*Post 3 of 3*
Lousiville is very much the equal to Kentucky and will probably exceed in football in that state.
Louisville is an exception. It is true they are the better football team in KY, but they still don’t get what UK gets. If they expand their stadium, maybe, but even anecdotal evidence suggests that Kentucky still goes statewide, and even if Louisville picks up following in that state, you still may not see many fans of Louisville in places like Corbin, Ashland, Paducah, London, or Covington. The school has a metropolitan focus and purpose. People in the rural areas of any state don’t identify with a team with a city name and a metro purpose and mission compared to a Land Grant historical flagship like U Kentucky. Louisville does good for an urban grant school in KY, better than almost any other school like it except UCLA and Pitt. In all other cases, the Urban Grants’ followings are near the City or metro area. They are regional.
Ohio is way to big to only have one BCS team when much less football interested Indiana has three.
Same as above, only worse. UCincy IS NOT an equivalent to an “University of Ohio”. Lets look at their attendance:
Not too great, in fact not much different than Temple. 2002 was somewhat of a good year though. The best that UCincy offers is bball and a the best academic fit of the 3 new schools and the best academically near th BE except Miami U of Ohio.
Florida is a state similiar to Texas and California and needs more that 3 BCS teams.
Tennessee is basically UT and Vanderbilt is well they bring a good reputation to the SEC.
Tennessee could very well support Memphis as a BCS member.
Tennessee has 5.7 million people, a little smaller than Indiana. Indiana has 3 BCS teams. Tennessee is a power, and has statewide following. No one hardly east of the Tennessee River (the part of it located north of the Mississippi/Alabama/Tennessee stateline meeting, and the Land Between the Lakes at the Kentucky/Tennessee Border) is going to root for Memphis. Memphis has no meaning hardly to people in Johnson City, Chattanooga, Nashville, Cleveland, Lynchburg, Clarksville, Cookeville, Columbia, etc. Memphis is a regional team for Western TN, and has either 1st or 2nd Noteriety in that western 1/3 of the state -- which has only 1.5 million people. That’s about the size of Idaho, and smaller than the state of West Virginia. Its not a major state market. The geography of Tennessee doesn’t allow for the Memphis media to project Memphis teams 200 to 500 miles to the east, because Nashville, Knoxville, Chattanooga, and other teams get promoted. Memphis is an afterthought that is located where the state meets Arkansas and Mississippi. That doesn’t mean much to someone in TN near the NC, Virginia or Georgia boundaries.
As a member of the BE, Memphis would bridge Kentucky, West Virginia, and Tennesse together. All three of these states are very similar in culture and really need a conference that unites this region. Adding Southern Ohio and western Pa just futher adds to this reagions stability.
Yes they are all similar in culture. TN and KY are somewhat midwestern while being predominantly southern. The mid-major/non-football Ohio Valley Conference crosses the Ohio River and goes into the southern Midwest states while also being in KY and TN. But KY and TN are not Northeast states and nor are they Near-Northeast states. UCincy works because the City of Cincinnati (its history and urban rank historically) has a relationship with the City of Pittsburgh (history and urban rank hisotrically), and Louisville works, because it is only 100 miles down the road from Cincy. Memphis is another 400 miles down the road from Louisville and is near both the Mississippi Delta region and the Ozarks. This is too-Southwesternish-like and really belongs with the old SWC teams, Tulsa included. Memphis vs. Rutgers as a conference game sounds completely weird. The institutions don't relate at all, nor does it produce a compelling rivalry or interesting series. Louisville works barely. But Memphis, no. Nor does UConn vs. Memphis. This Ohio Valley wing works, but it shouldn’t become the Conference character. It shouldn’t drift any further west than Louisville. Its just going too deep into SEC country.
Factor in Rutgers, Syracuse, UConn the remaining NE big time programs and you have a foot print that contains the Mississippi/Ohio Valley to NE. Not bad.
No. Its bad. I don’t see many people thinking of the BE as a household name and identity as Memphis vs. UConn or Memphis vs. Rutgers, or even Memphis vs. Syracuse.
Then add two Florida schools and you have a footprint similar to the old proposed Eastern Seaboard that basically did what the ACC was attempting to do with expanding with BC and Syracuse.
USF is barely south of the Deep South line of Florida. I once heard that Inverness, FL is the most southern Deep South city in Florida, and that Tampa is just barely south of that. UCF is really close to that line, an more north on I-4 and they are on the border of the Deep South North region of Florida. Tampa is barely out of the Deep South and is more like Miami than Orlando. Neither one of these schools are going to get that Miami-like NE-like identity that can connect them to the NE like Miami does. Orlando is really on the cusp of the Deep South and it playing games vs. Rutgers or UConn or even Syracuse as a conference mate is really odd. UCF is also a terrible institutional fit when compared to Rutgers, UConn, Syracuse, and even Pitt. Memphis is also a terrible institutional fit. UCF vs Rutgers or UConn is not interesting.
Va Tech actually helped the BE as the conference can accompish the same type of region as the ACC by having a north to south type conference that stretches from NE to south Florida.
Virginia is a Near Northeast like state. A lot of people talk of the eastern urban coast They call it the Bos-Wash Megalopolis. This continuous urbanized area stretches generally from the Boston metro area to the Washington, DC metro area, but technically, geographers and others identify it from Portland, ME to Richmond, VA and perhaps vearing east to the Norfolk/Va Beach metro area. Virginia is a southern state, but it fits with New York State and Pennsylvania and even New England a hell of a lot better than western TN, and a team border Mississippi, Arkansas, the Ozarks, and the Mississippi Delta region. That is not NE. Robert Johnson or Muddy Waters playing old Country Blues in nearby Clarksdale is not the NE footprint. Actually that Mississippi Delta image of the roots of Blues does fit with Memphis, New Orleans, St. Louis and Chicago, but not Hartford, CT. Also Va Tech indeed had a statewide following as its purpose and history and academic noteriety an institutional fit, fit the BE, including its optimal near-NE location. Memphis is not THIS. Memphis is NOT VA TECH.
Again what do more CUSA teams offer, but to be buried further into SEC, ACC, and Big 10 country, and not much more than Temple, really. To me, by taking more of these teams, the BE is really furthering an emulation of the CUSA, and taking away its household name and image --> and what happens when you emulate something? You become the very same thing as the thing you are emulating.
Rutgers vs. Memphis as a conference game? What conference is that?
*End this round of posts*