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Did Rice actually say NO to the AAC?
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loki_the_bubba Offline
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Post: #1
Did Rice actually say NO to the AAC?
Some people in this thread on the realignment board are talking as if that's a known confirmed fact.

https://csnbbs.com/thread-887922.html
11-21-2019 02:47 PM
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Ourland Offline
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RE: Did Rice actually say NO to the AAC?
I've never heard this before. Maybe they wanted Rice instead of Tulsa? I doubt this with UH already giving them Houston representation.
11-21-2019 07:02 PM
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owl40 Offline
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RE: Did Rice actually say NO to the AAC?
I think there were numerous conversations during this era (pre-JK FWIW) that included many other things like the MWC combo.

In this instance, the thought was that C-USA > = AAC so Rice is better off to milk the exit fees from C-USA exit partners while simultaneously new members (e.g., Charlotte) got less for a time being to fund a $10M deficit each year. To defend the short-sightedness view camp, it ultimately was worth many millions of dollars incremental $ to the incumbent programs (e.g., Rice, So Miss, etc.)

Obviously, bad judgment but it was driven by short-term $ and I believe the strategic view that either a) C-USA would ultimately be better/equal to AAC, b) if AAC successful, than Rice would get an invite anyways, and/or c) Rice could have a path to a P5 by winning in C-USA and investing in facilities so why pay the exit fees if the ultimate goal could be achieved on current path?

Option of d) C-USA sucks, Rice sucks in the Big 3 sports, AAC now working materially better than C-USA, Rice no future in C-USA, etc. was never thought as a realistic outcome. But here we are.

Today, hindsight is 20/20 but I think that would sum up the thinking back-in-the-day.
11-21-2019 08:48 PM
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Owl 69/70/75 Offline
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Post: #4
RE: Did Rice actually say NO to the AAC?
I’ve never heard this, but I’m not as plugged in today as I was at the time of the SEC and original WAC offers.
11-22-2019 11:15 AM
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Gravy Owl Offline
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RE: Did Rice actually say NO to the AAC?
(11-21-2019 08:48 PM)owl40 Wrote:  Today, hindsight is 20/20 but I think that would sum up the thinking back-in-the-day.

IIRC the prevalent thinking on this forum was that the AAC (still the Big East at that time) was not going to be much better than CUSA, and that Rice should save the exit and entry fees so that we could leap directly from CUSA to the P5.

Sorry, but 20/20 hindsight is not necessary to see the flaws. The AAC had bigger schools, bigger budgets, bigger markets, and bigger history. Very few schools get invited into the P5 under any circumstances, and there was no precedent for any school to jump from a lower-tier G5 conference directly to the P5. If you can’t afford a few million for an incremental upgrade, the real big boys probably don’t want you on their team. The leapfrog idea was always a pipe dream.

Of course these decisions aren’t made by internet forums. In Rice’s case, we put Rick Greenspan in charge of our conference alignment. A guy who openly ridiculed the teams that left CUSA, and who advocated the CUSA-MWC merger, as if a continent-spanning 18-team behemoth with no moneymakers was a desirable or even viable option. Let’s take another moment to congratulate ourselves on how smart we are.
11-22-2019 02:18 PM
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JustAnotherAustinOwl Offline
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RE: Did Rice actually say NO to the AAC?
My non-insider recollection is that the MWC-CUSA merger seemed on track prior to the Big East split, and once that happened, we were never among the schools invited.

If we turned down an invitation, that's news to me, but it would have been a catastrophic mistake.
11-22-2019 03:07 PM
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Gravy Owl Offline
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RE: Did Rice actually say NO to the AAC?
(11-22-2019 03:07 PM)JustAnotherAustinOwl Wrote:  My non-insider recollection is that the MWC-CUSA merger seemed on track prior to the Big East split, and once that happened, we were never among the schools invited.

The MWC merger was a response to the Big East departures.

December 7, 2011: SMU, UH, UCF announce departure to Big East
February 7, 2012: Memphis announces departure to Big East
February 13, 2012: CUSA and MWC announce plans to merge
Spring 2012: CUSA-MWC merger abandoned after brain trust figures out that the combined conference will only get one auto-bid
11-22-2019 04:32 PM
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Red Dragon Coog Offline
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Post: #8
RE: Did Rice actually say NO to the AAC?
Word has it that Banowsky told our AD at the time that the AAC would fail and that Rice plus CUSA as a whole would not allow UH to come back.
11-30-2019 08:53 AM
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Tiki Owl Offline
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Post: #9
RE: Did Rice actually say NO to the AAC?
(11-22-2019 02:18 PM)Gravy Owl Wrote:  
(11-21-2019 08:48 PM)owl40 Wrote:  Today, hindsight is 20/20 but I think that would sum up the thinking back-in-the-day.

IIRC the prevalent thinking on this forum was that the AAC (still the Big East at that time) was not going to be much better than CUSA, and that Rice should save the exit and entry fees so that we could leap directly from CUSA to the P5.

Sorry, but 20/20 hindsight is not necessary to see the flaws. The AAC had bigger schools, bigger budgets, bigger markets, and bigger history. Very few schools get invited into the P5 under any circumstances, and there was no precedent for any school pto jump from a lower-tier G5 conference directly to the P5. If you can’t afford a few million for an incremental upgrade, the real big boys probably don’t want you on their team. The leapfrog idea was always a pipe dream.

Of course these decisions aren’t made by internet forums. In Rice’s case, we put Rick Greenspan in charge of our conference alignment. A guy who openly ridiculed the teams that left CUSA, and who advocated the CUSA-MWC merger, as if a continent-spanning 18-team behemoth with no moneymakers was a desirable or even viable option. Let’s take another moment to congratulate ourselves on how smart we are.

And Greenspan’s sign board comment of these events is a shining example of the terrible decision to hire him instead of David Sayler or another competent person.
11-30-2019 09:32 AM
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OldOwl Offline
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Post: #10
RE: Did Rice actually say NO to the AAC?
We had a do nothing Athletic Director at the time;so not surprising.
(11-30-2019 09:32 AM)Tiki Owl Wrote:  
(11-22-2019 02:18 PM)Gravy Owl Wrote:  
(11-21-2019 08:48 PM)owl40 Wrote:  Today, hindsight is 20/20 but I think that would sum up the thinking back-in-the-day.

IIRC the prevalent thinking on this forum was that the AAC (still the Big East at that time) was not going to be much better than CUSA, and that Rice should save the exit and entry fees so that we could leap directly from CUSA to the P5.

Sorry, but 20/20 hindsight is not necessary to see the flaws. The AAC had bigger schools, bigger budgets, bigger markets, and bigger history. Very few schools get invited into the P5 under any circumstances, and there was no precedent for any school pto jump from a lower-tier G5 conference directly to the P5. If you can’t afford a few million for an incremental upgrade, the real big boys probably don’t want you on their team. The leapfrog idea was always a pipe dream.

Of course these decisions aren’t made by internet forums. In Rice’s case, we put Rick Greenspan in charge of our conference alignment. A guy who openly ridiculed the teams that left CUSA, and who advocated the CUSA-MWC merger, as if a continent-spanning 18-team behemoth with no moneymakers was a desirable or even viable option. Let’s take another moment to congratulate ourselves on how smart we are.

And Greenspan’s sign board comment of these events is a shining example of the terrible decision to hire him instead of David Sayler or another competent person.
(This post was last modified: 11-30-2019 07:37 PM by OldOwl.)
11-30-2019 07:33 PM
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75src Offline
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Post: #11
RE: Did Rice actually say NO to the AAC?
And the current CUSA has travel to some locations far away from a good airport so bad travel to the east.

(11-22-2019 02:18 PM)Gravy Owl Wrote:  
(11-21-2019 08:48 PM)owl40 Wrote:  Today, hindsight is 20/20 but I think that would sum up the thinking back-in-the-day.

IIRC the prevalent thinking on this forum was that the AAC (still the Big East at that time) was not going to be much better than CUSA, and that Rice should save the exit and entry fees so that we could leap directly from CUSA to the P5.

Sorry, but 20/20 hindsight is not necessary to see the flaws. The AAC had bigger schools, bigger budgets, bigger markets, and bigger history. Very few schools get invited into the P5 under any circumstances, and there was no precedent for any school to jump from a lower-tier G5 conference directly to the P5. If you can’t afford a few million for an incremental upgrade, the real big boys probably don’t want you on their team. The leapfrog idea was always a pipe dream.

Of course these decisions aren’t made by internet forums. In Rice’s case, we put Rick Greenspan in charge of our conference alignment. A guy who openly ridiculed the teams that left CUSA, and who advocated the CUSA-MWC merger, as if a continent-spanning 18-team behemoth with no moneymakers was a desirable or even viable option. Let’s take another moment to congratulate ourselves on how smart we are.
11-30-2019 08:16 PM
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