(01-15-2017 03:44 PM)Tom in Lazybrook Wrote: First, there are significant differences between EKU and USA, beyond the obvious fact that USA has been a successful contributor to the conference for close to 40 years...
Money - EKU has 60miillion....USA ~half a billion.
Established Rivalries - EKU...0, USA - many.
Market - While the Sun Belt doesn't focus on market, its nice to actually have one.
I'm from Mobile. Alabama and Auburn have more fans, but seeing as you cannot get to either watch a game and return the same day easily, very few Mobilians ever go to either to actually attend games. The UK fans in Lexington can go to a UK game just as easily as they can go to EKU
You're correct, comparing USA and EKU is a poor choice at best, in several dimensions of factors that matter for conference expansion.
(01-15-2017 03:44 PM)Tom in Lazybrook Wrote: If UK is playing Miss State and EKU is playing App, the Lexington paper will lead with UK and EKU will be an afterthought. So will the other media in Lexington. In Louisville, it will be in the 'scores around the state' section.
And if Alabama is playing Miss, Auburn is playing Miss St, and USA is playing App, the Mobile paper and media will lead with the teams that 95% of people in the state care about while USA will be an afterthought. In B'ham, USA will be in the 'scores around the state' section.
(01-15-2017 08:13 PM)arkstfan Wrote: Mobile is actually slightly closer to Baton Rouge than Tuscaloosa or Auburn.
Most of the people within an hour drive of EKU can get to a UK more easily because they are closer to UK.
And to go a step further on the last time the Sun Belt had a private college, the conference changed the core requirements to be a member with a three year deadline to comply in order to expel them and soon as they were gone changed them back to allow UALR to remain after dropping a sport.
Look, I already agreed with the fundamental principle that you explained (and probably Tom did too): the Sun Belt does not need to expand, so it can absolutely be choosy.
I simply reject -- because it's correct -- that the Sun Belt would reject a great candidate because of one thing that doesn't matter on its own.
Doesn't necessarily have to be EKU, but I'm just talking about some hypothetical great candidate that only "violated" one of the criteria you and Tom claimed.
(01-16-2017 10:37 AM)Liberty Fan Wrote: I look for LU to add Hockey and Rifle next. Just a guess.
Checkout the new indoor track. Just opened.
Yeah, it's amazing the facilities you can build when you have a for-profit Christian bookstore ... oh sorry, university ... that steals money from people by promising to get them into heaven if they make a donation to LU.
(01-16-2017 12:17 PM)MissouriStateBears Wrote: Mobile is the perfect sized city for a successful non P5 program. Large enough to draw crowds and have great media exposure for the local team, yet far enough way from the flagship schools. Springfield is this way. Wichita is this way. Kalamazoo is this way. Toledo is this way. Plenty others across the nation that are the same. Those AAA and AA baseball markets essentially.
Mobile is the perfect sized city ... to be home to 95% SEC school fans.