fighting muskie 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.