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Now we absolutely must get off our duffs and make EVERY effort to get into AAC
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Ricefootballnet Offline
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Now we absolutely must get off our duffs and make EVERY effort to get into AAC
Official this a.m., Houston Chronicle reports: UH has accepted a membership invite into the Big 12.

This is our last chance to avoid total ignominy. We must get into the AAC as UH’s city of Houston “replacement.“ We should lobby SMU Tulsa and Tulane for support. Also the service academies.

My circumstances have changed in semi retirement, but I will dig as deep as I can, in my own small way, to contribute financially — if it has a chance to help make any difference.

We need to rally every conceivable source of support and immediately convene a task force which can in short order develop athletic department improvement programs of all sorts, something that we can show to the AAC and have it look plausible

Write letters to all the trustees, current and emeritus. I’ll try and put up some info on contacting them in TRFW early next week.

Further thoughts and suggestions welcome
09-10-2021 12:04 PM
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Pimpa Offline
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RE: Now we absolutely must get off our duffs and make EVERY effort to get into AAC
(09-10-2021 12:04 PM)Ricefootballnet Wrote:  Official this a.m., Houston Chronicle reports: UH has accepted a membership invite into the Big 12.

This is our last chance to avoid total ignominy. We must get into the AAC as UH’s city of Houston “replacement.“ We should lobby SMU Tulsa and Tulane for support. Also the service academies.

My circumstances have changed in semi retirement, but I will dig as deep as I can, in my own small way, to contribute financially — if it has a chance to help make any difference.

We need to rally every conceivable source of support and immediately convene a task force which can in short order develop athletic department improvement programs of all sorts, something that we can show to the AAC and have it look plausible

Write letters to all the trustees, current and emeritus. I’ll try and put up some info on contacting them in TRFW early next week.

Further thoughts and suggestions welcome

I agree, and, considering how the MWC, AAC and Sun Belt are taking very aggressive public stances towards realignment, if we don't act proactively, CUSA could be stripped for parts and left for dead. Ideally, the silence by our administration would be due to the fact that they have brokered SOMETHING with either the MWC and AAC. But, c'mon, we probably know what the reality is.

The only problem I have with your suggestion is - what can we do that will have a measurable impact and move the needle? The one thing that UH, Cincy and UCF did was they were vocal as to what they wanted, where they wanted to go, and what they intended to do to get there. That came from the top of the university and their fans followed suit. I fear without a coordinated campaign, effort or guidance from the powers that be, our efforts may be for naught.
09-10-2021 01:32 PM
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Ranger Offline
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RE: Now we absolutely must get off our duffs and make EVERY effort to get into AAC
I would think JK is going after this 2000% since our upgrading conferences would improve his employment prospects. While he is not driving the train, I would hope he has the ear of those that are.
09-10-2021 01:45 PM
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cr11owl Offline
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RE: Now we absolutely must get off our duffs and make EVERY effort to get into AAC
Leebron has slowly led us to the bottom of the athletic ranks, I have no doubt he will continue to progress our demise.
09-10-2021 02:17 PM
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franklyconfused Offline
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RE: Now we absolutely must get off our duffs and make EVERY effort to get into AAC
The Chronicle's story this morning says that UH spent about $300M to upgrade its facilities and staff in pursuit of the XII offer. It's not clear how long they looked back, but I think it's roughly in the past decade. In a little longer time span, we spent $31.5M on the Patterson Field House, $9M on the G.R. Brown Tennis Center, $3M for the Waltrip Indoor Training Center (bubble), $30M on Tudor, and some amount on other facilities far less than the $200+ M difference. The same Chron story says that UH athletics's annual operations expenses grew from $39M in 2014, barely more than we spent in 2015, to over $73M in 2019. To make the comparison worse, our expenditures include far more expensive student scholarships; $X spent by Rice Athletics has less value to athletics operations than the same amount spent by UH Athletics.

The time to start was 10/20/30/40/50/60 years ago. With the lack of either a prominent administrative vision as Pimpa described or regular success in football or basketball to force our program into prominence, our best bet right now is simply that some combination of private schools and service academies in or going to the AAC want to be good friends with us. I'd say we have very long odds of escaping C-USA this year, and that any efforts we might start now would be better oriented for 2035 realignment than any immediate improvement in affiliation. I can be optimistic in the long term, but not today.

I gave to the Owl Club this week and every year since graduating. I'm going to be at the game tomorrow, and I hope nothing more than to be wrong in this cynical outlook. I just don't see how a panicked last second letter writing campaign is going to not only generate needed institutional support but also adequate proof of it that the AAC, MWC, or any other conference would trust it enough right now to make a decision in our favor. If JK's got some new capital improvement plans or fundraising campaigns to announce, last month would have been a great time to do it.

(09-10-2021 01:45 PM)Ranger Wrote:  I would think JK is going after this 2000% since our upgrading conferences would improve his employment prospects. While he is not driving the train, I would hope he has the ear of those that are.

I'm confident that he is. He was documented trying to get us into the MWC in 2014 and the XII in 2016. I suspect Karlgaard was one of the surprising calls in mind when PAC commissioner George Kliavkoff said, "I wouldn’t be doing my job if I wasn’t listening to schools that wanted to go in the Pac-12, and we’ve had a lot of them reach out. Probably all of the ones you would expect and several you’d be surprised by." That said, for all my confidence that he's trying, this task looks to me approximately like tilting at windmills. Noble but unlikely to achieve a lot of progress.
09-10-2021 02:20 PM
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ExcitedOwl18 Offline
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RE: Now we absolutely must get off our duffs and make EVERY effort to get into AAC
I can see why our leadership and athletic department would like competing against SMU, Tulane, Navy, and Tulsa as they're academically and regionally (except Navy) close and we have some history with them (SMU especially).

That said, am I the only one who thinks that the MW would be a better choice? To me, it seems to be a much more stable conference, with a footprint that is far better aligned with our student and alumni base (CA and CO are the #2 and #5 states for Rice alums). After the AAC departures, the TV deals are likely to be similar.
09-10-2021 02:28 PM
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Frizzy Owl Offline
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RE: Now we absolutely must get off our duffs and make EVERY effort to get into AAC
(09-10-2021 02:17 PM)cr11owl Wrote:  Leebron has slowly led us to the bottom of the athletic ranks, I have no doubt he will continue to progress our demise.

The dude isn't that old. The program has been heading to the bottom since the 1970's.
09-10-2021 02:52 PM
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RiceFootball2K5 Offline
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RE: Now we absolutely must get off our duffs and make EVERY effort to get into AAC
I hear from on high that we've spent the last however many months since Texas and OU announced their departure lobbying the Big 12. JK thought his relationship with Bowlsby would help our cause. LOL. There was never a chance. But hey, at least they took a shot.

On to the scramble to try to land in the AAC or MWC. As Frankly mentioned, the time to do something about this was 10 years ago, not today. Shouldn't have been sitting on our asses, letting marquee programs rot and winning 2 games per year in football since 2015. But it is what it is. The best hope is that the AAC sees the Houston market as so important to them that throw us a bone and admit us to keep a presence here, rather than lose it with UH's departure.
09-10-2021 02:59 PM
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ranfin Offline
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RE: Now we absolutely must get off our duffs and make EVERY effort to get into AAC
(09-10-2021 02:28 PM)ExcitedOwl18 Wrote:  I can see why our leadership and athletic department would like competing against SMU, Tulane, Navy, and Tulsa as they're academically and regionally (except Navy) close and we have some history with them (SMU especially).

That said, am I the only one who thinks that the MW would be a better choice? To me, it seems to be a much more stable conference, with a footprint that is far better aligned with our student and alumni base (CA and CO are the #2 and #5 states for Rice alums). After the AAC departures, the TV deals are likely to be similar.

I’ve preferred MWC for a long time. Future prospects are better there.
09-10-2021 03:03 PM
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Pimpa Offline
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RE: Now we absolutely must get off our duffs and make EVERY effort to get into AAC
(09-10-2021 02:59 PM)RiceFootball2K5 Wrote:  JK thought his relationship with Bowlsby would help our cause.

Maybe that got us in the door (where under normal circumstances we wouldn't have even had the door opened for us), but once we were in the room, our resume (or lack thereof) spoke for itself.

I would have hoped, however, that once it became apparent to JK that we weren't going to the Big XII that he started working the phones to the AAC or MWC. I would also hope that it became apparent to him weeks ago.

We knew what had to be done since the last set of realignment, both on and off the field, and we just didn't do what needed to be done.
09-10-2021 03:07 PM
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bigowlsfan Offline
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RE: Now we absolutely must get off our duffs and make EVERY effort to get into AAC
[pquote='cr11owl' pid='17621675' dateline='1631301477']
Leebron has slowly led us to the bottom of the athletic ranks, I have no doubt he will continue to progress our demise.
[/quote]

Leebron is at home so he doesn’t miss the big 12 invitation.
09-10-2021 03:20 PM
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Ranger Offline
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RE: Now we absolutely must get off our duffs and make EVERY effort to get into AAC
(09-10-2021 02:28 PM)ExcitedOwl18 Wrote:  I can see why our leadership and athletic department would like competing against SMU, Tulane, Navy, and Tulsa as they're academically and regionally (except Navy) close and we have some history with them (SMU especially).

That said, am I the only one who thinks that the MW would be a better choice? To me, it seems to be a much more stable conference, with a footprint that is far better aligned with our student and alumni base (CA and CO are the #2 and #5 states for Rice alums). After the AAC departures, the TV deals are likely to be similar.

No. I think the MWC would be better as well, but I assume that is not an option.
09-10-2021 03:21 PM
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75src Offline
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RE: Now we absolutely must get off our duffs and make EVERY effort to get into AAC
And the Big 10 qould be better because we would fit in with being AAU, but we have probably let our football go down too far.
09-10-2021 03:44 PM
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RiceFootball2K5 Offline
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RE: Now we absolutely must get off our duffs and make EVERY effort to get into AAC
(09-10-2021 03:07 PM)Pimpa Wrote:  
(09-10-2021 02:59 PM)RiceFootball2K5 Wrote:  JK thought his relationship with Bowlsby would help our cause.

Maybe that got us in the door (where under normal circumstances we wouldn't have even had the door opened for us), but once we were in the room, our resume (or lack thereof) spoke for itself.

I would have hoped, however, that once it became apparent to JK that we weren't going to the Big XII that he started working the phones to the AAC or MWC. I would also hope that it became apparent to him weeks ago.

We knew what had to be done since the last set of realignment, both on and off the field, and we just didn't do what needed to be done.

Exactly.
09-10-2021 04:04 PM
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Ourland Offline
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RE: Now we absolutely must get off our duffs and make EVERY effort to get into AAC
(09-10-2021 02:28 PM)ExcitedOwl18 Wrote:  I can see why our leadership and athletic department would like competing against SMU, Tulane, Navy, and Tulsa as they're academically and regionally (except Navy) close and we have some history with them (SMU especially).

That said, am I the only one who thinks that the MW would be a better choice? To me, it seems to be a much more stable conference, with a footprint that is far better aligned with our student and alumni base (CA and CO are the #2 and #5 states for Rice alums). After the AAC departures, the TV deals are likely to be similar.

No. I think it's a slightly better destination, particularly if all of it's membership holds together. The MWC is mostly comprised of state schools. It's the only conference that could benefit right now from having one or two Texas members. I'll be surprised if they don't call us and/or UTSA to talk. San Antonio and Houston would be huge markets gains for them. The drawbacks are the travel, and their poor bowl affiliations in the west.
09-10-2021 04:10 PM
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WRCisforgotten79 Offline
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RE: Now we absolutely must get off our duffs and make EVERY effort to get into AAC
It's no longer about markets. UTSA is slightly more relevant in San Antonio than Rice is in Houston, but neither moves the needle. The MWC would be taking on programs that would add little more than a few plane trips per year.
09-10-2021 04:45 PM
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franklyconfused Offline
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RE: Now we absolutely must get off our duffs and make EVERY effort to get into AAC
(09-10-2021 04:45 PM)WRCisforgotten79 Wrote:  It's no longer about markets. UTSA is slightly more relevant in San Antonio than Rice is in Houston, but neither moves the needle. The MWC would be taking on programs that would add little more than a few plane trips per year.

A few plane trips per year means better recruiting in Texas. It's an asset. Whether it's worth the cost is debatable.
09-10-2021 04:47 PM
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bigowlsfan Offline
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RE: Now we absolutely must get off our duffs and make EVERY effort to get into AAC
(09-10-2021 02:52 PM)Frizzy Owl Wrote:  
(09-10-2021 02:17 PM)cr11owl Wrote:  Leebron has slowly led us to the bottom of the athletic ranks, I have no doubt he will continue to progress our demise.

The dude isn't that old. The program has been heading to the bottom since the 1970's.

Yes, but when your guiding principle in sports is WWCLSD (“what would Columbia law school do?”) you are going to head down some wrong paths.
09-10-2021 05:17 PM
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Ourland Offline
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RE: Now we absolutely must get off our duffs and make EVERY effort to get into AAC
(09-10-2021 04:47 PM)franklyconfused Wrote:  
(09-10-2021 04:45 PM)WRCisforgotten79 Wrote:  It's no longer about markets. UTSA is slightly more relevant in San Antonio than Rice is in Houston, but neither moves the needle. The MWC would be taking on programs that would add little more than a few plane trips per year.

A few plane trips per year means better recruiting in Texas. It's an asset. Whether it's worth the cost is debatable.

Better recruiting and some Central Time zone games.
09-10-2021 05:55 PM
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TroyTBoy Online
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RE: Now we absolutely must get off our duffs and make EVERY effort to get into AAC
(09-10-2021 12:04 PM)Ricefootballnet Wrote:  Write letters to all the trustees, current and emeritus. I’ll try and put up some info on contacting them in TRFW early next week.

Further thoughts and suggestions welcome

Remember when this was UH's stadia?

[Image: kIDAD9s6ZXK_pKjtbD2QGUQQ_n7qX4XzPcKcL7Cw...3j26vw1y1A]

The program that used to play here less than 10 years ago is now a Big 12 school.

Is that registering yet??

My point is, taking a defeatist attitude because Rice didn't start this campaign 20 years ago is missing the mark. It's NEVER too late.

At the very least try and dazzle the AAC with blueprints for a renovation of Tudor Fieldhouse. Anyone who has been to the Fertitta Center or Moody at SMU should know what Rice is up against.

The main thing is to recognize shortcomings and show a path forward.

Playing schools like SMU, Tulane, Tulsa, Navy, and Memphis INSTEAD of UNT, UTSA, UTEP, etc, is a HUGE deal, not just for athletics but academics and perception of the school itself. The scraping and clawing to get out of CUSA should start at the Presidential level and show some kind of transformative attempt.

Houston did that. They remade Hoffheinz and razed Robertson all within the last 10 years. They earned their victory today.
09-10-2021 07:08 PM
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