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Thread: ESPN Article on Conference Realignment

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    Default ESPN Article on Conference Realignment

    Here is yet another article on Conference Realignment from ESPN. However, in this projection, they have CUSA losing 4 teams and picking up 4 teams, mainly LA Tech, Middle Tennessee, Troy and N. Texas. Nowhere is UL named. Who knows how all of this will pan out. But, I suspect the two hyphenated Louisiana schools tied together in the SBC, Louisiana Lafayette and Louisiana Monroe, are thought of in the same breath with neither school getting much consideration. Our failure to capture our Louisiana identity (statewide, within our conference and nationally) and separate ourselves from ULM could be our downfall. That should be of concern to all of us.

    May 10 - ESPN

    The paper proposes splitting college football into six "mega conferences." The Big Ten, SEC, Big 12, Pac-10 and Atlantic-10 all have 16 teams. The Big Atlantic would have 20 teams, though four of them would participate in basketball only.

    The idea is interesting, especially when you consider that 15 teams from the nonautomatic qualifying conferences would be added across the various leagues.

    Here's how it would shake out for the non-AQs:

    The Big 12 adds TCU, Tulsa, BYU, Utah, New Mexico, Houston and Colorado State after losing Nebraska and Missouri to the Big Ten and Colorado to the Pac-10.
    The Pac-10 adds Boise State, Fresno State, Nevada, UNLV and San Diego State.
    The Big Atlantic, which is a hybrid of the Big East and ACC, adds Memphis, Central Florida, and Temple.
    As you can see in this model, the Mountain West is pretty much dissolved after expansion. The only teams remaining are Air Force and Wyoming. Similarly, the WAC loses its top three teams, leaving Idaho, Hawaii, Louisiana Tech, Utah State, New Mexico State and San Jose State. The remaining Mountain West teams likely would merge with the WAC, which would do away with the Mountain West altogether.

    The choices on the other side of the country are interesting as well. Memphis and Central Florida have been on the expansion radar from the beginning, but Temple? Yes, Temple has been a hot-button topic since it joined the Mid-American Conference and created havoc with the scheduling. But the school has one winning football season since 1990 and one bowl game since 1979. It's not exactly a football powerhouse, though coach Al Golden, who recently signed a new five-year contract, has put the program on the map. Upon seeing this model, teams such as East Carolina, Marshall, Southern Miss and Central Michigan likely won't be happy.

    So with four teams gone from Conference USA, expansion will likely open up into the Sun Belt Conference and perhaps even some of the WAC. Louisiana Tech could be a target, as could Middle Tennessee, Troy and North Texas, which would give C-USA back its presence in the Northern Texas/Oklahoma area.

    Obviously, the Star-Ledger's plan is just an idea, but it's the most aggressive expansion plan to date. And it makes sense. All of the schools geographically fit their conferences and rivalries remain intact.

    The Mountain West has been a target in all of this and there's been a lot of speculation that expansion might eat most of the conference because of the markets it occupies and the strength of its top teams. And wouldn't that be something? The Mountain West fights against the injustices of the BCS only to see its teams leave for more money and opportunity.

    It will be interesting to see how this plays out in the upcoming months.


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    Ragin' Cajuns Re: ESPN Article on Conference Realignment

    Quote Originally Posted by HoustonCajun View Post
    _ Here is yet another article on Conference Realignment from ESPN. However, in this projection, they have CUSA losing 4 teams and picking up 4 teams, mainly LA Tech, Middle Tennessee, Troy and N. Texas. Nowhere is UL named. Who knows how all of this will pan out. But, I suspect the two hyphenated Louisiana schools tied together in the SBC, Louisiana Lafayette and Louisiana Monroe, are thought of in the same breath with neither school getting much consideration. Our failure to capture our Louisiana identity (statewide, within our conference and nationally) and separate ourselves from ULM could be our downfall. That should be of concern to all of us.
    Fortunately, sportswriters, even those that write for ESPN, don't have a vote in conference re-alignment matters. There is NO scenario under which La Tech becomes an attractive candidate for CUSA. Remember, that conference once voted to stand pat rather than add Tech, and subsequently voted to take UTEP instead of Tech.

    Not saying we ARE, just saying that if this all shakes out as this article states, Tech will either be homeless, in a diluted WAC or in the SunBelt. Their ONLY chance to be in the SBC is if UL and ULM can convince enough other members to vote for them. I can tell you with certainty that if they applied for SBC membership today, they do NOT have the votes to get in.

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    Default Re: ESPN Article on Conference Realignment

    Quote Originally Posted by VObserver View Post
    _ Fortunately, sportswriters, even those that write for ESPN, don't have a vote in conference re-alignment matters. There is NO scenario under which La Tech becomes an attractive candidate for CUSA. Remember, that conference once voted to stand pat rather than add Tech, and subsequently voted to take UTEP instead of Tech.

    Not saying we ARE, just saying that if this all shakes out as this article states, Tech will either be homeless, in a diluted WAC or in the SunBelt. Their ONLY chance to be in the SBC is if UL and ULM can convince enough other members to vote for them. I can tell you with certainty that if they applied for SBC membership today, they do NOT have the votes to get in. _
    They would have to crawl all the way to N.O. and beg Wright Waters on their knees for admitance and THAT ain't gonna happen. They're not going to crawl and he won't even consider giving them an audience.

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    Ragin' Cajuns Re: ESPN Article on Conference Realignment

    We might disagree on some things, but we are in agreement here. Even if Waters put them on the ballot, the only votes they would get for re-admission to the conference would be UL and ULM, and those would only be for in-state political reasons.


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    Default Re: ESPN Article on Conference Realignment

    Quote Originally Posted by VObserver View Post
    _ We might disagree on some things, but we are in agreement here. Even if Waters put them on the ballot, the only votes they would get for re-admission to the conference would be UL and ULM, and those would only be for in-state political reasons. _
    My concern is more for what might happen to us. I don't want to end up in the SBC with ULM and a bunch of other newly formed 1A schools if Troy, MT and N. Texas leave for greener pastures. LA Tech, in my opinion, just might have better options than UL. At least they are out there being discussed. Dr. A really screwed up when he changed the name and tied everything to ULM from our name to conference association.

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    Default Re: ESPN Article on Conference Realignment

    Quote Originally Posted by VObserver View Post
    _ Fortunately, sportswriters, even those that write for ESPN, don't have a vote in conference re-alignment matters. There is NO scenario under which La Tech becomes an attractive candidate for CUSA. Remember, that conference once voted to stand pat rather than add Tech, and subsequently voted to take UTEP instead of Tech.

    Not saying we ARE, just saying that if this all shakes out as this article states, Tech will either be homeless, in a diluted WAC or in the SunBelt. Their ONLY chance to be in the SBC is if UL and ULM can convince enough other members to vote for them. I can tell you with certainty that if they applied for SBC membership today, they do NOT have the votes to get in. _
    What will be the spin you put on things when we look up and see that MTSU, Troy, and North Texas are all invited to join La Tech as new members of C-USA? The fact that those four schools ARE MENTIONED as possible new members whereas UL is NEVER MENTIONED as a possibility should scare the daylights out of every UL fan. What will become of our athletic program if UL is left behind in what would be left of the Sunbelt Conference. This is what we should be concerned with, not whether or not La Tech could get into the Sunbelt.

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    Ragin' Cajuns Re: ESPN Article on Conference Realignment

    1. Troy isn't going anywhere. Their lack of academics KILLS them with the folks who actually vote on conference membership.

    2. Middle is the second largest school in TN, but has little to offer a conference in terms of actually delivering market, and is also not highly rated in any academic circles as far as graduate programs and/or research is concerned.

    3. Tech is not going anywhere for reasons already discussed, but including lack of deliverable market, and few grad programs, low research $, along with the fact that CUSA has already voted twice NOT to take Tech, and one of those times it was a straight up and down vote.

    4. UNT is legit academically and in Research $. What they don't have is deliverable market. They are actually the closest to us in terms of having something to offer a higher profile conference among the schools you mentioned. [Good academics, high research, current real dollar commitment to improving facilities.]


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    Default Re: ESPN Article on Conference Realignment

    Quote Originally Posted by Oiler View Post
    _ What will be the spin you put on things when we look up and see that MTSU, Troy, and North Texas are all invited to join La Tech as new members of C-USA? The fact that those four schools ARE MENTIONED as possible new members whereas UL is NEVER MENTIONED as a possibility should scare the daylights out of every UL fan. What will become of our athletic program if UL is left behind in what would be left of the Sunbelt Conference. This is what we should be concerned with, not whether or not La Tech could get into the Sunbelt. _
    In my opinion, theres no way that Troy, La Tech, and possibly UNT get invited over WKU. WKU will be one of the most highly sought after teams from the belt with their strong Basketball tradition, solid baseball team, and large athletic budget, their gonna be on their way to a bigger conference, even with a bottom feeder football team.

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    Ragin' Cajuns Re: ESPN Article on Conference Realignment

    WKU suffers from the same things as UMT; but I agree that their athletic department is [rightly] perceived as the most aggressive in the conference, which does count for something.


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    Default Re: ESPN Article on Conference Realignment

    UL is THE wild card in any realignment scenario in this region.


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    Default Re: ESPN Article on Conference Realignment

    Quote Originally Posted by Louisiana84 View Post
    _ UL is THE wild card in any realignment scenario in this region. _
    Where has UL been mentioned as THE wild card in conference realignment?

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    Default Re: ESPN Article on Conference Realignment

    Quote Originally Posted by TuffGuy84 View Post
    _ In my opinion, theres no way that Troy, La Tech, and possibly UNT get invited over WKU. WKU will be one of the most highly sought after teams from the belt with their strong Basketball tradition, solid baseball team, and large athletic budget, their gonna be on their way to a bigger conference, even with a bottom feeder football team. _
    If WKU, MTSU and either Troy or UNT leave the SBC, does the SBC survive? What schools would the SBC seek as replacements?

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    Default Re: ESPN Article on Conference Realignment

    Quote Originally Posted by VObserver View Post
    2. Middle is the second largest school in TN, but has little to offer a conference in terms of actually delivering market

    4. UNT is legit academically and in Research $. What they don't have is deliverable market. _
    Outside of these two statements I agree with the majority of what your saying. MT and NT both have a VERY BIG market in Nashville,TN and Dallas/Fort Worth,TX.

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    Ragin' Cajuns Re: ESPN Article on Conference Realignment

    Quote Originally Posted by Big Buds View Post
    _ Outside of these two statements I agree with the majority of what your saying. MT and NT both have a VERY BIG market in Nashville,TN and Dallas/Fort Worth,TX. _
    They are IN big markets, but they do not HAVE big markets. I said they do not have a big deliverable market. If you think Nashville is UMT country or DFW goes wherever UNT goes, I can't help you.

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    Default Re: ESPN Article on Conference Realignment

    Quote Originally Posted by VObserver View Post
    _ They are IN big markets, but they do not HAVE big markets. I said they do not have a big deliverable market. If you think Nashville is UMT country or DFW goes wherever UNT goes, I can't help you. _
    Yet we face similar problems, with an even smaller market. Does UL deliver the Acadiana market? Honestly, no. Like MT, we have a market that is largely LSU dominated. Wasn't always so bad, but over the years with our lack of athletic vision and the ever-growing BCS market (TV, etc), LSU literally owns Lafayette. Not saying we couldn't cut back into that share if our program was perceived better, and being selected to join a more prestigious conference would help bring that perception back around. But that is only hypothetical.

    Like any of you, I believe UL could offer a lot to a new conference; but so does every other joe-bag-of-donuts guy/gal out there WRT their own school. Well, maybe not Monroe.

    Hopefully this recent push by the university with the RCAF drive will show others we are serious about athletics; but MUCH MORE needs to be done to get the word out to the public. So hopefully after the RCAF tour finishes we will get involved with the media to more publically state our goals/ambitions, etc. The only thing you accomplish with being the "best kept secret" is that we remain a secret!

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    Default Re: ESPN Article on Conference Realignment

    Quote Originally Posted by Oiler View Post
    _ What will be the spin you put on things when we look up and see that MTSU, Troy, and North Texas are all invited to join La Tech as new members of C-USA? The fact that those four schools ARE MENTIONED as possible new members whereas UL is NEVER MENTIONED as a possibility should scare the daylights out of every UL fan. What will become of our athletic program if UL is left behind in what would be left of the Sunbelt Conference. This is what we should be concerned with, not whether or not La Tech could get into the Sunbelt. _

    I am still not convinced that Conference reallignment will affect CUSA and the Sun Belt IF the Big Eleven goes to sixteen. You'll probably see a couple of leagues cease to exist because the bigger conferences will absorb them.

    If it does happen that CUSA is looking for teams, WKU and MTSU are the odds on favorites....not for the reasons we've mentioned here but because of geography. The Eastern CUSA schools have been up in arms for years because their travel costs are so much more than those in the West (especially when you factor in ALL sports.) and there will be mass lobbying to help the geography if openings occur. WKU and MTSU are good fits in that regard.

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    Default Re: ESPN Article on Conference Realignment

    Quote Originally Posted by BirdofParadise View Post
    _ I am still not convinced that Conference reallignment will affect CUSA and the Sun Belt IF the Big Eleven goes to sixteen. You'll probably see a couple of leagues cease to exist because the bigger conferences will absorb them.

    If it does happen that CUSA is looking for teams, WKU and MTSU are the odds on favorites....not for the reasons we've mentioned here but because of geography. The Eastern CUSA schools have been up in arms for years because their travel costs are so much more than those in the West (especially when you factor in ALL sports.) and there will be mass lobbying to help the geography if openings occur. WKU and MTSU are good fits in that regard. _
    Any chance that the Sunbelt actually benefits from this? Like, possibly a decent academic record with decent athletics that will be left out in the cold when/if a bigger league gets split up?

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    Default Re: ESPN Article on Conference Realignment

    Quote Originally Posted by BirdofParadise View Post
    _ I am still not convinced that Conference reallignment will affect CUSA and the Sun Belt IF the Big Eleven goes to sixteen. You'll probably see a couple of leagues cease to exist because the bigger conferences will absorb them.

    If it does happen that CUSA is looking for teams, WKU and MTSU are the odds on favorites....not for the reasons we've mentioned here but because of geography. The Eastern CUSA schools have been up in arms for years because their travel costs are so much more than those in the West (especially when you factor in ALL sports.) and there will be mass lobbying to help the geography if openings occur. WKU and MTSU are good fits in that regard. _
    The problem with the Big 10 (11) going to 16 is that other conferences have already said they will make a similar move to keep pace. So, the SEC picks up 4 teams from the ACC or Big 12. The PAC 10 picks up 4-6 teams from the MWC, Big 12 and/or WAC. The ACC picks up teams from the Big East and CUSA. The Big East (football) goes away. The MAC will likely stay in tact and add a couple of schools, probably from the SBC. When all of these dominos fall, the logical place for BCS conferences to pick from, after choice pickings from other BCS conferences, are the MWC, CUSA, and WAC. What then remains of those conferences will have to merge and/or pick from the SBC. What will be left over after all the carnage will be the bottom dregs of the SBC. If UL is one of those, we are dead. Who knows how this will all play out, but my scenario has been discussed on a national level and spells doomsday for UL if we aren't prepared and it could very well happen. Seems to me we ought to prepare for worse case scenario and hope for a better outcome.

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    Ragin' Cajuns Re: ESPN Article on Conference Realignment

    You are almost right. The logical [non-AQ] places to look are CUSA [but only for Memphis or ECU], the Mountain West [for darn near everyone] and the WAC [but only for Boise].


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    Default Re: ESPN Article on Conference Realignment

    Quote Originally Posted by VObserver View Post
    _ You are almost right. The logical [non-AQ] places to look are CUSA [but only for Memphis or ECU], the Mountain West [for darn near everyone] and the WAC [but only for Boise]. _
    Along with Boise, Fresno and Nevada have been mentioned as possible replacement schools for the Mountain West if it is raided by the PAC 10. This could mean the end of the WAC if it were to happen. The SBC needs to have a plan in place to replace MTSU, WKU, Troy or UNT in case any, or all of them leave. I think that there is a good chance that the leftover WAC schools would merge with the leftover SBC schools to form a new conference. One with east and west divisions.

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