant in Utah in the future if they added UVU (if UVU added football) and Weber State (as an eventual FBS school). It is similar approach to what the MWC has going on to be relevant in Colorado, where UC is the flagship and the closest school to denver in the media market. UC also has a lmedium sized Denver branch with no athletic programs to reinforce the UC brand.

CSU is somewhat removed from Denver. Wyoming is in the Denver media market, even though they are out of state and Air Force Academy is near to denver although in a different market. Together the 3 MWC schools have enough alumni for the MWC to be relevant in the Denver market.

Utah State, UVU, and Weber State have a combined enrollment around 60K. That amounts to a huge combined alumni base. Utah State has been FBS for a number of years and has a small but loyal following in their community and throughout the state. They have had awful attendance lately due to poor on the feild performance, but drew 17-21K for a number of years in the early part of this decade. Weber State also has a long history as an FCS school and have a small but loyal local following. They generally draw an "FCS healthy" 7-10K most years. (BY FCS healthy, I mean that FCS school stadiums are generally 15K or smaller, so an attendance of 7-10K represents 50-60% average attendance --- not bad for an FCS school that isn't a power at that level.) When their enrollment grows a bit they could be a Utah State caliber FBS school. UVU has next to no athletic legacy, but they could really profit from general simmering anti-religious sentiment in the local community to quickly develop a loyal following in their community. (or maybe just satisfy an unmet need for more sports options in a sports crazed community).

All 3 universities are nicely spaced out for a conference like the WAC--- close enough to potentially travel some fans by cars and develop real rivalries, while far enough apart to have their own communities, primary recruiting areas, and fan bases. UVU is in the optimal spot being right in the middle. UVU (and Weber State) could really help the WAC in general and Utah State in particular.

And the case for the university playing FBS is strong in its own regard too. In terms of simple math, if UVU was a football member of the WAC, would Utah or BYU schedule an away game at UVU? Maybe. Depends on UVU's relative strength each year. It would be an away game with minimal travel costs. If they weren't hurting their strength of schedule, that makes a lot of sense. A UVU/BYU game might be played at BYU each year. That would draw 60K. In order to draw 20K average in 6 home games, UVU would only have to draw 12K per game the other 5 home games. With an enrollment of 24K that is very do-able. A school with an enrollment of 24K in a football crazy local community probably would not have a problem drawing more than the NCAA minimum even without one of the big 2 on the schedule. Weber state and Utah state would certainly want to play UVU, and they might travel fans for that pretty well too.

The WAC doesn't have their own TV network. Their TV is ESPN and presumably local TV. Having 3 schools churning out 60K students every 4 years would make them relevant in Utah (the SLC broadcast market). Having these 3 schools in the conference would greatly increase the chance that one of the 3 would be in the title hunt each year and would help all 3 in terms of attendance.

UVU can quickly be relevant in SLC as a member of the WAC.

The question of mormon schools and schools that tend to lean anti-mormon has cropped up before on threads here and is something I would be quite interested to hear your opinions on. BYU is ovbviously heavily mormon and I have heard Utah leans mormon, but Utah State attracts non-mormon Utah residents. (Boise State apparently draws a lot of mormons too.) I don't know this from first hand experience, only from what I have read here on the site. What way does UVU lean? Weber state? That would also figure in to how successful the school could be. If the school leans non-mormon like Utah State reportedly does, that might actually really help in quickly building a fan base by turning the school into a nearby "godless" rival for BYU.

All this said, there are a lot of problems with the various scenarios I have presented. It seems like the WAC is pretty disfunctional and there may never be enough cohesion between the schools to get a consensus to look into expansion before the next conference domino drop pulls off Boise State or Idaho or SJ State are forced down to a lower classification by the NCAA (not likely) or other factors.

Additionally, UVU has not mentioned a desire to play football as far as I can see --- which, IMO is a great shame as they have some of the more favorable attributes out there for trying to make the FBS jump and as I think it really hurts their conference options (=likelyhood of UVU athletics ever becoming a magnet for attracting new students and a spur for generating university endowments).



Last edited by finiteman on Sun Jan 13, 2008 11:15 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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PostPosted: Sun Jan 13, 2008 9:27 pm 
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Are you saying that UVU would have a home game against BYU in BYU's stadium? I'm not sure if BYU would be willing to make that concession.

To compare, I'm pretty sure the Eastern Michigan-Michigan game played in Ann Arbor was not an Eastern Michigan home game, and also EMU's home attendance is usually very low. EMU has an enrollment of 18k undergrads.

So it all depends if Utah Valley is more like Troy, or more like Eastern Michigan- which is it?


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PostPosted: Sun Jan 13, 2008 10:17 pm 
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Are you saying that UVU would have a home game against BYU in BYU's stadium? I'm not sure if BYU would be willing to make that concession.

To compare, I'm pretty sure the Eastern Michigan-Michigan game played in Ann Arbor was not an Eastern Michigan home game, and also EMU's home attendance is usually very low. EMU has an enrollment of 18k undergrads.

So it all depends if Utah Valley is more like Troy, or more like Eastern Michigan- which is it?


Honestly, I don't have the answer to whether BYU would do that or even if it is still allowed in the ever changing NCAA rulebook, but there are/were presidences. Idaho/Washington State and a few others.

Now certainly, if it was not allowed, BYU would still fill UVU's "theoretical 30K+ stadium".

I think if UVU became a mid tier WAC team ---say 50-60th or so in the nation, BYU might play them regularly. In that scenario it works out to them playing the equivilant of Nevada OOC. It could be very profitable for BYU and would give their fans an additional home game.

Additionally, remember BYU is a school for a multi-state region, not a state flagship or a metro University. BYU's recruits come from all over the mormon empire and all over the world, not just Provo and Orem. UVU playing in the WAC is not going to put a dent into BYU's recruiting and probably would not have a huge negative affect on their attendance, in fact if they became a "lesser rival", it could actually help BYU generate more attendance.

But I am not saying that BYU wants this scenario --- only that the scenario could end up benefitting both schools as BYU is not your typical power.

With regards to the EMU compairison, it is a valid question and one that I can't give a guaranteed answer. If UVU got into the WAC, I think it would work out well for them, just as the sun belt has worked out for Troy. The WAC has modest room to grow their own territory unlike the MAC which is permanently underfoot of the Big 10.

I cannot see a great deal of promising options for UVU beyond that. Even acknowledging EMU's struggles, EMU has a much better current reality than UVU's non-WAC options.

I can say that Schools with 20k+ enrollments tend to do pretty well overall as FBS schools. Schools with enrollments under that can go either way depending on a number of factors.

(As with any guideline, exceptions are around. UNT --- the university in my neighborhood --- struggles with attendance because of the nature of the university. It is a nationally reknown music school. It draws band geeks like flies. What do band geeks hate more than anything? football. So even though the University has an enrollment of 30K AND an on campus stadium, it draws 17K per game. A lot of the Northern small schools' attendance nose dive when the snows and the NFL season start. Buffalo is a good example of both of those. Temple and Tulane - a smaller private school - both cut their athletic programs throats by playing in large pro football stadiums located a good bit away from campus. They may only have a single potential opponent who could come close to fill those avenues -- Penn State and LSU, respectively --- and instead discourage their fan bases and recruits by playing to large empty buildings. Temple would do a ton better to play most of their games at Penn's franklin field or even better, build their own 45K on or near campus stadium. Tulane has a small public stadium - Tad Gormley- that seats 26K located about 3 miles from campus. Unlike the Superdome, Gormley allows tailgating --- a prerequisite to southern college football fans. Tulane has had success filling Gormley in the past. They could sell out Gormely with great regularity and play one game a year at the Superdome. That might have their attendance average near 30K. When you consider the fact that they are in an NFL killzone, there is nothing wrong with that. There are a ton of factors that prevent universities from succeeding in FBS football, but if you have 20K+ students on campus and an on campus or very near campus stadium of reasonable size (25-45K), you have decent odds. If there aren't any NFL or NBA teams around to compete with for fan entertainment dollars, you are ahead of the game. If you are in a good media market, your odds get even better. If your potential conference needs a school or your market even better still.)


Last edited by finiteman on Tue Jan 15, 2008 3:48 am, edited 1 time in total.

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PostPosted: Mon Jan 14, 2008 6:03 am 
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Are you saying that UVU would have a home game against BYU in BYU's stadium? I'm not sure if BYU would be willing to make that concession.

To compare, I'm pretty sure the Eastern Michigan-Michigan game played in Ann Arbor was not an Eastern Michigan home game, and also EMU's home attendance is usually very low. EMU has an enrollment of 18k undergrads.

So it all depends if Utah Valley is more like Troy, or more like Eastern Michigan- which is it?


Honestly, I don't have the answer to whether BYU would do that or even if it is still allowed in the ever changing NCAA rulebook, but there are/were presidences. Idaho/Washington State and a few others.

Now certainly, if it was not allowed, BYU would still fill UVU's "theoretical 30K+ stadium".

I think if UVU became a mid tier WAC team ---say 50-60th or so in the nation, BYU might play them regularly. In that scenario it works out to them playing the equivilant of Nevada OOC. It could be very profitable for BYU and would give their fans an additional home game.

Additionally, remember BYU is a regional school, not a state flagship or a metro University. BYU's recruits come from all over the mormon empire and all over the world, not just Provo and Orem. UVU playing in the WAC is not going to put a dent into BYU's recruiting and probably would not have a huge negative affect on their attendance, in fact if they became a "lesser rival", it could actually help BYU generate more attendance.

But I am not saying that BYU wants this scenario --- only that the scenario could end up benefitting both schools as BYU is not your typical power.

With regards to the EMU compairison, it is a valid question and one that I can't give a guaranteed answer. If UVU got into the WAC, I think it would work out well for them, just as the sun belt has worked out for Troy. The WAC has modest room to grow their own territory unlike the MAC which is permanently underfoot of the Big 10.

I cannot see a great deal of promising options for UVU beyond that. Even acknowledging EMU's struggles, EMU has a much better current reality than UVU's non-WAC options.

I can say that Schools with 20k+ enrollments tend to do pretty well overall as FBS schools. Schools with enrollments under that can go either way depending on a number of factors.

(As with any guideline, exceptions are around. UNT --- the university in my neighborhood --- struggles with attendance because of the nature of the university. It is a nationally reknown music school. It draws band geeks like flies. What do band geeks hate more than anything? football. So even though the University has an enrollment of 30K AND an on campus stadium, it draws 17K per game. A lot of the Northern small schools' attendance nose dive when the snows and the NFL season start. Buffalo is a good example of both of those. Temple and Tulane - a smaller private school - both cut their athletic programs throats by playing in large pro football stadiums located a good bit away from campus. They may only have a single potential opponent who could come close to fill those avenues -- Penn State and LSU, respectively --- and instead discourage their fan bases and recruits by playing to large empty buildings. Temple would do a ton better to play most of their games at Penn's franklin field or even better, build their own 45K on or near campus stadium. Tulane has a small public stadium - Tad Gormley- that seats 26K located about 3 miles from campus. Unlike the Superdome, Gormley allows tailgating --- a prerequisite to southern college football fans. Tulane has had success filling Gormley in the past. They could sell out Gormely with great regularity and play one game a year at the Superdome. That might have their attendance average near 30K. When you consider the fact that they are in an NFL killzone, there is nothing wrong with that. There are a ton of factors that prevent universities from succeeding in FBS football, but if you have 20K+ students on campus and an on campus or very near campus stadium of reasonable size (25-45K), you have decent odds. If there aren't any NFL or NBA teams around to compete with for fan entertainment dollars, you are ahead of the game. If you are in a good media market, your odds get even better. If your potential conference needs a school or your market even better still.)


Actually you're wrong on BYU being a regional school. It's not a public school, it's affiliated with the Church of Latter Day Saints, so it's pretty much THE national Mormon university. If you want a private education and you happen to be Mormon, whether you're from Salt Lake City, the Midwest, the Southeast, generally BYU is at the top of the list, and I know many people from areas where Utah schools aren't generally considered (Indiana, Ohio, Nebraska, etc) that go to BYU. Think of it like if Notre Dame was the only catholic university in the country, it's along those lines.

Once again, UVU has no chance of the WAC unless they get football. Period. The WAC (not to mention any other I-A school)has no interest in taking more teams unless they have football. Under the RIGHT circumstances they may be willing to accept a I-AA school ready to make the jump (see: Montana), but there's no way they're going to want to nurse a brand new program into I-A, it doesn't work that way. The Sun Belt can get away with it because FAU and FIU are in a deluge of possible recruits, so they're not going to be hurting, while Western Kentucky is a recent I-AA champion who was willing to put the money up (and is already in the conference), so they're not exactly building from scratch. UV is literally going to have to build a football team from scratch (if they even want to). You have to do this at the I-AA level and build your team up, THEN you might be able to move to I-A.

You bring up Boise State, Troy, UCF and USF, but what you're totally missing is that these schools either have built themselves into solid I-AA programs BEFORE moving into I-A. Boise and Troy have national titles, and the Florida schools were both playoff contenders before their moves. The universities have also made a wholehearted effort to lose the "commuter" stigmata and establish more on-campus or nearby housing, where as IUPUI, which has a fulltime enrollment of 23,000+ and total of over 30,000, is nowhere near being able to pull this off because they're just in the past few years starting to build more on-campus housing, however they also suffer from lack of space and location, so it's not particularly likely they'll be adding football or ever making a drive to get into a I-A conference.

The WAC isn't just going to take any mom and pop football-playing university, they want a school that is going to enhance the brand, or that has multiple other assets to being a member. That's why the MAC took Buffalo and Central Florida. Buffalo is one of the leading research schools in the East, being a major academic boon to what used to be largely a private school conference (of which Miami is the only one left), and Central Florida provided access to FL recruits (much in the same way the Big East took South Florida). The Sun Belt is merely getting its member schools to move up so they will still have a conference (without FAU and FIU moving up, they would be teetering on even being a football conference). Right now, UVU brings nothing to the table. Now if they build their academics up and prove to eventually be contenders in I-AA football, they may get a consideration. There's a chance that eventually they could become I-A and WAC material, but there's also a d**n good chance they become Utah's IPFW. We won't know until they start a I-AA football program and go from there, until then they don't have anything to offer anyone except maybe a travel partner for Southern Utah.


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PostPosted: Mon Jan 14, 2008 11:01 am 
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Snip.


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[quote author=finiteman board=misc thread=1199115596 post=1200280630]

You bring up Boise State, Troy, UCF and USF, but what you're totally missing is that these schools either have built themselves into solid I-AA programs BEFORE moving into I-A. Boise and Troy have national titles, and the Florida schools were both playoff contenders before their moves. The universities have also made a wholehearted effort to lose the "commuter" stigmata and establish more on-campus or nearby housing, where as IUPUI, which has a fulltime enrollment of 23,000+ and total of over 30,000, is nowhere near being able to pull this off because they're just in the past few years starting to build more on-campus housing, however they also suffer from lack of space and location, so it's not particularly likely they'll be adding football or ever making a drive to get into a I-A conference.


IUPUI's campus is, not counting the teaching hospitals, 600 acres, no smaller than Kentucky, and rather larger than Louisville, Pittsburgh (though admittedly that school is smaller by student body and has the Cathedral of Learning), Georgia Tech, and several other public Division IA football schools.

Furthermore, while the east is blocked off by downtown and two of the three old capitol buildings, and south impinges on luxury housing along the Canal and White River State Park, there is still the imediate north (a very rundown industrial district with land that can be had for pennies on the dollar as far north as 23rd Street and as far West as the 16th Street Speedway and South Grove Golf Course, and more than double campus size.) They can practice at Track And Field And Soccer Stadium and play at the RCA Dome with basketball at Conseco Fieldhouse.


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PostPosted: Mon Jan 14, 2008 3:56 pm 
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I'd dont' see UVU much of anything other than a potential Summit League invite is they lost a few schools. The only thing they would even provide that conference would be a travel partner for SUU.

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PostPosted: Tue Jan 15, 2008 3:09 am 
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....Additionally, remember BYU is a regional school, not a state flagship or a metro University. BYU's recruits come from all over the mormon empire and all over the world, not just Provo and Orem...


Actually you're wrong on BYU being a regional school. It's not a public school, it's affiliated with the Church of Latter Day Saints, so it's pretty much THE national Mormon university. If you want a private education and you happen to be Mormon, whether you're from Salt Lake City, the Midwest, the Southeast, generally BYU is at the top of the list, and I know many people from areas where Utah schools aren't generally considered (Indiana, Ohio, Nebraska, etc) that go to BYU. Think of it like if Notre Dame was the only catholic university in the country, it's along those lines.


I knew I should have spent the time to find a synonym for "regional" when I wrote that sentence. I know in terms of Universities that word carries a different meaning, I thought the rest of the paragraph illustrated that I was using the the term in a more general sense in describing BYU.

ie. BYU is not limited to just being a state flagship (like Utah), rather it is the flagship of the dominant religion in a multistate ...we will say"area"... stretching from Arizona to Idaho and California to Colorado.


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Once again, UVU has no chance of the WAC unless they get football. Period.


If you look closely, you'll see I haven't said UVU could or would be admitted without taking up football. This is a school that has a lot of positives in terms of FBS potential. Additionally, it is a school that is trying to redefine themselves. If the WAC offerred a bid to them based on them adding football, this is the kind of scenario where I could see a school administration with no apparrent football plans, seriously considering it.

And yes, just like FIU and FAU they would have to transition through FCS.


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The WAC (not to mention any other I-A school)has no interest in taking more teams unless they have football. Under the RIGHT circumstances they may be willing to accept a I-AA school ready to make the jump (see: Montana), but there's no way they're going to want to nurse a brand new program into I-A, it doesn't work that way. The Sun Belt can get away with it because FAU and FIU are in a deluge of possible recruits, so they're not going to be hurting, while Western Kentucky is a recent I-AA champion who was willing to put the money up (and is already in the conference), so they're not exactly building from scratch. UV is literally going to have to build a football team from scratch (if they even want to). You have to do this at the I-AA level and build your team up, THEN you might be able to move to I-A.


I think you overstate some of your points. I acknowledge that FBS conference are looking for established football members, but part of the jist of this post is that in the WAC, where membership is at a bare minimum and there are relatively few candidate schools who could make the jump, UVU is a compelling mix of a a school with the potential to do it and no limitations (beyond obvious financial ones --- which may or may not be there).

This is not the frequently mentioned Montana, the only school who could make the jump tomorrow. Montana realizes that if they move up to FBS, they will always be stuck in the worst conference in the region because they lack any media, academic, or attendance clout. Additionally, the prospects of going without Montana State would be, at best, not without rancor. They probably will remain FCS for the next 20 years+.

So where will the next member school come from? What happens if TCU recruiting flatlines and the team starts losing? If angry alumni force a withdrawl from the MWC and a return to CUSA? Does the MWC just lose face or do they pull Reno or Boise from the WAC? Who does the WAC pick up? Texas State??? That is another travel anchor that financially challenged conference doesn't need.

I do agree that UVU is athletically dead in the water with no football. I created the post only to mention the university and talk about it's potential, as something COULD happen. Nothing more than that.

The sunbelt added FIU and FAU because they were hurting for members, the schools fit the footprint, offered good potential markets, few local competitors, and were dedicated to the move financially. The recruiting potential was probably not a big factor. Small time FBS schools recruit locally, so while FIU and FAU might quickly become solid sunbelt schools, this isn't like the Big East nothern schools wanting a launching board to recruit blue chip Florida recruits. Additionally, I do not think either school was an athletic power in IAA (ala montana) in their breif IAA stays. One of the schools qualified for the playoffs after they started getting the IA recruits in preparation for moving up, but to call them IAA powers would be a huge stretch.

Additionally, I think you are looking at it backwards. ULM, and regionally displaced Idaho and NM St., those were probably not an FBS conference's first choices. The sunbelt took what they could get to start. The sunbelt cherrypicked IAA (as best they could) for their later members. FIU and FAU give good media markets. Troy and WKU were FCS powers with long tradion and were likely candidates to transition to competent FBS schools quickly. They didn't get everyone they probably wanted, but no FCS school that wanted to move up in the eastern half of the country thought the sunbelt would shun them if they moved up. The same can't be said about the WAC.


Quote:
You bring up Boise State, Troy, UCF and USF, but what you're totally missing is that these schools either have built themselves into solid I-AA programs BEFORE moving into I-A. Boise and Troy have national titles, and the Florida schools were both playoff contenders before their moves. The universities have also made a wholehearted effort to lose the "commuter" stigmata and establish more on-campus or nearby housing, where as IUPUI, which has a fulltime enrollment of 23,000+ and total of over 30,000, is nowhere near being able to pull this off because they're just in the past few years starting to build more on-campus housing, however they also suffer from lack of space and location, so it's not particularly likely they'll be adding football or ever making a drive to get into a I-A conference.


I haven't mentioned IUPUI at all. I haven't mentioned a number of other large commuter schools who don't seem interested in rebranding themselves, but if they were rebranding themselves, I would. I am talking about UVU which has made a conscious decision to rebrand itself, just like FIU and FAU did. The mindset is there and that should not be discounted.


Quote:
The WAC isn't just going to take any mom and pop football-playing university, they want a school that is going to enhance the brand, or that has multiple other assets to being a member.


I agree that is the current WAC logic, but IMO it is wrong thinking. If they had say 9-10 members they could afford to be more choosey. At 8 members, they look a little shortsighted to me.


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That's why the MAC took Buffalo and Central Florida. Buffalo is one of the leading research schools in the East, being a major academic boon to what used to be largely a private school conference (of which Miami is the only one left), and Central Florida provided access to FL recruits (much in the same way the Big East took South Florida).


I think this logic is off a bit. It is dead on for larger conferences, but I don't buy it for the MAC. Buffalo is a great add for all the reasons you mention, but do you really think their addition is an effort by the MAC to rebrand themselves as a more academic conference? Do you really think the MAC added UCF to recruit Florida? UCF is an enormous university in a great maket. That had the chance to be a very high profile add that added TV money --- just like temple. That eased the travel concerns for the member schools some. But really it was just about numbers. You aren't considering that when all of this went down, the MAC was worried that a number of their teams would be forcibly reclassified to FCS by the NCAA for failing to meet attendance minimums. They didn't want to lose their revenue generating championship game. They had a real reason to grab any school that wanted in. UCF looked at the MAC as an establish conference vs. the cobbled together startup Sunbelt. There were reasons for these schools and the MAC to get together that seem a lot more compelling than your suggestions.


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The Sun Belt is merely getting its member schools to move up so they will still have a conference (without FAU and FIU moving up, they would be teetering on even being a football conference).


Where is the WAC as a football conference if Boise or La Tech bolts?


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Right now, UVU brings nothing to the table. .... there's also a d**n good chance they become Utah's IPFW...


I don't disagree with any of this. I am merely pointing out that there is potential there. UVU, if they were willing to play football, would be a great regionally sensible insurance policy for the WAC in case Boise or La Tech bolt.



Last edited by finiteman on Tue Jan 15, 2008 3:21 am, edited 1 time in total.

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PostPosted: Tue Jan 15, 2008 3:45 am 
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And following up on benbreeck's IUPUI defense, the bigger hurdles for that university are the fact that they would be competing for public entertainment dollars with the Colts and Pacers and might find resistance from Indiana and Purdue Alumni in positions of power (an assumption, not a statement of fact).

Like Temple or Tulane, the market has a nice TV value to a conference, but that is muted by the fact that attendance will probably never be what you'd like it to be as it would come mostly from the university staff, nearby alumni, and student body --- and not the public at large. The public at large will pay to see the pro teams.

That said, if IUPUI ever decided to transition, they could become a mid to high level MAC school, IMO. With a serious investment tp adding on-campus housing they could pull MAC level attendance numbers from their student body and their families and friends to an on-campus stadium --- even in an NFL killzone.


Last edited by finiteman on Tue Jan 15, 2008 3:54 am, edited 1 time in total.

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PostPosted: Wed Jan 23, 2008 2:33 pm 
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Quote:
[quote author=finiteman board=misc thread=1199115596 post=1200280630]

The WAC isn't just going to take any mom and pop football-playing university, they want a school that is going to enhance the brand, or that has multiple other assets to being a member. That's why the MAC took Buffalo and Central Florida. Buffalo is one of the leading research schools in the East, being a major academic boon to what used to be largely a private school conference (of which Miami is the only one left), and Central Florida provided access to FL recruits (much in the same way the Big East took South Florida).


Just a few points of correction regarding the MAC. First, Miami is a public school, so there are no private schools in the MAC. Second, the MAC was never largely a private school conference, the only two left quite early in its existence (Butler in 1950 and Western Reserve in 1955).


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PostPosted: Fri Feb 15, 2008 2:06 am 
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Quote:

Quote:
[quote author=finiteman board=misc thread=1199115596 post=1200280630]

The WAC isn't just going to take any mom and pop football-playing university, they want a school that is going to enhance the brand, or that has multiple other assets to being a member. That's why the MAC took Buffalo and Central Florida. Buffalo is one of the leading research schools in the East, being a major academic boon to what used to be largely a private school conference (of which Miami is the only one left), and Central Florida provided access to FL recruits (much in the same way the Big East took South Florida).


Just a few points of correction regarding the MAC. First, Miami is a public school, so there are no private schools in the MAC. Second, the MAC was never largely a private school conference, the only two left quite early in its existence (Butler in 1950 and Western Reserve in 1955).


Actually at the time of its formation, Cincinnati was a private school, as I believe was Miami (not sure about that). However, during the 50's and the '60s the state ended up taking over a lot of city private universities and making them state schools, as while the private schools were having monetary problems, yet still had solid academics that the state recognized would be a boon for their ed system.

Miami may or may not have been a private school at some point, I had been under the impression it was always private, which isn't the case. It would make sense, as with UC and possibly Miami becoming public, private schools would have lost their foothold in the conference, causing Butler and the now-CWRU to leave.


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