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Jurich hates RC Johnson and Memphis?!?!?!?!
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TigerPete Offline
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Post: #71
RE: Jurich hates RC Johnson and Memphis?!?!?!?!
(10-14-2010 10:47 AM)UofL07 Wrote:  
(10-13-2010 08:54 PM)TigerPete Wrote:  I know you are most likely saying this lightly but you do realize that our basketball team is likely a pre-season top 15 (and I suspect we finish top 5 or 10 by the end of the year) basketball team and will put 18k thousand people in our building Friday for midnight madness. We were 8th nationally in basketball attendance last year. How many other normal expansion candidates can say that? How many are Top 25 in either football or basketball? I know TCU certainly is in football but that is it.

(10-13-2010 08:54 PM)TigerPete Wrote:  I realize that expansion is mainly a football decision but you can't totally dismiss our basketball program as "we don't need another one of those". If football is totally driving the bus than the ACC would start kicking out great basketball programs because they aren't football schools. Duke, Wake, etc. Of course they wouldn't do this as the league values basketball success.

Let's say you just finished constructing all the electrical on your dream house. Now all you need to do is install the plumbing and get the drywall up. You're looking around to see who is available and you run across an top shelf electrician. The guy is the best in town and no one can do the job like he does. While he could definitely improve some of your electrical work (who wouldn't want an LCD TV that descends from the ceiling of the master bedroom?), he doesn't do plumbing or dry wall and you are already very happy with your current configuration. So do you hire him?

I know the above analogy is a bit silly but I think it points out the problem Memphis has with the Big East. There is no denying that Memphis has the best basketball program of any non-BCS expansion team (best electrician in town) and there is no denying that they could improve the league from a basketball standpoint (upgrade the house's electrical work). The problem is, BE basketball is already top shelf in the sport and represents one of the best collections of basketball teams in the country (already happy with configuration). They aren't in the market for basketball (electrical work) because where they need improvement is in football/minor sports (plumbing and drywall). The problem is that while Memphis is great at basketball and would easily be in the top 6 in the conference in terms of attendance/value, it isn't great at what the Big East needs (e.g. you don't hire an electrician when you need plumbing work done).

As for kicking teams out of conferences, there is a reason why that almost never happens. Most conferences have stipulations that prevent founding members from being ejected or make it extremely difficult (e.g. unanimous vote). Second, most conferences don't have the will to kick out programs because they deliver benefits in other areas. Duke football sucks, but their academics, basketball, and lacrosse are all top notch. Northwestern brings the Big Ten a great deal of academic prestige and their location in Chicago (#3 media market) doesn't hurt either. Stanford may stink most years in football and hoops but their athletic program overall and academics are outstanding. Iowa state hasn't done anything in either sport in years and they don't bring a big market. However, they are an AAU school with great academics and a passionate fanbase that travels well and attends football and basketball games. You also have to consider legal and "personal" issues (i.e. if teams start getting booted right and left, the teams that do the booting may eventually find themselves booted).

(10-13-2010 08:54 PM)TigerPete Wrote:  Just making the point that our basketball program brings big value and you can't disagree with that. ESPN agrees as they put many of our games on national tv each year. They like the Memphis brand. This is better than most other candidates can say in either sport.

There is no denying that Memphis hoops is a valuable product and would make the conference money. However, what the Big East needs is to improve its football image and its TV contract (specifically the football contract). Does Memphis help in that regard? From everything I've seen, no. Take this article for example:

With Memphis Madness looming, the athletic department and local University of Memphis apparel vendors are anticipating a significant spike in merchandise sales and interest.

"Right now, it's picking up. The fan base for Memphis is very wins-and-losses driven," said Jeremy Stinson, who manages the Tiger Gift Shop on Highland Avenue.

Given the men's basketball team's recent success, Stinson said, he can count on business to improve around the time of Memphis Madness.

According to Stinson, business picks up in August when school starts. During the month of September, however, sales die down and don't pick back up again until October, when basketball season starts.


Bill Komulainen, manager of Tiger Bookstore on Walker Avenue, said his store is constantly trying to cater to basketball fans because of its market potential.

"We're looking into new products and new clothing lines and stuff to maximize the basketball market," he said. "We always prepare for that contingent."

Komulainen added that his business is driven by basketball, not football.

While that article does not discuss TV contracts, it does highlight one problem IMO. Memphis' bread and butter is basketball: it is the sport that makes them money and for which its fanbase is passionate. The problem is that the Big East needs programs that are passionate about football and can enhance the conferences TV revenues. We needs an ECU type school with a Memphis type market and booster; hence why you see discussions about TCU.

(10-13-2010 08:54 PM)TigerPete Wrote:  Our administration has definitely started to put significant dollars into our football program. This started 2-3 years ago. Unfortunately our previous coach left the talent level very low and we are rebuilding now which couldn't be a worst time with all the expansion talk going on.

From what I understand after reading the MemphisTigers.org boards, the administration did not adequately promote the football weight room project and had a very difficult time acquiring funding. That doesn't sound like much of a commitment to me.

The Liberty Bowl upgrades look nice from the photos I've seen, but I think a better sign of commitment would be follow what UCF (brand new stadium) or TCU ($100 million dollar renovation). Those project are eye-catching and make you think "Wow, these porgrams are fully committed to their programs".

I understand your position and you make some valid points. I just get tired of people saying Memphis has no value across the board....as if UCF or ECU is a powerhouse in anything! ECU had one of its best years last year and in the AP final football poll they got no votes. My point is it is not like other expansion candidates are setting the world on fire in anything. At least if we were chosen you are no doubt getting a top 10-15 basketball program in the country. Other than TCU football no candidate can bring this in either basketball or football.

Do doubt fans are crazy about Tiger Basketball. But Football can change. Cincy prior to their inclusion was not much better of a program than ours currently. If we were coming off our 9-4, 8-5 seasons than people's opinions would be different. No doubt that it is horrible timing for us to be rebuilding....but there is good potential here. I believe the last year of the original CUSA (when Louisville, Cincy, and USF were still in) being together we were either first or second in attendance in the league. This can be done again and I wouldn't overlook us because we are rebuilding now. Heck how long was Rutgers bad? A long time. Change can happen but like I said we bring a basketball powerhouse which would be the best football/basketball addition in either sport you could add.
10-14-2010 01:53 PM
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Gray Avenger Offline
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Post: #72
RE: Jurich hates RC Johnson and Memphis?!?!?!?!
(10-14-2010 01:31 PM)cuseroc Wrote:  
(10-14-2010 12:58 PM)Gray Avenger Wrote:  
(10-12-2010 03:07 PM)cuseroc Wrote:  Regarding highs and lows, Syracuse has been high a whole lot more than its been low, which is just the opposite of Memphis.

I don't know much about Syracuse excspt for the long rich tradition (of which, I am sure you are justifiably proud), but I wonder if you know as much about Memphis football as you think. Would you be surprised at the following all-time series records (I admit that I am giving some of the most favorable)?

Auburn: 2-0
Arkansas: 3-2
Cincinatti: 18-12
FSU: 7-10
Florida: 1-1
Houston: 9-11
Louisville: 19-23
SMU: 2-0
South Carolina: 2-2
USF: 2-3
Virginia Tech: 3-3
Southern Cal: 1-0

I admit that despite the 5 bowls in the last 7 years, things have gone downhill lately. I attribute that to overemphasis in basketball during Calipari's tenure (won't make that mistake again) and being a non-BCS school in SEC territory.

None of those stats surprise me because I have seen you point these things out before. But what would surprise me if Memphis beat these teams when these team were any good.

During the last 50 years, Memphis has beaten 12 schools which were ranked in the Top 25 at the time. Of course, that isn't a great many, but having never been fortunate enough to be a member of a major conference, there haven't been as many opportunities as some have. I will add, that it is more ranked wins than some Big East members have. When the hand behind Tiger football's back is finally untied (and it will be, one way or another), the Blue & Gray will hold it's own in top competition.
10-14-2010 02:05 PM
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