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Division 1 College Conference Realignment


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4 minutes ago, GDAWG said:

 

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.  

I don't either. I meant FCS when I said that they might be looking at bringing football back.

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Not sure if anything will come of this, but this is interesting. Boise State might be trying to force their way out of the Mountain West again, at least if they listed to the coach. The conferences they looked (are looking?) at are the WCC and Big West, probably with football becoming an independent or joining the American.

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7 hours ago, Magic Dynasty said:

Not sure if anything will come of this, but this is interesting. Boise State might be trying to force their way out of the Mountain West again, at least if they listed to the coach. The conferences they looked (are looking?) at are the WCC and Big West, probably with football becoming an independent or joining the American.

 

If Boise State goes FBS Independent, they have the ability to control their schedule.  

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Four Texas colleges expected to join Western Athletic Conference (texasfootball.com)

 

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Sam Houston State, Stephen F. Austin, Lamar and Abilene Christian are expected to join the Western Athletic Conference to create a new FCS football conference, multiple sources have confirmed to Texas Football.

The news was first reported by Matt Brown of Extra Points. D1Baseball's Kendall Rogers has also confirmed that that the four schools will be joining the WAC for baseball. 

In addition to the four new Texas schools, Big Sky member Southern Utah is expected to join the WAC as well. That would bring the WAC up to 14 total member institutions with seven FCS football-playing members. The WAC has not fielded football since 2012, but it has been an open secret that the league hopes to add it once again. 

There are still a number of moving parts that need to be worked out. No invitations have been officially accepted at this time, but decisions are expected in the next two weeks. No timeline has been set on when these schools would officially join the conference.

There is also a belief that the WAC will attempt to find an eighth football-playing member to round out the conference. An FCS league must field at least six eligible teams to earn an auto-bid to the FCS Playoffs. Two of the seven members – Tarleton State and Dixie State – will be ineligible as they transition from Division II to FCS. 

At this point, the four Texas colleges have declined to confirm the news. A source at Stephen F. Austin said the university has not received an invitation to the WAC at this time, while Sam Houston State told the Huntsville Item’s Josh Criswell that no official decision has been made.

“Our primary focus has always been to do what is in the best interest of our university, student-athletes and coaches,” Lamar athletic director Marco Born said. “With that being stated, we must always keep every avenue open to possibilities of improving our brand.”

Abilene Christian released a statement neither confirming nor denying the reported move. 

“The Southland Conference has been an important part of Abilene Christian’s athletic legacy, from our role as a founding member in 1963 and our return in 2013 when we transitioned to Division I,” Abilene Christian said in a statement. “Each time, we moved for highly strategic reasons that positioned the university and its student-athletes for optimum success. Evaluating our athletic conference alignment is an ongoing responsibility of our Senior Leadership Team and any decision would be followed by a public announcement.” 

If the move becomes official, it would be a strong blow to the Southland Conference. Sam Houston State has been the most consistent national contender in the conference over the past decade. Central Arkansas, which has won the Southland Conference two of the past three seasons, has also been linked to the non-football Atlantic Sun. 

Prior to 2012, the WAC had a 50-year run as a major FBS football league. BYU won a national championship as a member of the conference in 1984, while LaDainian Tomlinson’s TCU and Kellen Moore’s Boise State both made plays for national attention.

However, the best football members of the WAC ultimately left for the Mountain West and the conference was lost to realignment. Now, the WAC is making a push to re-emerge as a competitive FCS football league. 

In addition to the seven football schools, non-football members of the WAC include: California Baptist, Chicago State, Grand Canyon, Seattle University, UTRGV and Utah Valley. New Mexico State is also a member of the WAC in all sports except football, in which the Aggies participate as an FBS independent.

 

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7 minutes ago, Matthew24 said:

So if the four schools go to the WAC to reform the football conference. What will happen to Southland Conference?

 

I do think they can managed but it will a tough road ahead. 

If Central Arkansas joins the ASUN, the Southland will be down to only 6 football-playing members + 2 more for other sports

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1 hour ago, Matthew24 said:

So if the four schools go to the WAC to reform the football conference. What will happen to Southland Conference?

 

I do think they can managed but it will a tough road ahead. 

 

I have heard that the 4 Louisiana schools are struggling.  I think if the 4 Louisiana schools in the Southland have to disband football, this leaves Houston Baptist and Incarnate Word as the only football playing schools left.  In that case, do they become FCS Independents? If all six teams are able to keep football I don't know how they would add two more teams as FCS rules state that there needs to be 8 football teams to qualify for the FCS Playoffs.  Do they go down to Division II and take two teams from the Lone Star Conference?

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On 12/9/2020 at 7:32 AM, Magic Dynasty said:

Not sure if anything will come of this, but this is interesting. Boise State might be trying to force their way out of the Mountain West again, at least if they listed to the coach. The conferences they looked (are looking?) at are the WCC and Big West, probably with football becoming an independent or joining the American.

Well it’s also that time again, tv rights are back up for renewal and we all know when this  happens is it’s become a big moving around of the conferences. Now I’ve always felt the end game is 16 teams in a conference. Now maybe the pac12 only adds 2 for now and if so maybe Boise is trying to angle for one of the slots. Idk where it lands tv viewer wise but I’m sure it’s not a “big” market but maybe growing. As for the other school if they do in fact expand to 14 schools I’d say BYU, but again with the Sunday’s thing that’s prob a mega dealbreaker.  That to me leaves 2 options: SD St or UNLV. They check all the boxes I’d say correct? That’s not a bad add for the pac 12 in all sports right?

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  • 4 weeks later...

Chicago State leaving makes sense because the WAC is going away from it's original plan of having teams in the Midwest to a plan that is more based in the Southwest and Texas. Being the outlier that they are, it makes sense that they would jump ship.

 

Now comes the green and white elephant in the room: Where do they go? Well..The article states they want to stay in Division I, but I find it hard for them to stay in Division I.

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41 minutes ago, MBurmy said:

 

And UT Rio Grande Valley is probably going to be a football school as well.

 

So all four of those schools will be in a Texas division.  So it's ACU, Lamar, SHSU, SFA, Tarleton State, UTRGV and TBA.  The speculation is that the 7th school is going to be West Texas A&M.

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24 minutes ago, Seadragon76 said:

Chicago State leaving makes sense because the WAC is going away from it's original plan of having teams in the Midwest to a plan that is more based in the Southwest and Texas. Being the outlier that they are, it makes sense that they would jump ship.

 

Now comes the green and white elephant in the room: Where do they go? Well..The article states they want to stay in Division I, but I find it hard for them to stay in Division I.

They mentioned UMKC quite a bit in their press release, I wonder if Chicago State's trying for the Summit League like they did. However, there's pretty much no reason for the Summit (or any other D1 conference, for that matter) to take them. They bring nothing to the table, other than a big market that doesn't care about them.

 

With Chicago State gone, Seattle is now the only geographic outlier in the conference. I wouldn't be that surprised if they eventually move to the WCC or Big West.

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I don't understand how Chicago State is still D1 when every article I ever see about them is how the school is on the verge of shutting down entirely.

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10 minutes ago, Magic Dynasty said:

With Chicago State gone, Seattle is now the only geographic outlier in the conference. I wouldn't be that surprised if they eventually move to the WCC or Big West.

WCC is far more likely.  The Big West, with Pacific gone, is exclusively UC/Cal States except for Hawaii whereas Seattle's a Jesuit school that is more in-line with the WCC profile.

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On 12/9/2020 at 7:32 AM, Magic Dynasty said:

Not sure if anything will come of this, but this is interesting. Boise State might be trying to force their way out of the Mountain West again, at least if they listed to the coach. The conferences they looked (are looking?) at are the WCC and Big West, probably with football becoming an independent or joining the American.

 

Why would Boise leave? Being an Independent or going to the American is a lateral move. It's only worth leaving if they go to the Pac-12.

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7 hours ago, GDAWG said:

Good move! 

 

Not only are HBCUs a hot commodity right now, but with the Southland about to lose one big rivalry game played in Houston, they might as well gain another equally strong one.

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34 minutes ago, CrimsonBull9584 said:

 

Why would Boise leave? Being an Independent or going to the American is a lateral move. It's only worth leaving if they go to the Pac-12.

 

Because if they leave they have control over who they schedule to play, bigger opponents, more revenue, better chances at a playoff spot, than in a non power 5. The Power 5 considers schools like BYU and Notre Dame to be power 5 schools, but not schools like UMASS or New Mexico State. However, as Independents, all have access to the college football playoff and new years six as at large bids. Scheduling more power 5 schools and beating them can earn them a higher chance of getting in.

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