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PostPosted: Sun Feb 24, 2008 11:33 pm 
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I know that is has been said that a new eastern conference besides the BE Football is not likely. With schools like UNCC being seemingly inescapably being drawn to the FBS flame, I am starting to think this is not the case. The sheer number of teams that are looking at FBS by 2020 and the large size of several conferences today (especially in the east) seem to imply a likelyhood a new eastern conference will come about.

I think we could see a scenario in 2010 that gives rise to the elements of a new conference by 2020 in much the same way CUSA came into existance.

I could see BE football taking Memphis and/or UCF in 2010.

I think rather than reloading, the western CUSA and a few schools break off to form a SWC. The privates have a lot more "BCS viability" with their large endowments and high academic standards. (Having 4 tier 1&2 schools out of 12 is not a BCS-like ratio. Having 5 --- assuming TCU rejoins --- or more out of 8 is a lot better. ) It makes a lot more sense for them to pull away from the academically lesser eastern schools at minimum to reduce unneccessary travel costs in the short term and to maybe eventually try to raid the better schools in the MWC (TCU, CSU, Utah, BYU, and Air Force) to gain BCS access. Financially a compact 8 member SWC would pull more money per school than a regionally spread out 12 member CUSA.

That leaves the remaining schools --- Marshall, ECU, possibly UCF, possibly S. Miss --- out in the cold. Marshall could drop back down to the MAC. If BEF doesn't take UCF, the Sunbelt would love to have them back. Southern Miss would be welcomed with open arms, but would probably balk at the sunbelt. There has been talk that ECU has been considering making a go of it as an indy until BEF picks them up. In this scenario, maybe they go Indy.

That would leave a lot of schools being generally dissatisfied for a number of years in the timeframe UNCC would potentially move up. I wonder if this is the scenario that a lot of eastern AD's and Presidents who are pushing for FBS at their schools see?

The MAC would again be a huge 14 member conference as likely would the sunbelt. The A10 would still be 14 members. All of that if a pain to schedule and works against you in the tourney and in football. These factors have been pressures that have lead to defections from conferences in the past and could be factors again in the future.

The elements are there for a new conference to emerge in the east around 2020. I think that is why a number of eastern schools are commisioning these FBS viability reports.

UNCC's could be the domino that starts a series of changes originating in a suprising place --- the Atlantic 10(/CAA).

The Atlantic 10 expanded to 14 teams in a move that I found very curious at the time. When I look at it, I think the reason for the expansion was in part as insurance in case Temple eventually left for an all sports conference and if UMASS upgraded to FBS and did the same. They might not have the leverage if that were to happen to pull in a school like St. Louis over a rising native conference like the MVC. It doesn't seem to make short term sense for a BB conference to expand to 14.

UNCC considering FBS has to be a nightmare for them. Temple and UMASS would probably be excited about being in an FBS conference with each other as they are all well respected BB schools. Could we be seeing the start of the public schools in the A10 slowly trickling up to FBS?

ODU is adding FB. It would make a lot of sense for them to take it a step further and upgrade to FBS if a conference seemed to be convalescing.

App State has played it coy about upgrading, but they are in a similar boat to Texas St if UNCC commits to the jump. App State may not have a future viable upgrade possibility if the nearby UNCC jumps. I think they would get very serious about upgrading very quickly if UNCC jumped to FBS.

Georgia Southern and Jacksonville State seem reasonably viable jumpers. Ga So. has a great history and a well developed program. Their media market is acceptable and they probably have viable support in neighboring DMAs. Jacksonville State is in the Birmingham DMA about halfway between Birmingham and Atlanta. They seem small and would be the 5th alabama FBS school (Alabama, Auburn, USA, UAB), but the location is good in terms of TV and attendance for a BCS jump.

I would not be suprised to see UMASS and ODU join App State, Georgia Southern, Jacksonville State, and 1 or 2 other middling to good FBS candidate FCS schools who have not announced any intentions of upgrades or investigating moving up yet (Albany, Stony Brook, Rhode Island, New Hampshire, even Northeastern, Maine, E. Kentucky, Richmond or VCU or an absolute longshot Vermont would not surprise me) in surging up to FBS at the same approximate time. (Delaware, in spite of their excellent FBS prospects and the boon it would give the university, would suprise me.) I think these schools might look at UNCC moving up and ECU as an Indy and decide that now is the time to make their own destiny. A school like Georgia State which should be just getting established as an FCS school may get swept up in that momentum and jump to FBS too.

Those schools have some pull and could pry off a few schools of like mind who are maybe a little better than their conference or dissatisfied with their conference or regular movers, like Buffalo, Temple, ECU, Miami U, Ohio, Marshall, S. Miss, USA, Troy, UCF, FAU, and FIU.

It also wouldn't be inconceivable to see two conferences emerge.

Eastern American Conference?

I think a northern conference that might see themselves as BEF candidates, want to redefine their identities, and want to escape treading water in the MAC. Some good academic schools. Some advanced athletic schools. Good markets.

Buffalo, Temple, ECU, Miami U, Ohio, Marshall, VCU, UMASS, ODU, UAB, UNCC, Georgia State,

Buffalo, Philadelphia, Greenville, Cinnci, Columbus, Charleston, Birmingham, Richmond, Boston+Springfield, Norfolk, Charlotte, Atlanta = 14.106 M TV households.

Sunbelt east?

I think this might actually be like a regional southern CUSA featuring the best southern public schools/markets raided out of the Sunbelt and FCS and the leftovers from CUSA. A number of these schools have history and would likely be up for a reunion.

App State, Georgia Southern, Jacksonville State, S. Miss, USA, Troy, UCF, FAU, and FIU.

Charlotte, Savannah, Birmingham, Hattiesburg+Jackson+Meridian, Mobile, Montgomery+Columbus+Dothan, Orlando, West Palm Beach, Miami = 7.442 M TV Households.

SWC?
(9 member with 5/9 tier 1&2?)
TCU, SMU, Rice, Tulsa, Tulane, Houston, Memphis, UTEP, (La Tech?/UTSA?/Mo. St?/Air Force?)
or
(12 member with 8/12 being tier 1&2)
TCU, SMU, Rice, Tulsa, Tulane, Houston, Memphis, UTEP, CSU, Air Force, Utah, BYU

Sunbelt?
smaller footprint. (9 football/12 total)
UNT, Ark st., UALR, ULM, ULL, Texas St, UTSA, W. Kentucky, Denver, M. Tenn, UNO, W. KY,


Last edited by finiteman on Tue Feb 26, 2008 12:45 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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PostPosted: Sun Mar 09, 2008 7:23 pm 
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Jacksonville State doesn't need to move up to FBS.

You actually wouldn't have to make a new conference, as long as the right schools move in the right direction

FBS Atlantic 12 (*no football)
North - Temple, Massachussets, Buffalo (from MAC), Duquesne*, Dayton*, Xavier*
South - Georgia Southern (from SoCon), Charlotte, Georgia State (from CAA), Appalchian State (from SoCon), Old Dominion (from CAA), George Washington*

The non-football members are kept to preserve the automatic bid in basketball.

FBS Mid-American
West - Northern Illinois, Ball State, Western Michigan, Central Michigan, Eastern Michigan, Illinois State (football only)
East - Toledo, Bowling Green, Miami-OH, Ohio, Arkon, Kent

FCS Southern Conference
North - James Madison (from CAA), Richmond (from A-10/CAA football), UNC Greensboro (no football), Western Carolina, Davidson (Pioneer football), Elon
South - Chattanooga, The Citadel, C of C, Furman, Wofford, Samford

FCS Colonial Athletic
North - Hofstra, Maine (from America East), New Hampshire (from America East), Northeastern, Rhode Island (from A-10), Fordham (from A-10)
South - Delaware, Drexel, Towson, William & Mary, UNC Wilmington, St. Joseph's (from A-10)

America East
St. Bonaventure (From A-10), La Salle (from A-10), Albany, Binghamton, Boston University, Hartford, UMBC, Stony Brook, Vermont

The America East Conferences finally fixes its discontiguous geography and picks up a presence in Philadelphia.

St. Louis goes to the Horizon League.

The Big East split can throw a nice little wrench into all of this. Since the Atlantic 10 would likely lose two members from this scenario (either continuing or incoming), Stony Brook and Delaware move up to FBS and take their place. America East adds NJIT to stay at nine schools; the CAA keeps James Madison, and the SoCon replaces them with Kennesaw State. Conference USA reloads with Georgia State and/or Georgia Southern.

If the basketball remnant taps one or more A-10 schools, this bodes well for St. Bonaventure, Fordham, and La Salle.

A Conference USA split could actually be devastating to a lot of eastern schools looking to move up, unless if the MAC loses several members.


Last edited by wbyeager on Sun Mar 09, 2008 7:24 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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PostPosted: Sun Mar 09, 2008 8:48 pm 
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Which 2 would the BE take? Would the BE take UCF, ECU, and/or Memphis?

If CUSA doesn't split and the A10 and CUSA lose schools to the BE, would UNCC and St. Louis jump back to CUSA? It occurs to me that at that point CUSA is stronger and a better fit for a school like UNCC. In that scenario, i wouldn't be suprised to see a school like USA join as football #12 and a school like Richmond join CUSA to be BB school #14.

Obviously the prior dominos will determine the latter ones.


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PostPosted: Sun Mar 09, 2008 9:23 pm 
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I would have Temple and UCF going to the Big East in (1), and UCF and Memphis going to the Big East in (2). As long as the Big East football remnant doesn't go beyond 10 schools, it really doesn't matter who the Big East picks.

If Conference USA decides to reload via the Sun Belt, it really only has a minimal impact on the whole scenario, as the Sun Belt would gladly take some combination of Georgia State (a former SBC member), Georgia Southern, and/or Appalachian State.

If UNCC leaves on top of a Big East split as described in (1), the A-10 probably won't be able to maintain 6/5 compliance and have at least 8 Bowl Subdivision members with only 12 schools-in which case some current members might get to stay, including St. Louis.

Conference USA will not be adding any non-football members as long as the conference can sponsor Bowl Subdivision Football; any such schools are just a poor fit. It's even less likely they'd go beyond 12 members.


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PostPosted: Mon Mar 10, 2008 10:18 am 
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If the Big East splits and expands, this will likely result in another cascade of repercussions for other conferences.

Let's assume a split.

FB teams add Memphis (noted mostly for recent basketball prowess, bring along the Liberty Bowl) and UCF (rapidly growing school with some nice investment in vew facilities). Perhaps two more (Temple, ECU, UMass up-grade) / perhaps wait on that for a few years.

BB teams (plus Notre Dame) raid the A-10 for Xavier, Dayton, St. Louis, and gets a 12th somewhere else.

Initially both C-USA and the A-10 take a hit.

I think the vision is for C-USA to reform as a southwestern conference (their HQ moved to Dallas after 2003). ECU and Marshall currently have a huge travel bill, and two other teams from the C-USA east are gone. So could the C-USA West teams want to form a new "Southwestern Confernce" ? The 6 current
C-USA West members and some new additions. Candidates would include NM State and LaTech from the WAC, North Texas and Arkansas State from the Sun-Belt, and any number of football-playing upgrades from the Southland. Perhaps UAB and Southern Miss stay with the group, perhaps they start thinking about something more South-east oriented (along with ECU and Marshall).

A new Southeastern Conference ?
A few schools in FBS have stated serious intentions to move up...
Georgia State (CAA)
UNC-Charlotte (A-10)
Jacksonville State (Ohio Valley) - would like to end up with Troy
You've got your C-USA East schools that might be interested in something new.
And the Sun-Belt is still a mess with 10 FB schools (after USA adds FB), two non-FB schools in the Southeast, and Denver (who doesn't belong, but just can't find a new home).

If some Sun-Belt teams go off with the C-USA West schools, one could easily imagine a new all-sports conference taking shape with portionsof these 3 elements:
Sun-Belt FB schools
dissatisfied C-USA East Schools
Southeastern up-grades to FBS football.

The A-10 (now 14) has perhaps lost 3-4 BB schools, UNCC, and may someday lose Temple / UMass. Fordham might take a hard look at moving to the Patriot. UMass and URI might be lured to the American East if AE Football were launched. The A-10 could end up being REALLY reduced in teams and stature. I see it as potentially VERY unstable, once the dominoes start falling.


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PostPosted: Mon Mar 10, 2008 9:41 pm 
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VCU (upgrade), Charlotte (upgrade), Old Dominion (upgrade), Temple, East Carolina, Marshall could form the core of a new eastern conference. Any chances a school in the Baltimore/DC area would be ready by then (Towson? George Mason?)


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PostPosted: Sat Mar 15, 2008 4:58 pm 
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Quote:
Conference USA will not be adding any non-football members as long as the conference can sponsor Bowl Subdivision Football; any such schools are just a poor fit. It's even less likely they'd go beyond 12 members.


I think that it can make a lot of sense to have a few non-football schools supplimenting your FBS conference.

For example an 9 member SWC of:

Houston
Rice
TCU
SMU
Tulane
Tulsa
UTEP
UTSA (San Antonio DMA)
Texas State (Austin DMA)

Would be wise to consider adding 3 more non-football teams to enhance the BB product, public perception, and media footprint.

say
St. Louis (Tier 2 University; BB power; St. Louis DMA)
Denver (Tier 2 University; Denver DMA)
and
Arkansas Little Rock (solid bb history, LR DMA)
or
Wichita State (Solid history in BB & Baseball; Wichita DMA; bridging Denver)

IMO.

(For the record, i am not saying that a breakaway CUSA West plus TCU would fallover themselves to add UTSA and Texas State. I do think those adds would pay off big time long term, but I think the perception that these schools would be a competitive downgrade might keep them out. In some ways, it might be more likely to see NMSU and La Tech as teams 8 & 9 in that scenario. NMSU is in the EL Paso DMA, but it is also the only other FBS school in NM besides UNM. It is very possible that TV might evaluate them as being interesting/ worth broadcasting in the Albequerque market too. Especially as UNM is in the mnt. pay perview network. La Tech was strongly considered for CUSA admission, so I have to think they were being evaluated with the Shreveport DMA in mind.)




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PostPosted: Fri Jun 20, 2008 2:24 am 
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dafoeberezin3494 wrote:
VCU (upgrade), Charlotte (upgrade), Old Dominion (upgrade), Temple, East Carolina, Marshall could form the core of a new eastern conference. Any chances a school in the Baltimore/DC area would be ready by then (Towson? George Mason?)


As another poster added, George Mason could be a very interesting and viable FBS upgrade.


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PostPosted: Wed Jul 30, 2008 12:40 pm 
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My grandchildren (all my children are now under 3 years old) may be able to attend a Charlotte, VCU, or Mason football game. But I doubt it.

In the meantime, the new east coast FBS conference will be:

Temple
Marshall
East Carolina
Old Dominion
Buffalo
James Madison
Georgia State
Georgia Southern
Appalachian State
UAB

If Delaware pulls its head out of its butt, realizes they belong in FBS, and stops whining about the refs in their championship loss to App, they join too. If so invite Middle Tennesse to make 12.

VCU, Mason, and Charlotte would make nice non-football members. If somehow, years from now, when pigs are flying and Charlotte, VCU and Mason get around to fielding FBS-level football teams, one of them can replace the team/teams that move on to bigger conference.


Last edited by appmaninva on Wed Jul 30, 2008 12:58 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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PostPosted: Wed Jul 30, 2008 1:00 pm 
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What seems to be the problem with any scenarios are that schools in established conferences comprised of better members would not leave for a new conference of upgrades. If a new conference was formed with Big East and ACC members and an additional team was targeted in CUSA or MAC, that CUSA or MAC team would jump at the chance. But a CUSA, MAC or even SunBelt team won't be leaving to join a conference of upgrades. Just couldn't happen no matter how logical it might seem to us.

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PostPosted: Wed Jul 30, 2008 1:30 pm 
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I guess it depends on who the "upgrade" is, and just how many are involved.

App State would be welcomed into the SunBelt with open arms tomorrow if App wanted to spend the money to fly their volleyball and wrestling teams to Denton, Lafayette, or Miami. This past year, App State would have led the SunBelt in attendance and been in the top five in attendance in the C-USA, MAC, or WAC. I could easily see them involved if the eastern C-USA teams were left hanging and wanting to form a new conference. App and Delaware, if they chose to move up, would not be a joke like Buffalo, UL-Monroe, or Florida Int. They weren't all that successfull atthe FCS level. A better comparison for App or Delaware would be a Marshall or Boise State when they took the leap.

I agree that ECU and Marshall are not going to leave the C-USA to join a league were almost everyone else is recent former FCS schools. But if these teams feel the travel pinch or are left out in the cold, Marshall or ECU could do alot worse than joining a historic rival like App St or a natural geographic rival like ODU in a new conference.


Last edited by appmaninva on Wed Jul 30, 2008 1:43 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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PostPosted: Wed Jul 30, 2008 1:58 pm 
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appmaninva wrote:
My grandchildren (all my children are now under 3 years old) may be able to attend a Charlotte, VCU, or Mason football game. But I doubt it.

In the meantime, the new east coast FBS conference will be:

Temple
Marshall
East Carolina
Old Dominion
Buffalo
James Madison
Georgia State
Georgia Southern
Appalachian State
UAB

If Delaware pulls its head out of its butt, realizes they belong in FBS, and stops whining about the refs in their championship loss to App, they join too. If so invite Middle Tennesse to make 12.

VCU, Mason, and Charlotte would make nice non-football members. If somehow, years from now, when pigs are flying and Charlotte, VCU and Mason get around to fielding FBS-level football teams, one of them can replace the team/teams that move on to bigger conference.


Quinn makes a good point on established conference having the upper hand with expansion over a new proposed upstart FBS conference.

Conf USA is probably the most vulnerable conference in the FBS. The conference ignored travel cost believing the 12 team alignment with a championship football game would more that make up the cost of expansion. Unless things change very quickly, it is not only is a bad mix of unlike schools, the schools are dispersed almost entirely across the USA. I remember the commissioner making statements that location was not a concern with expansion candidates and thus we have UTEP which is very close to Phoenix in a conference with East Carolina which is very close to Washington DC. This type of conference would be difficult for BCS type league to absorb the travel cost.

Currently you have the Texas dominated schools in Conf USA that could easily pull away to form a new SWC.

There is East Carolina that wants to be in a conference with more regional schools or preferably the Big East. Ditto to the above on original Conf USA expansion mistakes.

There is Memphis a great basketball school just waiting for a BCS conference opening.

If Conf USA imploded, Central Florida would probably join the Sunbelt if a Big East offer does not came their way.

Southern Miss would probably decide to join the Sun Belt along with Central Florida in this scenario.

I think Temple and Western Kentucky will become full members of the MAC.

Marshall and East Carolina may be a better fit to bring the MAC to 16 members.

The MAC east could have an 8 team eastern division consisting of East Carolina, Marshall, Western Kentucky, Temple, Buffalo, Ohio, Kent State, and Akron.

This may not the eastern conference that East Carolina is really wanting to be in, however, the above schools are in some of those same Big East states.

I just do not see the NCAA allowing 8 members required to created a FBS conference to form. This would eliminate Appl State, Old Domino and others from getting the opportunity to move up would be a guess.






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PostPosted: Wed Jul 30, 2008 2:24 pm 
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I do think that if there was a REAL CUSA implosion (due to the new focus on being a SWC conference) that a new conference made of some MAC, CUSA and Sunbelt.

So if the eastern schools of CUSA felt neglected and left, I think they could round up some MAC and Sunbelt members. But the CUSA schools might still call the shots.

While a stretch, an FBS conference out of necessity could be:

From CUSA:
ECU
Marshall
UCF

From MAC:
Temple

From Sunbelt:
WKU
Florida Atlantic
Florida International

Upgrade:
Appalachian St.



Temple
ECU
Appalachian St.
Marshall
WKU
UCF
Florida Atlantic
Florida International


AGAIN...this is a REAAAAAAL stretch since it's doubtful Temple would even want to be in this for all-sports. The reality is that this is not a very appealing league for football or basketball.

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