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Full Version: The Case for a 12-School CUSA
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Those who are in favor of maintaining a 9 or 10 member CUSA have adopted the same position that many Big 12, AAC and Sun Belt fans took before their conferences opted to expand earlier this year.

From their standpoint, having seen no correlation between the size of the CUSA (1.0, 2.0, and 3.0) and athletic performance, 'smaller is better.'

Indeed, it's true that the CUSA (like the Big 12 and the AAC, lest we forget) survived an existential crisis in 2021. But consider this:

If the CUSA hadn't had at least 11 or 12 teams, it probably wouldn't have survived.

The 2021 cannibalization of the CUSA was an example of the kind of 'collateral damage' that has driven some conferences (e.g., the 8-member Southwest Conference (SWC) and the 8-member Big East Football Conference) out of existence.

Before it was raided by the "Big 8," the SWC (Texas, Texas A&M, Baylor, Texas Tech, SMU, Rice, TCU, & Houston) was one of the top football conferences. But the "Big 8" only had room to add the first four, and the 4 leftovers weren't able to keep the conference going. If it had been run by a commissioner with a more strategic mindset, it could have made the first move and raided (OK, OK State, Nebraska, & Missouri from) the Big 8, or it could have grabbed Arizona and AZ State before the PAC-8 took them (in 1978).

A "SWC" with a core of teams such as Houston, TCU, SMU, Rice, Arizona, and Arizona State, plus Utah and BYU from the WAC wouldn't have just survived - - it have been comparable in stature to the (2023) Big 12 "2.0."

In retrospect, expansion was the only way that the SWC could have survived.

There has been a strong and continuing trend toward conference expansion since the 1980s, when the average major conference had ~10 (8-12) teams.

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Current or future 15 or 16-team conferences:

1. ACC (up from 8/12/14 to 15 teams currently (including Notre Dame)
2. SEC (up from 12/14 teams to 16 teams; in 2025)
3. Big 12 (up from 8/10 to 12 in 2023 and to 16 teams; by 2030))

Current or future 14-team conferences:

4. Big 10 (up from 10 to 12; may expand to 16 by 2025)
5. AAC (up from 11 to 14 in 2023)
6. Sun Belt (up from 10 to 14 in 2023)

Current 12-team conferences:

7. PAC-12
8. MAC (Has strongly considered expanding to 14)
9. MWC

Current 9-team conference:

10. CUSA (down from 14 to 9)

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Q: What has been the main incentive for conference expansion?*^

A: Income, generated from attendance, viewership, broadcasting revenue and other sources (donations, product sales, sponsorships, apparel).

*The steady trend toward increased conference size began with, and was primarily driven by the P5 conferences, which have been engaged in what might be thought of as a 40-year "viewership war" since the 1980s, with wide-ranging consequences, including more than a little 'collateral damage.'

^There were two former (8-team) power conferences, the Southwest and Big East Conferences that were cannibalized by current P5 conferences. Their teams now compete in the ACC, Big 10, Big 12, and SEC.

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Attendance: Attendance increased substantially when the P5 conferences expanded, and many P5 universities built "mega-stadiums" (80,000+ capacity).

Viewership: Larger conferences tend to generate greater viewership, due to an increase in viewership base with the addition of fan bases and markets, to increasing national recognition, and to the fact that larger conferences have tended to have more likely to have more top 25 teams, more teams in popular bowl games, and more in the NCAA tournament.

Broadcasting revenue: Driven by viewership.

Many AAC fans who opposed expansion because they feared that the "pot" of revenue would have to be split more ways, or because they doubted the network would support expansion were surprised to learn that ESPN strongly encouraged them to expand. They did so, and maintained their strong revenue stream.

The Sun Belt and MAC were given similar incentives to expand.

Bottom line: The major networks have consistently supported expansion at both the professional and collegiate level.

Q: Why?

A: Because viewers have been demanding a wider range of viewing options and have been willing to pay for it. Their appetite for college and pro sports has proved to be nearly insatiable (they will watch almost any televised sport).

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Q: What are some of the other benefits of expansion (to 12, 14, or 16 teams)?

A: Other benefits may include decreased travel costs* and increased longevity (less risk of conference implosion).

*For conferences, such as the PAC-12 and MWC (Mountain/Pacific Time Zones), and thethe CUSA, Sun Belt, and SEC (SE/SC/SW regions) that are already spread out over two or more different regions of the country.

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Q: How can expansion assist in cutting travel costs for conferences with large geographical footprints?

A: By maximizing the cost savings that are possible with divisional play.

Let's take the CUSA, for example. It has a sizable footprint, and the CUSA schools don't receive a lot of broadcasting revenue. Thus, the ability to cut travel costs substantial could actually be crucial to the survival of the conference.

Currently, with only 9 teams, little or nothing could be saved by going with divisional scheduling. There would be an annual round-robin in football, and all BB teams would play home and away series with all other CUSA teams.

Both FIU's (and Liberty's) football/basketball teams would have to fly to New Mexico or El Paso a combined three times per year, and it would force both UTEP's (and NMSU's) football/basketball teams to fly to Florida or Virginia a combined three times per year.

However, there could be very sizable cost savings with a 12-team CUSA.

Consider this scenario:

CUSA East: WKU, MTSU, Liberty, FIU, JSU, & EKU (or KSU, etc.)

CUSA West: UTEP, NMSU, SHSU, LTU, SFAU, & UCA~ (or Missouri St., etc.)

~UCA=Univ. Central Arkansas
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Liberty's conference FB & BB schedules:

Football: vs. MTSU, WKU, FIU, JSU, EKU and 3 CUSA West teams

1.5 flights/year across the Mississippi to play CUSA West teams

Longest distance FB flights: 1 flight to UTEP or NMSU every other year.

Basketball: 10 games vs. CUSA East teams; 6 vs. CUSA West teams

3 flights/year across the Mississippi to play CUSA West teams

Longest distance BB flights: 1 long flight per year to UTEP or NMSU

Further savings can be achieved by scheduling OOC games vs. nearby teams.

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UTEP's conference FB & BB schedules:

Football: vs. NMSU, SHSU, LTU, SFAU, & UCA and 3 CUSA West teams

(2 vs. Texas teams, 1 vs. nearby NM team, 1 vs. AR team, 1 vs. LA team)

1.5 flights/year across the Mississippi to play CUSA East teams

Longest distance FB flights: 1 flight to FIU or Liberty every other year.

Basketball: 10 games vs. CUSA East teams; 6 vs. CUSA West teams

3 flights/year across the Mississippi to play CUSA East teams

Longest distance BB flights: 1 long flight per year to FIU or Liberty

Further cuts can be made by scheduling OOC games vs. nearby teams.

Further savings can be achieved by scheduling OOC games vs. nearby teams.

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Consider the cost savings for schools such as UTEP, NMSU, FIU, and Liberty:

FIU's (and Liberty's) football/basketball teams would only have to fly to New Mexico or El Paso a combined 1.5 times per year (vs. 3 times/year; annual 50% reduction).

UTEP's (and NMSU's) football/basketball teams would only have to fly to Florida or Virginia a combined 1.5 times per year (vs. 3 times/year; annual 50% reduction).


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The CUSA schools would also benefit in other respects by expanding the conference membership to 12. A larger membership tends to boost national exposure and "brand" recognition - a factor which can be particularly beneficial to recent 'FCS to FBS' universities. In addition, the addition of conference teams frequently opens up recruiting opportunities in other states. Further, most universities benefit from their academic and institutional associations with other conference universities.

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Opting to expand to 12 would involve adopting the same type of model that the Sun Belt Conference employed very successfully when it added schools such as Coastal Carolina and Appalachian State.

There is always some chance that an FCS school won't be able to make the transition to FBS football successfully, but the success rate has been very high - - over 75%, and there is no shortage of 'FCS to FBS' candidate schools that would be eager to take their place, in every region of the country.

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https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=PIAXG_QcQNU


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Sure.

But there isn't anyone to add that's worth it.
(12-20-2021 07:15 AM)inutech Wrote: [ -> ]Sure.

But there isn't anyone to add that's worth it.

There are at least two - - NDSU & SDSU.

An estimated 1.7 million people tuned in to see NDSU play in the FCS championship game.

That's a superstar program, right there, because over the past 5-6 years, North Dakota State has suddenly become "America's "Team" (college fb). It's a game changer. They've become the next Boise State. Sign NDSU and SDSU, and you're going to get your $2 million/year per school from ESPN, CBS, Fox, or somebody else.

Don't do it. Just sit on your hands and dither. Stay satisfied, thinking small, and don't be aggressive...don't take the bull by the horns, and you're going to end up with this shameful excuse of a "broadcasting" contract that you've got right now.

NDSU is a lock. It's a guaranteed grand slam, a hole in one, you can't go wrong. There is no risk whatsoever.

Why? Because football drives the bus, and a CUSA with 3 FCS championship programs (NDSU, SDSU, & SHSU) plus Liberty and WKU (their 3rd year HC is a keeper!) would be competitive with the AAC (2023 version), MWC, and the Sun Belt. Those additions would make CUSA a stronger football conference, top to bottom, than it is right now, with all 14 teams.

Go to ESPN with that portfolio of teams, and a pretty good basketball conference - which the CUSA 4.0 will have - and I bet they will make the CUSA an offer it can't refuse.

I'd also say this - - if you don't want to lose WKU, the best and maybe the only thing you can do to keep them is to sign NDSU.

This isn't the time to play it safe. This is the time to swing for the fences. If you "strike out," so what? The CUSA has nothing to lose (since it's already lost 9 teams) and everything to gain.

Sign NDSU and SDSU, and I can tell you for sure that the AAC isn't going to like it. The MWC and the MAC aren't going to like it either, and neither is the SBC. They're all going to wish they'd done it. They're now all in a 5-way battle for the championship of the G5.

I truly hope your commissioner has the gumption and the savvy to grab the gold ring while it's hanging in the air right in front of her within arm's length, because it only comes around maybe once in a lifetime.

Do it, guys! I hate what happened to your conference, and I want to see you represented in the 12-team CFP playoff before this decade is over - - and a CUSA team in the Final Four, too.

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IMO being at 14 teams with only the autobid for years was worth it to one day get down to a small 9-team conference with more attention paid to hoops.

Fewer cooks in the kitchen, that should be our “thing” as a conference.

Hey, we even still have 2 marketz (Nashville, Miami).
(12-20-2021 09:37 AM)BKTopper Wrote: [ -> ]IMO being at 14 teams with only the autobid for years was worth it to one day get down to a small 9-team conference with more attention paid to hoops.

Fewer cooks in the kitchen, that should be our “thing” as a conference.

Hey, we even still have 2 marketz (Nashville, Miami).

But don't we actually have those 2 markets in name only?
(12-20-2021 09:37 AM)BKTopper Wrote: [ -> ]IMO being at 14 teams with only the autobid for years was worth it to one day get down to a small 9-team conference with more attention paid to hoops.

Fewer cooks in the kitchen, that should be our “thing” as a conference.

Hey, we even still have 2 marketz (Nashville, Miami).

JSU is in the Bham market and we control as much as UAB which combined is close to zero.
(12-20-2021 08:42 AM)Milwaukee Wrote: [ -> ]
(12-20-2021 07:15 AM)inutech Wrote: [ -> ]Sure.

But there isn't anyone to add that's worth it.

There are at least two - - NDSU & SDSU.

What? To join the conference that has a team in Miami? And is getting peanuts for tv?

An estimated 1.7 million people tuned in to see NDSU play in the FCS championship game.

That's cool. How many were tuned in to watch them in week 4? You reckon 1.7 million people would watch NDSU play MTSU?

That's a superstar program, right there, because over the past 5-6 years, North Dakota State has suddenly become "America's "Team" (college fb). It's a game changer. They've become the next Boise State. Sign NDSU and SDSU, and you're going to get your $2 million/year per school from ESPN, CBS, Fox, or somebody else.

Yeah, ESPN is just on the edge of their seat to throw money at this collection of schools plus a "superstar" in the highly populated area of North Dakota.

Don't do it. Just sit on your hands and dither. Stay satisfied, thinking small, and don't be aggressive...don't take the bull by the horns, and you're going to end up with this shameful excuse of a "broadcasting" contract that you've got right now.

There is no realistic combination of schools that makes us much more money per school than we're likely to get now (which will be almost nothing).

NDSU is a lock. It's a guaranteed grand slam, a hole in one, you can't go wrong. There is no risk whatsoever.

No, it's not. Very much not. And of course there is a huge risk (the risk is getting stuck with a team a million miles from everyone else and not getting a nickel more in a tv contract). I'd say that's much more than a risk, it's almost a certainty.

Why? Because football drives the bus, and a CUSA with 3 FCS championship programs (NDSU, SDSU, & SHSU) plus Liberty and WKU (their 3rd year HC is a keeper!) would be competitive with the AAC (2023 version), MWC, and the Sun Belt. Those additions would make CUSA a stronger football conference, top to bottom, than it is right now, with all 14 teams.

It's possible that NDSU and SDSU would make CUSA a stronger (on field) football conference. I'd certainly say that both programs are stronger than say, Rice on the field. But they're both a awfully long way away from Ruston and Miami.

Go to ESPN with that portfolio of teams, and a pretty good basketball conference - which the CUSA 4.0 will have - and I bet they will make the CUSA an offer it can't refuse.

Nope.

I'd also say this - - if you don't want to lose WKU, the best and maybe the only thing you can do to keep them is to sign NDSU.

Nope.

This isn't the time to play it safe. This is the time to swing for the fences. If you "strike out," so what? The CUSA has nothing to lose (since it's already lost 9 teams) and everything to gain.

This is the time to tread water and wait for a way out. We have very little to lose, sure. But the best way to reduce future losses is to stand pat, tread water, try to improve your program, and wait for another shuffle. And whoever gets left in the next shuffle can evaluate accordingly and restock as needed (at that time).

Sign NDSU and SDSU, and I can tell you for sure that the AAC isn't going to like it. The MWC and the MAC aren't going to like it either, and neither is the SBC. They're all going to wish they'd done it. They're now all in a 5-way battle for the championship of the G5.

Nope. You can not tell me that for sure. And why would that matter?

I truly hope your commissioner has the gumption and the savvy to grab the gold ring while it's hanging in the air right in front of her within arm's length, because it only comes around maybe once in a lifetime.

This is the funniest paragraph in the post. And I think every single paragraph is hilarious. I can't even respond because I don't know where to start.

Do it, guys! I hate what happened to your conference, and I want to see you represented in the 12-team CFP playoff before this decade is over - - and a CUSA team in the Final Four, too.

Nah. Thanks for the suggestion (not that my opinion matters here either) but let's just ride things out for a bit with 9.


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There just isn't a way that this version of CUSA (with or without ANY additional teams) is any kind of long term deal. It's more like the last days of the WAC or the Big West than the MAC or Big 10. Purely a conference of convenience. And that's ok! My school was in the last version of the FBS WAC (and the Big West). It's a temporary business arrangement. We all need a conference for the moment until something better comes along.

NMSU doesn't really want to be in a conference with FIU, it's just way better than being in no conference at all. FIU doesn't necessarily care about being in a conference with anyone in CUSA (other than maybe Liberty) but they've got to pull their Athletic Department into something functional, and CUSA is better than not being in a conference. Liberty doesn't care about CUSA, we're just the only conference that would have them - and even then, only when we had no choice, but it's better than not being in a conference at all. WKU apparently really wanted to leave for the MAC, but needed MTSU. I think MTSU just didn't want to go north. Tech would leave for any other conference in a moment, but our market is too small for the new AAC and we either weren't in the right place geographically or hurt too many feelings (depending on who you want to believe) to get into the 'Belt. UTEP has no better options. JSU and SHSU need a conference to join FBS, and they're worried the NCAA constitutional congress might make it even harder to come up.

So we're forced together. Fine. Any port in a storm.

But there is no reason to make things worse by adding more teams that we don't need. Nobody brings in more money (per school). It would take too many additional schools to "solve" the travel issue. So it's best to just roll with the minimum number of teams for now.
(12-20-2021 09:44 AM)MinerInWisconsin Wrote: [ -> ]
(12-20-2021 09:37 AM)BKTopper Wrote: [ -> ]IMO being at 14 teams with only the autobid for years was worth it to one day get down to a small 9-team conference with more attention paid to hoops.

Fewer cooks in the kitchen, that should be our “thing” as a conference.

Hey, we even still have 2 marketz (Nashville, Miami).

But don't we actually have those 2 markets in name only?

Well, that's as much as just about any of the new "big market" AAC schools have their markets, right?
(12-20-2021 09:50 AM)inutech Wrote: [ -> ]
(12-20-2021 09:44 AM)MinerInWisconsin Wrote: [ -> ]
(12-20-2021 09:37 AM)BKTopper Wrote: [ -> ]IMO being at 14 teams with only the autobid for years was worth it to one day get down to a small 9-team conference with more attention paid to hoops.

Fewer cooks in the kitchen, that should be our “thing” as a conference.

Hey, we even still have 2 marketz (Nashville, Miami).

But don't we actually have those 2 markets in name only?

Well, that's as much as just about any of the new "big market" AAC schools have their markets, right?

True for them and us.
I find it interesting that the most vocal "stay at 9" folks are supporters of schools that have very publicly stated " we will leave CUSA at the 1st opportunity"..

La Tech's AD made it clear in his statements and WKU will go the minute the MAC finds another all sports school to pair them with..MTSU may very well want to go to the MAC as soon as they collect the CUSA exit fees that are coming..

Staying at 9 just doesn't seem sustainable when you have 2 or 3 members with 1 foot out the door..
(12-20-2021 10:14 AM)Tmac13 Wrote: [ -> ]Staying at 9 just doesn't seem sustainable when you have 2 or 3 members with 1 foot out the door..

Growing to 10 (or 12, or 14, or 16, or 20, or 47, or 108) just doesn't seem plausible when you have 8-9 members with 1 foot out the door. . .

Actually, let's just say 9 instead of 8-9.

Of course CUSA is going to lose members at some point. But until you know who leaves and who doesn't have the chance to leave, you don't know how to add new schools.

So wait and see what you need first. And in the meantime, you don't have to split the crumbs any farther. Keep that denominator low guys.
(12-20-2021 10:23 AM)inutech Wrote: [ -> ]
(12-20-2021 10:14 AM)Tmac13 Wrote: [ -> ]Staying at 9 just doesn't seem sustainable when you have 2 or 3 members with 1 foot out the door..

Growing to 10 (or 12, or 14, or 16, or 20, or 47, or 108) just doesn't seem plausible when you have 8-9 members with 1 foot out the door. . .

Actually, let's just say 9 instead of 8-9.

Of course CUSA is going to lose members at some point. But until you know who leaves and who doesn't have the chance to leave, you don't know how to add new schools.

So wait and see what you need first. And in the meantime, you don't have to split the crumbs any farther. Keep that denominator low guys.

I respect your opinion, and all the opinions of those who agree with you.

However, my hypothesis (and it's just a hypothesis) is that those who want to keep the CUSA small are engaged in "small time" (i.e., tactical or operational level) thinking when this is the time for "big-time" (i.e., strategic thinking).

I get it. People are gun-shy. The last thing they want to do now is run for the roses. But, in response, I ask you this - - what the hell have you got to lose? The CUSA has got nothing right now. 9 parts of nothing is still nothing. You should be getting as much as the SBC and MAC, and I think it's within the CUSA's reach if it acts boldly.

Ask "WHAT'S THE WORST THING THAT COULD POSSIBLY HAPPEN IF WE ADD NDSU AND SDSU AND EXPAND TO 12 TEAMS?"S

Here's the answer: If there were an absolute cataclysm, the CUSA could go belly up, and then all the teams would have to try to make it as independents. 2 or 3 might have to go back to FCS football.

So, then, would all your schools go bankrupt, out of business, would all the football and BB programs go out of existence?

Of course they wouldn't. They might struggle as independents, but they're already struggling now. There would be enough teams to start up a new conference almost immediately, so that would be one possibility.

The schools wouldn't have to start up a new conference by themselves. ESPN has the deep pockets, and they would most likely be the puppet masters. They would underwrite any new conference - - or more likely, they would have the AAC , SBC, and MAC each pick up 2-4 teams.

And guess what would happen then? ALL THE CUSA UNIVERSITIES WOULD START TO BE PAID THE GOING RATE TO PLAY IN THE AAC, MWC, MAC, OR SUN BELT!

'm not advocating that the CUSA should intentionally bankrupt itself to try to force the issue, but what I am saying is that even if the CUSA were to implode and go out of existence, the CUSA schools might end up being paid as much as the lowest-paid MAC and Sun Belt schools are going to be paid by ESPN (about $2 million per year). If I'm right, then the CUSA schools would win by losing.

That's why it makes so little no sense in the world to be cautious and conservative at this point. This is the one time in your lives when you could gamble everything, and if your conference were to lose (go out of existence), you would actually have better than a 50/50 chance of coming out ahead/b]


I may not persuade anyone, but if all you're going to do is add one new member, I hope you at least take NDSU. If there's one thing you can do to improve your situation, that's probably it. If you don't, and someone else "gets it," you may be regretting it for the next 50 years.

BTW, if I'm the Big 12 Commissioner right about now, I'm looking over the options for expansion to the "Big-16" in a few years, and I'm keeping an eye on NDSU. NDSU is in the Big 12's footprint, and they just had a 1.7 million viewership game as an FCS team.

Who am I going to take if I'm in the Big 12? Memphis? Definitely? Boise State? Probably. SDSU? Chances are improving. SMU? Maybe ...just maybe. USF? I don't think so. Would not be at all surprised to see NDSU on the Big 12's short list in 5 or 6 years.
When the schools with the power are established the direction of the CUSA will be more clear. The ones who broker the power will have little desire to leave.

SBC power is in the hands of App St and the rest are riding along. It may change with the new line up.

If say WKU and MTSU have the MAC option, they will have the power and the CUSA may become more East centered. Then only UTEP and NMSU may desire to leave and some current FBS schools could want to enter CUSA. Not too long ago no one wanted to be in the SBC.
(12-20-2021 12:08 PM)Milwaukee Wrote: [ -> ]
(12-20-2021 10:23 AM)inutech Wrote: [ -> ]
(12-20-2021 10:14 AM)Tmac13 Wrote: [ -> ]Staying at 9 just doesn't seem sustainable when you have 2 or 3 members with 1 foot out the door..

Growing to 10 (or 12, or 14, or 16, or 20, or 47, or 108) just doesn't seem plausible when you have 8-9 members with 1 foot out the door. . .

Actually, let's just say 9 instead of 8-9.

Of course CUSA is going to lose members at some point. But until you know who leaves and who doesn't have the chance to leave, you don't know how to add new schools.

So wait and see what you need first. And in the meantime, you don't have to split the crumbs any farther. Keep that denominator low guys.

I respect your opinion, and all the opinions of those who agree with you.

However, my hypothesis (and it's just a hypothesis) is that those who want to keep the CUSA small are engaged in "small time" (i.e., tactical or operational level) thinking when this is the time for "big-time" (i.e., strategic thinking).

I get it. People are gun-shy. The last thing they want to do now is run for the roses. But, in response, I ask you this - - what the hell have you got to lose? The CUSA has got nothing right now. 9 parts of nothing is still nothing. You should be getting as much as the SBC and MAC, and I think it's within the CUSA's reach if it acts boldly.

Ask "WHAT'S THE WORST THING THAT COULD POSSIBLY HAPPEN IF WE ADD NDSU AND SDSU AND EXPAND TO 12 TEAMS?"S

Here's the answer: If there were an absolute cataclysm, the CUSA could go belly up, and then all the teams would have to try to make it as independents. 2 or 3 might have to go back to FCS football.

So, then, would all your schools go bankrupt, out of business, would all the football and BB programs go out of existence?

Of course they wouldn't. They might struggle as independents, but they're already struggling now. There would be enough teams to start up a new conference almost immediately, so that would be one possibility.

The schools wouldn't have to start up a new conference by themselves. ESPN has the deep pockets, and they would most likely be the puppet masters. They would underwrite any new conference - - or more likely, they would have the AAC , SBC, and MAC each pick up 2-4 teams.

And guess what would happen then? ALL THE CUSA UNIVERSITIES WOULD START TO BE PAID THE GOING RATE TO PLAY IN THE AAC, MWC, MAC, OR SUN BELT!

'm not advocating that the CUSA should intentionally bankrupt itself to try to force the issue, but what I am saying is that even if the CUSA were to implode and go out of existence, the CUSA schools might end up being paid as much as the lowest-paid MAC and Sun Belt schools are going to be paid by ESPN (about $2 million per year). If I'm right, then the CUSA schools would win by losing.

That's why it makes so little no sense in the world to be cautious and conservative at this point. This is the one time in your lives when you could gamble everything, and if your conference were to lose (go out of existence), you would actually have better than a 50/50 chance of coming out ahead/b]


I may not persuade anyone, but if all you're going to do is add one new member, I hope you at least take NDSU. If there's one thing you can do to improve your situation, that's probably it. If you don't, and someone else "gets it," you may be regretting it for the next 50 years.

BTW, if I'm the Big 12 Commissioner right about now, I'm looking over the options for expansion to the "Big-16" in a few years, and I'm keeping an eye on NDSU. NDSU is in the Big 12's footprint, and they just had a 1.7 million viewership game as an FCS team.

Who am I going to take if I'm in the Big 12? Memphis? Definitely? Boise State? Probably. SDSU? Chances are improving. SMU? Maybe ...just maybe. USF? I don't think so. Would not be at all surprised to see NDSU on the Big 12's short list in 5 or 6 years.

I wouldn't be opposed to going to 12 for the right teams and I do understand the desire by some to remain at 9.

Yes there will likely be a school or 2 leave down the road but imo we need to plan for the long haul since this could be the conference home for most of us for quite a while.

We will likely find out what the conference has in mind after a new ncaa constitution is agreed on in January. If the new constitution allows conference memberships by sport or changes the rules of moving between divisions, we might have some upheaval.
(12-20-2021 10:14 AM)Tmac13 Wrote: [ -> ]I find it interesting that the most vocal "stay at 9" folks are supporters of schools that have very publicly stated " we will leave CUSA at the 1st opportunity"..

La Tech's AD made it clear in his statements and WKU will go the minute the MAC finds another all sports school to pair them with..MTSU may very well want to go to the MAC as soon as they collect the CUSA exit fees that are coming..

Staying at 9 just doesn't seem sustainable when you have 2 or 3 members with 1 foot out the door..

EKU, Kennesaw, SFA, UCA, Tarleton — all are great on deck options for when/if the 5 remaining 3.0 schools leave.

Why add them now when you can always add them later?

Being at 14 was necessary to 3.0’s survival but it was also a cause of consternation.

I’m just saying maybe 4.0 stays at 9 and rebuilds its image —maybe let the next media deal period expire— before ultimately settling on 10 or 12. 14’s just too much IMO.
Right On The Money, BKTopper. My new mantra is "Nine Is Fine! 10 won't win, 11 ain't Heaven." and "What the He!@#? CUSA don't need 12." 02-13-banana Seriously, CUSA needs to sit back and aggressively court the TV gods 01-ncaabbs for some kind of media deal before considering the addition of even one more mouth to feed! 07-coffee3
when the cfp expands and payout up to 12 (rather than current 10) teams per conference, CUSA will go to 12.

competitive teams is what build the conference. LU was a good add. So will NDSU.
The worst case is that we add 3 more schools, get less money back from tv per school, get less money back per year from the basketball tournament, and (with the schools you're proposing) don't really improve the amount of money we're spending on travel.

And we're stuck like that.

Or maybe we lose a school or two or nine in a future realignment. And then we're back where we are now, but even farther spread out (or weaker on the field) depending on who gets the chance to leave.

That's the worst case. And yeah, it's worse than where we are now. What we have now isn't great, but it's probably temporary.

Take from someone who has been there. Let's ask NMSU how awesome it was for them that the WAC added Texas State and UTSA. All that did was give the Sunbelt and CUSA someone else to take. It didn't make us any more money. It didn't add solidarity. It didn't save the conference. It gave those two schools a place to land in FBS (and arguably have the WAC one last year, which was nice).

Getting NDSU or SDSU or UMass football isn't stopping WKU from leaving for the MAC if they get the chance to do (nor should it). Same for UTEP/NMSU for the MWC. Same for Tech or FIU or Liberty or WKU or JSU or SHSU or WKU or MTSU for the AAC or SB. All it does is cost us money. And give those conferences another team to choose from should they decide to expand again.
(12-20-2021 01:34 PM)BKTopper Wrote: [ -> ]
(12-20-2021 10:14 AM)Tmac13 Wrote: [ -> ]I find it interesting that the most vocal "stay at 9" folks are supporters of schools that have very publicly stated " we will leave CUSA at the 1st opportunity"..

La Tech's AD made it clear in his statements and WKU will go the minute the MAC finds another all sports school to pair them with..MTSU may very well want to go to the MAC as soon as they collect the CUSA exit fees that are coming..

Staying at 9 just doesn't seem sustainable when you have 2 or 3 members with 1 foot out the door..



Why add them now when you can always add them later?

Yep.
The OP reads like something the banned user Jed Clampett/James T Kirk used to post but I do see the logic in getting bigger and being more prepared for life after the next realignment reshuffling.

Option A: 3 more full members to help fill out the footprint. I’m thinking EKU, UTC, and one of the WAC Texas schools. FIU plays in the West. The East is nice and compact and the West isn’t terrible.

Option B: Bring in one more full member (EKU/UTC) and then bring in NDSU and SDSU in as football only. I think the Dakota schools come in and make an instant impact.
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