Lots of bad information in this thread...
1) New Orleans no longer has a club football team (they were folded either in '11 or '12 following repeat rule violations) and is not in any position to add football financially. Enrollment continues to decline and until they turn the tide there, it just is not reasonable especially with continued cuts from the state.
2) There are no UT system schools in the Southland, so I do not see how the UT System can get political within the league to force UTPA upon the league. UTPA should be happy that they are in an auto-bid league for now. The Southland has rejected them numerous times and many member institutions hold steadfast in not wanting the school. The fact that UTPA continues to get brought up as an option is laughable by many who follow the conference.
3) A&M-Corpus is not in any rush to add football. They did add women's soccer, leaving New Orleans as the only program in Southland without the sport.
4) No FCS league will play a conference championship game if they want a playoff shot. The best thing about the Southland football alignment growing is that now teams can get more league games and not worry as much about OOC scheduling. Most fans still prefer eight games (four home, four away), but some schools are in such dire financial straits that they need to play at least two FBS games annually.
5) ORU's departure for the league has nothing to do with many of the reasons stated, particularly as the Southland has made it clear there are no plans for divisions (so the not being with Texas school argument can be dropped) and there is no pressure for all the schools to add FB (see no efforts from Corpus or New Orleans).
Terror, while respect your opinions, I also strongly disagree with #2, as the Southland has already made a visit to the UTPA campus.
And yes, while UTA/UTSA have left the Southland, it does not mean that the State of Texas, which is heavily investing (along with the UT system) in the South Texas region (which is politically hot right now), holds no influence over many of the other Southland public schools (and privates too). Let's not pretend the state politics are not already instilled in college sports (just look how the Aggie gov is trying to fire UT's pres by piggybacking on the feelings surrounding the lackluster fb team).
Also, we know how you feel about UTPA, but you also stated similar things about HBU not to long ago...viewtopic.php?f=14&t=1572&p=60645#p60644
But thing are changing for UTPA (they get a new name tomorrow...see link) in more ways than anything changed for HBU so if ever there was a to-do list, I can almost guarantee you that it will get done. http://www.utsystem.edu/news/topics/project-south-texas
If you know the reason for ORU departure, or their future replacements then I'd enjoy hearing your takes.
Fan of the Big 12 Conference, the Mountain West Conference and...