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So You Want to be a P5 School?
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GE and MTS Offline
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Post: #1
So You Want to be a P5 School?
On a slow day with nothing to do, I did some research for what it would take for Liberty to be invited into a P5 conference as they are currently composed. The first category I looked at was attendance because that is a solid indicator of a program and is easily available. I used the 2016 figures available at the NCAA website: http://fs.ncaa.org/Docs/stats/football_r...e/2016.pdf

For the numbers, I included Notre Dame as an independent, Coastal Carolina is transitioning and not included in the Sun Belt figures but New Mexico State and Idaho are included there. Note, the NCAA website's average for each conference takes into account the average per game attendance while my numbers is the average per game per school. For example, the SEC average of 77,507 in 2016 per the NCAA is calculated by taking the 97 SEC home games and averaging out the over 7.5 million in attendance. My figures take the average of each school's average so that it is more of an apples to apples comparison for those who had different amounts of home games.

Average and Median Attendance:
1. SEC - 77,165; 81,929
2. Big Ten - 65,574; 57,650
3. Big 12 - 57,569; 53,185
4. PAC 12 - 50,366; 47,182
5. ACC - 49,716; 48,876

6. American - 31,549
7. Mountain West - 24,296
8. Conference USA - 19,786
9. Sun Belt - 17,823
10. MAC - 15,877

Independents - 46,632

Liberty was 9th in FCS at 16,377 which would have only improved the MAC with all things being equal.

But it isn't enough to just look at the average. Ideally, a new school should be near the top of the league as they want to make a strong impression to be invited and that is important for a school like Liberty that has some obstacles to overcome. Here are the schools at or around the top third or top quarter of each conference:

Top 33% and Top 25% in the Conference:
SEC - Georgia 92,746; LSU 101,231
Big Ten - Wisconsin 79,357; Penn State 100,257
Big 12 - Texas Tech 58,250; Oklahoma 86,857
PAC 12 - Oregon 54,677; Washington 64,589
ACC - NC State 57,497; Virginia Tech 63,043

American - Cincinnati 33,585; Memphis 37,346
Mountain West - Colorado State 27,600; Air Force 29,587
Conference USA - Rice 21,425; UTSA 23,038
Sun Belt - Troy 22,534; Arkansas State 22,700
MAC - Eastern Michigan 17,677; Toledo 20,628

Independents - BYU 58,569; Notre Dame 80,795

Here is the top of each conference for a best case scenario:
1. Big Ten - Michigan 110,468
2. SEC - Texas A&M 101,917
3. Big 12 - Texas 97,881
4. ACC - Clemson 80,970
5. PAC 12 - Southern California 68,459

6. American - ECU 44,113
7. Mountain West - San Diego State 37,289
8. Conference USA - Southern Miss 28,588
9. Sun Belt - App State 26,153
10. MAC - Western Michigan 23,838

Independents - Notre Dame 80,795

Getting our attendance up to 20,000 shouldn't be hard. Getting over 25,000 and forcing an expansion by 2023 should be a target. That's about the time when realignment could happen with so many grant of rights/television contracts start expiring and are renegotiated. To give us a shot at a P5 conference, an average of 60,000 looks like the minimum target.
12-28-2017 08:37 PM
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Ewglenn Offline
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Post: #2
RE: So You Want to be a P5 School?
(12-28-2017 08:37 PM)GE and MTS Wrote:  On a slow day with nothing to do, I did some research for what it would take for Liberty to be invited into a P5 conference as they are currently composed. The first category I looked at was attendance because that is a solid indicator of a program and is easily available. I used the 2016 figures available at the NCAA website: http://fs.ncaa.org/Docs/stats/football_r...e/2016.pdf

For the numbers, I included Notre Dame as an independent, Coastal Carolina is transitioning and not included in the Sun Belt figures but New Mexico State and Idaho are included there. Note, the NCAA website's average for each conference takes into account the average per game attendance while my numbers is the average per game per school. For example, the SEC average of 77,507 in 2016 per the NCAA is calculated by taking the 97 SEC home games and averaging out the over 7.5 million in attendance. My figures take the average of each school's average so that it is more of an apples to apples comparison for those who had different amounts of home games.

Average and Median Attendance:
1. SEC - 77,165; 81,929
2. Big Ten - 65,574; 57,650
3. Big 12 - 57,569; 53,185
4. PAC 12 - 50,366; 47,182
5. ACC - 49,716; 48,876

6. American - 31,549
7. Mountain West - 24,296
8. Conference USA - 19,786
9. Sun Belt - 17,823
10. MAC - 15,877

Independents - 46,632

Liberty was 9th in FCS at 16,377 which would have only improved the MAC with all things being equal.

But it isn't enough to just look at the average. Ideally, a new school should be near the top of the league as they want to make a strong impression to be invited and that is important for a school like Liberty that has some obstacles to overcome. Here are the schools at or around the top third or top quarter of each conference:

Top 33% and Top 25% in the Conference:
SEC - Georgia 92,746; LSU 101,231
Big Ten - Wisconsin 79,357; Penn State 100,257
Big 12 - Texas Tech 58,250; Oklahoma 86,857
PAC 12 - Oregon 54,677; Washington 64,589
ACC - NC State 57,497; Virginia Tech 63,043

American - Cincinnati 33,585; Memphis 37,346
Mountain West - Colorado State 27,600; Air Force 29,587
Conference USA - Rice 21,425; UTSA 23,038
Sun Belt - Troy 22,534; Arkansas State 22,700
MAC - Eastern Michigan 17,677; Toledo 20,628

Independents - BYU 58,569; Notre Dame 80,795

Here is the top of each conference for a best case scenario:
1. Big Ten - Michigan 110,468
2. SEC - Texas A&M 101,917
3. Big 12 - Texas 97,881
4. ACC - Clemson 80,970
5. PAC 12 - Southern California 68,459

6. American - ECU 44,113
7. Mountain West - San Diego State 37,289
8. Conference USA - Southern Miss 28,588
9. Sun Belt - App State 26,153
10. MAC - Western Michigan 23,838

Independents - Notre Dame 80,795

Getting our attendance up to 20,000 shouldn't be hard. Getting over 25,000 and forcing an expansion by 2023 should be a target. That's about the time when realignment could happen with so many grant of rights/television contracts start expiring and are renegotiated. To give us a shot at a P5 conference, an average of 60,000 looks like the minimum target.

This is some good information. I think a P5 invite would need to be 65k+ at a minimum, probably in the 70k range. BYU average over 58k this year and has averaged close to 65k recently. They haven't really been looked at as a candidate either. I think it would take a lot and idk if it's a realistic goal to be P5 in the next 25 years.
12-28-2017 10:22 PM
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WesternSkillet Offline
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Post: #3
RE: So You Want to be a P5 School?
Thanks GE and MTS for this information. My first thought about P5 level attendance was to make the stadium 60K. It might need to be a little bit above 65K. Looking at some of the ACC, VT has a 66K stadium, UVA 61K stadium, NC 62K stadium, Clemson 81K stadium, FSU 79K stadium, Wake Forest 31K stadium, NCST 57K stadium. 60K or higher is about right for ACC stadium standards.

A few notes about the MAC. MACtion (or weeknight games) screws up the attendance numbers. A lot of the numbers reported are not actual number of people in the seats. Sometimes it based on tickets sold but the people don't show up. This is done to keep above the NCAA 15K minimal seating rule that is not actually being enforced. The EMU number (17,677) is definitely not number of people seated. So many people can't make those weeknight games. I really think most MAC schools could average closer to 20K if they did not have to play so many weeknight games.
12-29-2017 09:54 AM
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GE and MTS Offline
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Post: #4
RE: So You Want to be a P5 School?
Schools can either report butts in seats or tickets sold to the NCAA so the figures could represent either depending upon what the individual school does. I agree that the weekday games kill MAC attendance.

The ACC is held down by the private schools and the northeastern schools. Five are under 45,000 in attendance: Virginia at 40K, Syracuse at 32.8K, Boston College at 32.2K, Duke at 29.9K, and Wake Forest at 26.5K. The PAC 12 has a higher average but is far lower comparing the two highest schools with Clemson at 80.1K and USC at 68.5K. The PAC 12 has much less dead weight holding the conference down.

The Big 12 is Texas and Oklahoma, then the next closest is almost 30K less. Kansas is the worst by almost 20K at 25.8K. That won't make you very attractive to other P5 conferences if the Big 12 blows up. But the conference still has the third best of the P5.
12-29-2017 10:18 AM
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GE and MTS Offline
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Post: #5
RE: So You Want to be a P5 School?
Part 2: Wall Street Journal Football Valuation https://graphics.wsj.com/table/COUNT_09212017

The WSJ valued each football team with some exceptions: Navy, Tulane, Tulsa, Charlotte, Old Dominion, UTSA, UMass, Air Force, App State, Georgia Southern, Georgia State, South Alabama, Texas State, and Coastal Carolina. I included New Mexico State and Idaho with the Sun Belt despite them leaving the conference after this season.

Highest Average/Median:
1. SEC - $523,416,429; $503,810,000
2. Big Ten - $415,748,643; $298,529,000
3. Big 12 - $376,373,300; $221,922,000
4. PAC 12 - $253,766,417; $222,748,000
5. ACC - $182,383,929; $164,716,500

6. American - $46,810,778; $40,669,000
7. Mountain West - $29,126,000; $26,284,000
8. Conference USA - $19.063,900; $19,333,000
9. MAC - $15,201,167; $15,220,000
10. Sun Belt - $10,496,667; $10,346,500

Independent - $331,303,333; $98,924,000

There are only 14 schools above the SEC's median and seven are not in the SEC already. Texas (#2) and Oklahoma (#3) joining the SEC or Big Ten are the only pair that can improve either conference (assuming no SEC or Big Ten school jumps themselves). The Big Ten has slightly more wiggle room as some PAC 12 schools and Clemson/Florida State could improve the conference a little bit. It's a little surprising that the Big 12 is so high when they are generally considered the most likely to be pulled apart. Granted, Texas and Oklahoma are the ones providing almost all of the value, but they are easily ahead of both the PAC 12 and ACC. Speaking of the ACC, they are once again weighed down by Wake Forest, Duke, Boston College, Pittsburgh, and Syracuse. I could see the schools at the top being antsy to improve the conference.

As for Liberty, here are some benchmarks:

Being top 100 puts you on par with New Mexico at $15,380,000.
Being top 80 puts you on par with North Texas at $29,266,000.
Being at the lowest P5 school puts you on par with Wake Forest at $52,940,000 at 70th overall.
Being at the highest G5 school puts you on par with BYU at $98,924,000 at 60th overall.

To reach P5 candidacy, LU likely has to be around top 30 which places them at $277,203,000 (Kansas State). That would put them above over half the P5. That wouldn't be good enough for the SEC or Big Ten but should be good enough to the ACC and PAC 12 (but unlikely invited for other reasons: UVA and VT for the ACC and geography and conservative values for the PAC 12) and is borderline to the Big 12. If LU were to skyrocket up to Big 12 material, we'd be a great travel partner for West Virginia who is low on the list at 66 and the worst Big 12 school which is unlike their attendance figure.
12-30-2017 12:32 AM
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WesternSkillet Offline
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Post: #6
RE: So You Want to be a P5 School?
(12-30-2017 12:32 AM)GE and MTS Wrote:  Part 2: Wall Street Journal Football Valuation https://graphics.wsj.com/table/COUNT_09212017

As for Liberty, here are some benchmarks:

Being top 100 puts you on par with New Mexico at $15,380,000.
Being top 80 puts you on par with North Texas at $29,266,000.
Being at the lowest P5 school puts you on par with Wake Forest at $52,940,000 at 70th overall.
Being at the highest G5 school puts you on par with BYU at $98,924,000 at 60th overall.

To reach P5 candidacy, LU likely has to be around top 30 which places them at $277,203,000 (Kansas State). That would put them above over half the P5. That wouldn't be good enough for the SEC or Big Ten but should be good enough to the ACC and PAC 12 (but unlikely invited for other reasons: UVA and VT for the ACC and geography and conservative values for the PAC 12) and is borderline to the Big 12. If LU were to skyrocket up to Big 12 material, we'd be a great travel partner for West Virginia who is low on the list at 66 and the worst Big 12 school which is unlike their attendance figure.

Good benchmarks. Again, thanks for the info.

I've been thinking about what is needed to develop LU into a P5 like school (regardless of if they are in a P5 conference or not).
1 - need a P5 coaching staff
2 - need a P5 stadium
3 - need a P5 facility operation
4 - need a P5 schedules (7-8 P5 games a year IMO)

The coaching staff definitely needs to be upgraded. That will hopefully be only 1 or 2 more seasons before a change is made. The stadium is being upgraded to 25K with the expectation of more growth in the near future. The facilities are in very good shape from what I understand. The schedule is solid but needs more P5 games +10 years or more out.
(This post was last modified: 01-02-2018 07:53 PM by WesternSkillet.)
12-30-2017 01:25 PM
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army56mike Offline
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Post: #7
RE: So You Want to be a P5 School?
Slow growth. I don’t expect to see P5 in my lifetime. I am 49.
12-30-2017 11:34 PM
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Ewglenn Offline
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Post: #8
RE: So You Want to be a P5 School?
(12-30-2017 11:34 PM)army56mike Wrote:  Slow growth. I don’t expect to see P5 in my lifetime. I am 49.

I'm 26 so maybe in my life but I doubt it. I think a realistic hope for my life is to get to where BYU is now.
12-31-2017 01:59 AM
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