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The Future of the New Mexico State Aggies and the Western Athletic Conference
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joeben69 Offline
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The Future of the New Mexico State Aggies and the Western Athletic Conference
05-17-2020 12:40 PM
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Fighting Muskie Offline
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RE: The Future of the New Mexico State Aggies and the Western Athletic Conference
In a never going to happen dream world for NMSU, the MWC expands and then splits:

Western Pacific Conference:

Hawaii, San Jose St, Fresno St, San Diego St, UNLV, Nevada, Boise St, Utah St, Montana, Montana St

Mountain West Conference:

Wyoming, Colorado St, Air Force, UNM, NMSU, UTEP, UTSA, Texas St, UNT, Rice
05-17-2020 01:07 PM
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_C2_ Offline
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RE: The Future of the New Mexico State Aggies and the Western Athletic Conference
Rice goes east, not west. They learned that from a decade in the WAC.
05-17-2020 01:11 PM
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DavidSt Offline
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RE: The Future of the New Mexico State Aggies and the Western Athletic Conference
WAC West:
Dixie State
New Mexico State
West Texas A&M
Sacramento State
UC-Davis football only
Cal Poly football only

Non-football
Seattle
Grand Canyon
California Baptist
Utah Valley

WAC East:
Tarleton State
Lamar
Sam Houston State
SFAU
Central Oklahoma
UTRGV

Non-football:
Colorado-Colorado Springs
Chicago State
Dallas Baptist

The three Texas privates are behind any of the public Texas schools on the facilities. Even D2 schools have a head start as well.

Dixie State looking to go 15,000 seat stadium, even more.
West Texas A&M do have access to an FBS size stadium.
Central Oklahoma could add 5000 more seats to get to 15,000 which does not count other types of seatings like temp.
(This post was last modified: 05-17-2020 01:23 PM by DavidSt.)
05-17-2020 01:19 PM
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UTEPDallas Offline
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RE: The Future of the New Mexico State Aggies and the Western Athletic Conference
(05-17-2020 01:11 PM)_C2_ Wrote:  Rice goes east, not west. They learned that from a decade in the WAC.

TCU went west and succeeded the second time. Rice has already made inquiries with the MWC at least twice. First as a package deal with Tulsa just before the latter was invited to the American. Then as a package deal with UTEP where they were told they were not needed. Rice makes sense in the AAC with the other three privates and UTEP is the only one that makes sense in the MWC. But Rice would do what it takes to leave C-USA and the MWC would be a nice consolation prize for the time being.
05-17-2020 01:30 PM
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UTEPDallas Offline
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RE: The Future of the New Mexico State Aggies and the Western Athletic Conference
I’m one of the few UTEP fans that has nothing against NMSU. Maybe because I wasn’t born or raised in El Paso so I didn’t grow up rooting against them. Yes, it’s a rivalry and I might even call Las Cruces “Lost Causes” (although LC is a nice small city IMO) but I wish nothing but the best for them. I even rooted for them in the Cactus Bowl vs Utah State.

The problem for NMSU is they don’t really offer anything the MWC and C-USA want or need. The proximity to UTEP and UNM is a curse and a blessing. A curse for the reasons mentioned above. A blessing because independence can work for the Aggies because UTEP and UNM play them every year in football and for a home and home in basketball so the WAC can at least be tolerable. Other than Idaho, no other school has suffered the consequences of the destruction of WAC football or the lack of a second Western non power league more than NMSU.
05-17-2020 01:41 PM
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Wedge Offline
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RE: The Future of the New Mexico State Aggies and the Western Athletic Conference
(05-17-2020 01:30 PM)UTEPDallas Wrote:  
(05-17-2020 01:11 PM)_C2_ Wrote:  Rice goes east, not west. They learned that from a decade in the WAC.

TCU went west and succeeded the second time.

TCU made that choice in 2004 for football. When TCU left CUSA and moved to the Mountain West, they were choosing the MWC membership at the time (BYU, Utah, Wyoming, CSU, AFA, UNM, UNLV, SDSU) over the CUSA membership at the time.

Obviously the conference memberships are different in 2020, but the dynamic would be the same in that a school choosing between CUSA and MWC would choose MWC because the relative strength of the two conferences is a more important issue than geographical convenience.
05-17-2020 04:00 PM
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SactoHornetAlum Offline
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RE: The Future of the New Mexico State Aggies and the Western Athletic Conference
(05-17-2020 01:41 PM)UTEPDallas Wrote:  I’m one of the few UTEP fans that has nothing against NMSU. Maybe because I wasn’t born or raised in El Paso so I didn’t grow up rooting against them. Yes, it’s a rivalry and I might even call Las Cruces “Lost Causes” (although LC is a nice small city IMO) but I wish nothing but the best for them. I even rooted for them in the Cactus Bowl vs Utah State.

The problem for NMSU is they don’t really offer anything the MWC and C-USA want or need. The proximity to UTEP and UNM is a curse and a blessing. A curse for the reasons mentioned above. A blessing because independence can work for the Aggies because UTEP and UNM play them every year in football and for a home and home in basketball so the WAC can at least be tolerable. Other than Idaho, no other school has suffered the consequences of the destruction of WAC football or the lack of a second Western non power league more than NMSU.

They offer UTEP an Olympic sports travel partner which coming out of the Covid shutdown will be huge. You can basically put up traveling teams in one hotel, even if it’s in El Paso to save major costs. The athletic admins now will be forced to consider these issues now.
(This post was last modified: 05-17-2020 04:28 PM by SactoHornetAlum.)
05-17-2020 04:27 PM
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HawaiiMongoose Offline
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RE: The Future of the New Mexico State Aggies and the Western Athletic Conference
I don't doubt that the authors of the article are earnest and thoughtful in their consideration of NMSU's options. Nonetheless their proposed lineup of potential WAC FBS football schools is a long way from being realistic. Here are the stadium capacities and 2019 average attendance numbers of the six football schools on their list not named NMSU or UTEP:

Abilene Christian (FCS) - 7,882/12,000
Incarnate Word (FCS) - 3,274/6,000
Tarleton State (D2 transitioning to FCS) - 8,952/10,000
Houston Baptist (FCS) - 2,322/5,000
Dixie State (D2 transitioning to FCS) - 3,791/10,000
Southern Utah (FCS) - 4,797/8,500

As I've posted elsewhere I think WAC FBS football is a pipe dream, but if it could ever happen it would require NMSU and UTEP to be joined by a lineup more like this:

Montana (past FBS/WAC candidate) - 22,545/25,203
Montana State (past FBS/WAC candidate) - 17,281/21,527
Sacramento State (past FBS/WAC candidate) - 10,950/21,195
Weber State (finished 2019 ranked #3 in FCS) - 7,438/17,500
Idaho (former FBS) - 6,885/16,000
UTRGV (new direct-to-FBS program like UTSA)

For non-football sports this would set up the following travel pairings:

Seattle-Idaho
Montana-Montana State
Weber State-Utah Valley
Sacramento State-Cal Baptist
Dixie State-Grand Canyon
NMSU-UTEP
Tarleton State-UTRGV
(This post was last modified: 05-17-2020 04:40 PM by HawaiiMongoose.)
05-17-2020 04:34 PM
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CitrusUCF Offline
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RE: The Future of the New Mexico State Aggies and the Western Athletic Conference
(05-17-2020 04:00 PM)Wedge Wrote:  
(05-17-2020 01:30 PM)UTEPDallas Wrote:  
(05-17-2020 01:11 PM)_C2_ Wrote:  Rice goes east, not west. They learned that from a decade in the WAC.

TCU went west and succeeded the second time.

TCU made that choice in 2004 for football. When TCU left CUSA and moved to the Mountain West, they were choosing the MWC membership at the time (BYU, Utah, Wyoming, CSU, AFA, UNM, UNLV, SDSU) over the CUSA membership at the time.

Obviously the conference memberships are different in 2020, but the dynamic would be the same in that a school choosing between CUSA and MWC would choose MWC because the relative strength of the two conferences is a more important issue than geographical convenience.

That assumes that the calculation is purely athletic. Rice sees football and D-1 membership overall as a recruiting tool in competing with similar institutions by offering a similar college experience (though I think we all agree that if you care about watching good football on Saturday AND going to an elite university, that Vanderbilt, Stanford, or Northwestern might be better places to be). Rice's student body is majority Texas followed by California. But after California, it's majority eastern states - FL, NY, IL, NJ, MD, WA, MS, OH finish the Top 10. So as a recruiting tool, getting exposure in the eastern states is key for Rice. Clearly the AAC would be their best fit for doing so, but CUSA is better than a move to MWC from the academic perspective (neither conference has any academic peers for Rice...maybe Air Force if we're talking purely undergrads).
(This post was last modified: 05-17-2020 04:40 PM by CitrusUCF.)
05-17-2020 04:39 PM
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TDenverFan Offline
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RE: The Future of the New Mexico State Aggies and the Western Athletic Conference
A lot of those schools would have 0 ability to support an FBS team.

Houston Baptist draws like 3,000 fans and had 2 wins in the Southland last year, and Incarnate Word/Abeline Christian aren't much better. Tarleton and Dixie State are still D2, that would be a huge jump up.

I think Idaho, NMSU, and UTEP is the core you'd try to start with and build from, but I get Idaho is still pretty far out there geographically.
05-17-2020 05:47 PM
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Wedge Offline
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RE: The Future of the New Mexico State Aggies and the Western Athletic Conference
(05-17-2020 04:39 PM)CitrusUCF Wrote:  
(05-17-2020 04:00 PM)Wedge Wrote:  
(05-17-2020 01:30 PM)UTEPDallas Wrote:  
(05-17-2020 01:11 PM)_C2_ Wrote:  Rice goes east, not west. They learned that from a decade in the WAC.

TCU went west and succeeded the second time.

TCU made that choice in 2004 for football. When TCU left CUSA and moved to the Mountain West, they were choosing the MWC membership at the time (BYU, Utah, Wyoming, CSU, AFA, UNM, UNLV, SDSU) over the CUSA membership at the time.

Obviously the conference memberships are different in 2020, but the dynamic would be the same in that a school choosing between CUSA and MWC would choose MWC because the relative strength of the two conferences is a more important issue than geographical convenience.

That assumes that the calculation is purely athletic. Rice sees football and D-1 membership overall as a recruiting tool in competing with similar institutions by offering a similar college experience (though I think we all agree that if you care about watching good football on Saturday AND going to an elite university, that Vanderbilt, Stanford, or Northwestern might be better places to be). Rice's student body is majority Texas followed by California. But after California, it's majority eastern states - FL, NY, IL, NJ, MD, WA, MS, OH finish the Top 10. So as a recruiting tool, getting exposure in the eastern states is key for Rice. Clearly the AAC would be their best fit for doing so, but CUSA is better than a move to MWC from the academic perspective (neither conference has any academic peers for Rice...maybe Air Force if we're talking purely undergrads).

Florida and Mississippi are the only states on that list that include CUSA members. California includes three MWC members and has 15 million more people than Florida and Mississippi combined. If D-I athletics really is a recruiting tool for elite private colleges (which is debatable), then in this case it would be another argument for MWC over CUSA.
05-17-2020 06:06 PM
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IWokeUpLikeThis Offline
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RE: The Future of the New Mexico State Aggies and the Western Athletic Conference
(05-17-2020 05:47 PM)TDenverFan Wrote:  A lot of those schools would have 0 ability to support an FBS team.

Houston Baptist draws like 3,000 fans and had 2 wins in the Southland last year, and Incarnate Word/Abeline Christian aren't much better. Tarleton and Dixie State are still D2, that would be a huge jump up.

I think Idaho, NMSU, and UTEP is the core you'd try to start with and build from, but I get Idaho is still pretty far out there geographically.

Yeah, most of those WAC/Southland/Big Sky schools don’t have the ability.

You’d start with Idaho, NMSU, and UTEP. Bring Montana/Montana St and NDSU/SDSU (FB-only) on board. That’s 7. Might be able to convince Missouri St for 8 (fills void of no G5 schools in IA/NE/MO/KS).

FB (8)
NDSU (FB-only)
SDSU (FB-only)
Missouri St (FB-only)
UTEP
NMSU
Montana
Montana St
Idaho

BB (12)
Tarleton/UTRGV
NMSU/UTEP
Dixie/UVU
Cal Baptist/GCU
Montana/Montana St
Idaho/Seattle

Of course, one school says no and the whole house of cards falls.
05-17-2020 06:26 PM
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DavidSt Offline
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RE: The Future of the New Mexico State Aggies and the Western Athletic Conference
(05-17-2020 04:34 PM)HawaiiMongoose Wrote:  I don't doubt that the authors of the article are earnest and thoughtful in their consideration of NMSU's options. Nonetheless their proposed lineup of potential WAC FBS football schools is a long way from being realistic. Here are the stadium capacities and 2019 average attendance numbers of the six football schools on their list not named NMSU or UTEP:

Abilene Christian (FCS) - 7,882/12,000
Incarnate Word (FCS) - 3,274/6,000
Tarleton State (D2 transitioning to FCS) - 8,952/10,000
Houston Baptist (FCS) - 2,322/5,000
Dixie State (D2 transitioning to FCS) - 3,791/10,000
Southern Utah (FCS) - 4,797/8,500

As I've posted elsewhere I think WAC FBS football is a pipe dream, but if it could ever happen it would require NMSU and UTEP to be joined by a lineup more like this:

Montana (past FBS/WAC candidate) - 22,545/25,203
Montana State (past FBS/WAC candidate) - 17,281/21,527
Sacramento State (past FBS/WAC candidate) - 10,950/21,195
Weber State (finished 2019 ranked #3 in FCS) - 7,438/17,500
Idaho (former FBS) - 6,885/16,000
UTRGV (new direct-to-FBS program like UTSA)

For non-football sports this would set up the following travel pairings:

Seattle-Idaho
Montana-Montana State
Weber State-Utah Valley
Sacramento State-Cal Baptist
Dixie State-Grand Canyon
NMSU-UTEP
Tarleton State-UTRGV


West Texas A&M is also a former FBS school and could fit the group you mentioned above.
Dixie State is expanding their stadium to be at 15,000. That is another core.
Montana and Montana State Would rather join the MWC instead.

I do not think Weber State would be a candidate which would give them three schools in Utah.

You left out the three Southland schools that looked into going to D1 which one of them had a campus visit from the WAC officials in the past.
Lamar
Sam Houston State
SFAU
05-17-2020 06:28 PM
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Gamecock Offline
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RE: The Future of the New Mexico State Aggies and the Western Athletic Conference
Anything is several years away from actually happening. They do have Dixie St and Tarleton St who could presumably move up at any time. UTRGV is still out there too and could be a direct to FBS school.

The issue is that they would need 4-5 other schools that are already FBS to make the transitioning work and it’s hard to see where that comes from
05-17-2020 06:38 PM
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HawaiiMongoose Offline
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RE: The Future of the New Mexico State Aggies and the Western Athletic Conference
(05-17-2020 06:26 PM)IWokeUpLikeThis Wrote:  
(05-17-2020 05:47 PM)TDenverFan Wrote:  A lot of those schools would have 0 ability to support an FBS team.

Houston Baptist draws like 3,000 fans and had 2 wins in the Southland last year, and Incarnate Word/Abeline Christian aren't much better. Tarleton and Dixie State are still D2, that would be a huge jump up.

I think Idaho, NMSU, and UTEP is the core you'd try to start with and build from, but I get Idaho is still pretty far out there geographically.

Yeah, most of those WAC/Southland/Big Sky schools don’t have the ability.

You’d start with Idaho, NMSU, and UTEP. Bring Montana/Montana St and NDSU/SDSU (FB-only) on board. That’s 7. Might be able to convince Missouri St for 8 (fills void of no G5 schools in IA/NE/MO/KS).

FB (8)
NDSU (FB-only)
SDSU (FB-only)
Missouri St (FB-only)
UTEP
NMSU
Montana
Montana St
Idaho

BB (12)
Tarleton/UTRGV
NMSU/UTEP
Dixie/UVU
Cal Baptist/GCU
Montana/Montana St
Idaho/Seattle

Of course, one school says no and the whole house of cards falls.

To qualify as an FBS conference the membership of the conference must include at least eight full members who play FBS football. Affiliate members that only play football in the conference don’t count.
05-17-2020 07:07 PM
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RE: The Future of the New Mexico State Aggies and the Western Athletic Conference
That dream conference in the article is FCS. UTEP dropping down with NMSU.
05-17-2020 07:22 PM
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HawaiiMongoose Offline
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RE: The Future of the New Mexico State Aggies and the Western Athletic Conference
(05-17-2020 06:28 PM)DavidSt Wrote:  West Texas A&M is also a former FBS school and could fit the group you mentioned above.
Dixie State is expanding their stadium to be at 15,000. That is another core.
Montana and Montana State Would rather join the MWC instead.

I do not think Weber State would be a candidate which would give them three schools in Utah.

You left out the three Southland schools that looked into going to D1 which one of them had a campus visit from the WAC officials in the past.
Lamar
Sam Houston State
SFAU

West Texas A&M and Dixie State are D2s that would have to wait years to transition to FBS. Also the funding to expand Dixie State’s stadium capacity to 15,000 hasn’t materialized.

Montana and Montana State aren’t on the radar screen for the MWC. If the MWC should need to add a member in the future it will likely invite a school in Texas.

I actually didn’t look at Weber State until after considering the exact same Southland schools you list. But in the end I went with the numbers. Weber State has a bigger stadium and had better attendance and on-field performance in 2019 than all three of them.
(This post was last modified: 05-17-2020 07:28 PM by HawaiiMongoose.)
05-17-2020 07:22 PM
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johnbragg Offline
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RE: The Future of the New Mexico State Aggies and the Western Athletic Conference
(05-17-2020 06:26 PM)IWokeUpLikeThis Wrote:  
(05-17-2020 05:47 PM)TDenverFan Wrote:  A lot of those schools would have 0 ability to support an FBS team.

Houston Baptist draws like 3,000 fans and had 2 wins in the Southland last year, and Incarnate Word/Abeline Christian aren't much better. Tarleton and Dixie State are still D2, that would be a huge jump up.

I think Idaho, NMSU, and UTEP is the core you'd try to start with and build from, but I get Idaho is still pretty far out there geographically.

Yeah, most of those WAC/Southland/Big Sky schools don’t have the ability.

You’d start with Idaho, NMSU, and UTEP. Bring Montana/Montana St and NDSU/SDSU (FB-only) on board. That’s 7. Might be able to convince Missouri St for 8 (fills void of no G5 schools in IA/NE/MO/KS).

FB (8)
NDSU (FB-only)
SDSU (FB-only)
Missouri St (FB-only)
UTEP
NMSU
Montana
Montana St
Idaho

BB (12)
Tarleton/UTRGV
NMSU/UTEP
Dixie/UVU
Cal Baptist/GCU
Montana/Montana St
Idaho/Seattle

Of course, one school says no and the whole house of cards falls.

Plus you need 8 full members for an FBS conference, so Missouri State, NDSU and SDSU would have to be full members.
05-17-2020 07:38 PM
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RE: The Future of the New Mexico State Aggies and the Western Athletic Conference
(05-17-2020 06:28 PM)DavidSt Wrote:  West Texas A&M is also a former FBS school and could fit the group you mentioned above.
Dixie State is expanding their stadium to be at 15,000. That is another core.
Montana and Montana State Would rather join the MWC instead.

Maybe so, but the MWC isn't looking for anyone.

Quote:I do not think Weber State would be a candidate which would give them three schools in Utah.

You left out the three Southland schools that looked into going to D1 which one of them had a campus visit from the WAC officials in the past.
Lamar
Sam Houston State
SFAU

He's got a point, if you're scrounging for schools that could be FBS candidates if you're super desperate, you should talk to the schools that the WAC talked to 10 years ago.
05-17-2020 07:40 PM
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