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Cost of FBS vs FCS football
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MJG Offline
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Post: #1
Cost of FBS vs FCS football
We will have three lower level independents Army and BYU are different.
BYU and Army have tradition and TV deals that make independence easier.
If five more schools would join Liberty ,U Mass and NMSU it could work long term.

So my question is what is the cost difference to compete with these three schools.
I am assuming the olympic sports will stay in their current conference so football is the only added expense. I doubt the Montana schools would be kicked out of the Big Sky. The MVFC schools already play in separate conferences UC-Davis would be the same. Maybe the CAA would kick out JMU maybe not.
02-17-2017 02:19 PM
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RE: Cost of FBS vs FCS football
(02-17-2017 02:19 PM)MJG Wrote:  We will have three lower level independents Army and BYU are different.
BYU and Army have tradition and TV deals that make independence easier.
If five more schools would join Liberty ,U Mass and NMSU it could work long term.

So my question is what is the cost difference to compete with these three schools.
I am assuming the olympic sports will stay in their current conference so football is the only added expense. I doubt the Montana schools would be kicked out of the Big Sky. The MVFC schools already play in separate conferences UC-Davis would be the same. Maybe the CAA would kick out JMU maybe not.

Liberty is an anomaly when it comes to FBS finances. You can't compare them to JMU, NDSU or any other top FCS school because Liberty can basically print money for the football program where the others can't. The only way a current top state ran FCS school moves up is with a conference invite so they can have access to CFP and conference media money. Unless (and that's a NO for now) the Sun Belt wants two new FCS schools then independence for state FCS schools would be almost impossible.

Wichita St may be an exception if they feel an invite to a better conference could come in the next few years they may take the chance.
02-17-2017 02:38 PM
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YNot Offline
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RE: Cost of FBS vs FCS football
Excuse my ignorance, but aren't there several FCS institutions that already operate at similar budgets to many of the Sun Belt, MAC, and C-USA schools? Especially recent call-ups like Charlotte, Old Dominion, Coastal Carolina, etc.

WEST: Montana, Montana St., NDSU, South Dakota St., (and Wichita St.)[Idaho and NMSU]
EAST: Liberty, JMU, Delaware, Jacksonville St., Youngstown St. [UMass]
02-17-2017 02:59 PM
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LatahCounty Offline
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RE: Cost of FBS vs FCS football
(02-17-2017 02:59 PM)YNot Wrote:  Excuse my ignorance, but aren't there several FCS institutions that already operate at similar budgets to many of the Sun Belt, MAC, and C-USA schools? Especially recent call-ups like Charlotte, Old Dominion, Coastal Carolina, etc.

WEST: Montana, Montana St., NDSU, South Dakota St., (and Wichita St.)[Idaho and NMSU]
EAST: Liberty, JMU, Delaware, Jacksonville St., Youngstown St. [UMass]

People keep repeating "FBS is too expensive" like it's Gospel, but I'm very familiar with the numbers for Idaho and even without any CFP or FBS conference money Idaho will still lose considerably more money as an FCS school than it would as an FBS Independent.

For the Montanas, who've already basically maxed out the revenue in their markets, maybe it doesn't make sense to go FBS without a conference. But in many other places it may be actually be a better financial decision to go FBS, conference or no.
(This post was last modified: 02-17-2017 03:08 PM by LatahCounty.)
02-17-2017 03:08 PM
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Steve1981 Offline
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RE: Cost of FBS vs FCS football
(02-17-2017 02:59 PM)YNot Wrote:  Excuse my ignorance, but aren't there several FCS institutions that already operate at similar budgets to many of the Sun Belt, MAC, and C-USA schools? Especially recent call-ups like Charlotte, Old Dominion, Coastal Carolina, etc.

WEST: Montana, Montana St., NDSU, South Dakota St., (and Wichita St.)[Idaho and NMSU]
EAST: Liberty, JMU, Delaware, Jacksonville St., Youngstown St. [UMass]

Know it's not the case but reminds me of some Airplane quotes, were you sniffing glue before this post.


02-17-2017 03:10 PM
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MWC Tex Offline
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RE: Cost of FBS vs FCS football
NMSU will only survive 2 or 3 years as an Indy. After that, count them out of the group.

FBS Independence works for large, wealthy private schools (i.e. BYU, Notre Dame, Army and now Liberty).
UMass will eventually need to find a conference. Even then, ND needs the ACC schools and BYU needs the MW for scheduling and interest for their fans. Liberty will have some SB members who played them not to long ago to help as well as a few CUSA members for some regionals games.
02-17-2017 03:12 PM
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DavidSt Offline
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RE: Cost of FBS vs FCS football
(02-17-2017 03:12 PM)MWC Tex Wrote:  NMSU will only survive 2 or 3 years as an Indy. After that, count them out of the group.

FBS Independence works for large, wealthy private schools (i.e. BYU, Notre Dame, Army and now Liberty).
UMass will eventually need to find a conference. Even then, ND needs the ACC schools and BYU needs the MW for scheduling and interest for their fans. Liberty will have some SB members who played them not to long ago to help as well as a few CUSA members for some regionals games.


Several top FCS schools do not have any troubles getting to play P5 schools. Look at Eastern Washington? The past couple of years, they played 2 P5 FBS conference teams a year from the PAC 12. I do think they could set up a schedule alliance with both the PAC 12 and the MWC if they go to FBS. Even if some of the CAA and MVFC could find schedule alliances with FBS schools as well with the Southern and Southland schools. I could throw OVC as well. Those 6 conferences at the FCS is the top conferences of the FCS level.
02-17-2017 03:35 PM
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RE: Cost of FBS vs FCS football
(02-17-2017 02:59 PM)YNot Wrote:  Excuse my ignorance, but aren't there several FCS institutions that already operate at similar budgets to many of the Sun Belt, MAC, and C-USA schools? Especially recent call-ups like Charlotte, Old Dominion, Coastal Carolina, etc.

WEST: Montana, Montana St., NDSU, South Dakota St., (and Wichita St.)[Idaho and NMSU]
EAST: Liberty, JMU, Delaware, Jacksonville St., Youngstown St. [UMass]

Operating at the same level of weakest FBS teams is not really the test--nor should it be. It could be argued that those lowest level programs should be in jeopardy of being removed from FBS rather than serving as the bar to reach FBS status.

Liberty is a unique case. Tons of money sloshing around indicating they are more than capable of financially supporting an FBS program. They have adequate facilities. The real clincher for them is that their controversial religious beliefs likely would prevent them from ever getting an FBS conference invite. It could be easily argued, at least in Liberty's case, that the conference invite requirement was an effective religious test. That's a argument with significant merit and a court case the NCAA would likely lose. It was a battle not worth fighting. Losing it would possibly destroy one or more portions of the FBS-FCS firewall. Granting a waiver to Liberty leaves the firewall in place. It might still get overturned if challenged, but Im sure the thinking was the next school to file suit likely wont have near the legal case Liberty had.
(This post was last modified: 02-17-2017 03:51 PM by Attackcoog.)
02-17-2017 03:40 PM
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MJG Offline
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RE: Cost of FBS vs FCS football
The Sun Belt has asked members to play only one money game a year.
Their conference revenue is the CFP so two money games for NMSU equals SBC revenue with one money game.
The problem is scheduling enough games that would not be a problem with a group of independents working together.
Montana and NDSU sometimes play up for 500k that would change to 1.3 million.
That 800k difference from one game which could be two games make up the cost difference.
For Montana or NDSU it would mean no D2 games a money game that pays more and a tougher but manageable schedule.
I guess it really depends on who moved up.
For Montana this below vs SUU ,UNC or D2 schools
Idaho,NMSU,MSU,NDSU,SDSU,U Mass and Liberty would be an improvement as far as yearly schedule.
Add two money games two G5 H&H and an old FCS rival for most of the schools.
(This post was last modified: 02-17-2017 03:44 PM by MJG.)
02-17-2017 03:43 PM
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Wedge Offline
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RE: Cost of FBS vs FCS football
(02-17-2017 03:40 PM)Attackcoog Wrote:  
(02-17-2017 02:59 PM)YNot Wrote:  Excuse my ignorance, but aren't there several FCS institutions that already operate at similar budgets to many of the Sun Belt, MAC, and C-USA schools? Especially recent call-ups like Charlotte, Old Dominion, Coastal Carolina, etc.

WEST: Montana, Montana St., NDSU, South Dakota St., (and Wichita St.)[Idaho and NMSU]
EAST: Liberty, JMU, Delaware, Jacksonville St., Youngstown St. [UMass]

Operating at the same level of weakest FBS teams is not really the test--nor should it be. It could be argued that those lowest level programs should be in jeopardy of being removed from FBS rather than serving as the bar to reach FBS status.

That's right. If a school wants a waiver of the conference-invitation rule, they should have to show that they have the resources to survive in FBS long-term as a football independent.

Having a budget that's one dollar more than that of some established FBS conference member — who has 8 or 9 guaranteed conference football games each year — is nowhere near enough to justify a waiver allowing a school to transition as an independent.
02-17-2017 03:57 PM
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RE: Cost of FBS vs FCS football
(02-17-2017 03:08 PM)LatahCounty Wrote:  
(02-17-2017 02:59 PM)YNot Wrote:  Excuse my ignorance, but aren't there several FCS institutions that already operate at similar budgets to many of the Sun Belt, MAC, and C-USA schools? Especially recent call-ups like Charlotte, Old Dominion, Coastal Carolina, etc.

WEST: Montana, Montana St., NDSU, South Dakota St., (and Wichita St.)[Idaho and NMSU]
EAST: Liberty, JMU, Delaware, Jacksonville St., Youngstown St. [UMass]

People keep repeating "FBS is too expensive" like it's Gospel, but I'm very familiar with the numbers for Idaho and even without any CFP or FBS conference money Idaho will still lose considerably more money as an FCS school than it would as an FBS Independent.

For the Montanas, who've already basically maxed out the revenue in their markets, maybe it doesn't make sense to go FBS without a conference. But in many other places it may be actually be a better financial decision to go FBS, conference or no.

With this change, any chance Idaho reconsiders?
02-17-2017 03:58 PM
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NoDak Offline
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RE: Cost of FBS vs FCS football
(02-17-2017 03:57 PM)Wedge Wrote:  
(02-17-2017 03:40 PM)Attackcoog Wrote:  
(02-17-2017 02:59 PM)YNot Wrote:  Excuse my ignorance, but aren't there several FCS institutions that already operate at similar budgets to many of the Sun Belt, MAC, and C-USA schools? Especially recent call-ups like Charlotte, Old Dominion, Coastal Carolina, etc.

WEST: Montana, Montana St., NDSU, South Dakota St., (and Wichita St.)[Idaho and NMSU]
EAST: Liberty, JMU, Delaware, Jacksonville St., Youngstown St. [UMass]

Operating at the same level of weakest FBS teams is not really the test--nor should it be. It could be argued that those lowest level programs should be in jeopardy of being removed from FBS rather than serving as the bar to reach FBS status.

That's right. If a school wants a waiver of the conference-invitation rule, they should have to show that they have the resources to survive in FBS long-term as a football independent.

Having a budget that's one dollar more than that of some established FBS conference member — who has 8 or 9 guaranteed conference football games each year — is nowhere near enough to justify a waiver allowing a school to transition as an independent.

So what is the hurdle if a group of schools want to go FBS when they are now FCS together in a conference? With that kind of schedule already in place, the hurdle isn't nearly as much as going FBS as an independent.
(This post was last modified: 02-17-2017 04:03 PM by NoDak.)
02-17-2017 04:02 PM
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MJG Offline
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RE: Cost of FBS vs FCS football
With a reduced conference payout Idaho was fourth in the SBC in revenue without subsidies also fourth lowest % of subsidies.
Without looking it up Montana and NDSU should be better than Idaho.
So how does FCS cost Idaho more and not cost the top FCS schools more?
Hell ULM had a budget of ten million dollar a couple years ago.

Coastal will have two temporary bleacher sections next year to get to 15k capacity.
Charlotte has a first class stadium but 15k everyone thought they would rush to expand it they haven't.
NDSU will be at 21k with a newly renovated arena.
Montana is building a nice football operations center 25k and 7500 are their game day capacities.
ODU in CUSA is rebuilding their stadium 22500 .
The P5 pulling away and conference networks HD TVs video game playing children have led to smaller stadiums.
It doesn't do much good to have a big stadium if you average high teens to low twenties like so many G5 do. Add in the tickets sold and it really makes no sense.
Allowing schools to move up without affecting their entire athletic department could be a game changer.
(This post was last modified: 02-17-2017 04:18 PM by MJG.)
02-17-2017 04:17 PM
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RE: Cost of FBS vs FCS football
(02-17-2017 02:38 PM)Georgia_Power_Company Wrote:  
(02-17-2017 02:19 PM)MJG Wrote:  We will have three lower level independents Army and BYU are different.
BYU and Army have tradition and TV deals that make independence easier.
If five more schools would join Liberty ,U Mass and NMSU it could work long term.

So my question is what is the cost difference to compete with these three schools.
I am assuming the olympic sports will stay in their current conference so football is the only added expense. I doubt the Montana schools would be kicked out of the Big Sky. The MVFC schools already play in separate conferences UC-Davis would be the same. Maybe the CAA would kick out JMU maybe not.

Liberty is an anomaly when it comes to FBS finances. You can't compare them to JMU, NDSU or any other top FCS school because Liberty can basically print money for the football program where the others can't. The only way a current top state ran FCS school moves up is with a conference invite so they can have access to CFP and conference media money. Unless (and that's a NO for now) the Sun Belt wants two new FCS schools then independence for state FCS schools would be almost impossible.

Wichita St may be an exception if they feel an invite to a better conference could come in the next few years they may take the chance.

How can Liberty "print money" for the BF program? Billionaire donor?
02-17-2017 04:19 PM
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SlyFox Offline
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RE: Cost of FBS vs FCS football
Nope. Straight up out-hustling the stodgy old academic set in online education. But we are seeing the traditional major state schools improving their game significantly.
02-17-2017 04:56 PM
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Wedge Offline
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RE: Cost of FBS vs FCS football
(02-17-2017 04:02 PM)NoDak Wrote:  
(02-17-2017 03:57 PM)Wedge Wrote:  
(02-17-2017 03:40 PM)Attackcoog Wrote:  
(02-17-2017 02:59 PM)YNot Wrote:  Excuse my ignorance, but aren't there several FCS institutions that already operate at similar budgets to many of the Sun Belt, MAC, and C-USA schools? Especially recent call-ups like Charlotte, Old Dominion, Coastal Carolina, etc.

WEST: Montana, Montana St., NDSU, South Dakota St., (and Wichita St.)[Idaho and NMSU]
EAST: Liberty, JMU, Delaware, Jacksonville St., Youngstown St. [UMass]

Operating at the same level of weakest FBS teams is not really the test--nor should it be. It could be argued that those lowest level programs should be in jeopardy of being removed from FBS rather than serving as the bar to reach FBS status.

That's right. If a school wants a waiver of the conference-invitation rule, they should have to show that they have the resources to survive in FBS long-term as a football independent.

Having a budget that's one dollar more than that of some established FBS conference member — who has 8 or 9 guaranteed conference football games each year — is nowhere near enough to justify a waiver allowing a school to transition as an independent.

So what is the hurdle if a group of schools want to go FBS when they are now FCS together in a conference? With that kind of schedule already in place, the hurdle isn't nearly as much as going FBS as an independent.

Like a lot of things on this board, there are two different questions there: (1) What is a reasonable prediction of what the NCAA would do, and (2) What would you do if you were the dictator of the NCAA and didn't have to answer to anyone else.

For (1), while I doubt that any significant number of FCS schools are serious about moving to FBS, if a large number did try, I would predict that the prospect of 10, 20, or 30 schools wanting to join FBS without a conference invitation would be met with so much resistance that it could not happen. The money aspect would be one reason the NCAA could give for saying no -- they can say, "We gave a waiver to Liberty, their annual athletic budget is $39 million, if your athletic department's budget is $20 million, forget it, you're not even close."

IMO one very big issue is that the NCAA hates the prospect of any new Division I conferences that would seek autobids to NCAA championships (for basketball reasons of course). I would predict that the existing G5 conferences would also be hostile for football reasons, including that they see their share of CFP money as a static pool and any new FBS conference (or large number of new indies) would decrease the share of each existing G5 school, and (by increasing supply) would also lower the money received for each football "money game". Just one school, Liberty, moving into FBS is a far smaller issue to the NCAA and existing FBS members than the possibility of 10, 20, or 30 FCS teams trying to exploit the Liberty waiver as an excuse to drastically increase FBS membership. The FBS membership would see this as another undesirable "cash grab" like what happened when the basketball tournament TV money exploded and about a hundred new schools joined Division I just to get their hands on some of the March Madness loot.

As for (2), my personal opinion is that, in addition to NCAA obstacles, any school that tries to do this without enough money, in a half-assed way, would be making a gigantic mistake. Even if an athletic department doesn't need all of $39 MM/year (Liberty's current budget as an FCS member) to do this, they should be spending $30 MM/year in a sustainable way before trying to move to FBS. Don't move up to barely survive in FBS like, say, UL-Monroe. Start out with a median G5 budget, not a budget that's barely above the lowest. IMO, nearly all FCS presidents and ADs would agree with what I just wrote, and that's another reason why there won't be any serious attempt to turn the Liberty waiver into a loophole for many others to exploit.
02-17-2017 05:01 PM
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LatahCounty Offline
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RE: Cost of FBS vs FCS football
(02-17-2017 03:58 PM)msm96wolf Wrote:  
(02-17-2017 03:08 PM)LatahCounty Wrote:  
(02-17-2017 02:59 PM)YNot Wrote:  Excuse my ignorance, but aren't there several FCS institutions that already operate at similar budgets to many of the Sun Belt, MAC, and C-USA schools? Especially recent call-ups like Charlotte, Old Dominion, Coastal Carolina, etc.

WEST: Montana, Montana St., NDSU, South Dakota St., (and Wichita St.)[Idaho and NMSU]
EAST: Liberty, JMU, Delaware, Jacksonville St., Youngstown St. [UMass]

People keep repeating "FBS is too expensive" like it's Gospel, but I'm very familiar with the numbers for Idaho and even without any CFP or FBS conference money Idaho will still lose considerably more money as an FCS school than it would as an FBS Independent.

For the Montanas, who've already basically maxed out the revenue in their markets, maybe it doesn't make sense to go FBS without a conference. But in many other places it may be actually be a better financial decision to go FBS, conference or no.

With this change, any chance Idaho reconsiders?

Probably not, unfortunately. Our President has gone completely silent after being verbally abused by just about every donor the program has. Our AD was never on board with the drop, but now says it would be incredibly difficult if not impossible to put together a 2018 indy schedule at this late date. I guess there's a miniscule chance that our new Big Sky-created athletic deficit causes the State Board of Education to ask tougher questions about the finances of the move, but I'm not holding my breath.
02-17-2017 05:23 PM
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Bronco85 Offline
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RE: Cost of FBS vs FCS football
(02-17-2017 05:23 PM)LatahCounty Wrote:  For the Montanas, who've already basically maxed out the revenue in their markets, maybe it doesn't make sense to go FBS without a conference. But in many other places it may be actually be a better financial decision to go FBS, conference or no.

With this change, any chance Idaho reconsiders?
[/quote]

Probably not, unfortunately. Our President has gone completely silent after being verbally abused by just about every donor the program has. Our AD was never on board with the drop, but now says it would be incredibly difficult if not impossible to put together a 2018 indy schedule at this late date. I guess there's a miniscule chance that our new Big Sky-created athletic deficit causes the State Board of Education to ask tougher questions about the finances of the move, but I'm not holding my breath.
[/quote]

What is interesting to me after watching the UI plea to the ISBOE for $4 million, was how the current deficit in the UI AD could be so easily used as an extremely good basis for a well grounded and fiscally sound argument to remain FBS and independent (much as NMSU did). While the Finance Officer was quick to lead with the lie that the drop to FCS had no impact on the deficit, the only hard numbers he presented made it clear that donations were down significantly due to the drop and future away game guarantees would also be significantly down. Remaining FBS cures both these problems. Liberty suddenly becoming available as a legitimate scheduling opportunity would also seem a plus. The argument could be made that while an FBS conference invitation for UI is not on the horizon, an expanded pool of FBS independents might be a possibility which could extend the life of viability as an independent. UI has a defacto bowl bid (which would likely be formalized if they stay FBS) that minimizes expenses and keeps costs less than the FCS playoffs. UI has been directed by the ISBOE to come up with a specific fiscal recovery plan for the Athletic Department and this may be part of a truly workable plan. However, I have a nagging fear the poor presentation by UI may well have been done to get the result that happened (or else the stupidity was extraordinary). When one of the board members told the UI representative that it would be irresponsible to bail out UI for four years and the board sent UI back to make a specific deficit recovery plan, it may have provided the justification for the excuse to drop a women's sport or two ("we didn't want to, the ISBOE made us") or maintain a 4 -5 home game schedule to maximize revenue games.
(This post was last modified: 02-17-2017 06:12 PM by Bronco85.)
02-17-2017 06:09 PM
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LatahCounty Offline
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Post: #19
RE: Cost of FBS vs FCS football
(02-17-2017 06:09 PM)Bronco85 Wrote:  What is interesting to me after watching the UI plea to the ISBOE for $4 million, was how the current deficit in the UI AD could be so easily used as an extremely good basis for a well grounded and fiscally sound argument to remain FBS and independent (much as NMSU did). While the Finance Officer was quick to lead with the lie that the drop to FCS had no impact on the deficit, the only hard numbers he presented made it clear that donations were down significantly due to the drop and future away game guarantees would also be significantly down. Remaining FBS cures both these problems. Liberty suddenly becoming available as a legitimate scheduling opportunity would also seem a plus. The argument could be made that while an FBS conference invitation for UI is not on the horizon, an expanded pool of FBS independents might be a possibility which could extend the life of viability as an independent. UI has a defacto bowl bid (which would likely be formalized if they stay FBS) that minimizes expenses and keeps costs less than the FCS playoffs. UI has been directed by the ISBOE to come up with a specific fiscal recovery plan for the Athletic Department and this may be part of a truly workable plan. However, I have a nagging fear the poor presentation by UI may well have been done to get the result that happened (or else the stupidity was extraordinary). When one of the board members told the UI representative that it would be irresponsible to bail out UI for four years and the board sent UI back to make a specific deficit recovery plan, it may have provided the justification for the excuse to drop a women's sport or two ("we didn't want to, the ISBOE made us") or maintain a 4 -5 home game schedule to maximize revenue games.

I think you're likely right. While we can never completely rule out rank stupidity when considering the actions of Idaho administrators, I doubt they're actually THIS stupid. This is the first step in the dance of dropping sports.

The booster who started the Idaho FBS petition says he now has $1.8 million in pledges contingent on remaining FBS, which would more than wipe out the deficit on its own without even considering the additional revenue from FBS. There's a very public case to make that Idaho could easily grow rather than shrink its athletic department without taking an extra dime from the taxpayers, but I don't know if it will be allowed to be made.
(This post was last modified: 02-17-2017 06:44 PM by LatahCounty.)
02-17-2017 06:43 PM
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RE: Cost of FBS vs FCS football
Idaho should ask for a waiver for 2018 work out a hybrid schedule for 2019 and fundraise for FBS. The arena needs four million more make that part of the campaign for FBS. That and start a twelve million dollar campaign to get the dome over 20k. All the while working with the three lower end FBS independents to lure more teams up to join the group. In 2020 Liberty could be full FBS and anyone joining the group would have the four for first year home games. The second year they could play the second half of H&H G5 games.The first time Idaho was independent the possibility of a group of independents didn't exist. I don't think a group like this can count on Army ,BYU and definitely not Notre Dame.
It was NMSU and Idaho on an island now the island includes Liberty and U Mass and maybe more to follow.

UAB is getting a FOC for twenty million and Birmingham is considering a new stadium.
The best thing to happen to UAB was getting screwed it ignited their fan base.
Idaho could and should do the same it helps even the arena project.
(This post was last modified: 02-17-2017 07:03 PM by MJG.)
02-17-2017 06:57 PM
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