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Just an idea: Rice as an independent
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lance99 Offline
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Post: #11
RE: Just an idea: Rice as an independent
(09-13-2017 08:21 AM)The Cutter of Bish Wrote:  And if they went independent in football, who takes the ollies? CUSA won't keep them without football.

I sort of hold out hope there's a MAC future for Rice...highly unlikely. Again, not the regional fit.

I would love to Rice in the Conference, but they just do not fit in any way04-cheers
09-13-2017 09:01 AM
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BePcr07 Offline
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Post: #12
RE: Just an idea: Rice as an independent
Due to the history and academics of Rice, it would be welcomed by either the American or Mountain West. The American would likely on invite Rice should Houston leave for greener pastures, but the Mountain would be a good fit along with perhaps UTEP.

As far as independence, I don't think Rice would have trouble. They have a long history with former Southwest Conference schools, a short history with some Mountain West / American / Conference USA schools, and they are a private, academic powerhouse which tends to draw series with other private, academic powerhouses. Stanford, Duke, and Northwestern seem to regularly play each other. Throw in Vanderbilt, Rice, Notre Dame, USC, Wake Forest, Boston College, Miami, etc. and you have a decent size group of FBS academic elites that can, do, and should schedule each other regularly.
09-13-2017 09:09 AM
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Bull Offline
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Post: #13
RE: Just an idea: Rice as an independent
Yes, if you get enough independents they can schedule each other which makes surviving indy easier... There has been some suggestion that the G5 'power programs' (Boise, Houston, etc.) go indy... But at what point to you look at this growing group, say if another 6 or so go independent, and wonder 'why not just have a ccg'? Geography aside, there are obvious benefits to being in a conference.
09-13-2017 09:10 AM
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blazr Away
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Post: #14
RE: Just an idea: Rice as an independent
(09-13-2017 09:09 AM)BePcr07 Wrote:  Due to the history and academics of Rice, it would be welcomed by either the American or Mountain West. The American would likely on invite Rice should Houston leave for greener pastures, but the Mountain would be a good fit along with perhaps UTEP.

As far as independence, I don't think Rice would have trouble. They have a long history with former Southwest Conference schools, a short history with some Mountain West / American / Conference USA schools, and they are a private, academic powerhouse which tends to draw series with other private, academic powerhouses. Stanford, Duke, and Northwestern seem to regularly play each other. Throw in Vanderbilt, Rice, Notre Dame, USC, Wake Forest, Boston College, Miami, etc. and you have a decent size group of FBS academic elites that can, do, and should schedule each other regularly.

Rice has repeatedly said they do not want in MWC as they get Central/Eastern time zone games in CUSA. UTEP has said that, too, but odds are likely higher than Rice that they would jump especially if CUSA gets more east-heavy for whatever reason. Rice would have problems being independent because it would be tough to attract teams to play them at home and they don't have to pay teams to come to Rice (a la Liberty) when they already get 4 home games/yr in CUSA.

Probably the biggest factor, as someone pointed out, being in a conference in baseball takes care of NCAA playoff bids/seeding (especially CUSA with other strong baseball schools). I can't see them ever going MAC under any circumstance as the academic profile v CUSA goes WAY down and they lose a heavy southern schedule for midwest.
09-13-2017 09:22 AM
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Michael in Raleigh Offline
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Post: #15
RE: Just an idea: Rice as an independent
(09-13-2017 01:15 AM)BruceMcF Wrote:  
(09-12-2017 09:21 PM)Michael in Raleigh Wrote:  An ideal Rice independent schedule would have a few from each of these:
- 8 former SWC schools
- Independents
- Elite private schools/military academies: Duke, Wake Forest, Boston College, Northwestern, Stanford, Vanderbilt, Tulane, Tulsa, Navy, Air Force
- Other schools in Texas: UTEP, North Texas, UTSA, Texas State
- FCS game
- Payday game against an Ohio State or other big spender
- A few others from across the country to fill it out

Note that most of these bullet points are fluff ... Rice already has three of the four schools listed in "other schools in Texas" in its conference schedule, can already have an FCS game, and can get paid to get beat up by a big spender now. "Independents" is not aspiration in it's own right, it's a way to reduce the loss of access to home games later in the season ... except of course for the one independent that everyone wants to play, who can be slotted into one of the other bullet points. And CUSA does just fine as far as "a few others from across the country to fill it out". Really, just two bullet points here represent the aspiration:
Quote: - 8 former SWC schools
- Elite private schools/military academies: [Notre Dame,] Duke, Wake Forest, Boston College, Northwestern, Stanford, Vanderbilt, Tulane, Tulsa, Navy, Air Force

Rice is not magically going to be attractive for home and away contracts with P5 schools just because it goes independent, so a lot of the schools in this wish list really slot into the one buy game spot in the schedule. Texas, TAMU, TCU, TexasTech, Arkansas, Baylor, Notre Dame, Duke, Wake Forest, Boston College, Northwestern, Stanford and Vanderbilt are all rivals for the same single buy game spot ... or two buy game spots if Rice decided to go that way, but being independent doesn't really expand on that.

It's just Houston, SMU, Tulane, Tulsa, Navy, and Air Force.

It's not like an independent Rice is going to have annual series with each of those schools. And if they want to play Rice on a fairly frequent basis, Rice can play one or two of them a year from inside Conference USA ... which is not too far off what they would get as an independent.

So I reckon there is less to this notion than it might appear at first blush.

Fair points overall. I would disagree that those private schools would be able to command a road-only or a 2-for-1 from Rice. Duke, Wake, and BC have infamously weak he attendance. BC has done home and homes with NMSU and Idaho this decade. The other schools already play home-and-home series with Rice, Tulane, and other G5 private schools and military academies. Would they fit into a schedule? That's debatable. I do think, though, with NMSU and Liberty's success in getting solid schedules as independents would indicate Rice might be able to do the same.

I agree that Rice would have a really hard time ever expecting to get Texas, A&M, or Tech to come to Rice stadium, except maybe in a two for one or three for one. NRG Stadium probably would be the only way to get them to come to Houston in a one-for-one.
09-13-2017 09:38 AM
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Frank the Tank Offline
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Post: #16
RE: Just an idea: Rice as an independent
Best case scenario for Rice is for it to be invited to the AAC as-is or the MWC with another Texas school. I hadn't heard that the Rice said that they don't want the MWC due to time zone differences - I think it's more about the MWC's current stance of not wanting to expand than Rice's desires on that point.

As for independence, Rice actually has a little bit better profile to hypothetically pull it off than others. A fair number of P5 schools don't have the immediate allergic reaction to traveling to Rice (or at least NRG Stadium) that they do with a lot of other G5 schools because of Rice's location in the Houston market and its academic reputation. They have had consistent home-and-home games with private P5 schools (e.g. Baylor, Northwestern, Stanford, Wake Forest) along with 2-for-1 deals with schools like UT and LSU (with the "1" being at NRG Stadium), so that's not too far off from the BYU model. Add in regular games against independents like Army (who they've played recently and have another future series scheduled in a couple of years) and it's at least *possible*. I agree with others that the bowl situation would be tougher - they'd need to find a way to possibly coordinate with BYU and Army on various deals. The WCC would a great institutional fit for non-football sports for Rice with some legit baseball programs, although it's stretch in terms of geography.

So, as far independence viability goes, Rice has a few more attributes going for it than the average school. That doesn't mean it is a good idea to actually implement in the real world, but any school with a truly unique national factors like Rice (which has elite academics) that go beyond its immediate geographic area/region has a better independence case than schools that are purely regional in nature (even top P5 flagships).
(This post was last modified: 09-13-2017 09:48 AM by Frank the Tank.)
09-13-2017 09:46 AM
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blazr Away
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Post: #17
RE: Just an idea: Rice as an independent
(09-13-2017 09:46 AM)Frank the Tank Wrote:  I think it's more about the MWC's current stance of not wanting to expand than Rice's desires on that point.

I didn't mean to imply that MWC is standing at Rice's door waiting for them to say yes. When MWC has looked to expand in the past they have inquired to Rice and Rice has said no for the reasons mentioned.
09-13-2017 09:57 AM
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Captain Bearcat Offline
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Post: #18
RE: Just an idea: Rice as an independent
(09-13-2017 01:15 AM)BruceMcF Wrote:  
(09-12-2017 09:21 PM)Michael in Raleigh Wrote:  An ideal Rice independent schedule would have a few from each of these:
- 8 former SWC schools
- Independents
- Elite private schools/military academies: Duke, Wake Forest, Boston College, Northwestern, Stanford, Vanderbilt, Tulane, Tulsa, Navy, Air Force
- Other schools in Texas: UTEP, North Texas, UTSA, Texas State
- FCS game
- Payday game against an Ohio State or other big spender
- A few others from across the country to fill it out

Note that most of these bullet points are fluff ... Rice already has three of the four schools listed in "other schools in Texas" in its conference schedule, can already have an FCS game, and can get paid to get beat up by a big spender now. "Independents" is not aspiration in it's own right, it's a way to reduce the loss of access to home games later in the season ... except of course for the one independent that everyone wants to play, who can be slotted into one of the other bullet points. And CUSA does just fine as far as "a few others from across the country to fill it out". Really, just two bullet points here represent the aspiration:
Quote: - 8 former SWC schools
- Elite private schools/military academies: [Notre Dame,] Duke, Wake Forest, Boston College, Northwestern, Stanford, Vanderbilt, Tulane, Tulsa, Navy, Air Force

Rice is not magically going to be attractive for home and away contracts with P5 schools just because it goes independent, so a lot of the schools in this wish list really slot into the one buy game spot in the schedule. Texas, TAMU, TCU, TexasTech, Arkansas, Baylor, Notre Dame, Duke, Wake Forest, Boston College, Northwestern, Stanford and Vanderbilt are all rivals for the same single buy game spot ... or two buy game spots if Rice decided to go that way, but being independent doesn't really expand on that.

It's just Houston, SMU, Tulane, Tulsa, Navy, and Air Force.

It's not like an independent Rice is going to have annual series with each of those schools. And if they want to play Rice on a fairly frequent basis, Rice can play one or two of them a year from inside Conference USA ... which is not too far off what they would get as an independent.

So I reckon there is less to this notion than it might appear at first blush.

What would Rice fans rather have? The current C-USA, or a rotating lineup of Houston, SMU, Tulane, Tulsa, Navy, Air Force, the 5 indies (UMass, Liberty, NMSU, BYU, and Army), and the 3 Texas C-USA schools? The answer is obvious.

In addition, I think Rice would have an easier time getting home-and-home games with Sun Belt, MAC, and C-USA schools than NMSU and UMass do.
09-13-2017 10:16 AM
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blazr Away
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Post: #19
RE: Just an idea: Rice as an independent
(09-13-2017 10:16 AM)Captain Bearcat Wrote:  What would Rice fans rather have? The current C-USA, or a rotating lineup of Houston, SMU, Tulane, Tulsa, Navy, Air Force, the 5 indies (UMass, Liberty, NMSU, BYU, and Army), and the 3 Texas C-USA schools? The answer is obvious.

In addition, I think Rice would have an easier time getting home-and-home games with Sun Belt, MAC, and C-USA schools than NMSU and UMass do.

Wait, are we discussing what fans want or what will realistically happen with ADs/Presidents making the decisions? There are a lot of advantages of being in a conference that aren't obvious to fans and aren't just tossed aside. Also, don't minimize the value ADs place on having a set schedule from being a member of a conference. Rice has 6 games per year with CUSA members including and to the west of UAB plus another home game against a member in the East division and one trip a year to a school in the East. That means juggling 4 contracts per year for the remaining games. Compare that with creating/managing 12 agreements per season and the uncertainty that any of those could change for any reason (contracts are often being bought out in all kinds of circumstances). If you're talking about creating a "scheduling agreement" with a group of schools, Rice already has that in a conference and the chance of any of that group bailing out of the agreement is much less.

Again, there's a difference in what an AD/Pres would find preferable, or even consider, and what fans (of Rice or college football in general) would like.
09-13-2017 11:20 AM
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Attackcoog Offline
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Post: #20
RE: Just an idea: Rice as an independent
(09-13-2017 09:46 AM)Frank the Tank Wrote:  Best case scenario for Rice is for it to be invited to the AAC as-is or the MWC with another Texas school. I hadn't heard that the Rice said that they don't want the MWC due to time zone differences - I think it's more about the MWC's current stance of not wanting to expand than Rice's desires on that point.

As for independence, Rice actually has a little bit better profile to hypothetically pull it off than others. A fair number of P5 schools don't have the immediate allergic reaction to traveling to Rice (or at least NRG Stadium) that they do with a lot of other G5 schools because of Rice's location in the Houston market and its academic reputation. They have had consistent home-and-home games with private P5 schools (e.g. Baylor, Northwestern, Stanford, Wake Forest) along with 2-for-1 deals with schools like UT and LSU (with the "1" being at NRG Stadium), so that's not too far off from the BYU model. Add in regular games against independents like Army (who they've played recently and have another future series scheduled in a couple of years) and it's at least *possible*. I agree with others that the bowl situation would be tougher - they'd need to find a way to possibly coordinate with BYU and Army on various deals. The WCC would a great institutional fit for non-football sports for Rice with some legit baseball programs, although it's stretch in terms of geography.

So, as far independence viability goes, Rice has a few more attributes going for it than the average school. That doesn't mean it is a good idea to actually implement in the real world, but any school with a truly unique national factors like Rice (which has elite academics) that go beyond its immediate geographic area/region has a better independence case than schools that are purely regional in nature (even top P5 flagships).

Im pretty much in agreement. I dont know if its a good idea---but I thing Rice could probably pull off independence and its possible it would even be an improvement if they are successful at landing more P5 games. Its not like they would be giving up a huge amount of conference revenue and they might be better off with some sort of regional TV deal with the Fox Sports-SW or perhaps Root Sports Houston.

I could see Rice, as an Indy getting homes and homes with the academies, private G5s, and private P5's. Add a pay day game and few games vs the 6 other Texas G5's, maybe a Louisiana G5, a few games against ex-SWC schools, and fill in the late year schedule with other indies---I think their schedule could feasibly end up as being more fun for their fans and the casual area college football fans in Houston.

Something like---

UH
Texas /Tech/Aggie (preferably one public ex SWC P5 school)
Michigan (pay day)
TCU/Baylor/SMU (preferably one SWC private)
Tulane
N Texas
Texas St
U-LL
BYU
Army
UMass
N Mex St

I suspect the average area Rice fan would prefer that schedule to their current slate. I would think Purdue, Vandy, Duke, Navy, Tulane, Miami, Army, Northwestern, BYU, Tulsa, SMU, Air Force, Temple, etc would all be fairly regular home-and-home partners. Beyond that---they could get pay games and 2-for-ones with most anyone. They might even be able to land a Notre Dame game as an indy. Because of thier academic reputation and former SWC history---they are probably in a much better position to handle independence than many G5's. I think its even possible many in the Rice administration might prefer a schedule that featured more similar private schools and P5's.
(This post was last modified: 09-13-2017 12:41 PM by Attackcoog.)
09-13-2017 12:34 PM
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