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Programs that are sleeping giants
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sctvman Offline
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Programs that are sleeping giants
Going through the last few years there are programs in many sports that have become major forces around the country.

Gonzaga was a little known WCC school until they started making their NCAA runs, now everybody knows them. Wichita State had made 1 NCAA tournament in 24 years prior to Gregg Marshall becoming coach there. In football we all know UCF and Houston have awoken in the past few years.

There are other programs though which could be huge if they have success at the right times.

Charlotte- Basically a dead program now with no football success to speak of and the basketball team having won 5 games all year and firing their coach in early December this year. Get the right basketball or football coach though and Charlotte could gain a lot more popular. Top 25 metro area, dedicated fan base, decent conference to do well in.

Georgia State- They are definitely gaining a lot of popularity, especially over the past few years. The new football stadium at Turner Field will give them an edge in recruiting, but they also need a new basketball arena to cash in on the success they’ve had recently (especially the upset over Baylor). Can recruit anybody from metro Atlanta.

Seattle- Most people think Grand Canyon is the sleeping giant in the west, but Seattle is another. Formerly made it all the way to the NCAA finals in 1958 (lost to UK), but dropped to NAIA in 1980, then moved back to D1 a few years back. Western Washington version of Gonzaga, but has more resources than Gonzaga had prior to 1999. A couple NCAA years and that program could grow quick.

What are your thoughts of programs that are sleeping giants?
02-03-2018 11:51 PM
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IWokeUpLikeThis Offline
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RE: Programs that are sleeping giants
Loyola. They’re awaking this year.

Denver and especially Grand Canyon will be the next two.
02-04-2018 12:06 AM
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jdgaucho Offline
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RE: Programs that are sleeping giants
UC Santa Barbara. Coach Joe Pasternack is bringing in some high level talent. His connections from his days as Arizona's associate head coach is already paying off.
02-04-2018 12:20 AM
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_C2_ Offline
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RE: Programs that are sleeping giants
Charlotte is in a pro sports market and at best the fifth college program in its state. And they're not far from two other large programs. They have no room to grow.

They could start competing for CFP spots yearly and still struggle to draw 35K. There's only so many eyeballs and disposable income to go around.

The same could more or less be said of Georgia State.

Seattle is in the same city as Washington. They have no potential. Maybe if they were in Tacoma representing them but not in Seattle.

There are no sleeping giants that aren't knocking on the doorstep of the traditional power conferences.
02-04-2018 12:49 AM
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DawgNBama Offline
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RE: Programs that are sleeping giants
Disagree on Charlotte. They’ve been strong in the past, and I believe they will be strong again. It pains me to say this as a Troy Trojan fan, but I believe South Alabama could be another sleeping giant along with the Louisiana Cajuns. As for Seattle, while I don’t think they could topple UW anytime soon, I think they could build a respectable program. If Southern University can do it in the shadow of LSU, I believe Seattle will be just fine. When you consider that Georgia Tech is an equal of Louisville with all the attractiveness of Tulane, even accounting for the giant next door (UGA), there are still plenty of fans for Georgia State to snap up and build a very respectable fan base from. I’ve tried to tell you guys this several times but you won’t listen: GT is NOT a flagship nor a land grant (ie not Auburn) and Tech’s academics would be extremely challenging for even a Tulane or a Rice student!!! In addition, Georgia Tech absolutely loathes taking in-state students, so where exactly are you going to get a whole bunch of fans from??
(This post was last modified: 02-04-2018 01:18 AM by DawgNBama.)
02-04-2018 01:08 AM
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hawghiggs Offline
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RE: Programs that are sleeping giants
Georgia state is the answer. To much talent surrounding them not to be. The AAC should offer a expansion invite.
02-04-2018 01:26 AM
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Kittonhead Offline
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RE: Programs that are sleeping giants
The question seems to be phrased who outside of the P5 will rise to become a new household name in athletics?

UCF with its Fiesta and Peach bowl wins is not getting nearly the attention that Boise State was able to get because Boise was the TV package for the WAC and stirred up a wtf? across the nation as this little school with blue turf in Idaho. Boise was a shock to the establishment.

We mentioned Gonzaga in this thread. The key for them was to be able to lock down their coach and utilize the pacific timezone tv slot to convince power schools to play them. They had an advantage with not too many Division 1 programs in their state (Washington, WSU, EWU, Seattle) to compete for publicity with. The same with Boise only 3 in Boise St, Idaho St and Idaho.

I'm going to go with FAU. They markedly improved performance with Lane Kiffin last year. There are not that many programs in Florida at the higher D1 level. What is missing is the TV showcase for Kiffin's young program. He could use some midweek ESPN games to promote his brand.
02-04-2018 04:15 AM
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Kittonhead Offline
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RE: Programs that are sleeping giants
(02-04-2018 12:49 AM)_C2_ Wrote:  Charlotte is in a pro sports market and at best the fifth college program in its state. And they're not far from two other large programs. They have no room to grow.

Charlotte started football to secure its athletic future in CUSA as the goal. They got into CUSA but not the CUSA 1.0 they were a part of or CUSA 2.0 but CUSA 3.0 which lacks a clear focus.

FAU could make FIU not relevant with the better coach much like TCU did to SMU. UCF and USF become lost in the AAC shuffle with more competition and FAU is featured mid week.
02-04-2018 04:39 AM
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Mav Offline
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RE: Programs that are sleeping giants
- Houston
In a massive, football-crazed market surrounded with talent, and with enough distance from the UT machine to carve its own niche. The administration is throwing money at improving their facilities, and with A&M struggling, the window's open for them to cement their place as one of the best programs in Texas.
- UCF
MASSIVE student pop and alum base in a city nearly unrepresented by professional sports. This year was a glimmer, but other schools like Tulane have had undefeated seasons they haven't built upon. How they follow it up will be key.
- Arizona State
There's absolutely zero reason why they shouldn't be better. Money, location, local talent, and reputation, they should be up there with USC and Stanford competing for division and conference titles, but they can't put it together.

UNCC is in an oversaturated state. North Carolina didn't need another FBS program. I'd put their ceiling at 7-5.
Georgia State is too close to Georgia and in the same city as Georgia Tech. Atlanta's not really a great sports city to begin with anyway. I honestly think Georgia Southern has more long-term potential.
What does FAU have to offer that FIU doesn't, or for that matter, Miami? Again, they're in a suburb, but Miami's notoriously awful when it comes to supporting its local teams.
(This post was last modified: 02-04-2018 08:05 AM by Mav.)
02-04-2018 08:01 AM
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esayem Offline
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RE: Programs that are sleeping giants
A few that come to mind:


Colorado

UNLV

New Mexico

DePaul

Tennessee football (that one is easy)

North Texas or any of the mid-major public Texas schools

North Carolina football 04-wine
02-04-2018 08:29 AM
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