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PostPosted: Tue Jul 09, 2013 5:53 pm 
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fighting muskie wrote:
If the Sunbelt is having trouble getting James Madison and squeamish about Liberty than why not consider an HBCU? Florida A&M and Tennessee St would both be suitable to the conference footprint and fill the need for a 6th eastern school. Tennessee St gives you the Nashville market back (lost when MTSU and WKU left) while FAMU would give the SBC access to Florida recruits again.


Florida A&M tried to join the Sun Belt in 2004, but backed out when they realized they couldn't afford an upgrade to FBS. Tennessee State would be a good competitive and geographic fit, and plays football at the 68,000 seat LP Field (home of the Tennessee Titans). Not sure what's stopping TSU from moving up, although they haven't won the OVC in football since 1999 or in basketball since 1995.


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PostPosted: Tue Jul 09, 2013 7:43 pm 
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robconstant wrote:
fighting muskie wrote:
If the Sunbelt is having trouble getting James Madison and squeamish about Liberty than why not consider an HBCU? Florida A&M and Tennessee St would both be suitable to the conference footprint and fill the need for a 6th eastern school. Tennessee St gives you the Nashville market back (lost when MTSU and WKU left) while FAMU would give the SBC access to Florida recruits again.


Florida A&M tried to join the Sun Belt in 2004, but backed out when they realized they couldn't afford an upgrade to FBS. Tennessee State would be a good competitive and geographic fit, and plays football at the 68,000 seat LP Field (home of the Tennessee Titans). Not sure what's stopping TSU from moving up, although they haven't won the OVC in football since 1999 or in basketball since 1995.


I was familiar with FAMU's aborted attempt a decade. I think the same issues then are in place now--their stadium is old and undersized and would need serious upgrades to be Sunbelt ready. As far as travel goes FAMU would actually be saving money with the GA and AL schools all being within driving distance. For basketball and Olympic sports they would only have to hop on a plane a couple times to go to LA, AR, and TX--but this could be minimized with travel partners and knocking out two schools in the same state on the same trip. If only they could find the money to fix the stadium.

Tennessee St would be awesome especially with that big NFL stadium. Since they don't currently play in an HBCU league their wouldn't be the stigma that they were abandoning tradition to make the FBS move. Their lack of competitiveness in the OVC does raise some red flags though. Either of these schools would have great recruiting pitches for prospective players---the unique opportunity to attend an HBCU AND play FBS football.


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PostPosted: Wed Jul 10, 2013 8:55 am 
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fighting muskie wrote:
If the Sunbelt is having trouble getting James Madison and squeamish about Liberty than why not consider an HBCU? Florida A&M and Tennessee St would both be suitable to the conference footprint and fill the need for a 6th eastern school. Tennessee St gives you the Nashville market back (lost when MTSU and WKU left) while FAMU would give the SBC access to Florida recruits again.


Sounds logical. Although Florida A&M once attempted to upgrade to FBS for football as an Independent (while retaining full all-sports membership in the MEAC), which later backed down on the process. It would depend on the school if they plan to consider a second try. But I'm not sure if Tennessee State would be a great choice. Its stadium needs to have at least 30,000+ seats. Not sure if that school plans to expand it to match the FBS requirements. The same goes for Florida A&M's stadium. Mostly all FCS schools' football stadiums' capacity maximum is like upto 20,000. Unless they can try the same way Marshall did back in the mid-90s, joining the MAC from the SoCon.

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PostPosted: Wed Jul 10, 2013 9:46 am 
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FAMU actually made a tentative move up to FBS around 2000. That didn't go very well, and they reapplied to return to the MEAC.
Those HBCU schools just don't have the financial resources to compete very well at that level.
That's the reality.

It will be interesting to see what JMU decides.
They would plug into SunBelt #12 very nicely, however they may not be thirlled with that, since the conference is centered down in the Gulf / Texas region.
They are waiting on the report of a consultant, regarding the feasibility of moving to FBS.
That report is due in September.
These consultants (Chuck Neinas has made a ton of money generating such reports) tend to view every situation with rose-colored glasses,
and the consultant wouldn't have been hired, except to justify such a move.
So, I htink you can bet the report will push for moving up to FBS.
The unofficial "tiers" of FBS are:

The Power 5 (SEC / B1G / PAC / Big XII /ACC)
AAC / MWC
MAC / CUSA
Sun-Belt.

Therefore JMU would prefer an invitation to the MAC / CUSA over the Sun-Belt.
However, the former MIGHT not happen, since it was decided that the Group of 5 conferences will NOT receive any more FBS Playoff Bowl money if the expand beyond 12.
Those conferneces will have to divvy up their bowl $ share more ways, reducing everyone's take. Only the Sun-Blet has an opening for #12.
In fact, could this very thing be the driver behind hte rumored discussions whereby the MAC is asking UMass to become a full member or lose their affiliate FBS membership?


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PostPosted: Thu Jul 18, 2013 4:47 pm 
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Tute,
I would rather have the addition of Florida A&M than either James Madison or Liberty. Who do you see getting in to make 12 if James Madison says no, and the SBC turn down Liberty?


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PostPosted: Thu Jul 18, 2013 5:05 pm 
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NorwichCat11 wrote:
Tute,
I would rather have the addition of Florida A&M than either James Madison or Liberty. Who do you see getting in to make 12 if James Madison says no, and the SBC turn down Liberty?

I'm not tute but here my take anyways...in order.

JMU says no to SBC then the SBC approaches UMass as a fb only who may not have an FBS home in the MAC soon, if they say no they try for Army as a fb only, if they say no the Sun Belt, they'll look at some more preferrable FCS schools like Towson/UDel or possibly a schools like FL Gulf Coast if they commit to starting fb, and if those say no thanks they'll look at Liberty AGAIN and if they still don't like them then they'll hunt for any possible FCS fb only upgrades and if there is nothing there then Jacksonville St (in Alabama) gets called up.

The only way a school West of the Mississippi get the call up (other than a possiblefb only move but then they'd be grouped in the East) is if Idaho drops down to FCS and they need a replacement.

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PostPosted: Fri Jul 19, 2013 10:22 am 
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Norwich -

I think if JMU's report recommends FBS (I'm pretty sure it will) and they remain cool to the Sun-Belt, they must have an alternative, and myguess would be CUSA or MAC.
Delaware could go with them as a pair.

Aparently, Liberty (Jerry Falwell U.) is not all that attractive to members of Sun-Belt. Liberty has been spending on facilities to prepare for the day an invitation arrives,
but I'm not so sure they ae near the top of Sun-Belt's list.

I personally think Jacksonville St. fits into the Sun-belt nicely.
1) They can be plugged right into the hole in the Sun-Belt east,
2) you can make 2 sets of travel partners out of Appy St. (NC), Jacksonville St. (AL), Troy (AL), and USA (Southern Alabama (Mobile))
3) JSU plays football.

maybe not a big new TV market, but a great fit with the rest of the conference....


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PostPosted: Fri Jul 19, 2013 10:39 am 
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tute79 wrote:
Norwich -

I think if JMU's report recommends FBS (I'm pretty sure it will) and they remain cool to the Sun-Belt, they must have an alternative, and myguess would be CUSA or MAC.
Delaware could go with them as a pair.

Aparently, Liberty (Jerry Falwell U.) is not all that attractive to members of Sun-Belt. Liberty has been spending on facilities to prepare for the day an invitation arrives,
but I'm not so sure they ae near the top of Sun-Belt's list.

I personally think Jacksonville St. fits into the Sun-belt nicely.
1) They can be plugged right into the hole in the Sun-Belt east,
2) you can make 2 sets of travel partners out of Appy St. (NC), Jacksonville St. (AL), Troy (AL), and USA (Southern Alabama (Mobile))
3) JSU plays football.

maybe not a big new TV market, but a great fit with the rest of the conference....


I believe that Jacksonville State would make a great addition for the Sun Belt for many purposes. To try balancing the East/West division format (with Idaho and New Mexico State as the fb-only members, and UALR and UT-Arlington as the non-fb members; all in the West Division).

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PostPosted: Fri Jul 19, 2013 4:03 pm 
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James Madison Univ. would be the best of the bunch. JMU has nice upgraded facilities already, including fb. The location and the demographics with their student body would be a plus for the SB.

NMSU re-joining could better have been an 'all or nothing' offer. Can't see where Idaho fb-only shall offer anything other than a lot of travel expense. Idaho needs to embrace reality and practicality and give a full commitment again to the Big Sky.

If the SunBelt goes down the road more with 'partial sports' arrangements, it shall fail to adequately solidfy. They were making a lot of progress in competition with outside foes prior to the recent musical chairs of expansion. They need to move beyond the image of a 'feeder conference', and partial members all over the place doesn't help.


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PostPosted: Fri Jul 19, 2013 4:41 pm 
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You guys have interesting and good points that you brought up.
I believe that James Madison has it's eyes on CUSA. Especially with Old Dominion lobbying for their entry.
This leaves me to believe that the SBC is waiting for someone else to get their ducks in a row for an invite.
Jacksonville St. could be there or maybe even the Citadel.
Personally, I hope for the Citadel. - Decent sized stadium in the media market of Charleston, SC also in the footprint and in an area that the SBC does not have yet.
Jacksonville St. would be an easy quick fix.
If the look is for good quality up and coming programs - go to 14 and add to the east Tennessee St., and Florida A&M. In the West add Missouri St.

Now here is an interesting Conundrum - what happens if James Madison is taken to CUSA and to balance things out the also add a western school such as Arkansas St. or U. Louisiana L.? Do you then bring in New Mexico St. for all sports and add another FB only school? And if so who?

Boy, this conference realignment stuff can make your head spin!


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PostPosted: Sat Jul 20, 2013 12:04 am 
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Yeah, your CUSA to 16 with JMU and Arky State may not be too far-fetched.

The CUSA commish talked a few months ago about the possibility of going to 16.
JMU might like to be in with ODU, and Arky State was rumored to be in discussions with CUSA or MAC a few months ago.

So if the Sun-Belt needed a replacement for Arky State in the West, upgrading NMSU to full membership works. NMSU doesn't stretch the footprint too much. Idaho, on the other hand is ridiculous, but Idaho foots the bill for their FB team to go on the road for 4 conf. games, and 4 SBC teams have to go to Idaho each year - NOT A BIG DEAL (for Idaho as a FB only affiliate) !!!

Then the Sun Belt needs a full member to add to the East, and a FB only affiliate to replace ASU's FB program for 12. Alternatively, they could add just a non-FB school to the east for 12/10, but that means football is a round robin, with no CCG.


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PostPosted: Sat Jul 20, 2013 10:15 am 
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Tute,
Maybe the SBC needs to vote to remove all non-football playing members and go with a normal all sports conference affiliation. I don't see a FB only member for the east, unless they switch UALR to the east and add a BB school from Texas. The SBC footprint has too many good all sports schools that could be added at a later date to possibly get the CCG or even to try for a 16 member league. That said, this hybrid affiliation is a detriment, not positive at all. I think that UALR, and U. Texas Arl. need to look at moving to a BB only affiliated conference and leave the SBC. If this happens and Idaho also drops how do you see a new conference invite list?

For the CCG I see: East - Florida A&M, West - Missouri St., and Lamar.
For 16: East - Florida A&M, Tennessee St., Citadel, West - Missouri St., Lamar, Sam Houston St.


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PostPosted: Sat Jul 20, 2013 10:42 am 
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I still think that UALR and UT-Arlington can upgrade their athletic programs by having football, preventing to have any "fb-only" affiliates. And I know that everyone wanna disagree with me on this about UALR, but in Little Rock or North Little Rock, there's a stadium that can be used by the Trojans to play that sport, which is currently the alternate or second home stadium of the Arkansas Razorbacks of the SEC. And sometimes, most stadiums don't have to be exactly on-campus. In the case of South Florida, the Bulls don't have a on-campus-exclusive football field, and they play in the same stadium as the Tampa Bay Buccaneers are. So why not UALR? Also, speaking of fb-only affiliates, I believe that New MExico State should re-join the Sun Belt as a full all-sports member. As for Idaho, I honestly believe that it has no future in the FBS level, unless it plans to go back to Independent in case the Sun Belt don't want anything with the Vandals, now that the WAC is gone (in football, at least). With Idaho re-joining the Big Sky next season, it should be obvious for the school to downgrade to the FCS level and compete in the same conference along with the rest of its other sports. If Idaho plans to stay FBS, it's going to be worse. The Mountain West doesn't want Idaho, which it would make a great traveling partner for Boise State and the rest of the Pacific Northwest. That's simply my opinion of analysis.

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PostPosted: Sat Jul 20, 2013 2:39 pm 
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ncaanopaawaa2000 wrote:
I still think that UALR and UT-Arlington can upgrade their athletic programs by having football, preventing to have any "fb-only" affiliates. And I know that everyone wanna disagree with me on this about UALR, but in Little Rock or North Little Rock, there's a stadium that can be used by the Trojans to play that sport, which is currently the alternate or second home stadium of the Arkansas Razorbacks of the SEC. And sometimes, most stadiums don't have to be exactly on-campus. In the case of South Florida, the Bulls don't have a on-campus-exclusive football field, and they play in the same stadium as the Tampa Bay Buccaneers are. So why not UALR? Also, speaking of fb-only affiliates, I believe that New MExico State should re-join the Sun Belt as a full all-sports member. As for Idaho, I honestly believe that it has no future in the FBS level, unless it plans to go back to Independent in case the Sun Belt don't want anything with the Vandals, now that the WAC is gone (in football, at least). With Idaho re-joining the Big Sky next season, it should be obvious for the school to downgrade to the FCS level and compete in the same conference along with the rest of its other sports. If Idaho plans to stay FBS, it's going to be worse. The Mountain West doesn't want Idaho, which it would make a great traveling partner for Boise State and the rest of the Pacific Northwest. That's simply my opinion of analysis.


I get what you are saying about UT-Arlington and UALR football. Truth be told both schools already have stadiums they can use--UT-Arlington's old football stadium is now used for soccer. The problem with UALR is that they are in the same system at the state flagship in Fayetteville and the board of regents is reluctant to siphon of funds from or chip away at the fan support of the Razorbacks who have always considered the state capital their second home and rely heavily on the fan support in that area. Note that the nearby University of Central Arkansas has put together a respectable and modestly successful FCS program but have only been able to due so because they are administered separately from Fayetteville.

If you look around college football there are plenty of instances where universities should have successful football programs but a bigger brother within their system controls the purse strings and has the ear of the state legislature. Look how long it has taken for UNC Charlotte to get football off the ground. The same goes for UTSA because of their proximity to Austin and the horns. UC Davis is the only UC school besides LA and Berkeley to play football and hey will never be permitted to move to FBS. to some degree it has to do with fan support--look at UAB--they are in a town full of passionate Crimson Tide and Tiger fans. I think UALR's fooball program would be in a similar predicament as the Blazers.


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PostPosted: Sat Jul 20, 2013 3:01 pm 
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fighting muskie wrote:
ncaanopaawaa2000 wrote:
I still think that UALR and UT-Arlington can upgrade their athletic programs by having football, preventing to have any "fb-only" affiliates. And I know that everyone wanna disagree with me on this about UALR, but in Little Rock or North Little Rock, there's a stadium that can be used by the Trojans to play that sport, which is currently the alternate or second home stadium of the Arkansas Razorbacks of the SEC. And sometimes, most stadiums don't have to be exactly on-campus. In the case of South Florida, the Bulls don't have a on-campus-exclusive football field, and they play in the same stadium as the Tampa Bay Buccaneers are. So why not UALR? Also, speaking of fb-only affiliates, I believe that New MExico State should re-join the Sun Belt as a full all-sports member. As for Idaho, I honestly believe that it has no future in the FBS level, unless it plans to go back to Independent in case the Sun Belt don't want anything with the Vandals, now that the WAC is gone (in football, at least). With Idaho re-joining the Big Sky next season, it should be obvious for the school to downgrade to the FCS level and compete in the same conference along with the rest of its other sports. If Idaho plans to stay FBS, it's going to be worse. The Mountain West doesn't want Idaho, which it would make a great traveling partner for Boise State and the rest of the Pacific Northwest. That's simply my opinion of analysis.


I get what you are saying about UT-Arlington and UALR football. Truth be told both schools already have stadiums they can use--UT-Arlington's old football stadium is now used for soccer. The problem with UALR is that they are in the same system at the state flagship in Fayetteville and the board of regents is reluctant to siphon of funds from or chip away at the fan support of the Razorbacks who have always considered the state capital their second home and rely heavily on the fan support in that area. Note that the nearby University of Central Arkansas has put together a respectable and modestly successful FCS program but have only been able to due so because they are administered separately from Fayetteville.

If you look around college football there are plenty of instances where universities should have successful football programs but a bigger brother within their system controls the purse strings and has the ear of the state legislature. Look how long it has taken for UNC Charlotte to get football off the ground. The same goes for UTSA because of their proximity to Austin and the horns. UC Davis is the only UC school besides LA and Berkeley to play football and hey will never be permitted to move to FBS. to some degree it has to do with fan support--look at UAB--they are in a town full of passionate Crimson Tide and Tiger fans. I think UALR's fooball program would be in a similar predicament as the Blazers.


I hope so too, but that's if the UALR school staff plan to permit or allow that to be put to the test. And yes, it needs some fan support within campus and within the community region. Otherwise, it wouldn't stand a chance to Arkansas or Central Arkansas (an FCS school which might be a great candidate also to go into FBS and/or join the Sun Belt). Either UALR plans to use that football stadium in Little Rock or plan to build a stadium of their own within their campus to at least have about 30,000 seats of capacity (as the NCAA D-I FBS minimum requirements stated). Fayetteville is in the northwestern area of Arkansas, while Little Rock is nearly in the center of the state. And before the school became UALR after joining the University of Arkansas System and discontinuing football, it was a regular college (previously, a junior college) and it had sponsored football which had a rich history for the school and for the program itself. As for UT-Arlington, their soccer stadium might be re-modified to make it to a football stadium too. However, it would depend on the school's staff and stuff. UT-Arlington did sponsor that sport before discontinuing in the mid or late 80's. Only time would tell. These 2 schools could be an equivalent to those of the UAB's. Also if the University of New Orleans hadn't left the Sun Belt after the 2009-10 season and years later planning to reveal having options to sponsor football, the Privateers wouldn't be in the Southland today, they would still be in the Sun Belt by now (as a non-football member until their football plans to complete eventually) because in New Orleans has the Superdome.

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