fighting muskie wrote:
Looking forward I am curious as to what the New Big East/America 12/Metro Conference will look like if and when UConn and/or Cincinnati leave---
The league has a nice western block of Memphis, Tulane, Tulsa, SMU, and Houston. Should Cincy or UConn leave I think the logical move would be to add a western team that fits well with this block rather than trying to shoehorn an eastern school into this division. i'm thinking that within 5 years UTSA will be ready to move to a better conference and they would fit in well as the 6th western school. There is always Rice--the private schools are very loyal to the Owls but their tiny alumni-base and inability to get the city of Houston excited about them makes me think that the the nBE should go with the upstart roadrunners instead.
I've been saying this the whole time but mostly in context of "if Navy doesn't join".
IMO in the SW, Rice and USM are the current favorites, but I always throw it UTSA and LA Tech.
Rice because they're AAU and of the private school camaraderie (Tulane, Tulsa, SMU) plus the city of Houston is behind them (though maybe not so much the fans) so politically the U of Houston would have to support them too.
So Miss would be the fb pick, Tulane and Memphis may like this pick better as is gives them a school a bit closer to home, but they bring virtually no media market. With Rice you at least are doubling up on what is now one of the biggest market the conference can claim. But if this new conference need more fb power and USM is winning CUSA every year then they have a really good chance of getting in.
LA Tech is interesting but I don't know if Tulane will block them or not. They have good fb and are in between two mid sized markets (Shreveport/Bossier & Monroe) so if they just start win CUSA titles left and right I think they could also have a real shot.
UTSA is the most intriguing school. Politically the University of Houston doesn't want another public school moving up in the conference realignment race as they are trying to establish themselves in the same category as UT/A&M/Tech and adding UTSA further associates them with a lesser public school within the state, and while that's not fair it is perception (which is one of the reasons I thought Houston joining the MWC might happen). Also SMU isn't crazy about any public state school that wasn't in the SWC.
That being said, if UTSA does well in CUSA and wins a few fb titles and gets a BCS bid then adding them will be a no brainer, otherwise I think they would need to be told by ESPN/FOX/NBC/CBS that UTSA will get them extra money or be the only way to maintain their current level of TV money for them to be added over Rice/SoMiss/LA Tech who all at least have some nation name recognition and are likely viewed as closer to these schools in many ways. UTSA is a good one to keep an eye on in the coming years, I'd love for them to do well.
Fan of the Big 12 Conference, the Mountain West Conference and...