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How the SEC Expansion may affect us
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TrojanTeen2 Offline
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Post: #1
How the SEC Expansion may affect us
If you have recently seen in the news, OU & Texas are leaving the Big 12 officially (there's still no timetable yet). As a student at OU, I'm excited for this (especially for football), but this move will have a huge impact on the other conferences. Of course, most of the media is talking about the outcome of the P5 conferences but the G5 level conferences may also think of changes too including the SunBelt. While these moves are football influenced, it will make an impact on the basketball world as well.

As you know, the SunBelt currently has 12 members with 10 of them having football. We and UTA are the only non-football schools in the conference. For football, having 10 teams is seen as awkward and 12 teams would make a better divisional setup. So that's why many fans of the other SBC teams have been thinking about which 2 teams could join the conference to make this number 12. However, some of them believe that in order to do this, Us and UTA would need to leave. I could be overreacting but I feel as if a change in conference isn't out of the future possibilities.

What is everybody's thoughts on this?

My list of possible options (note that the Southland is pretty much dead now):
Stay in SBC as a non-football school
Join MVC - Good geographically, need to catch up a bit in talent, with UTA make it 12 teams
Join Summit - not as good geographically, good for talent level, with UTA make it 12 teams
Join ASUN - relatively good geographically, good for talent level, keep in mind UCA is now in this conference but they already have 12 members.
(This post was last modified: 07-26-2021 11:15 AM by TrojanTeen2.)
07-26-2021 11:13 AM
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mjs Offline
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RE: How the SEC Expansion may affect us
I certainly haven't a clue how all this will pan out. I tend to believe the Sun Belt will not force LR or UTA out. Even without football, I think we both bring positives for the league. We are both in major metro areas and are easy to get to. We both have, for the most part been solid in men's basketball. LR has been the most solid women's basketball program in the league. Don't see how having a couple of non-football schools hurts the league.

That being said, while I like the Belt and the rivalries we have, I won't lose any sleep with regard to moving to a basketball conference. Obviously the MoValley would be the preferred move. The only thing I see hurting us with regard to getting an invite is our lack of fan support. But metro area and TV sets (number who watch is another issue) may make up for that. The Summit conference would have some ridiculous road trips to the Dakotas (4 of their teams). But, trips to ORU, UMKC, Omaha, and even Western Illinois are very doable. Add us and UTA (or someone else in the area), you could have a nice Eastern Division.

It would be strange going back to the ASUN (the old TAAC), but I wouldn't lose any sleep over that either. They have an even 12, at the moment, but they change their line-up all the time. UCA would obviously be a big rival and we'd have relatively close trips to Lipscomb, North Alabama, and Jacksonville State.

I guess remaining in the Belt would still be my preferred choice at the moment. I no longer worry a whole lot about conference moves. I used to think conference affiliation would greatly affect our attendance numbers, but after almost 40 years of following our program I don't think it makes a hill of beans.
I have always been happy about our move to the Sun Belt, from the TAAC, because I believe it allowed us fans to see a better brand of basketball even though we won less. But, this seems to make absolutely no difference to folks in Little Rock. I now believe being in a league where we could win more, might be the one thing that could result in somewhat improved attendance. I have no illusions that we would dominate the ASUN or Summit, but we might win a few more games.

Glad you brought up this topic. I have always been interested following conference movement. Ironically, we made our move to the Sun Belt right before they basically broke up and merged with the American South. The original Sun Belt was a really strong basketball conference. Who knows where our program would be if that conference had held together. Obviously at some point it would have broken up, but who knows when that would have been.
07-26-2021 02:59 PM
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mjs Offline
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Post: #3
RE: How the SEC Expansion may affect us
Just for a history lesson, when we initially agreed to join the Sun Belt the league was made up of University of South Alabama, Georgia State University, Jacksonville University, the University of North Carolina at Charlotte, the University of South Florida, Western Kentucky University, Old Dominion University, the University of Alabama at Birmingham, and Virginia Commonwealth University. Remembering back, I think most of those schools were better basketball programs back then, then they are now. The only athletic program that has clearly bettered itself it USF, although they have certainly never become a basketball power. All the other schools who left the Sun Belt for "greener pastures", are certainly no better off at this time.
07-26-2021 03:19 PM
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MICHAELSPAPPY Offline
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Post: #4
RE: How the SEC Expansion may affect us
The Super Conference move was bound to happen sooner or later. This is probably the last step is shoving aside any schools not able to muscle for the money. The power conferences will consolidate to two or three, controlled completely by television football revenue.
(This post was last modified: 07-26-2021 03:21 PM by MICHAELSPAPPY.)
07-26-2021 03:20 PM
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mjs Offline
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RE: How the SEC Expansion may affect us
(07-26-2021 03:20 PM)MICHAELSPAPPY Wrote:  The Super Conference move was bound to happen sooner or later. This is probably the last step is shoving aside any schools not able to muscle for the money. The power conferences will consolidate to two or three, controlled completely by television football revenue.

A couple of decades ago this would have pissed me off. Now at my age, I'm not going to lose sleep over it. I assume LR will continue to have a basketball program and I will continue to go to games (post-Covid). The big schools will have all the advantages, but they always did. They'll have more advantages now with the NIL and immediate transfer rule, but I don't know if that really changes the equation any. In a few years, I'm not sure how the SEC will be much different the NFL or NBA, but I guess that's fine for the states and cities that don't have pro-teams. College sports as we knew them will be a thing of the past- except maybe at our level. I think I started losing interest in pro sports with the advent of free agency and needing a scorecard every season to know the players on your team. College sports will soon be the same way- Good players will simply go to the highest bidder and it will no longer involve hidden bags of money.
07-26-2021 06:28 PM
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MICHAELSPAPPY Offline
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RE: How the SEC Expansion may affect us
I don't know but what it would be best for college sports for the NCAA to divide into four divisions. Let the money schools devour one another instead of devouring us. There is VASTLY more integrity - financially and athletically - in the lower levels of college athletics than in the top tier. Let them have it. As I become less able and inclined to travel (no offense, Trojans), I probably am going to be going to Fort Smith (UAFS - D2) and Clarksville (U of O - D3) to see my live college athletics. The ability is a step down from the top tier of D1, but not the intensity and desire, and certainly not the joy of playing the game. If the big boys want the money, let them have it - but they won't have me. I want to watch kids play who are playing for the love of the game and to get an education.

This summer I got to watch the conference softball tournament of one of the NAIA conferences in Louisiana. Very enjoyable. I got my money's worth.
07-27-2021 08:32 AM
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MICHAELSPAPPY Offline
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RE: How the SEC Expansion may affect us
And who knows? At some point in the future, the governing bodies for college athletics may not even be connected. Football may be entirely separate from other sports, and so the conference and divisional alignments now forced upon us by football may be irrelevant.
07-27-2021 09:08 PM
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chiefsfan Online
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Post: #8
RE: How the SEC Expansion may affect us
For clarity, I think your administration would jump for the ASun if the invite ever game. You guys have been trying to develop a UCA rivalry for a while, amd that would make it far easier.

I just don't think that invite is coming anytime soon.
07-31-2021 09:30 PM
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PTJR Offline
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RE: How the SEC Expansion may affect us
(07-31-2021 09:30 PM)chiefsfan Wrote:  For clarity, I think your administration would jump for the ASun if the invite ever game. You guys have been trying to develop a UCA rivalry for a while, amd that would make it far easier.

I just don't think that invite is coming anytime soon.

I seriously doubt that Little Rock would “jump” for the ASun with an invitation. For starters, we already have a rivalry with an instate team, Arkansas State, if you hadn’t noticed, and developing one with UCA does not require same league membership. And I think everybody at Little Rock is quite satisfied with the Sun Belt for the most part!

And one thing UCA is going to find out about the ASun is that there is a gorilla in the room. It won’t affect them in football, but basketball, etc. is a different story. One of the reasons no FBS league, including the Sun Belt, has wanted nothing to do with adding Liberty (in addition to their other baggage), is because they have an athletic budget that dwarfs others outside the Power 5. So now the ASun schools are competing in all non-football sports against a team that can outspend them on every sport by a lot! And it shows! Just take a look at who wins things in the league over there!
08-01-2021 10:29 AM
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eh9198 Offline
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Post: #10
RE: How the SEC Expansion may affect us
(08-01-2021 10:29 AM)PTJR Wrote:  
(07-31-2021 09:30 PM)chiefsfan Wrote:  For clarity, I think your administration would jump for the ASun if the invite ever game. You guys have been trying to develop a UCA rivalry for a while, amd that would make it far easier.

I just don't think that invite is coming anytime soon.

I seriously doubt that Little Rock would “jump” for the ASun with an invitation. For starters, we already have a rivalry with an instate team, Arkansas State, if you hadn’t noticed, and developing one with UCA does not require same league membership. And I think everybody at Little Rock is quite satisfied with the Sun Belt for the most part!

And one thing UCA is going to find out about the ASun is that there is a gorilla in the room. It won’t affect them in football, but basketball, etc. is a different story. One of the reasons no FBS league, including the Sun Belt, has wanted nothing to do with adding Liberty (in addition to their other baggage), is because they have an athletic budget that dwarfs others outside the Power 5. So now the ASun schools are competing in all non-football sports against a team that can outspend them on every sport by a lot! And it shows! Just take a look at who wins things in the league over there!

You said it, PTJR
08-06-2021 03:12 PM
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chiefsfan Online
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Post: #11
RE: How the SEC Expansion may affect us
(08-01-2021 10:29 AM)PTJR Wrote:  
(07-31-2021 09:30 PM)chiefsfan Wrote:  For clarity, I think your administration would jump for the ASun if the invite ever game. You guys have been trying to develop a UCA rivalry for a while, amd that would make it far easier.

I just don't think that invite is coming anytime soon.

I seriously doubt that Little Rock would “jump” for the ASun with an invitation. For starters, we already have a rivalry with an instate team, Arkansas State, if you hadn’t noticed, and developing one with UCA does not require same league membership. And I think everybody at Little Rock is quite satisfied with the Sun Belt for the most part!

And one thing UCA is going to find out about the ASun is that there is a gorilla in the room. It won’t affect them in football, but basketball, etc. is a different story. One of the reasons no FBS league, including the Sun Belt, has wanted nothing to do with adding Liberty (in addition to their other baggage), is because they have an athletic budget that dwarfs others outside the Power 5. So now the ASun schools are competing in all non-football sports against a team that can outspend them on every sport by a lot! And it shows! Just take a look at who wins things in the league over there!

Well reasoned, I just don't know how long Liberty is in the ASun. They are trying really hard to get out.
08-08-2021 04:59 PM
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PTJR Offline
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RE: How the SEC Expansion may affect us
(08-08-2021 04:59 PM)chiefsfan Wrote:  
(08-01-2021 10:29 AM)PTJR Wrote:  
(07-31-2021 09:30 PM)chiefsfan Wrote:  For clarity, I think your administration would jump for the ASun if the invite ever game. You guys have been trying to develop a UCA rivalry for a while, amd that would make it far easier.

I just don't think that invite is coming anytime soon.

I seriously doubt that Little Rock would “jump” for the ASun with an invitation. For starters, we already have a rivalry with an instate team, Arkansas State, if you hadn’t noticed, and developing one with UCA does not require same league membership. And I think everybody at Little Rock is quite satisfied with the Sun Belt for the most part!

And one thing UCA is going to find out about the ASun is that there is a gorilla in the room. It won’t affect them in football, but basketball, etc. is a different story. One of the reasons no FBS league, including the Sun Belt, has wanted nothing to do with adding Liberty (in addition to their other baggage), is because they have an athletic budget that dwarfs others outside the Power 5. So now the ASun schools are competing in all non-football sports against a team that can outspend them on every sport by a lot! And it shows! Just take a look at who wins things in the league over there!

Well reasoned, I just don't know how long Liberty is in the ASun. They are trying really hard to get out.

They have been trying hard, and I mean hard, to find a FBS Conference that would take them. They lobbied hard for SBC membership, but like every other conference, the SBC Presidents care about academic integrity, and the ADs didn’t want to have to deal with a mega church posing as a University when it comes to athletic budgets. So Liberty will continue on as an Independent. The Big South was really glad to unload them to the ASun, who took the Liberty bait before they knew what having them for non-football meant!
08-08-2021 07:24 PM
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