Fresno St. Alum wrote:
The nBE basically tried this, w/ the best school and the best market in the MWC, plus later offered UNLV, Fresno after AFA said no. It didn't work. We are red headed step children, nBE just found out they had red hair too. The money aint there for the cost of all sports travel. Regional works better for both nBE and MWC.
I have to disagree. What caused this disaster in the Big East was the politics and disdain between certain blocs of schools. That certain institutions blatantly sat in the way of others, it distorts what really could have been. So now, still with certain schools who have no scruples sticking it to others, they still overlook some programs with no regard or understanding to their own financial detriment.
I'd buy the market argument if the Big East took a risk on Georgia State, Charlotte, UMass, NIU, and Buffalo. They are nowhere to be found in this speculation.
I'd buy the "best team" argument if they took ECU, USM, one of the Ohio MAC'ers (UMOH, OU, BGSU, Toledo, etc.), or Central Michigan. ECU's partially in, but only after Louisville took off.
The Mountain West can't be as picky, and take the regionalism issue very seriously. I suspect the conference would LOVE to have Hawaii as a full-member...they just can't afford it. But, politics obviously exist there, too. Schools like UTEP, Fresno, and the aforementioned Hawaii...all left behind for TCU and UNLV those years back. UTEP is no closer to Mountain West membership than it was when the conference tapped Utah State and SJSU...were BOTH those schools better options than UTEP?
I think we are on totally new ground. We have the values of all these mid-major conferences, all swelling with a hodge-podge of different institutions (CUSA slays me with Rice in there with UTSA), and nobody is exactly grinning like idiots and loving their surroundings. And with the "major players" (BYU, Navy, and Army) still relatively cool to certain conferences yet still "monitoring the landscape," the work is being done for them.
And there's pockets of value in all three of them (MWC, Big East, CUSA) but no concentration or geographic schematic.
I'll lay off the doomsday talk of another Mountain West-like conference creation once BYU is "settled," I guess. Knowing how they work and who they are as a player, they are too small to be out there alone, but too big for these other conferences. I think it's going to take a LOT of work to reincorporate their television deal and replay rights into any of the current conferences, and that's why one might just have to start from scratch.