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Does Liberty have a snowballs chance in hell of getting into the AAC?
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ken d Offline
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Post: #21
RE: Does Liberty have a snowballs chance in hell of getting into the AAC?
(09-10-2021 05:22 PM)JSchmack Wrote:  
(09-10-2021 04:29 PM)SMUfan Wrote:  Yes.

Those that say "no", probably said the Big 12 wouldn't take BYU.

I said the Big 12 wouldn't take BYU. I'm still surprised about that one.

But that's because most people are thinking the religious thing is about Sunday games and Honor Code and stuff like that. I thought they wouldn't come to terms on BYUtv.

The difference between Liberty and BYU is vast. BYU is the unofficial official school of the world-wide Mormon population. It's named after the founder of the state, the leader of modern LDS Church. If you're an LDS person, you have a reverence for Brigham Young, and therefore probably root for the only Division I LDS university, which bears his name.

The LDS faith is more niche and laser focused and distinct from other branches of Christianity than the Baptists, which are a sub-sect of mainstream Christianity that's really not that different from any other branch of Christianity. No offense to Baptists or any sect of Christianity...hold on to your hats, I'm about to actually USE my theology minor.

There are really six categories that distinguish one of the the eight sects of Christian from any other. The CORE TENETS of all eight sects are the same, it's really more organization (how churches are governed/formed, who can be ministers) and an occasional difference of "how we define _____" that's different. For example, Catholics believe in transformation, at the Eucharist, the bread/wine BECOME the Body/Blood of Jesus Christ; while other sects believe it is SYMBOLIC, we take the bread/wine in REMEMBRANCE of the body/blood of Jesus Christ. And back before TV and the internet, that stuff mattered to people enough to form their own churches, but in 2021 it probably doesn't matter THAT MUCH to anyone (Forgiveness please if you feel different).


Anyway, the point is, there are 71 private, Christian Division I schools and eight that play Division I football.... But BYU and Notre Dame are really the ONLY TWO SCHOOLS where your religion is going to influence your fandom. And quite honestly, there are plenty of Catholics who root for someone else. The Catholics are pre-disposed to root for Notre Dame, mainly because their fathers and grandfathers rooted for Notre Dame when they were on TV every week and winning championships, but now everyone is on TV every week.


To bring this way too long post to a close (maybe day drinking was a bad idea), Liberty does not have the worldwide fan base that BYU has.

The Big 12, desperate for TV viewers with their big draws in A&M, Texas and Oklahoma leaving, needed the 16 million world-wide Mormons to tune in to Big 12 football.

If EVERY BAPTIST IN THE COUNTRY loved Liberty Football, then yes, Liberty would be a shoe-in for the AAC. In fact, if that were true, they'd basically BE NOTRE DAME: 70 million Catholics, 50 million Baptists.

But that's just not true of the denomination and their fandom. Liberty is not BYU.

Throw in the fact (which I should have recognized earlier while saying BYU was short-sighted) that the current cultural trend in the US is a much lower birthrate than previous generations except for the LDS community, and BYU is such a ridiculously more attractive school in realignment than Liberty.

I believe that Liberty wins enough to be in a better conference than they are, and SHOULD be a candidate. They've been really good in football and basketball, and a conference would be wise to take them on that alone. But the politics are a factor and BYU's viewership trumps that, while Liberty's doesn't.

I'm not sure where the perception that Liberty has been really good in football comes from. The COVID season was very good (not sure what their competition was like) but they've basically been a 7-5 program for the past 10 years (most of it against FCS competition) and their 10 year average Sagarin rating would rank them as #122 out of 130 in the FBS. Those aren't exactly Boise numbers, and don't really mitigate whatever other disadvantages they may bring to their candidacy.
09-10-2021 07:07 PM
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tigerjamesc Online
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Post: #22
RE: Does Liberty have a snowballs chance in hell of getting into the AAC?
I think so…their endowment is approaching $2B (1.7 rn) and is the 4th fastest growing. They have 127,000 total students enrolled and expected to grow another 10% this year…COVID did not hit them as hard as most others as they already had a substantial online presence. They sit on 7000 acres which is ridiculous. They look like a sleeping giant for sure
https://www.liberty.edu/news/2020/07/21/...-programs/
(This post was last modified: 09-10-2021 08:04 PM by tigerjamesc.)
09-10-2021 08:01 PM
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JMU2004 Offline
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Post: #23
RE: Does Liberty have a snowballs chance in hell of getting into the AAC?
Liberty got rich off of selling online degrees on the back of federal student loans. Other schools know that…they’re the payday loan sharks of higher education. It’s how’s they funded all those shiny facilities after being broke in 2007.

That, more than anything else, is why schools are reluctant to associate with Liberty. Add in the Falwell mess (Sr and Jr), the political battles they so happily embrace, and it’s a very hard sell.
(This post was last modified: 09-10-2021 08:11 PM by JMU2004.)
09-10-2021 08:08 PM
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justinslot Offline
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Post: #24
RE: Does Liberty have a snowballs chance in hell of getting into the AAC?
Liberty is a case where the esteemed Mr. The Tank's dictum of "in realignment matters, think like a university president" is quite instructive: no AAC university president is going to vote to let those guys in.
09-10-2021 08:29 PM
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Post: #25
RE: Does Liberty have a snowballs chance in hell of getting into the AAC?
(09-10-2021 08:08 PM)JMU2004 Wrote:  Liberty got rich off of selling online degrees on the back of federal student loans. Other schools know that…they’re the payday loan sharks of higher education. It’s how’s they funded all those shiny facilities after being broke in 2007.

That, more than anything else, is why schools are reluctant to associate with Liberty. Add in the Falwell mess (Sr and Jr), the political battles they so happily embrace, and it’s a very hard sell.

Its that more than the religious stuff or Falwell. They are a very different type of institution.
09-10-2021 08:35 PM
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Post: #26
RE: Does Liberty have a snowballs chance in hell of getting into the AAC?
(09-10-2021 08:35 PM)bullet Wrote:  
(09-10-2021 08:08 PM)JMU2004 Wrote:  Liberty got rich off of selling online degrees on the back of federal student loans. Other schools know that…they’re the payday loan sharks of higher education. It’s how’s they funded all those shiny facilities after being broke in 2007.

That, more than anything else, is why schools are reluctant to associate with Liberty. Add in the Falwell mess (Sr and Jr), the political battles they so happily embrace, and it’s a very hard sell.

Its that more than the religious stuff or Falwell. They are a very different type of institution.

So they can't be in a sports conference because they are "different"? What does that mean?
09-10-2021 09:14 PM
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JMU2004 Offline
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Post: #27
RE: Does Liberty have a snowballs chance in hell of getting into the AAC?
(09-10-2021 09:14 PM)SMUfan Wrote:  
(09-10-2021 08:35 PM)bullet Wrote:  
(09-10-2021 08:08 PM)JMU2004 Wrote:  Liberty got rich off of selling online degrees on the back of federal student loans. Other schools know that…they’re the payday loan sharks of higher education. It’s how’s they funded all those shiny facilities after being broke in 2007.

That, more than anything else, is why schools are reluctant to associate with Liberty. Add in the Falwell mess (Sr and Jr), the political battles they so happily embrace, and it’s a very hard sell.

Its that more than the religious stuff or Falwell. They are a very different type of institution.

So they can't be in a sports conference because they are "different"? What does that mean?

It’s spelled out above, and it has nothing to do with religion. It has to do with grift on a non profit tag.
(This post was last modified: 09-10-2021 09:31 PM by JMU2004.)
09-10-2021 09:30 PM
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Post: #28
RE: Does Liberty have a snowballs chance in hell of getting into the AAC?
(09-10-2021 09:14 PM)SMUfan Wrote:  
(09-10-2021 08:35 PM)bullet Wrote:  
(09-10-2021 08:08 PM)JMU2004 Wrote:  Liberty got rich off of selling online degrees on the back of federal student loans. Other schools know that…they’re the payday loan sharks of higher education. It’s how’s they funded all those shiny facilities after being broke in 2007.

That, more than anything else, is why schools are reluctant to associate with Liberty. Add in the Falwell mess (Sr and Jr), the political battles they so happily embrace, and it’s a very hard sell.

Its that more than the religious stuff or Falwell. They are a very different type of institution.

So they can't be in a sports conference because they are "different"? What does that mean?

It has absolutely nothing to do with them being a Christian university. Like I said now that Jerry Falwell Jr is gone I think Liberty would be a solid add. The online degree thing doesn't bother me like other people. However I am thinking from the standpoint of a fan and not a university president.
09-10-2021 09:56 PM
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Attackcoog Online
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Post: #29
RE: Does Liberty have a snowballs chance in hell of getting into the AAC?
(09-10-2021 04:29 PM)SMUfan Wrote:  
(09-10-2021 04:27 PM)ChrisLords Wrote:  I've been having some discussion about Liberty to the AAC in another thread and I tried to dismissed the notion of Liberty getting into the AAC but kept getting responses.

Does Liberty have a chance of getting into the AAC? I'd like to see it. It would put a Virginia school in 3 different conferences. Which is more for me to root for but I assumed the issues that prevented Liberty from getting into the SunBelt would also prevent them from getting into the AAC.

Yes.

Those that say "no", probably said the Big 12 wouldn't take BYU.

Those are two different worlds. Sure---they are both religious schools and both have received criticism for policies that dont perfectly conform to todays ultra politically correct climate. But the similarity between the schools largely ends there. Say what you want about the religious angle---but BYU is an established brand that puts 60K in the stands on Saturdays in Provo. They are also a top 100 USNWR university---so there is no concern about the academic reputation of BYU. Nobody thinks of BYU as an "on line" university. BYU also has a national championship they can brag about and they have a heck of a lot more history on the college football big stage. Those are things Liberty simply doesnt bring to the table. Maybe in the future Liberty will have some of those attributes---but not today.
(This post was last modified: 09-12-2021 02:15 PM by Attackcoog.)
09-10-2021 10:44 PM
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Post: #30
RE: Does Liberty have a snowballs chance in hell of getting into the AAC?
My guess is that Liberty lands in a conference, either the AAC, CUSA or the SBC.

Liberty has demonstrated that it has a solid fan base and therefore the financial strength to compete in any of these conferences. While its religious affiliation may be off putting to some, ND and BYU have both demonstrated that a national religious school can use this affiliation as an effective replacement for the more geography based fan bases of most schools.
09-11-2021 07:15 AM
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GTFletch Offline
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Post: #31
RE: Does Liberty have a snowballs chance in hell of getting into the AAC?
I would think Liberty has a great chance from a football perspective to join the Sunbelt if the AAC takes any teams from the Sun belt.
09-11-2021 07:20 AM
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Post: #32
RE: Does Liberty have a snowballs chance in hell of getting into the AAC?
(09-10-2021 09:30 PM)JMU2004 Wrote:  
(09-10-2021 09:14 PM)SMUfan Wrote:  
(09-10-2021 08:35 PM)bullet Wrote:  
(09-10-2021 08:08 PM)JMU2004 Wrote:  Liberty got rich off of selling online degrees on the back of federal student loans. Other schools know that…they’re the payday loan sharks of higher education. It’s how’s they funded all those shiny facilities after being broke in 2007.

That, more than anything else, is why schools are reluctant to associate with Liberty. Add in the Falwell mess (Sr and Jr), the political battles they so happily embrace, and it’s a very hard sell.

Its that more than the religious stuff or Falwell. They are a very different type of institution.

So they can't be in a sports conference because they are "different"? What does that mean?

It’s spelled out above, and it has nothing to do with religion. It has to do with grift on a non profit tag.
You mean like Purdue Global Online? Or ASU Online? There was a time when public universities might have had the moral high ground. But that time is long gone. Most public universities are following a business model and are trying to make profits, even if it is called something else for accounting purposes.
(This post was last modified: 09-11-2021 10:12 AM by NDSUGopher.)
09-11-2021 10:12 AM
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thrill_house Offline
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Post: #33
RE: Does Liberty have a snowballs chance in hell of getting into the AAC?
50% chance.

Either they get invited or they don't.

Best of luck Liberty bro.
09-11-2021 10:23 AM
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Milwaukee Offline
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Post: #34
RE: Does Liberty have a snowballs chance in hell of getting into the AAC?
(09-10-2021 04:45 PM)Nerdlinger Wrote:  
(09-10-2021 04:44 PM)Troy_Fan_15 Wrote:  Now that Falwell Jr and their toxic leadership is gone I'm sure conferences would be more open.

Maybe slightly, but that stink is really going to linger...

True.
09-11-2021 10:36 AM
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Milwaukee Offline
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Post: #35
RE: Does Liberty have a snowballs chance in hell of getting into the AAC?
(09-10-2021 10:44 PM)Attackcoog Wrote:  
(09-10-2021 04:29 PM)SMUfan Wrote:  
(09-10-2021 04:27 PM)ChrisLords Wrote:  I've been having some discussion about Liberty to the AAC in another thread and I tried to dismissed the notion of Liberty getting into the AAC but kept getting responses.

Does Liberty have a chance of getting into the AAC? I'd like to see it. It would put a Virginia school in 3 different conferences. Which is more for me to root for but I assumed the issues that prevented Liberty from getting into the SunBelt would also prevent them from getting into the AAC.

Yes.

Those that say "no", probably said the Big 12 wouldn't take BYU.

Those are two different worlds. Sure---they are both religious schools and both has received criticism for policies that dont perfectly conform to todays ultra politically correct climate. But the similarity between the schools largely ends there. Say what you want about the religious angle---but BYU is an established brand that puts 60K in the stands on Saturdays in Provo. They are also a top 100 USNWR university---so there is no concern about the academic reputation of BYU. Nobody thinks of BYU as an "on line" university. BYU also has a national championship they can brag about and they have a heck of a lot more history on the college football big stage. Those are things Liberty simply doesn't bring to the table. Maybe in the future Liberty will have some of those attributes---but not today.

Well said.
09-11-2021 10:37 AM
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Todor Online
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Post: #36
RE: Does Liberty have a snowballs chance in hell of getting into the AAC?
(09-11-2021 10:12 AM)NDSUGopher Wrote:  
(09-10-2021 09:30 PM)JMU2004 Wrote:  
(09-10-2021 09:14 PM)SMUfan Wrote:  
(09-10-2021 08:35 PM)bullet Wrote:  
(09-10-2021 08:08 PM)JMU2004 Wrote:  Liberty got rich off of selling online degrees on the back of federal student loans. Other schools know that…they’re the payday loan sharks of higher education. It’s how’s they funded all those shiny facilities after being broke in 2007.

That, more than anything else, is why schools are reluctant to associate with Liberty. Add in the Falwell mess (Sr and Jr), the political battles they so happily embrace, and it’s a very hard sell.

Its that more than the religious stuff or Falwell. They are a very different type of institution.

So they can't be in a sports conference because they are "different"? What does that mean?

It’s spelled out above, and it has nothing to do with religion. It has to do with grift on a non profit tag.
You mean like Purdue Global Online? Or ASU Online? There was a time when public universities might have had the moral high ground. But that time is long gone. Most public universities are following a business model and are trying to make profits, even if it is called something else for accounting purposes.

I was just ready to give Purdue as an example. It wasn't even just a growth of Purdue programs online, but the actual purchase of a big online for profit they converted to non profit in name. Arizona bought what used to be called Ashford University, Arkansas just bought a non regionally accredited online for profit school, Grantham University. U Mass just bought a Cali school called Brandman for their online and adult program. If people don't like what Liberty is, they don't like lots of others either. Maryland Global campus is more like a global ATM. There's no difference between any of them. Some call it helping working adults finish their degrees, others call it serving the military community, etc. If you don't like the school, it's a diploma mill. Same thing.

Liberty has more growth potential than any FBS program. They are just getting started. No one.else.has the potential they do.
(This post was last modified: 09-11-2021 12:25 PM by Todor.)
09-11-2021 12:24 PM
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Post: #37
RE: Does Liberty have a snowballs chance in hell of getting into the AAC?
(09-11-2021 10:12 AM)NDSUGopher Wrote:  
(09-10-2021 09:30 PM)JMU2004 Wrote:  
(09-10-2021 09:14 PM)SMUfan Wrote:  
(09-10-2021 08:35 PM)bullet Wrote:  
(09-10-2021 08:08 PM)JMU2004 Wrote:  Liberty got rich off of selling online degrees on the back of federal student loans. Other schools know that…they’re the payday loan sharks of higher education. It’s how’s they funded all those shiny facilities after being broke in 2007.

That, more than anything else, is why schools are reluctant to associate with Liberty. Add in the Falwell mess (Sr and Jr), the political battles they so happily embrace, and it’s a very hard sell.

Its that more than the religious stuff or Falwell. They are a very different type of institution.

So they can't be in a sports conference because they are "different"? What does that mean?

It’s spelled out above, and it has nothing to do with religion. It has to do with grift on a non profit tag.
You mean like Purdue Global Online? Or ASU Online? There was a time when public universities might have had the moral high ground. But that time is long gone. Most public universities are following a business model and are trying to make profits, even if it is called something else for accounting purposes.

You’re right that public and private universities lost the moral high ground on online programs. My alma mater is absolutely fleecing people with overpriced grad programs that are entirely run by a third part for-profit with Penn’s name attached to it. However, the academic issues at Liberty go beyond online. They break too many institutional norms. BYU is conservative and Christian but institutionally and administratively it looks like other R2s.
(This post was last modified: 09-11-2021 12:37 PM by LostInSpace.)
09-11-2021 12:36 PM
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Post: #38
RE: Does Liberty have a snowballs chance in hell of getting into the AAC?
As a Liberty alum I always enjoy seeing the perspectives of others outside our circle. What I can tell you is that no one from Lynchburg even begins to claim we have BYU's credentials. We do share some similarities of being outside the politically correct landscpe. We do hold values for ourselves that others find off-putting. But BYU has a football history that with which can't even begin to compare ourselves. The good news is that we aren't a candidate for the Big XII. We are who we are. A fast rising football and mens basketball school with a massive investment in athletics (you should see our Olympics facilities). Much like BYU, we have thrived inside the Indy landscape where we have freedom in scheduling. Honestly our FBS experience has far exceeded the wildest dreams of the LU community when we gained the exemption. Much of that success has been on the shouders of Hugh Freeze, Malik Willis (!!!) and Ritchie McKay.

The old online stigma does indeed start ring hollow as nearly every school in the nation from the Ivy League on down is chasing the riches that come from online offerings. COVID only further emphasized how online has become an integral part of higher education moving forward. Sure we got a jumpstart by having a vision and building a model that was fit for purpose. But we also have the largest residential enrollment of any Christian university in America. We don't claim to have elite academics yet. But we are investing in it.

Yes the stink of the Jerry Jr. tenure will take some time to wear off. Some of us are still working root out some of his hangers on who remain in the system. But the fact of the matter is he was canned for just cause and we have moved on. In the process we have made a conscious decision as a school to move away from politics and re-train our focus on our original mission.

That's who Liberty is today. We are not the anti-science stereotype that you think we are. We are an exciting program that has outgrown the ASUN and would love to be able to compete in a nationally-based league like the AAC. The vast majority of our students come from across the nation with a huge concentration coming from the Bible Belt where the AAC leftovers primarily reside. If it doesn't work out. we are happy as clams as an FBS Indy. We'll just wait until the next better opportunity comes our way.
(This post was last modified: 09-11-2021 10:32 PM by SlyFox.)
09-11-2021 10:31 PM
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Post: #39
RE: Does Liberty have a snowballs chance in hell of getting into the AAC?
(09-11-2021 10:31 PM)SlyFox Wrote:  As a Liberty alum I always enjoy seeing the perspectives of others outside our circle. What I can tell you is that no one from Lynchburg even begins to claim we have BYU's credentials. We do share some similarities of being outside the politically correct landscpe. We do hold values for ourselves that others find off-putting. But BYU has a football history that with which can't even begin to compare ourselves. The good news is that we aren't a candidate for the Big XII. We are who we are. A fast rising football and mens basketball school with a massive investment in athletics (you should see our Olympics facilities). Much like BYU, we have thrived inside the Indy landscape where we have freedom in scheduling. Honestly our FBS experience has far exceeded the wildest dreams of the LU community when we gained the exemption. Much of that success has been on the shouders of Hugh Freeze, Malik Willis (!!!) and Ritchie McKay.

The old online stigma does indeed start ring hollow as nearly every school in the nation from the Ivy League on down is chasing the riches that come from online offerings. COVID only further emphasized how online has become an integral part of higher education moving forward. Sure we got a jumpstart by having a vision and building a model that was fit for purpose. But we also have the largest residential enrollment of any Christian university in America. We don't claim to have elite academics yet. But we are investing in it.

Yes the stink of the Jerry Jr. tenure will take some time to wear off. Some of us are still working root out some of his hangers on who remain in the system. But the fact of the matter is he was canned for just cause and we have moved on. In the process we have made a conscious decision as a school to move away from politics and re-train our focus on our original mission.

That's who Liberty is today. We are not the anti-science stereotype that you think we are. We are an exciting program that has outgrown the ASUN and would love to be able to compete in a nationally-based league like the AAC. The vast majority of our students come from across the nation with a huge concentration coming from the Bible Belt where the AAC leftovers primarily reside. If it doesn't work out. we are happy as clams as an FBS Indy. We'll just wait until the next better opportunity comes our way.
I think CUSA or SBC should be able to have a business relationship w/ you and let you join. ASUN bball is no fun w/ you guys there. JMU should also get a CUSA or SBC call and let Winthrop join the CAA, they clean up in bball in the Big South.
09-11-2021 10:44 PM
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Post: #40
RE: Does Liberty have a snowballs chance in hell of getting into the AAC?
You can educate people online and en masse without being a degree mill. The quality of education being the key differentiator. Purdue Global has its problems, but seems to be moving in the right direction.
09-11-2021 10:50 PM
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