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Division 1 College Conference Realignment


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The only two programs that would have a chance in FBS from the Big Sky are Montana and Montana State. The facilities are first class and the programs are doing very well. However, I don't believe either program has an interest in moving up to FBS. Montana all but had an invite and decided they'd be better off as a big fish in the FCS pond.

Both Montana and Montana State have said repeatedly that they are happy playing in the Big Sky.

As I said... The point was they are the two top teams in the Big Sky - biggest draws, best facilities, etc. They aren't moving up.

It'd be a joke to move up someone like Sac State or PSU. They'd be Idaho, but worse. Might even kill their programs entirely.

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Actually, Portland State is the largest university in Oregon. If they put more emphasis on athletics, they could make it to the FBS. The problem is that they have the Oregon Ducks in the same state. I will say, however, that the PSU fans actually traveled relatively well when we played them last year. If PSU were to get an on campus stadium (which I don't know why they haven't already), and schedule more games on weekdays, they would get fans.

Actual size of PSU notwithstanding, their football program can't handle a move up. They are just now starting to gain in the Big Sky and have become a second-tier program along the lines of Weber State - strong competitor year in and year out, but nothing to show for it yet in league championships or playoff appearances.

As a big supporter of Montana State, I don't want them to move. The Big Sky is just getting better - and next year we're gaining some quality programs.

(Now, if we could find someone to take Northern Colorado off our hands...)

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The only two programs that would have a chance in FBS from the Big Sky are Montana and Montana State. The facilities are first class and the programs are doing very well. However, I don't believe either program has an interest in moving up to FBS. Montana all but had an invite and decided they'd be better off as a big fish in the FCS pond.

Both Montana and Montana State have said repeatedly that they are happy playing in the Big Sky.

As I said... The point was they are the two top teams in the Big Sky - biggest draws, best facilities, etc. They aren't moving up.

It'd be a joke to move up someone like Sac State or PSU. They'd be Idaho, but worse. Might even kill their programs entirely.

Almost as big of a joke as West Virginia in the Big XII or Colorado in the Pac-10... oh wait.

My point is that "logic" and "reason" and "common sense" take a back seat to money when it comes to realignment.

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@ spleen: Student enrollment has nothing to do with student support or suitability for an athletic conference. Take the state of Virginia for example. VCU is the largest school in the state by undergraduate enrollment (32,000+), followed by George Mason and Old Dominion. Virginia Tech is fifth in the state by enrollment, while UVA is eighth. Yet those two schools are the only relevant ones when it comes to college football (which is the only thing that matters, otherwise we'd be talking about Baylor to the SEC or Tulane to the Big XII or something).

Have you ever been to PSU? It's absolutely huge. Maybe not bigger than Oregon as in area wise, but that's because UO is more spread out. Plus, it's the only university in a big city. If they got an on campus stadium, they could do it.

The same goes for VCU and ODU, which are really the only two urban campuses in the state commonwealth of Virginia.

My point is that campus population has little bearing on what actually goes on in the athletic department. Old Dominion is located right smack in the middle of a fairly large market that has no major professional teams in a 2-hour radius and is hungry for college football. Yet the fact of the matter is that they aren't going to be moving anywhere anytime soon for a number of reasons, one of which is the fact that the governor of Virginia carries what Teddy Roosevelt called "a big stick" - and departing the CAA or the ACC carries the risk of incurring the wrath of that big stick. Remember: former governor Mark Warner pretty much strong-armed the ACC into taking Virginia Tech instead of Syracuse during the first round of ACC expansion.

Also Portland State isn't Boise State. Last I checked, they weren't exactly setting the world on fire in the Big Sky standings.

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Big East is going to change their name right?

Should this continent-spanning realignment/expansion come to pass, the Big East should rebrand itself as either the Big America Conference, the Great America Conference, or the Great American Conference.

Conference USA

"No, we're not THAT Conference USA... seriously!"

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Big East is going to change their name right?

Should this continent-spanning realignment/expansion come to pass, the Big East should rebrand itself as either the Big America Conference, the Great America Conference, or the Great American Conference.

That name is already taken.

http://www.greatamericanconference.com/

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Speaking of the Big Sky, what are the chances of Idaho admitting defeat and moving back down there? Let's face it, other than two trips to the Humanitarian Bowl spaced over a decade apart, they've been completely outmatched in FBS football. Their stadium is a dump and way too small, and their appeal is hyperlocal at best. They're only in the FBS because they begged the Idaho State BoE to be allowed to move up along with Boise State. There's no shame in Idaho moving back down to a level where they can have success and be competitive - to the contrary, there's more shame in staying in the FBS and getting boatraced pretty much every year.

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Speaking of the Big Sky, what are the chances of Idaho admitting defeat and moving back down there? Let's face it, other than two trips to the Humanitarian Bowl spaced over a decade apart, they've been completely outmatched in FBS football. Their stadium is a dump and way too small, and their appeal is hyperlocal at best. They're only in the FBS because they begged the Idaho State BoE to be allowed to move up along with Boise State. There's no shame in Idaho moving back down to a level where they can have success and be competitive - to the contrary, there's more shame in staying in the FBS and getting boatraced pretty much every year.

eastern-michigan-eagles-primary-logo-4-primary.jpg

"Take us with?"

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Speaking of the Big Sky, what are the chances of Idaho admitting defeat and moving back down there? Let's face it, other than two trips to the Humanitarian Bowl spaced over a decade apart, they've been completely outmatched in FBS football. Their stadium is a dump and way too small, and their appeal is hyperlocal at best. They're only in the FBS because they begged the Idaho State BoE to be allowed to move up along with Boise State. There's no shame in Idaho moving back down to a level where they can have success and be competitive - to the contrary, there's more shame in staying in the FBS and getting boatraced pretty much every year.

Wasn't Idaho kicking your ass, and wasn't Boise 2-9 when you guys moved up?

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On the field, Idaho was better than Boise head-to-head (although, BSU was no slouch in 1-AA, they won a national title and appeared in another title game). But BSU already had a larger market and a larger stadium, and they were called crazy at the time for trying to move up. You can imagine what the chances of Idaho, in tiny Moscow with their 16,000-seat stadium, moving up on their own would have been - slim to none.

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Don't look now, but Eastern Michigan is actually one win away from being bowl eligible for the first time since 1987. It looks like Ron English is turning that program around.

Isn't that what we said about Robb Akey and Idaho just a couple years ago?

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On the field, Idaho was better than Boise head-to-head (although, BSU was no slouch in 1-AA, they won a national title and appeared in another title game). But BSU already had a larger market and a larger stadium, and they were called crazy at the time for trying to move up. You can imagine what the chances of Idaho, in tiny Moscow with their 16,000-seat stadium, moving up on their own would have been - slim to none.

You're giving it too much credit.

SetWidth445-Idaho-Football.jpg

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Don't look now, but Eastern Michigan is actually one win away from being bowl eligible for the first time since 1987. It looks like Ron English is turning that program around.

Isn't that what we said about Robb Akey and Idaho just a couple years ago?

I wasn't saying that a couple years ago, but then again, I hate dislike now no longer care about the Vandals. B)

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Speaking of the Big Sky, what are the chances of Idaho admitting defeat and moving back down there? Let's face it, other than two trips to the Humanitarian Bowl spaced over a decade apart, they've been completely outmatched in FBS football. Their stadium is a dump and way too small, and their appeal is hyperlocal at best. They're only in the FBS because they begged the Idaho State BoE to be allowed to move up along with Boise State. There's no shame in Idaho moving back down to a level where they can have success and be competitive - to the contrary, there's more shame in staying in the FBS and getting boatraced pretty much every year.

Sifting through the homer-eroticism in this post (Boise didn't exactly have much more of a fanbase or prestige than Idaho when they came to D1-A), you have a point. Athletes who can play at the FBS certianly don't want to spend 4-5 years playing the game they love in what could easily double as a livestock hall. While you can't blame Idaho for trying to make the jump with Boise, the programs have moved in completely opposite directions since then. You could call it a downgrade (I'd think of it as addition by subtraction), but it sure seems like Idaho belongs in the Big Sky where they can play the likes of Idaho State and the Montana schools.

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Sifting through the homer-eroticism in this post

What can I say? It ain't a rivalry without some liberties taken. :P

Boise didn't exactly have much more of a fanbase

What they did have was more of a potential fanbase. In 1990 (the last count taken at the time), Boise had 125,738 people, while Moscow had 18,398. That's a lot more TV sets in Boise State's market, and that's not even counting the greater Boise metropolitan area (population of 295,851 in 1990). Is that a huge market? No, but certainly far bigger than what Idaho had to work with. Of course, BSU has maximized that and much more by now.

or prestige than Idaho when they came to D1-A

That's debatable. Idaho made the 1-AA playoffs two more times than Boise did, but Boise won a national title at that level in 1980 and made another title game in '94, losing to Jim Tressell and Youngstown State. (This isn't even counting BSU's 1958 NJCAA national title.) I'd say the championship would give BSU the advantage in prestige, but then again, I'm biased. B)

Athletes who can play at the FBS certianly don't want to spend 4-5 years playing the game they love in what could easily double as a livestock hall.

Or if your program isn't winning. Boise's facilities aren't exactly world-class, but recruits still want to go there because BSU has built up cachet and created a winning tradition. Idaho hasn't, so they can't really convince a 3-star recruit who has both BSU and UI on their list to come to Moscow over Boise.

it sure seems like Idaho belongs in the Big Sky where they can play the likes of Idaho State and the Montana schools.

Exactly. And they can compete from Day 1 in the Big Sky. The fans can finally enjoy winning on a regular basis and having a program that they can be proud of.

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College sports aren't like the pros, where market potential and population mean everything. Market size means little, really.

Except for the very few bandwagonning folks, people become fans of a college either by being born/living near a school, or actually attending said school.

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