You guys notice that on the option maps (towards the bottom), there's no ULM? Are they dropping football or moving back to FCS?
Nevermind, just saw the explanation of the lack of budget along with UTEP's remote location.
This makes way too much sense for the "smart" people leading our schools to consider!
What the MT AD said is probably what's going to happen. The ex-Sun Belt schools and Southern Miss won't play us in football and basketball in most cases. If brought under more financial pressure they might.
For many years I've hoped the states outside of Louisiana would restrict taxpayer money for athletics to level the playing field.
The drivable away conference games would be great.
......IF YOU WANT 12 ADD USA and Troy
The real answer for us is the AAC.....and it is doable
The list you have is very likely. Only caveat is that I think it stops at 9, unless stAte, South Al and either UAB or Troy come over for 12. I don't see stAte coming unless the others do as well.
I think a mutual conference shuffle is way more plausible than most people think.
The best hope for all concerned would be a mega-merger with four six-team "pods" that feed into a championship game or some type of four-team playoff scenario as a Thursday-Monday playoff/championship in a city like New Orleans. Win Thursday, and stay in town until Monday.
The 20 conference teams that do not make the four-team playoff randomly play each other in a "consolation game" as their 12th game, with all of this taking place before bowl selection happens.
I bet that some network would be interested in broadcast rights to something like this because it creates plenty of advertising sales opportunities in a large swath of the southern United States.
Summer of 2017 is when this will all be decided as to who will go with them from the SBC. The new SWC will be formed. CUSA will cherry pick the remaining SBC schools with probably ULM being the only school left out. The SBC CFP money will be given to the new SWC and everybody lives happily ever after.
LA Tech, UNT, Rice, USM, UTSA and UTEP. Actually, there could be 7 schools if UAB moves West. If UAB wants to stay East, Troy slips into the North Division.
Add to that Louisiana, Ark State, NM State, and USA for a 12 team conference.
Looking at a map, this divides perfectly in North and South Divisions:
SWC (Western - based conference)
North - Ark State, LA Tech, UAB/Troy, N. Texas, UTEP, NM State
South - UTSA, Texas State, Rice, Louisiana, USM, USA
CUSA (Eastern - based conference) would then be:
North - Marshall, WKU, MTSU, ODU, Charlotte, App State
South - FIU, FAU, GA State, GA Southern, Coastal, Troy/UAB
If the SWC goes to 12, I think you would see a West/East split with the Texas schools + NMSU being West and the rest in the East.