Tulane is struggling, even with a big endowment. College football is dead in New Orleans.
No one in Austin cares about Texas St when they have UT. But they would still make a good pick up to CUSA
Lamar sits in a MSA bigger than Texas Tech's Lubbock MSA.
Witchita st would benefit in football in a move.
All Louisiana schools not named LSU are struggling. Tulane has the advantage that they are a private school and not reliant upon state dollars. Tulane drew 22,700 per game last season in an off year, good for 85th best in the country. 3 schools in CUSA drew smaller crowds. They are OK. Again, I'll reiterate for you, if the Saints do leave, Tulane is the only football in town and they likely will quickly fill the superdome. Solid today in a conference with like minded universities with a chance for a big time future.
"No one in Austin cares about Texas State" but "they would still make a good pick up for CUSA"? Not following you there. They are either media relevant or they aren't. That's like me saying no one in Texas cares about UTPB but CUSA should grab them. Texas State at the FBS level is arguably a weak #1 in San Marcos with UT so close by, but if they played FBS, they could very well outpace a school like A&M as a popular #2 in the greater Austin DMA. Texas State has a huge alumni base, much of which are in San Antonio and Austin. They will be a much stronger presence when they play football at a level where big cities care about it. The realities are Texas State is still pretty far behind what UNT offerred and CUSA passed UNT over. I think it is pretty likely that Texas State will get a CUSA/SWC bid eventually, but not for at least 10 years.
I have talked with you a few times about the lack of importance of MSA's in comparison to DMAs, but I'm going to touch on it again as it would be a negative situation to have people on this board thinking in terms of MSAs first. MSAs are important, but DMA's are more important. DMAs (Designated Market Areas) are used for media buying and by advertisers in boadcast time commercial sales --- the basis of what a conference can get paid for it's athletic product's broacast rights. MSAs are not. MSAs (and CSAs) are just to determine the number of people in an area. MSAs, Metropolitan Statistical Areas, tell you how many people are in a community. CSAs, Combined Statistical Areas, will lump together related nearby MSAs for certain kinds of analysis. Lamar has a lot of positives. The size of their DMA (or even their MSA) is not one of them. The Beaumont DMA has 164K TV households. That is Less than 7% of the size of the DFW DMA, 8% of the size of Houston's DMA, 21% of San Antonio's DMA, 26% of Austin's DMA and only 48.5% of UTPA's Brownsville DMA. It is a small DMA for an FBS school.
The Beaumont–Port Arthur Metropolitan Statistical Area, "the Golden Triangle", has an estimated population of 376,241 as of 2007. The Brownsville–Harlingen Metropolitan Statistical Area (UTPA) has an estimated 387,210, but obviously they have more people in the surrounding communities that are included in their broadcast area. Metro San Antonio, The SA MSA, is estimated to have 1,990,675 people in it. I think the scale is depressingly obvious. But Lamar has it's own strong suits.
It is true that Lubbok and Beaumont are comparable DMAs. But it is an oversimplification to compare the two. Regarding a compairison of Lamar to Tech, that is like compairing UT to U Buffalo ---they have the same size MSA, but anyone who is being both thorough and honest in evaluating the universities can see an obvious difference in attributes. Tech is the largest school in the western half of Texas and acts as the defacto "flagship of West Texas". It has strong fan support in most rural communities west of Dallas and San Antonio. There are about 8 DMAs out there. They add up. It also has some noticable support in the Metroplex and the western half of the SA DMA. Lamar is popular in Beaumont and that very possibly is about it. We will see. It has been years since they had a well supported football team --- have those fans largely passed on? It's support in Houston is to be seen, and at least initially as they aren't in the Houston DMA, they will not be judged as popular enough to regularly televise in that DMA on a popular Channel. Lamar's positives lie elsewhere.
I am not going to disagree that WSU would benefit from moving up into the SWC. My arguement is that the SWC would not likely consider them for the same reason they would likely pass on Lamar. WSU is not Kansas St. (a #2 University). They are not a huge school in a huge market with established FBS football like UNT.
WSU is a #3, mid-sized public (I use "mid-sized" to describe public universities in the 10-15K enrollment range), in a small city, in a sparsely populated state. They'd make a ton of sense to schools in strong FBS conferences without BCS dreams, but not a conference with those dreams.