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PirateMarv Offline
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Post: #1
Another writer has been reading your board
I saw this posted on the ECU Rival's board and decided to post it here, because so many of you have made some of these same comments.

Time for Expansion?

By: Ben Doody 09/01/2008

In late July, Big East commissioner Mike Tranghese sat in an auditorium at Big East media day, and declared that despite pleading from several Big East coaches, the conference was not interested in adding a ninth football school.

Tranghese's reason was twofold: the Big East already has 16 members in non-football sports, and there were no teams out there that met the conference's criteria for admission.
Even with Tranghese retiring after this season, it is unlikely expansion will happen any time soon, mostly because of resistance from the member schools' presidents.

But whoever is appointed to succeed Tranghese should strongly consider adding East Carolina as a football-only member.

The notion of doing such has been floated before, but has become more appealing with the continued growth of the East Carolina program, which was showcased Saturday when the Pirates beat - it wasn't really even an upset - Virginia Tech in Charlotte in a nationally televised game.

Adding a ninth football member is a popular concept with coaches and athletic directors because having only seven conference games in a 12-game regular season has often left coaches scrambling to schedule enough non-conference games. Rutgers had that problem this past spring, when the Scarlet Knights' schedule wasn't finalized until April.

Having seven conference games also creates disparity in the schedules of Big East teams, four of which play four conference home games and four of which play just three.

Look no further than Rutgers' 2006 season for evidence that the disparity makes a difference. In Big East games, the Scarlet Knights went 3-0 at home that year and 2-2 on the road. Had they played four home games instead of three, as they did last year, they would have stood a far better chance of winning an extra game - and the conference championship for which they came one win short.

Tranghese is right to have high admissions standards for potential members. Adding a ninth football member would be counterproductive if the team would bring down the quality of the league, so despite Temple's improvement under coach Al Golden, it wouldn't make sense to reinstate the Owls, who were essentially ousted from the league after the 2002 season.

It would also be unwise to expand the conference in any sports other than football, given that 16 teams are already four more than any other conference.

But adding East Carolina as a football-only member would have no impact on the constitution of the league in non-football sports, and would substantially improve the quality of the football conference while solving the scheduling problem and satisfying the league's coaches.

Why would the Pirates improve the conference?

For starters, if they joined the league next year, they would instantly be among the top four or five teams.

That's more than could be said of South Florida or Cincinnati when they joined the conference along with Louisville in 2005. At that time, Cincinnati had been a mediocre Conference USA team with a tiny fan base. South Florida's program was in an even less developed stage: The school had had a football team for only seven years.

East Carolina, on the other hand, has a team that could crack the top 25 at some point this season, one of the country's rising coaching stars in Skip Holtz, and a hungry fan base that would be certain to grow if its team were in a BCS conference.

Here's something else the future commissioner should consider: Saturday's results did more than remind us of how good East Carolina is and how good it can be in the future. They also reminded us of the Big East's flaws.

Pittsburgh, ranked 25th in the AP poll and thought by many to be a rising power, lost at home to Bowling Green. And Syracuse, a program that not too long ago gave us Donovan McNabb and Marvin Harrison, showed again how far it has fallen by losing to Northwestern - the Big Ten's version of Syracuse - by 20 points.

Those results reminded us that before the Big East definitively dismisses East Carolina, it should look in the mirror and realize Connecticut - which shared the league title last year with West Virginia - came within a blown call last year of losing at home to Temple, and that there is no guarantee Louisville will return to national relevance any time soon.

The Big East still has a perennial national title contender in West Virginia and a pair of fledgling powers in South Florida and Rutgers. Dismissing claims that the conference doesn't deserve a spot at the BCS table, its champions have won three straight BCS games, and a fourth is certainly possible this year.

Granting East Carolina admission as a football-only member wouldn't just be good for the Pirates.

It'd be good for the Big East, too.

Ben Doody is the Assistant Sports Editor of The Trentonian. Reach him at bdoody@trentonian.com or at (609) 989-7800, ext. 256.

The Trentonian 2008
(This post was last modified: 09-04-2008 07:58 PM by PirateMarv.)
09-04-2008 07:57 PM
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ClairtonPanther Offline
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RE: Another writer has been reading your board
Man its football season thought we'd see less of this. 03-banghead
09-04-2008 08:19 PM
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esayem Offline
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Post: #3
RE: Another writer has been reading your board
Football season is when candidates are made or broken.

As for ECU, it would hurt the rest of their athletic programs to be a football only. Its not like Temple where they could still have the other sports in the A10. C-USA would dump them. No room in the CAA, plus ECU wouldn't help their basketball image. Who else? A-Sun, Southern? Why do that to your other athletic programs? They need to just maximize their potential in all-sports, and they have a great opportunity in a major conference right now. Plus, I don't think the Big East is looking for a football only that could make some noise and then start making demands. God, I love this state.

And no, this is not a Tar Heel trying to hold ECU back.
09-04-2008 08:43 PM
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CatsClaw Offline
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Post: #4
RE: Another writer has been reading your board
I will never understand why East Carolina expansion supporters have to take petty potshots at Cincinnati and South Florida in order to build up East Carolina. And then they ignored Cincinnati when naming powers (South Florida and Rutgers even though Cincinnati finished ranked higher then both). You shouldn't have to tear someone else down to prove your point for addition.
(This post was last modified: 09-04-2008 09:11 PM by CatsClaw.)
09-04-2008 09:08 PM
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CatsClaw Offline
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Post: #5
RE: Another writer has been reading your board
By the way, I support East Carolina as a football-only. They have the fan base, the dedication to football and name recognition. ECU fans have a cocky edge to them, which is something we need. I have said that what the Big East lacked compared to BCS conferences like the Big Ten, SEC, Big 12, etc, are huge, vocal fan bases that go around preaching the Big East. Our fan base is growing fast, but adding someone like ECU for football-only would be a huge boost. Then, assuming a split happens, you have Memphis and others to fill the All-Sports (along with ECU).
09-04-2008 09:19 PM
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bitcruncher Offline
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Post: #6
RE: Another writer has been reading your board
CatsClaw Wrote:I will never understand why East Carolina expansion supporters have to take petty potshots at Cincinnati and South Florida in order to build up East Carolina. And then they ignored Cincinnati when naming powers (South Florida and Rutgers even though Cincinnati finished ranked higher then both). You shouldn't have to tear someone else down to prove your point for addition.
It's human nature. If you can't beat 'em fairly, grab a club and smack 'em upside the back of the head... 03-banghead
09-05-2008 07:56 AM
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bearcatfan Offline
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Post: #7
RE: Another writer has been reading your board
The ECU fans have been on a roll on this board since their team got the big win last week.

Yes - it was a great win, and congrats to them, but relax a little bit. It's not like the people that post on this board have a say in the matter of expansion.
09-05-2008 08:04 AM
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MichaelSavage Offline
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Post: #8
RE: Another writer has been reading your board
If it ever happened, the Colonial is a good spot for all their other sports. Heck, the basketball overall might be better than C-USA.
09-05-2008 08:11 AM
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bearcatfan Offline
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Post: #9
RE: Another writer has been reading your board
CatsClaw Wrote:I will never understand why East Carolina expansion supporters have to take petty potshots at Cincinnati and South Florida in order to build up East Carolina. And then they ignored Cincinnati when naming powers (South Florida and Rutgers even though Cincinnati finished ranked higher then both). You shouldn't have to tear someone else down to prove your point for addition.

And once again - it is a stupid comparison.

At the time when UC was added, they had a lot more than just football going for them (and football was not as bad at that time as most make it out to be). UC had a natioanl power higher profile basketball program, major athletic facility improvements to the football stadium, a new baseball stadium, new soccer/track complex, new tennis facility, new Lindner Center with all student-athlete facilities in one place, and more.

When will anybody learn that is is more than just about football?

UC was clearly a better choice (and still is) than East Carolina. If the Big East only wanted a football program with a good fan following, I guess they could have chosen ECU. But obviously, and good for UC, they wanted more than that.

By the way - the last I checked ECU football was pretty bad for a few years up until last year. They even lost to the "lowly" Bearcats.
(This post was last modified: 09-05-2008 08:14 AM by bearcatfan.)
09-05-2008 08:11 AM
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Capital Pirate Offline
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Post: #10
RE: Another writer has been reading your board
CatsClaw Wrote:I will never understand why East Carolina expansion supporters have to take petty potshots at Cincinnati and South Florida in order to build up East Carolina. And then they ignored Cincinnati when naming powers (South Florida and Rutgers even though Cincinnati finished ranked higher then both). You shouldn't have to tear someone else down to prove your point for addition.

For clarification's sake, the article posted in this thread is from the Trenton, New Jersey newspaper ("The Trentonian").....so, any "petty potshots" taken in it or any "tearing down" of other programs were the exclusive thoughts of THAT writer, not someone from East Carolina.....04-cheers
09-05-2008 08:24 AM
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bitcruncher Offline
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Post: #11
RE: Another writer has been reading your board
I wasn't referring to you guys anyhow. The prevailing New Jersey mode of attack is from the rear... 05-mafia
09-05-2008 08:49 AM
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ecuacc4ever Offline
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Post: #12
RE: Another writer has been reading your board
CatsClaw Wrote:I will never understand why East Carolina expansion supporters have to take petty potshots at Cincinnati and South Florida in order to build up East Carolina.
Imagine you're a school that has cast its lot with football for 3 decades, and have struggled, scraped, and fought hard for attention, all the while living under the shadow of not 1, not 2, not 3, but 4 in-state schools.

That's ECU's background.

Now, put yourself in our position. For a long time we OWNED Cincy on the gridiron. Naturally, when it came time for expansion, ECU felt it "deserved" to be in the Big East. To see Cincy gain a berth hurt. So naturally, fans are going to lash out a bit. Does it make it right..? Maybe, maybe not, but it's how it is....

(It's not that Cincy didn't deserve it, but again, put yourself in ECU's spot). Now, as much as Cincy hurt...

South Florida's inclusion REALLY hurt. Why? South Florida didn't even have a program 20 years ago, while ECU was fighting to put itself in a position to be an expansion candidate. To see the Bulls rise from literally nowhere and "take our spot" -- that has left some bitter taste in the mouths of ECU alums/fans/bandwagoners.

That's why you will see petty potshots. Heck, son -- they jump on me because I saw it coming and predicted as much.
09-05-2008 10:35 AM
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Ring of Black Offline
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RE: Another writer has been reading your board
EXPANSION BOARD, PEOPLE!!
09-05-2008 11:03 AM
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PirateMarv Offline
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Post: #14
RE: Another writer has been reading your board
Guys, this article was written by some editorial writer for a Trenton, New Jersey newspaper, rather than some partial ECU supporter. I don't know how it became so controversial on this site, but on ECU's Rival's page it was being discussed in a very impartial manner by posters from WVU, Southern Mississippi and ECU. And that is why I posted the article on this site.
09-05-2008 07:11 PM
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firmbizzle Offline
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Post: #15
RE: Another writer has been reading your board
CatsClaw Wrote:By the way, I support East Carolina as a football-only. They have the fan base, the dedication to football and name recognition. ECU fans have a cocky edge to them, which is something we need. I have said that what the Big East lacked compared to BCS conferences like the Big Ten, SEC, Big 12, etc, are huge, vocal fan bases that go around preaching the Big East. Our fan base is growing fast, but adding someone like ECU for football-only would be a huge boost. Then, assuming a split happens, you have Memphis and others to fill the All-Sports (along with ECU).

05-nono
09-06-2008 12:24 AM
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