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Does ESPN want the AAC to take 8 from Sunbelt and CUSA
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CardFan1 Offline
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Post: #21
RE: Does ESPN want the AAC to take 8 from Sunbelt and CUSA
(10-12-2021 10:19 AM)All4One Wrote:  
(10-12-2021 09:59 AM)Attackcoog Wrote:  
(10-12-2021 09:02 AM)Michael in Raleigh Wrote:  The AAC is in a tough position.

1) Any addition is at least their fifth choice behind the four MW schools it pursued. In all likelihood, an addition would likely be sixth behind FB-only Army, who I am fairly certain has been pursued as well.

2) The threat that the Big 12 could take Memphis remains. Even worse, there is the threat the Big 12 could also go after USF and/or SMU. This makes the AAC even less attractive to C-USA and especially SB schools.

3) Some C-USA and SB schools that the AAC may be otherwise interested in may turn down an invitation because their athletic budget is so far below the lowest athletic budget in the AAC, much less the median AAC budget. Rumors are that UTSA has already turned down overtures from the AAC, though this has yet to be confirmed my a reputable reporter.

4) The AAC will have a hard time coming to a consensus about what exactly it wants to be. Does it primarily want academic peers with R1 Carnegie profiles? If so, that may come at the expense of athletic success, support, and budget. Does it want to go after football success? That may come at the expense of matching the academic missions of the current AAC schools, as well as athletic budget. Another question is how much basketball profile factors in.

5) It is a valid question whether the AAC boxed itself in with the P6 campaign. If it adds, for example, Charlotte, how can that campaign continue if it is adding the program with the smallest stadium in FBS? If the AAC adds schools and continues the P6 campaign, and includes all the new members, why, then, did the league not add those new schools when UConn departed? How are they suddenly "P6" quality if they were not a mere two years ago?

6) Isn't a concern when the president of a conference member, the president of Temple, publicly states that conferences need to be more regional? That's impossible with the AAC as it is currently constructed. Philadelphia to Wichita to Dallas to Tampa is not regional.
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Now, I believe the AAC can reach a consensus on one school: UAB. UAB, I believe, would also be a willing partner and would choose the AAC over it's current league and over the SB. But the AAC needs to go to, at minimum, 10 schools. And it may want to go to 12, or, as speculated, as many as 16.

All that said, I do think the AAC will keep it simple. Rather than going hog wild and adding 8 schools, I think it just adds two members to get to ten total. UAB, as I said, is in, and I expect the league to add the most academically appealing school available, Rice. These are college presidents making these decisions, after all. However, I think Rice will only be invited if Rice pledges to commit to athletics in a way it hasn't in decades. Otherwise, I just don't have any idea.

Ehh. In the final analysis your basically admitting what the AAC has been saying. The P6 AAC marketing turned out to be more right than wrong. Of the schools promoted to the Big12 from the G5—-all 3 were from the AAC. Your own post indicates they might take 3 more AAC schools. At the very least that makes the AAC the primary feeder conference to the P5—not the Sunbelt, not CUSA, and not the MW.

Of all those points, I’d say only your point #4 is real substantive issue. I agree—the AAC will find few schools that check all the boxes this time around—-thus, they will have to decide what attribute they most desire in a conference and go after replacements that best reflect that attribute. The AAC is going to have to se an identity fir their conference and prioritize schools that reflect that identity.

I would venture to say that after SMU, South Florida, and Memphis, the AAC doesn't have anything else the Big XII or any other Power Conference could want.

You read My mind. Those really along with Navy are the only P5 potential candidates
10-12-2021 11:29 AM
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CardFan1 Offline
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Post: #22
RE: Does ESPN want the AAC to take 8 from Sunbelt and CUSA
(10-12-2021 11:21 AM)msm96wolf Wrote:  Actually, I am thinking this would make since for ESPN if they wanted to strengthen both Sun Belt and AAC, Basically kills off CUSA.

AAC grabs 6 the following to go 14

UTSA
RICE
North Texas
UAB
Charlotte (Even though App is a stronger football team)
ODU


Sun Belt gets grabs 4 teams (Probably goes all sports conference)
Marshall
La Tech
FAU
Southern Miss

They would grab WKU for Football and Basketball
10-12-2021 11:33 AM
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BruceMcF Offline
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Post: #23
RE: Does ESPN want the AAC to take 8 from Sunbelt and CUSA
(10-12-2021 11:20 AM)TroyTBoy Wrote:  ... The second school of thought is that the AAC must look to immediate success and momentum of brand. This is where the Sunbelt schools that could/would factor into the AAC's plans enter the discussion. There really are 3:

Coastal Carolina
App State
Louisiana

The BIGGER the expansion, the more the Sunbelt schools must be involved to sell the league to the masses. ...

So, since ESPN has an incentive to not gut the Sunbelt, they have an inventive to "discover" that an expansion to 14 is not worth substantially more in the conference contract than an expansion to 12, making it more like:

UAB, Rice/UTSA + optionally one of
1) {Marshall, App State}
2) {Marshall, ODU}
3) {Marshall Charlotte}
4) {App State, ODU}

As far as Coastal Carolina, not only is ECU already in the AAC, but a swallow does not make a summer.
(This post was last modified: 10-12-2021 11:54 AM by BruceMcF.)
10-12-2021 11:53 AM
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Post: #24
RE: Does ESPN want the AAC to take 8 from Sunbelt and CUSA
(10-12-2021 11:53 AM)BruceMcF Wrote:  
(10-12-2021 11:20 AM)TroyTBoy Wrote:  ... The second school of thought is that the AAC must look to immediate success and momentum of brand. This is where the Sunbelt schools that could/would factor into the AAC's plans enter the discussion. There really are 3:

Coastal Carolina
App State
Louisiana

The BIGGER the expansion, the more the Sunbelt schools must be involved to sell the league to the masses. ...

So, since ESPN has an incentive to not gut the Sunbelt, they have an inventive to "discover" that an expansion to 14 is not worth substantially more in the conference contract than an expansion to 12, making it more like:

UAB, Rice/UTSA + optionally one of
1) {Marshall, App State}
2) {Marshall, ODU}
3) {Marshall Charlotte}
4) {App State, ODU}

As far as Coastal Carolina, not only is ECU already in the AAC, but a swallow does not make a summer.

I know both are named after states that don't exist, but ECU and CCU are not in the same state. In fact ODU and ECU are far closer to each other if that were to matter in any way.
10-12-2021 11:57 AM
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Post: #25
RE: Does ESPN want the AAC to take 8 from Sunbelt and CUSA
(10-12-2021 11:25 AM)b0ndsj0ns Wrote:  
(10-12-2021 11:21 AM)msm96wolf Wrote:  Actually, I am thinking this would make since for ESPN if they wanted to strengthen both Sun Belt and AAC, Basically kills off CUSA.

AAC grabs 6 the following to go 14

UTSA
RICE
North Texas
UAB
Charlotte (Even though App is a stronger football team)
ODU


Sun Belt gets grabs 4 teams (Probably goes all sports conference)
Marshall
La Tech
FAU
Southern Miss

So like what are you envisioning ESPN paying the AAC to add almost all the schools that sank C-USA to the point they fell behind the Sun-Belt? Also what is the ESPN strategic benefit to killing C-USA? Like I could at least follow the logic of ESPN wanting to kill the B12, but what do they really gain by killing C-USA?

Well at this point Cusa means nothing to ESPN as they don't own any of the products within that conference. This means that cusa is basically a grocery store at this point. They'll buy what they want and leave the rest. To them, it doesn't matter if the conference lives or dies as the burden for survival will rest solely on whatever is left of the conference after ESPN picks the fresh fruit away.
10-12-2021 12:29 PM
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46566 Offline
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Post: #26
RE: Does ESPN want the AAC to take 8 from Sunbelt and CUSA
If ESPN is determining the realignment as people why not simply add 6 schools to the AAC (4 schools) and Sun Belt (2 schools) from the C-USA? The AAC needs 4 schools to get back to 12 and the Sun Belt needs to get to 12/14. The value of the AAC contract is going to fall but adding 4 adds some value and slightly increasing the Sun Belt payout will still save ESPN money since they're cutting the AAC contract payout.

It would add games to ESPN or most likely ESPN+. It would force C-USA to add 2 teams to get to 10 or 4 from FCS. Maybe New Mexico State finally gets added to the east. The biggest concern is when is the Pac 12 and Big 12 going to 14. Maybe going back to 14 in the case of the Big 12.
10-12-2021 12:34 PM
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Post: #27
RE: Does ESPN want the AAC to take 8 from Sunbelt and CUSA
The answer to the OP is a qualified no.

Contractually the AAC needs 10 to meet the minimum number of football and basketball games, including their CCG. So they have to take at least two schools. Beyond that, unless compelling content is added, I can't imagine they'd be more than indifferent, unlikely to pay much more, especially past 12 teams.

Politically the MAC and SBC are already ESPN products and ESPN has no desire to plunder those. Targets are primarily outside the ESPN "family." The MWC was a perfect example, compelling product addition, new market areas. The failed "raid on the Big 12" another example. With those now out of the picture the remaining targets available outside the family are independents (UMass, UConn, NMSU, Liberty, Army) and CUSA, and they already tried and failed on the one independent of value Army.

So it's CUSA that is the sole target. And there are not 8 schools in CUSA of sufficient quality and value to justify such an expansion. There are not even 6, allowing you to pull in a couple SBC schools -despite ESPN's preference they be left alone- to make 8. Hence there is essentially zero chance of that happening. The argument for regionalization is completely counter to the objectives of the American schools like Navy (and Wichita State), SMU, Memphis, South Florida and Temple, even that of Tulane and ECU. Their objective is to be in the most powerful conference possible, with the highest payout per school. So there is no rationale the schools would accept to justify adding 6 or 8 schools.

At the end of the day there are only two viable options, taking into consideration contractual obligations; either adding two schools form CUSA or adding 4 schools from CUSA. Recruiting and airports reduces the list to five schools: FAU, UTSA, UAB, North Texas and Charlotte. FIU and ODU would be the next ones up, but FAU covers FIU and ODU is dealing with financial issues not willing to expend more. North Texas strikes me as a bit redundant in territory with SMU. That reduces the four to UAB, Charlotte, FAU and UTSA. From those I expect either two or four to be selected.

We see some circumstantial evidence of this, with the SBC not expecting to lose any members and apparently waiting on Charlotte or North Texas or both situation with AAC negotiations. They have USM in the bag if they want to pull the trigger, but they are waiting out the AAC before moving.
10-12-2021 01:44 PM
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Attackcoog Online
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Post: #28
RE: Does ESPN want the AAC to take 8 from Sunbelt and CUSA
(10-12-2021 01:44 PM)Stugray2 Wrote:  The answer to the OP is a qualified no.

Contractually the AAC needs 10 to meet the minimum number of football and basketball games, including their CCG. So they have to take at least two schools. Beyond that, unless compelling content is added, I can't imagine they'd be more than indifferent, unlikely to pay much more, especially past 12 teams.

Politically the MAC and SBC are already ESPN products and ESPN has no desire to plunder those. Targets are primarily outside the ESPN "family." The MWC was a perfect example, compelling product addition, new market areas. The failed "raid on the Big 12" another example. With those now out of the picture the remaining targets available outside the family are independents (UMass, UConn, NMSU, Liberty, Army) and CUSA, and they already tried and failed on the one independent of value Army.

So it's CUSA that is the sole target. And there are not 8 schools in CUSA of sufficient quality and value to justify such an expansion. There are not even 6, allowing you to pull in a couple SBC schools -despite ESPN's preference they be left alone- to make 8. Hence there is essentially zero chance of that happening. The argument for regionalization is completely counter to the objectives of the American schools like Navy (and Wichita State), SMU, Memphis, South Florida and Temple, even that of Tulane and ECU. Their objective is to be in the most powerful conference possible, with the highest payout per school. So there is no rationale the schools would accept to justify adding 6 or 8 schools.

At the end of the day there are only two viable options, taking into consideration contractual obligations; either adding two schools form CUSA or adding 4 schools from CUSA. Recruiting and airports reduces the list to five schools: FAU, UTSA, UAB, North Texas and Charlotte. FIU and ODU would be the next ones up, but FAU covers FIU and ODU is dealing with financial issues not willing to expend more. North Texas strikes me as a bit redundant in territory with SMU. That reduces the four to UAB, Charlotte, FAU and UTSA. From those I expect either two or four to be selected.

We see some circumstantial evidence of this, with the SBC not expecting to lose any members and apparently waiting on Charlotte or North Texas or both situation with AAC negotiations. They have USM in the bag if they want to pull the trigger, but they are waiting out the AAC before moving.

Doesnt matter at all. In the end, the MAC or Sunbelt would just "plunder" CUSA teams as replacements---so the net affect for ESPN is the same with respect to inventory regardless of where the AAC takes its replacements from.
10-12-2021 01:52 PM
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Post: #29
RE: Does ESPN want the AAC to take 8 from Sunbelt and CUSA
The best way to distinguish might be to go urban/rural with it.

AAC West: UTSA, UNT, Rice, SMU, Tulsa, Memphis, Tulane, Navy*
AAC East: Temple, ODU, Charlotte, ECU, UAB, Georgia St, USF, FAU

That leaves the SBC with 9. They can grab Marshall, WKU, USM for 12

SBC East: Marshall, App St, Coastal, GS, Troy, USA
SBC West: Tx St, Ark St, WKU, ULM, ULL, SoMiss

Then CUSA can raid the WAC and become the new starter conference.

FBS existing: NMSU, UTEP, LaTech, MT, Liberty, UMass*
FBS new: Lamar, EKU, Chattanooga

Not really geographic alignment but cultural realignment and an opportunity for independents to get into a FB conference.
10-12-2021 03:43 PM
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Post: #30
RE: Does ESPN want the AAC to take 8 from Sunbelt and CUSA
North Texas signed the CUSA, so I take it they are not on the AAC target list. It's just four then, UAB and Charlotte with lower enthusiasm for FAU and UTSA.

I don't see the value to the AAC schools in adding more than that, as additional schools in SBC and CUSA only add mouths, do not add any prestige (Rice aside, whom ESPN doesn't like) nor any new recruiting territory.

In a way it's moot about other schools than those four. Is it possible they go for four and one of those falls out and is replaced? Certainly, Marshall seems to have some fans (at least among the eastern group of AAC schools), even though they are neither easy to get to nor of any recruiting value, so who knows.
10-12-2021 03:53 PM
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Post: #31
RE: Does ESPN want the AAC to take 8 from Sunbelt and CUSA
(10-12-2021 03:53 PM)Stugray2 Wrote:  North Texas signed the CUSA, so I take it they are not on the AAC target list. It's just four then, UAB and Charlotte with lower enthusiasm for FAU and UTSA.

I don't see the value to the AAC schools in adding more than that, as additional schools in SBC and CUSA only add mouths, do not add any prestige (Rice aside, whom ESPN doesn't like) nor any new recruiting territory.

In a way it's moot about other schools than those four. Is it possible they go for four and one of those falls out and is replaced? Certainly, Marshall seems to have some fans (at least among the eastern group of AAC schools), even though they are neither easy to get to nor of any recruiting value, so who knows.

AAC could go to 16 to get more regionalism, lock up programs with their exit fee and be secure if the XII begins to raid some more.

There is a greater per school split as you start to move from 10, 12, 14 to 16 but it could be offset enough by travel cost savings.

Maybe Army is driving this and saying they'd consider the AAC if it had enough markets.
10-12-2021 04:12 PM
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Post: #32
RE: Does ESPN want the AAC to take 8 from Sunbelt and CUSA
When I start hearing things from multiple people affiliated with different parties saying the same thing, my ears perk up a bit. With a huge grain of salt, I’m believing UAB and Rice are the top two choices and Marshall will also be invited if the Army FB-only pursuit lands successfully.

Given the pool of options, I could not be happier if those four join the fold.
(This post was last modified: 10-12-2021 04:44 PM by DrEvilGuapo.)
10-12-2021 04:40 PM
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Post: #33
RE: Does ESPN want the AAC to take 8 from Sunbelt and CUSA
I’m obviously not privy to the data ESPN has and would rely upon in answering questions from AAC.

I just don’t see a notable advantage for AAC going BIG, unless someone at ESPN is thinking it is worth paying some sort of premium to nuke CUSA by convincing AAC to take 8 CUSA and Sun Belt to take 6 and end the existence of CUSA and that certainly doesn’t feel plausible.

AAC needs to get two more, if there is some fear that Big XII is going to act again soon, then maybe four but really two is what is logical.

Again lacking the data, it would seem the logical move is grab two.

UAB fits the map, good brand, good academics. Buffalo a nice sized market that supports NFL and NHL and recent success in hoops and football, AAU member and while not next door neighbors with Temple, the Owls can bus in non-revenue sports.

FAU has been successful in football, UTSA certainly looks good this year. After that the pickings become either good at football in small population areas or bad to mediocre in football in large population areas.

Just seems more logical to grab a couple and wait and see.

Sun Belt people (officials, not fans) all think they are the Riddler right now but hint strongly there are four schools of significant interest and likely only two spots to fill.
10-12-2021 10:41 PM
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Post: #34
RE: Does ESPN want the AAC to take 8 from Sunbelt and CUSA
(10-12-2021 10:56 AM)bullet Wrote:  
(10-12-2021 09:13 AM)MinerInWisconsin Wrote:  
(10-12-2021 08:25 AM)LeeNobody Wrote:  As the other option for the AAC have declined, the AAC is looking to CUSA and the Sunbelt to add teams. There has been chatter about the AAC going big and grabbing 8 teams. Is this mutually beneficial for ESPN and the AAC. If the 8 teams take most of the value out of Sunbelt, and Cusa, ESPN can renegotiate the value down and push this content to ESPN+ even more. In the next round of TV deals, ESPN could simply no bid these conferences. What would the values of CUSA and Sunbelt be without: App State, Louisiana, Marshall, UAB, Coastal Carolina, Georgia State/Southern, UTSA/Rice and Old Dominion?

Pods might look like:
SMU, Tulsa, Tulane, UTSA/Rice
Navy, Temple, Marshall, ODU
Coastal, GaSo/St, ECU, App State
Memphis, UAB, USF, Louisiana
Thoughts?

What chatter? But if this did come to pass it would certainly give the SBC and CUSA reason to either regionalize or merge.

If they do go to 16 I suspect 15 and 16 would be schools like Dayton and St. Louis for basketball

Here we go again with this boards silly obsession with non-football schools
10-12-2021 10:55 PM
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Post: #35
RE: Does ESPN want the AAC to take 8 from Sunbelt and CUSA
(10-12-2021 10:41 PM)arkstfan Wrote:  I’m obviously not privy to the data ESPN has and would rely upon in answering questions from AAC.

I just don’t see a notable advantage for AAC going BIG, unless someone at ESPN is thinking it is worth paying some sort of premium to nuke CUSA by convincing AAC to take 8 CUSA and Sun Belt to take 6 and end the existence of CUSA and that certainly doesn’t feel plausible.

AAC needs to get two more, if there is some fear that Big XII is going to act again soon, then maybe four but really two is what is logical.

Again lacking the data, it would seem the logical move is grab two.

UAB fits the map, good brand, good academics. Buffalo a nice sized market that supports NFL and NHL and recent success in hoops and football, AAU member and while not next door neighbors with Temple, the Owls can bus in non-revenue sports.

FAU has been successful in football, UTSA certainly looks good this year. After that the pickings become either good at football in small population areas or bad to mediocre in football in large population areas.

Just seems more logical to grab a couple and wait and see.

Sun Belt people (officials, not fans) all think they are the Riddler right now but hint strongly there are four schools of significant interest and likely only two spots to fill.

Im with you. I dont see any reason for the "go big" strategy. There is only one reason I can think to do it. Back when the WAC expanded to 16---the original expansion they had in mind was much smaller. What happened was there was a split over who to add, and in order to get ANYONE added---it required a compromise where basically---EVERYONE got the schools they wanted included. So--if there is some voting block grid lock over issues of travel, academics, football performance--whatever---thats the only reason I can see why a group larger than 2 or 4 would get selected. Its hard to see any other reason to take 6 or 8 from a replacement pool that these same presidents for two years have insisted didnt hold a single school worthy of filling that 12th slot (UConns old spot).
(This post was last modified: 10-12-2021 11:11 PM by Attackcoog.)
10-12-2021 11:10 PM
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Post: #36
RE: Does ESPN want the AAC to take 8 from Sunbelt and CUSA
(10-12-2021 10:55 PM)Reverend Wrote:  
(10-12-2021 10:56 AM)bullet Wrote:  
(10-12-2021 09:13 AM)MinerInWisconsin Wrote:  
(10-12-2021 08:25 AM)LeeNobody Wrote:  As the other option for the AAC have declined, the AAC is looking to CUSA and the Sunbelt to add teams. There has been chatter about the AAC going big and grabbing 8 teams. Is this mutually beneficial for ESPN and the AAC. If the 8 teams take most of the value out of Sunbelt, and Cusa, ESPN can renegotiate the value down and push this content to ESPN+ even more. In the next round of TV deals, ESPN could simply no bid these conferences. What would the values of CUSA and Sunbelt be without: App State, Louisiana, Marshall, UAB, Coastal Carolina, Georgia State/Southern, UTSA/Rice and Old Dominion?

Pods might look like:
SMU, Tulsa, Tulane, UTSA/Rice
Navy, Temple, Marshall, ODU
Coastal, GaSo/St, ECU, App State
Memphis, UAB, USF, Louisiana
Thoughts?

What chatter? But if this did come to pass it would certainly give the SBC and CUSA reason to either regionalize or merge.

If they do go to 16 I suspect 15 and 16 would be schools like Dayton and St. Louis for basketball

Here we go again with this boards silly obsession with non-football schools

It's about basketball and markets. You wouldn't understand.
10-12-2021 11:10 PM
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Post: #37
RE: Does ESPN want the AAC to take 8 from Sunbelt and CUSA
(10-12-2021 11:10 PM)Attackcoog Wrote:  
(10-12-2021 10:41 PM)arkstfan Wrote:  I’m obviously not privy to the data ESPN has and would rely upon in answering questions from AAC.

I just don’t see a notable advantage for AAC going BIG, unless someone at ESPN is thinking it is worth paying some sort of premium to nuke CUSA by convincing AAC to take 8 CUSA and Sun Belt to take 6 and end the existence of CUSA and that certainly doesn’t feel plausible.

AAC needs to get two more, if there is some fear that Big XII is going to act again soon, then maybe four but really two is what is logical.

Again lacking the data, it would seem the logical move is grab two.

UAB fits the map, good brand, good academics. Buffalo a nice sized market that supports NFL and NHL and recent success in hoops and football, AAU member and while not next door neighbors with Temple, the Owls can bus in non-revenue sports.

FAU has been successful in football, UTSA certainly looks good this year. After that the pickings become either good at football in small population areas or bad to mediocre in football in large population areas.

Just seems more logical to grab a couple and wait and see.

Sun Belt people (officials, not fans) all think they are the Riddler right now but hint strongly there are four schools of significant interest and likely only two spots to fill.

Im with you. I dont see any reason for the "go big" strategy. There is only one reason I can think to do it. Back when the WAC expanded to 16---the original expansion they had in mind was much smaller. What happened was there was a split over who to add, and in order to get ANYONE added---it required a compromise where basically---EVERYONE got the schools they wanted included. So--if there is some voting block grid lock over issues of travel, academics, football performance--whatever---thats the only reason I can see why a group larger than 2 or 4 would get selected. Its hard to see any other reason to take 6 or 8 from a replacement pool that these same presidents for two years have insisted didnt hold a single school worthy of filling that 12th slot (UConns old spot).

That also describes the CUSA 3.0 expansion. Up until the last minute it seemed the question was would they add one or two, they added six and then after losing two more to fall to 12, felt compelled to add two more to get back to 14 (and then later one to get to 14).
10-12-2021 11:22 PM
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Post: #38
RE: Does ESPN want the AAC to take 8 from Sunbelt and CUSA
If the AAC went to 16... It would not be for long as they are set to lose 2 (maybe more) in the next three years and go to 14.
Also most of those schools would probably agree to a lower payout for "X" number of years. If the AAC took eight, MW added two, and the SBC added two or three the C-USA would dissolve and that MIGHT be what espn wants.
(This post was last modified: 10-12-2021 11:33 PM by TOPSTRAIGHT.)
10-12-2021 11:25 PM
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AuzGrams Offline
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Post: #39
RE: Does ESPN want the AAC to take 8 from Sunbelt and CUSA
ESPN wants the AAC to be like old C-USA.

The Sun Belt and C-USA is just content to show. Don’t think ESPN is too invested in either and wish those leagues would collaborate to be more regional and rivalry based.
10-12-2021 11:39 PM
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