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Division 1 College Conference Realignment

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1 hour ago, GDAWG said:

So what would it take for the WAC to go back to the FBS, even if they bring football back?

 

First, they need to convince Dixie State and Tarleton State to move their football programs to the FBS level. That gives the WAC three schools (halfway towards the minimum for competition).

 

The second part comes from the four schools they're looking at. Not only do they need to convince a minimum of three of these four schools to join the WAC, but also move their football programs to the FBS level. If they can get all four schools, it's gravy... but they cannot get less then three. There are also other schools on the radar for the WAC that would help this plan, like Southern Utah.

 

The big thing is convincing these schools that not only does the WAC give them a chance to compete, but they have to convince them of a potential financial windfall being an FBS school could bring them.

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32 minutes ago, Seadragon76 said:

 

First, they need to convince Dixie State and Tarleton State to move their football programs to the FBS level. That gives the WAC three schools (halfway towards the minimum for competition).

 

The second part comes from the four schools they're looking at. Not only do they need to convince a minimum of three of these four schools to join the WAC, but also move their football programs to the FBS level. If they can get all four schools, it's gravy... but they cannot get less then three. There are also other schools on the radar for the WAC that would help this plan, like Southern Utah.

 

The big thing is convincing these schools that not only does the WAC give them a chance to compete, but they have to convince them of a potential financial windfall being an FBS school could bring them.

 

Everything I have read in the past seems to indicate that Stephen F. Austin, Sam Houston State, Lamar and Abilene Christian have no interest in moving to the FBS, although things could change.  All four schools have football stadiums with under 20,000 capacity and three of them are under 15,000 capacity.  The smallest FBS Stadium in Texas is Bobcat Stadium at Texas State University which seats 30,000.  How much would it cost those four schools to have the same capacity for their stadiums as Texas State?

 

Tarleton State currently seats 12,000 at their stadium.  In order to make the FBS move, they would have to at least add 18,000 seats to match Texas State.

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Remember that the 15,000 attendance numbers is for home games and, for the most part, they don't always enforce this rule.

 

Another thing to add (and something I just learned) is that FBS conferences have far stricter rules for a conference to be in the FBS - You need 8 members, not 6, for FBS. Also, each school needs to have a minimum of 14 total sports in said conference (6 for the men and 8 for the women)

 

So.. this plan needs more bodies to make it work. I mentioned Southern Utah, but maybe another D-II program might want a piece of the pie... looking at you, Colorado State-Pueblo.

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1 hour ago, Seadragon76 said:

Remember that the 15,000 attendance numbers is for home games and, for the most part, they don't always enforce this rule.

 

Another thing to add (and something I just learned) is that FBS conferences have far stricter rules for a conference to be in the FBS - You need 8 members, not 6, for FBS. Also, each school needs to have a minimum of 14 total sports in said conference (6 for the men and 8 for the women)

 

So.. this plan needs more bodies to make it work. I mentioned Southern Utah, but maybe another D-II program might want a piece of the pie... looking at you, Colorado State-Pueblo.

 

15,000 is attendance, but in terms of capacity, if SFA, SHSU, ACU and Lamar and Tarleton State join the WAC and likewise the WAC joins FBS, those five would need at least 15,000 max capacity.  In fact, Lamar is over that threshold at 16,000. The other 4 are under but none would need major renovations to get to 15,000.  That could be an issue for those 5 schools if they ever plan on hosting any of the other Texas schools in the FBS, which would mean they would have to "host" a school like Texas Tech or SMU away from campus in San Antonio, Dallas or Houston. If all five schools want to host a major FBS school like Baylor, Houston or SMU, I think they would need to go up to 30,000.  I look at Texas State.  In their final year in the FCS, their stadium had 16,000 seats.  When they opted to move to the FBS, the stadium expanded to 30,000 in the hopes that they can host other Texas FBS schools in their own home venue.  Two of their largest attended games were against Texas Tech and Houston, both eclipsing 33,000 as both schools had alumni in the area.  Another game against UT-San Antonio had over 31,000 due to close proximity between San Marcos and San Antonio.  

 

Stephen F. Austin may not sell out a 30,000 seat Lumberjack Stadium when they play Sam Houston State in WAC conference play, but if they host Houston or Baylor in Nacogdoches, the chances of a sell out are really high.  If Stephen F. Austin, Sam Houston State, Abilene Christian, Lamar and Tarleton State join the WAC and the WAC joins the FBS, all five of those Texas schools might have to double their current capacities to at least 30,000 in the hopes of hosting a school like Baylor or Houston at their home stadiums.  If those 5 schools are content with 15,000 capacity if they join the WAC and the WAC goes FBS, then they better be content at being the "home team" at neutral sites because no way would a school like Baylor would play on the road at Stephen F. Austin if their stadium only seats 15,000 and would prefer to play in San Antonio or Houston if they have to be the visiting team.

 

If any of those 5 schools join an FBS conference, they will be like Texas State and double the size of their stadiums in the hopes of hosting a school like Baylor or Houston on campus.  

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On 11/27/2020 at 3:24 PM, Seadragon76 said:

 

First, they need to convince Dixie State and Tarleton State to move their football programs to the FBS level. That gives the WAC three schools (halfway towards the minimum for competition).

 

The second part comes from the four schools they're looking at. Not only do they need to convince a minimum of three of these four schools to join the WAC, but also move their football programs to the FBS level. If they can get all four schools, it's gravy... but they cannot get less then three. There are also other schools on the radar for the WAC that would help this plan, like Southern Utah.

 

The big thing is convincing these schools that not only does the WAC give them a chance to compete, but they have to convince them of a potential financial windfall being an FBS school could bring them.

I honestly think the wac is looking at FCS not FBS.  Most of their talks have involved schools at that level for football.

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I'd say this, FCS is the endgame for revived WAC football.  Not FBS.

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4 hours ago, rams80 said:

I'd say this, FCS is the endgame for revived WAC football.  Not FBS.

Honestly, I think the endgame might not be worth it in the end for WAC. Sure it could work but I see ways how it could and can backfire.

If the WAC Football can survive at least five or ten years without some really major hiccups. I will be shocked. Also, even if they make it that long, I doubt the Power 5 Conferences would allow another member to join them. So it pretty much FCS or BUST.

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9 hours ago, Matthew24 said:

Honestly, I think the endgame might not be worth it in the end for WAC. Sure it could work but I see ways how it could and can backfire.

If the WAC Football can survive at least five or ten years without some really major hiccups. I will be shocked. Also, even if they make it that long, I doubt the Power 5 Conferences would allow another member to join them. So it pretty much FCS or BUST.

Exactly...the big obstacle is that NM State doesn't want to drop down to FCS (they have a smallish but truly DEVOTED alumni/fanbase section).

Either the Mountain West swallows their pride to invite them, or Conference USA gives 'em a shot (expanding their footprint and adding fuel to the NMSU-UTEP rivalry, even if it's just where the loser gets the conference's wooden spoon for now).

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2 hours ago, MBurmy said:

Exactly...the big obstacle is that NM State doesn't want to drop down to FCS (they have a smallish but truly DEVOTED alumni/fanbase section).

Either the Mountain West swallows their pride to invite them, or Conference USA gives 'em a shot (expanding their footprint and adding fuel to the NMSU-UTEP rivalry, even if it's just where the loser gets the conference's wooden spoon for now).

It's not the Mountain West's pride that keeps NMSU out. It's the money. NMSU isn't going to increase revenue in the Mountain West enough to offset being a 13th mouth the feed. They just don't move the needle. Since 1960 they've been to one bowl game, and they were 6-6 going into that. There is no demand from conferences to add NMSU.

 

C-USA schools are already annoyed with having to go to El Paso, so why would they want to add another trip even further out? C-USA is already in a rough spot having to share revenue between 14 schools. A 15th school even further out isn't going to help things.

 

NMSU is basically just holding out hope that there's another big conference calamity and somebody will be desperate enough to take them. I just don't know where that shakeup comes from. C-USA isn't in a position to poach the Sun Belt like they used to, and the Sun Belt has no reason to poach C-USA or take NMSU. The American has no reason to expand at this point, and who from the American or Mountain West are going to be absorbed into the P5? The Big XII put on a big show of acting like they were going to expand a while back, only to reward themselves (and the Sun Belt) by getting the NCAA to make 10-team conference championship games a reality.

 

Idaho and New Mexico State only had homes in the Sun Belt because it was going to help the SBC get to 12 teams for football for a title game until Western Kentucky jumped to C-USA, a move that everybody saw coming except for the commissioner apparently. When that incentive no longer existed, the Sun Belt no longer had a need for NMSU and Idaho.

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NMSU stays up because Santa Fe is 4 hours away, on the wrong side of Albuquerque, and "NCAA Division I FBS" is about the only thing state legislators understand when they are being told that NMSU should get funding at least remotely in the ballpark with UNM and certainly better than Tech, Western, Eastern, and Highlands.  The alumni and fanbase core alone are not enough, you need those political considerations.

 

Re: C-USA: Team charters would have to fly into El Paso anyway to take the hour bus ride up to Las Cruces, so any NMSU bid would be predicated on a "travel partners" sales pitch with UTEP.  Shame the schools are bitter rivals.

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If you ask me, New Mexico State may have to bite the bullet and go down to the FCS level if it means bringing the WAC back for football.

 

Being an independent that isn't Notre Dame, BYU or Liberty is going to be impossible to pull off... so cut those losses and be a big fish in a smaller pond.

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Speaking of FBS Independents.....I think UCONN needs to cut their football program and just focus 100% on basketball.  That's where the money there comes from, especially from the Women's basketball team.  I think UMASS needs to drop to FCS.  Does the Northeast Conference need another football member?

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On 11/30/2020 at 12:34 AM, GDAWG said:

Speaking of FBS Independents.....I think UCONN needs to cut their football program and just focus 100% on basketball.  That's where the money there comes from, especially from the Women's basketball team.  I think UMASS needs to drop to FCS.  Does the Northeast Conference need another football member?

 

Wasn't a 40K seat stadium built just for UConn's ascension to Big East football nearly 20 years ago? Would hate to see such a relatively young stadium sit empty because it's primary tenant ceased operating.

 

Maybe the stadium's ownership/operators could strike a deal with US Soccer to have the national teams host more friendlies there. Or make a bid to host the NCAA D1 men's lacrosse finals. Or even make a deal for Notre Dame to play "home games" there. They'd have to do something to justify the stadium's existence if UConn were to axe the football program.

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6 hours ago, 4_tattoos said:

 

Wasn't a 40K seat stadium built just for UConn's ascension to Big East football nearly 20 years ago? Would hate to see such a relatively young stadium sit empty because it's primary tenant ceased operating.

 

Maybe the stadium's ownership/operators could strike a deal with US Soccer to have the national teams host more friendlies there. Or make a bid to host the NCAA D1 men's lacrosse finals. Or even make a deal for Notre Dame to play "home games" there. They'd have to do something to justify the stadium's existence if UConn were to axe the football program.

 

All built with taxpayer dollars.  They ain't dropping football because the state lege will kill them.

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22 hours ago, 4_tattoos said:

 

Wasn't a 40K seat stadium built just for UConn's ascension to Big East football nearly 20 years ago? Would hate to see such a relatively young stadium sit empty because it's primary tenant ceased operating.

 

Maybe the stadium's ownership/operators could strike a deal with US Soccer to have the national teams host more friendlies there. Or make a bid to host the NCAA D1 men's lacrosse finals. Or even make a deal for Notre Dame to play "home games" there. They'd have to do something to justify the stadium's existence if UConn were to axe the football program.

 

16 hours ago, rams80 said:

 

All built with taxpayer dollars.  They ain't dropping football because the state lege will kill them.

 

If I recall correctly, this stadium was originally supposed to be a new Patriots stadium (in another form) prior to Gillette Stadium being thought of.

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51 minutes ago, TBGKon said:

If I recall correctly, this stadium was originally supposed to be a new Patriots stadium (in another form) prior to Gillette Stadium being thought of.


You're close. The 68,000-seat stadium that was to have played host to the New England Patriots and the University of Connecticut's football team was going to be built on a site in  downtown Hartford that is now the home of the Connecticut Convention Center. The UConn Huskies' current football home - 38,066-seat Pratt & Whitney Stadium at Rentschler Field - is located across the Connecticut River in East Hartford, a 3.5 to 4-mile drive from the proposed stadium's location.    

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WAC making moves, possibly to bring back football. This puts the Big Sky at 10 and Southland at 9 - Big Sky will be fine but the Southland might be in trouble if some of the other rumored moves (like UCA to ASun) are true.

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The WAC legitimately trying to become an FBS conference again was not something I anticipated. It seems like they've recently been held together by Grand Canyon and NMSU and been a landing spot for transitioning and wayward programs.

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3 hours ago, Magic Dynasty said:

WAC making moves, possibly to bring back football. This puts the Big Sky at 10 and Southland at 9 - Big Sky will be fine but the Southland might be in trouble if some of the other rumored moves (like UCA to ASun) are true.

 

If Tarleton State moves to the WAC in all sports (football included as they will be an FCS Independent), they will have some in-state rivals.  I think that the WAC should stay in the FCS if they bring football back (which looks like they will because all of those schools they have added all play football).  Going back to FBS would require all of the football programs in their conference to expand seating of their stadiums.  In that case, Southern Utah would have to expand their football stadium to 30,000 if they ever want to host the Utes or Aggies or even Cougars.  The Texas schools in the conference would have to expand also to 30,000 if they ever want to host the likes of Texas Tech or Baylor.  When Texas State jumped from the FCS Southland to FBS Sun Belt, they expanded their stadium to 30,000.

 

Sam Houston State, Lamar and Stephen F. Austin represent East Texas, a region without any FBS programs but with a large number of alumni from FBS schools, many of whom are the other Texas schools in the Sun Belt, AAC, C-USA, Big 12 and Texas A&M and also quite a few from LSU, La Tech, Louisiana and Louisiana Monroe as well as Arkansas and Arkansas State.  If all three were to be a part of a FBS conference in the WAC, they would all have to expand their stadiums to 30,000 if they ever want to host an FBS school from the area.  Same for Abilene Christian and Tarleton State with the latter located in Stephenville, Texas, just on the outer reaches of the Dallas-Fort Worth Metroplex.

 

I don't think the WAC goes back to FBS, but will become an FCS conference.  

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