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PostPosted: Sun Mar 15, 2009 9:58 pm 
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centexguy wrote:
I still don't think a new SWC-type conference of mostly Texas teams will happen. I don't even think that's a good idea. With Texas, A&M, Tech and Baylor now in the Big 12, these are the teams that now get the most attention in the state, even though they are in some of the smaller markets. Houston and Dallas are large metropolitan cities where local college sports isn't that important.


I think it has a lot more to do with competing head to head for local entertainment dollars with NFL teams. People in cities follow FBS football, but almost without exception you can see where NFL teams coming in has killed strong collegiate football programs nearby. Dallas is moving from 65k seat Texas stadium in Irving to the 80K JerryDome in Arlington, 11 miles closer to Ft. Worth. I live in the Metroplex and am hearing cowboys ads soliciting season ticket sales on the sports stations up here. I don't remember the cowboys doing this in the past. It will be interesting to see how this affects TCU in the next 5 years. People forget that tiny Rice drew well before the Oilers came to town.

I am not sure if you are referring to a CUSA West breakaway or a more modest Southland 3 creation. I suspect you are saying both. I think I can see both sides of the arguement. The trouble with a CUSA split is that the Texas schools would be taking a step back in football esteem before the boundary changes allowed the conference to progress beyond the current CUSA. It is possible if CUSA East choses schools wisely, they could become another MWC -type conference --- minus any academic stature. (The CUSA east 5 average 31K in attendance for football.)

That said I will defend the idea that a breakaway would help the western schools by removing long trips and bad draw games against teams no one cares about. It also allows them to recast themselves as a conference based on top academic schools. Finally, it gives them an ability to better leverage their presence in Texas. Adding UNT and UTSA's alumni bases to their viewing audience will improve their marketability in Texas. Since the breakup of the SWC no Texas schools outside of the Big12 have been in a conference setup that really worked in TV terms. Houston and Rice have both profited from playing in the same conference again. Prior to that they were only segmenting their share of the houston market. There is no reason to assume that UNT and SMU could not have a similar benefit on each other. Texas has an enormous population. Each school owns a sliver. UT, A&M, and Tech are the only schools who own large chunks of the audience and they are all in the same conference. I think the biggest problem with other conferences that have pulled in Texas schools is they pull in one tiny localized sliver of fan base far away form their core. If you want to make money, it will require a number of Texas Schools sewing their slivers together into a coherent tight presence in Texas. For CUSA that means expansion in Texas.

Regarding my proposed southland breakaway, it is better than potentially not having a home or staying in the southland--- imo two very likely options. Remember that UT is the furthest south member of the the B12 or CUSA. There are a LOT of people south of there who might be UTSA or Texas State fans if those schools played at a level city dwellers followed. City people follow FBS. I tend to suggest more Texas schools (UTPA, HBU, TAMU-CC, UTA) than most can stomach because I agree with you that just UTSA, SHSU, Lamar, and Texas State is not going to be enough to really get the attention of Texas. If they went with those 4 schools and 4 out of state schools, I think they would have a hard time getting Texans to care and the TV revenue won't be there. They'll be another sunbelt. I think they'd have the same problem CUSA has had. They would just have too little market saturation.

In many ways it is similar to the problems the CFL has (IMO). In markets where they have a team for 1 Million people, the CFL is very popular and successful (sask, winnipeg, edmonton, calgary); In Markets where they are underrepresented and there is insufficient market penetration, the league is downgraded to a curiosity and support fluctuates wildly (specifically Toronto and Montreal).

Texas is a great collection of Markets, but IMO to properly mine them, a conference needs to dominate Texas first. The Big 12 does that with UT, A&M, Tech, and Baylor. Those schools have about 150K students enrolled. They probably have an combined alumni base over 750K. Add in families and you can start to see how they dominate TV. Having a toehold in a texas market hasn't worked for any conference.

centexguy wrote:
UTSA is still a young school with little sports history, so any jump to a bigger conference would be only because of their potential and the hope they deliver the San Antonio market. I don't think UH and Rice has delivered much of the Houston market to CUSA, or has SMU delivered much of the Dallas market, and they have a lot of history in the state.


IMO , The addition of Rice to CUSA has been a very successful for both UH and Rice. UH appears less incompetent in levaraging their student body, which helps them to better leverage theri student body. Rice seems less of a marginal program and their limited number of supporters have more of a reason to see their team play each week against familiar opposition. Remember they have only been in the same conference again for a couple of year now. Both programs appear on the upswing over that decision and some smart stadium moves by their administrations that reflect the reality of operating in an NFL killzone --- and very close to the Reliant to boot.

centexguy wrote:
Texas State may be in the Austin market, but UT owns that market, and always will. And as the Austin area grows, so does the entertainment options (and there are lots of options here). San Marcos is about a 30 minute drive from south Austin. From north Austin, there's a lot of traffic to fight and it can easily take 1 hour plus to get to San Marcus. It's even a longer drive from San Antonio.


I am not suggesting that Texas State will challenge UT for Austin's support. I do think that it is not unreasonable to see people on the edges of (and into the cities of) Austin and San Antonio making an hour drive to see Texas State play at the FBS level. While UT is certainly #1 by a long way, there are a lot of people in Austin who aren't UT fans and a lot of Texas State Alumni.

I do agree that North Austin Traffic is among the worst in the state, though. I can totally understand N. Austinites staying home.

centexguy wrote:
Lamar has been D1 longer than both those schools, and they would have the area all to themselves. But they are located in a smaller market (DMA is 141 out of 210), but population is large enough to get big crowds in football if they win. Lamar still suffers from a lack of respect academically, and with the money problems they suffered through in the 1990s plus some bad decisions, they have put themselves in a position where they have to play catch-up. IMHO, they are about 5 years away from being able to go FBS. At that point they should be done with their $100 million capital campaign (they are half way there now), and enrollment will probably be over 15K. They should also be finished with their $30 milion plus of athletic facility improvements by then too.


Totally agree. I think Lamar is the rare 10/11K school that is making the right decision to move to FBS.


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PostPosted: Mon Mar 16, 2009 2:04 pm 
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I'm not building Lamar up. You make base your conclusions on false logic or as in most cases, your facts are wrong.

Look at the last think you post, Lamar a 10/11k school. But when I look up Lamar, its reported as a 14k school.
Big difference in 11k and 14k for a school that size. You once put Huntsville in the Houston market, yet when
I google the area it looks as if Beaumont is the same distant to Houston. Yet you say Beaumont is not in the
Houston Market. Your arguements changes based on what you like to see. When you like a situation that runs
against DMA, you dismiss DMA away. But if it fits your arguement, you cheer on DMA.


Here is a thought experiment.
What would happen if you took Texas Tech out of the Big 12 and put them in the Southland.
Then took Lamar out of the Southland and put them into the Big 12.

How would each school change 5-10 years later?


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PostPosted: Tue Mar 17, 2009 8:47 pm 
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Ok, the question was too hard.

In 5 years Lamar would have a 80k stadium with 80k fans watching Lamar vs UT and Lamar vs Nebraska.
Texas Tech would have a 80k stadium with 15k fans watching Texas Tech vs Nicholls st.

So its not about DMA, its about conference.


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PostPosted: Sun Mar 29, 2009 10:52 pm 
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playa4life wrote:
I'm not building Lamar up. You make base your conclusions on false logic or as in most cases, your facts are wrong.

Look at the last think you post, Lamar a 10/11k school. But when I look up Lamar, its reported as a 14k school.
Big difference in 11k and 14k for a school that size. You once put Huntsville in the Houston market, yet when
I google the area it looks as if Beaumont is the same distant to Houston. Yet you say Beaumont is not in the
Houston Market. Your arguements changes based on what you like to see. When you like a situation that runs
against DMA, you dismiss DMA away. But if it fits your arguement, you cheer on DMA.


Here is a thought experiment.
What would happen if you took Texas Tech out of the Big 12 and put them in the Southland.
Then took Lamar out of the Southland and put them into the Big 12.

How would each school change 5-10 years later?


Lamar enrollment has gone up in the years since it announced an intention to restore football. This is not a secret. 10, 11, 14, whatever.... It is still a little small for a public at the FBS level --- a fact you have glazed over in the 3 years we have argued about this.

Please show me where I say DMAs are unimportant.

I can only speculate that you don't understand the concept of a school having a pull within their native DMA (Lamar) vs. a school having a pull within a region comprise of several DMAs (Tech, UT, A&M, most state flagships).

I did not see this post otherwise I would have responded to it already.

If you took Texas Tech out of the big 12 and put them in the southland, as soon as the NCAA would let them (5-10 years?), Tech would be invited into CUSA or the MWC. Tech is followed in about 8 DMAs in West Texas. They add up to a fairly substantial amount of TV households. In fact, Tech and UNT (UNT based on "travelling fans" boosting attendance for Texas CUSA schools--- their large alumni base) would probably be a tempting lure for the CUSA West teams to breakaway. The MWC might look to add Tech (west Texas TVs, BCS stature in football, large attendance numbers), UTEP (BB, and large attendance numbers), and UNT (Large alumni base in DFW) to get to a much more attractive 12 for a BCS run.

Tech averages 50K per game in a rurally isolated area. If they were not playing UT and A&M through some witchcraft they would still be drawing at least 35K to see southland schools. That would probably put them in the top 5-10 non-bcs FBS schools in attendance --- a key for bowls in their part of BCS evaluation.

UT & A&M would likely look for a way to boot Lamar. As their alumni base is probably a 1/3 the size of Tech's and a little less financially successful, I don't image they would be able to resist being forced out of the conference. They would not have the alumni in positions of power to give UT & A&M pause.

In 5-10 years, I do think it is entirely possible they would fill their 17,500 seat stadium with B12 schools coming in. That would still put them in the bottom 20 in FBS football and probably dead last in attendance among the BCS schools. If they were at all competitive, I think you'd see an NCAA investigation unearthing recruting violations --- In fact, I'd suspect that UT might push for that to try and generate an excuse to dump them from the conference. Recall UT griped about Nebraska's academic standards, I have to think they would not be trilled to add Lamar who's academics are generally conceded to be less recognized than Tech's.

You need to understand, Lamar may have the facilities when the improvements are done to be a very legit FBS school, but they won't have the facilities to out recruit B12 schools for top players. Kansas State loudly bemoans their inability to keep up with the UT's of the world and they have a TON more assets, alumni, and endowments.

I don't mean this to bash Lamar. As evidenced by their enrollment increases, Lamar is doing the right thing going to FBS, but they will have to start near the bottom like most other schools taking the jump.


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PostPosted: Sun Mar 29, 2009 11:04 pm 
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playa4life wrote:
Ok, the question was too hard.

In 5 years Lamar would have a 80k stadium with 80k fans watching Lamar vs UT and Lamar vs Nebraska.
Texas Tech would have a 80k stadium with 15k fans watching Texas Tech vs Nicholls st.

So its not about DMA, its about conference.


Maybe you don't remember the SWC? Did Houston with an enrollment double Lamar's current enrollment have an 80K stadium with 80K fans in it? Nope.

You have this crazy idea that if Lamar was in the B12 someone would walk in and write them a check to build an 80K, $150M stadium. That is just nuts.

Yes, technically your attendance should go up as you move in conference, but that is not always the case. TCU "moved up" and lost 6K in home attendance. The real question is how would Lamar stay in the conference as they would be the smallest school and the poorest.

It would be next to no time before the B12 dumped them for UTAH, BYU, CSU, or UNM or 3 of the 4. (I don't think Arkansas would take what amounted to a paycut to go from the SEC to the Big 12.)


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PostPosted: Mon Mar 30, 2009 7:32 pm 
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You didn't read a thing I posted. Your own little world. So no need to repeat myself, everyone else seem to understand my point.


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PostPosted: Mon Mar 30, 2009 8:10 pm 
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Playa,

I don't think people are buying this Lamar idea of yours. The idea of Lamar in the Big 12 is surely something that can be discussed, but it might be best for the "Dream Conferences" thread. Frankly, I see UTSA and Texas St. in the Southland to be superior Big 12 candidates...and that's after about 20 other candidates from the MWC, CUSA, WAC and Sunbelt.

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PostPosted: Mon Mar 30, 2009 8:32 pm 
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A quick note on DMAs to use as you see fit:

I was going over some posts in the Grid discussion and someone brought up some DMA info. It was in regards to Missouri. i have the advantages of Missouri being the addition of the St. Louis market. Someone posted (my apologies for not researhcing the users name) all sorts of DMA info and didn't understand why St. Louis would be an added DMA when the school was in Columbia, MO. There were some other breakdowns by the user for other schools and markets, including bringing up East Carolina and the smaller Greenville market.

Here's some basic info to remember when making arguments about schools and DMAs: it's a case-by-case situation.

A school like Missouri might be in Columbia. But St. Louis is the states largest city, and a home to a great population of Missouri alum and fans. Yes, the Columbia market would be added. But with such a large state fanbase and so many of them being in St. Louis, the Big Ten would be essentially adding the St. Louis market.

And then you have cases like Northeastern located in Boston. But Boston College, Boston University, Harvard and even UMass-amherst get more coverage and have bigger fanbases in the city. When the CAA added Northeastern, they added a school that is Boston, but hardly the Boston DMA when factoring fans and media coverage.


Just a couple examples to consider in your ideas about expansion candidates. The Big Ten isn't going to add Fordham because of the NY market. The Big 12 isn't going to add a school that isn't playing football. The Pac 10 isn't going to add UNLV as a top choice just for the Las Vegas market. Each instance will have a different set of circumstances.

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PostPosted: Mon Mar 30, 2009 10:17 pm 
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Playa,

I am really not trying to bag on Lamar. I DO think they are making the right choice for their future and schools like SFA will regret not going with them.

With regards to DMAs, years ago i got into a debate with a guy called the Metropolitan or somesuch who insisted that I was being narrowminded in NOT looking at DMAs. (I was only looking at MSAs.) He pretty much chewed me up and spat me out. I was frustrated --- even more so when I looked at my old intro to advertising textbooks from my college days and found that he was pretty much right on most of it), but we are all here on this site for insight.

I have 2 friends who work in broadcast media buying who I asked about DMAs shortly thereafter to confirm it still is the basis of what they do and they confirmed that.

Now I do agree with you, as we transition away from traditional broadcasts, DMAs will likely be reinvented, but they are the best we can do for evaluating broadcast media today.

Lamar has a ton of big positives. Their basketball program is a slumbering giant. It draws well even in a horrible basketball conference. They are near a BB hotbed and have a history of success. Their football stadium will be sufficient for the first 5-10 years of their upgrade to FBS and should be easy to expand. They have Billy Tubbs. They have good conference mates. They are closer to the sunbelt than any of their upgrading conference mates. They don't have any pro competion. Finally their community and student body likes and supports the idea of them playing football.


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PostPosted: Tue Mar 31, 2009 10:03 am 
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Quinn wrote:
Playa,

I don't think people are buying this Lamar idea of yours. The idea of Lamar in the Big 12 is surely something that can be discussed, but it might be best for the "Dream Conferences" thread. Frankly, I see UTSA and Texas St. in the Southland to be superior Big 12 candidates...and that's after about 20 other candidates from the MWC, CUSA, WAC and Sunbelt.

HUH? WHAT? I'm not saying Lamar is going to the Big12. I said lets assume Lamar went to the Big 12. It'll never happen, but lets assume. The stars are align, an alternative universe,
a Schrodinger Cat thought experiment. Lets not use Lamar to take the focus off of them. Lets use any mid-major school USA. How about Hofstra.
What if Hofstra was invited to the BIG 10. Hofstra would no longer be a mid-major. With Michigan and other BIG 10 schools going to Hofstra for conference
games, Hofstra football attendance would rise signifiantly. Hofstra would need an 80k stadium. Hofstra would start getting BB recruits they could only dream of in the past.
Hofstra would become a big time name playing games on national tv. All because Hofstra was in a big time conference.

Now imagine Villanova moving to the SWAC. It'll never happen, but lets assume. The stars are align, an alternative universe,
a Schrodinger Cat thought experiment. Villanova support would drop, sports team would fall to low major level, Villanova would not be making final fours.
The point I was making was about conference being more important. Gotta go...will add more later.


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