Fresno St. Alum wrote:
This would also be a reach but more logical. If no C-USA split happens and Texas St., UTSA, Georgia So., Lamar, Jacksonville St., Georgia St, & Charlotte go FBS they could start an all sports conference. All but Charlotte would be forced out of their current conference for not following the football by-laws anyway. The problem is they would have to wait 5 years for a auto-bid in basketball.
The starting of the conference could bring in Appalachian St. & Sam Houston St.
Sun Belt has 13 schools and if Denver leaves like they are supposed to I think the Belt would stay at 12. UNO goes down to D-II then a spot could open for UTSA.
Well I don't agree with "MORE logical"
, but it is a good point.
I think it is pretty easy to see that all 3 upgrading schools might have problems getting into a conference where travel would be economically viable and the payouts would make the league logical for them.
I think it is also easy to see that if you remove UTSA, Texas State, and Lamar, (and possibly SHSU) --- UTA and TAMUCC are left very isolated. Travel budgets are large for the MAJORITY of the remaining conference members to travel to two schools who offer little to their "football first and last" concept conference.
Logically it is pretty easy to see the breakaway 3 and the 2 nonfootball schools staying together for cheap travel. (What conference could offer cheaper travel?) You only need 6 core members who have played together for the last 5 years to satisfy the 6/5 rule. SHSU would give them 6. From there, ANY core member added gives you the 7 you need to satisfy the NCAA rule. (UTPA is convient and the GW doesn't have a berth. ORU is close and gives viewership accross Oklahoma, Arkansas, and North Texas. They have a well supported BB program which, along with Lamar's, would help the conference develop BB credibility needed to develop other strong programs. Their culture is more Texas/Oklahoma than the Summit region and this conference with it's FBS future is higher profile.)
(I am one of those people who don't buy the NCAA's claim that they won't be granting new tourney bids anytime soon. Satisfying the criteria is hard enough. If a collection of teams do it and sue the NCAA, IMO they'll get their bid in short order. I mean geez...it is what? a 1/127th share of the tourney revenue? The NCAA doesn't want a lawsuit that might overturn the whole deal. I'll grant it is an assumption on my part, but I think a lot of people who have followed the NCAA reactions to lawsuits would agree with me that it is not a big stretch.)
Once you have a tourney autobid, you are technically on even ground with conferences like the sunbelt and MAC and maybe only a 1/2 step behind the WAC. Really, travel costs, fan support, TV markets, regional concentration of fans/alumni, and other factors outweight esteem factors for the most part in competing with those conferences.
I think an FBS foursome of UTSA,Texas State, SHSU, and Lamar could be very interesting to football outliers in the WAC (NMSU and LA Tech) and Sunbelt (UNT, ULL, ULM, and maybe even Arky State). Any 8 out of those lot could create a conference with pretty good TV numbers and a reasonable footprint. Now it is possible that some or possible even all of those schools might pass? Sure. In that scenario, schools that have announced intentions of FBS play like Georgia So., Jacksonville St., & Charlotte could be candidates. Schools like Georgia State, The Citadel, JMU, App State and a few others with sufficient stadia that could step up, might. If the Sunbelt is stuck at 12, those schools would not have better homes at the FBS level.
I think it is all about options. Starting a breakaway gives a ton of options and is quite doable, so I have a hard time beleiving the people involved have not considered this or consider it as much of a "reach" as many here seem to think.