fighting muskie wrote:
OK, the BE adds Tulsa to replace Boise St., but who will be the add to replace San Diego St.? Rice? Any thoughts or ideas?
Probably no one. If the BE can keep Navy then Tulsa gives them 12 for football. Granted Navy has plenty of time to change their minds. UMass, which in my opinion is a bad add because they are so unproven, might get the nod if the Midshipmen bail.
1) There has been no indication that Navy intends to bail. I feel far more confident that they will be in the Big East in 2015 than some of the other schools. Navy operates with different objectives. They have seemed deliberate, decisive, patient, and dependable - in other words, entirely honorable - and I would expect nothing less.
2) I think it is the Big East that has "plenty of time" to act. There is no reason to add the 12th football school before 2015, so they don't need to make their decision for at least another year.
3) I agree that UMass would be a "bad add" at this time because their football program is unproven at the FBS level. They need time to achieve some FBS success, though everything else about UMass would make them a great addition to the Big East.
4) Adding Tulsa would be an even bigger mistake. Although Tulsa is very good across the board in academics and athletics, they have a tiny enrollment (about 4,000), which means a tiny alumni/fan base, in a modest-sized market. They have little media value, and little upside potential. Tulsa should be commended for maximizing their opportunity, but unless they can magically become like Notre Dame in the very near future, they are all they will ever be.
5) Big East expansion is being done with an eye on media value - just look at the markets they are in. We also know that football drives media value. So any Big East additions should have large media markets and good football.
6) Northern Illinois is by far the best available school for the Big East to add. Clearly, their football program is as good as any in the future Big East. Also, they have a large enrollment (about 25,000) and a large alumni base in a huge market (about 185,000 alumni in the Chicago area). I realize that Tulsa has the support of their former C-USA conference mates, and I also realize that the basketball schools might object because of NIU's crappy basketball program; however, I feel confident that if Aresco can show the existing Big East schools the difference in the value of the media contracts with NIU vs. Tulsa, then NIU will be the choice. NIU has enormous upside potential (and the basketball program can be fixed).
1. Navy's AD has said multiple times that they need to re-evaluate the move that this was not the same conference they agreed to join originally and has also said that other things about entry/exit fees and timelines (madatory waiting period) may need to be adjusted) as well as Navy total fb only percentage since the bball contract is way less valuable now that may need to be increased.
2. I think most of the Big East outside of Cincy/UConn disagree, there is strength in numbers and with UConn/Cincy begging for ACC invites I know that Memphis/Tulane/SMU/Houston would like a solid base to build around or else you might see some like Houston bolt for the MWC.
3. UMass is green but still with UConn looking around they are the best New England replacement and the quickest way to coach them up is to get them in the mix of BE fb, possibly as a fb only then give them the full membership if UConn bolts.
4. 5. & 6. NIU is a good option but like you said Tulsa has history with the CUSA schools, good all around programs, and their media market isn't trash they'd fit right in with Memphis and the TX/LA schools. While Chicago and a few good years of NIU fb ('02-'05 & '10-'12) are totally in the postives catagory they haven't been a powerhouse by any means and Chicago is so split between ND/Big Ten schools that NIU penetration to the non-alum is weak, meanwhile Tulsa only has OU/OkSU and possibly Arky to draw from and Golden Canes have received a lot of community support over the years so while their alumni base is smaller their community impact is probably larger.
Despite my note above I do agree with you that NIU would be a great addition to the Big East but I also think that they are so isolated in the heart of the MidWest that joining is all sports many give these mostly Southern or Eastern schools (other than Cincy who is looking for a way out) lots a pause whenever they are brought up.