New Western FCS Conference
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Author:  SJSUFan2010 [ Sat Dec 11, 2010 7:59 pm ]
Post subject:  New Western FCS Conference

So, as a SJSU student I am of course thinking about our future in the college landscape. Unfortunately, in almost every scenario I run through, I find the school getting left out of the western football conferences and in the Big West, thus dropping football. The main reason is there is just no option to place their football team because when the WAC finally folds, I expect Idaho will get the Big Sky's last spot. We could hope they'd want a 15th team but that conference is already getting too big.

So my question, how much longer until we see a new Western football conference at the FCS level? The Big Sky is getting way too big (which I wonder if that was the reason South Dakota went with the MVFC/Summit option). Has there ever been talk of a Big Sky split? I would imagine the Big West would be in the best position to sponsor this conference. It could be something like this:

Big West
San Jose State
UC Davis
Cal Poly
Sacramento State
Northern Arizona
University of San Diego-Football only

Big Sky
Montana State
Northern Colorado
Idaho State
Eastern Washington
Weber State
Portland State
Southern Utah
North Dakota

I don't think USD offers scholarships, but travel must suck in the Pioneer league. Not sure if Sac St and N. Arizona would even want to leave the Big Sky. But my thinking would be if the Big Sky could shed some teams (maybe even Portland State as well) they could add the other three Dakota schools and go to 12. The Big West would be really big in this scenario though, but something like:

Cal Poly
UC Davis
Sac St
Portland St

CSU Fullerton
CSU Northridge
N. Arizona

A 16 team scenario would but CSU Bakersfield in the north and UCSD in the south. Talk is that UCSD is considering football so they could be team number 8. Despite so many teams, the conference is still relatively small in geography (still basically a bus league minus Hawaii). I realize this is kinda out there, and unlikely, but this is inevitable. Another western FCS conference has to come about eventually, but I'm afraid it will be too late for my Spartans.

Author:  TKthunder [ Wed Dec 22, 2010 12:57 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: New Western FCS Conference

As far as the Big Sky is concerned, North Dakota will jump ship as soon as a spot becomes available in the Summit League/MVFC or they add another member (like UNO) and ND to get to 12. If that happens soon there would be a spot of San Jose St in the Big Sky...

There is no way SD, SD St and ND St leave the Summit League/MVFC for the Big Sky the travel would just be too great to change conferences.

Reguarding the Big West, they already have 10 now with the addition of Hawaii, either they stay at 10 or they expand to 12 by taking UCSB and UCSD. If they went to 14 I would bet San Jose St and Sacramento St would join and play football in the Big Sky like UC Davis and Cal Poly.

Author:  SJSUFan2010 [ Fri Dec 24, 2010 3:29 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: New Western FCS Conference

I realize that is the simple short term solution to this problem, but what about long term? Even if things work out where there are 14 football teams in the Big Sky (and 10 or 12 all sport members) we still have the issue of future teams. I know there is a lot of student support for schools like Santa Clara and UCSD to add football. Even in the Big West some of the SoCal schools have student support for football. I realize with the economy the way it is, that could be awhile, but if it does happen, where would they go? Would the Big Sky go to 16? 18? No way, especially as an FCS conference where they can't play a conference championship game. It's sad because I feel like one of the main reasons some California schools don't add football is because they wouldn't have anywhere to play.

As for the travel of the Dakotas, If a new conference formed along the west coast (literally the Pac 10 of the FCS) travel would be very similar to that of the MVC. N. Iowa is the only school really close to them. And heck, bring them along too. Split East/West to cut travel costs.

N. Iowa
N. Colorado

Montana St
Idaho St
Weber St
Southern Utah

New Western Division
Sac St
UC Davis
Cal Poly
Portland St
Eastern Washington
Northern Arizona

And future teams could be:
USD (if they start offering scholarships)
Santa Clara
Saint Mary's
Long Beach St
Cal State Fullerton

With the Dakotas, you're asking them to leave the Summit conference for the Big Sky (which to me seems like a step up) in Olympic sports and to go from the MVFC to the Big Sky. Travel might actually be better with the division splits. The trip from NDSU to W. Illinois (the second closest MVFC school) looks about the same as the trip to Northern Colorado (the furthest school in their division.

As for getting schools to leave the Big Sky, that could be more difficult. N. Arizona could be possible, less travel, potential at an AQ into the playoffs in a weaker conference. But Portland St and Eastern Washington, I have my doubts.

Of course, I'm only really thinking about this from the Western side. The MVFC might just break off entirely and add ND and UNO like you said which would be a solid conference and would stabilize everything for now. But this is an issue that will come up eventually, especially when more schools join Division I.

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