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Gonzaga is interesting. As a fan, it would be fun to see them in the MWC playing SD St., Nevada, CSU, USU, etc. Some great buildings with great crowds.

But if you’re Gonzaga, it ain’t broke. You play an awesome non conference schedule, then slap everyone in the league around with the very occasional loss or close game. Then you go to the NCAA tournament and more often than not, make a deep run.

MWC is clearly better top to bottom, but St. Mary’s, Pepperdine, Santa Clara, and San Francisco are good, Pacific and Loyola are competitive, etc. And recruits are coming regardless because you’re playing Baylor, Duke, Illinois, etc. They have a niche position that nobody else really has.
I agree with all of that. However, I have a feeling there is more money to be made being a member of the MW than the West Coast. I doubt they would get any football money, but I have to imagine the TV deal pays more and would jump quite a bit with the Zags. In addition, with a deeper league, you get more NCAA Tournament bids and thus more chunks of the pie. I honestly have no idea how much money we would be talking so who knows if it would make it worth it for them.
 
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So, is the AAC appealing to 1. anyone they would want and 2. anyone that actually adds value to the league? Do any current members of the Sun Belt or C-USA think so? Is there any school outside of those 2 leagues that the AAC could even target to help them?
I mean, Boise State openly flirted with them. They talked to San Diego State too, right? But like I said right now, are those schools even thinking about it anymore? I'm sure Boise is pissed they're not getting invited to the party for the Big 12 but anyone smart knew that was unlikely.

At this point the American might have to try and offer a football-only spot to North Dakota State. I think they could attempt ball of rubber's plan of reaching out to Saint Louis or Creighton to join (SLU probably listens more than Creighton would I think)...I'd say they could offer a spot to Army too, but I doubt they accept simply because that would mess up the timing of the Army-Navy game. Speaking of, is Navy even interested in being in this league anymore? Might they decide they'd rather be Independent once more?

A school that definitely has to be kicking itself is Temple. A basketball school that hitched its wagon to football and now are left wondering why they're in a league with Tulsa and ECU...instead of being the Big East's 12th member.

Memphis will never have conference stability. Great Midwest to CUSA to AAC to...probably the AAC not as tough. They might not mind that because they'll probably win the league easier now? Who knows.

I tend to think between the AAC, Sun Belt and CUSA, we're going to end up with 4 conferences soon, because something will make that CUSA split happen.
 

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AAC Basketball has been gutted with the loss of UConn, and now Cincinnati and Houston. The schools that look to be really screwed are Memphis and Temple. Both are basketball-first schools that are forced to make football decisions. They have nowhere to go and no one to add basketball value.

Navy can simply go back to being Independent. I also have to think Wichita State looks to get out as well - maybe try to go back to MVC or explore the A-10.

Best case scenario for all involved is to create an "alliance" between the AAC and C-USA are reorganize into 2 new conferences based on region and profile.
 

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How about a new mix for a "Eastern" group of basketball-football schools:

Memphis (AAC)
Temple (AAC)
USF (AAC)
SMU (AAC)
Charlotte (C-USA)
Old Dominion (C-USA)
UAB (C-USA)
Western Kentucky (C-USA)
Georgia State (Sun Belt)
Liberty (A-SUN)

Also consider UMass (Ind/A-10) and Buffalo (MAC) for 12
 

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Discussion Starter · #4,745 ·
How about a new mix for a "Eastern" group of basketball-football schools:

Memphis (AAC)
Temple (AAC)
USF (AAC)
SMU (AAC)
Charlotte (C-USA)
Old Dominion (C-USA)
UAB (C-USA)
Western Kentucky (C-USA)
Georgia State (Sun Belt)
Liberty (A-SUN)

Also consider UMass (Ind/A-10) and Buffalo (MAC) for 12
If this happens and JMU isn't in the mix.....their fans might burn their campus down.
 

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How about a new mix for a "Eastern" group of basketball-football schools:

Memphis (AAC)
Temple (AAC)
USF (AAC)
SMU (AAC)
Charlotte (C-USA)
Old Dominion (C-USA)
UAB (C-USA)
Western Kentucky (C-USA)
Georgia State (Sun Belt)
Liberty (A-SUN)

Also consider UMass (Ind/A-10) and Buffalo (MAC) for 12
It tracks...but I don't think that layout.
I think the leftover AAC schools, some of them are going to do what they can to stick together, even if taking the regional approach is the best idea. It's all about the perceived power it will have as being "better" than the Sun Belt and whatever comes of CUSA, which it will raid. There are also too many schools in the league that need the remaining schools to stick together because they'd be well and truly screwed. Temple, Memphis, Wichita State this is especially the case. ECU should ask itself what it's doing, but the ego will keep it where it is at instead of aligning with a new east league. My newly wrong guesses include:

AAC: Memphis, SMU, Tulsa, Tulane, Temple, South Florida, ECU, Wichita State + Georgia State, UAB + 2 of (Southern Miss, Rice, North Texas, UTSA, Western Kentucky, Charlotte)

I think Navy goes back to being Independent, they don't need this group at all. The league is already in the Dallas area with SMU, so North Texas probably isn't considered. Rice sucks, but I think the Houston area + high academics can allow them to sneak in...UT San Antonio gives them the same, are better at football (just beat a bad Illinois team), but it's kind of just a commuter school right? They're not just going to have one Texas school, so it's one of those two, I think Rice even if they drag them down. Southern Miss is competitive, is an R1 too. WKU is solid but isn't even an R1 or R2, Charlotte would be pretty far behind if you ask me for a variety of reasons. So, my guess is Southern Miss. It's not an impressive league, but on good years it could be on par with the Mountain West.

For that "eastern league" that'd leave you with Western Kentucky, Middle Tennessee, FIU, FAU, Charlotte, Marshall, Old Dominion + James Madison, Liberty.

These schools are way more likely to accept a Liberty than any other AAC school would. That's 9. It's not very "east" to add Louisiana Tech, North Texas, UTSA, UTEP or possibly Southern Miss or Rice. You'd have to raid the Sun Belt and take two of or all three of Coastal Carolina, Appalachian State and Georgia Southern. Otherwise, you're having to add UConn and UMass as affiliates or find an FCS move up in the footprint.

The Sun Belt is really going to have to figure out what to do here. I think it's safe to assume the AAC is going to target and get Georgia State. If the rumors of UT Arlington and Little Rock being out the door for non-FBS conferences is true, that leaves them with 9 members if they don't lose anyone. Are they able to convince more of those remaining CUSA schools to join them to solidify their ranks as a stronger league? Are they confident their easternmost schools wouldn't want to bolt for that CUSA-East league listed above?
 

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Also, in case anyone was wondering what's up with everyone's favorite school Chicago State: What is Chicago State trying to accomplish? I asked them

AD says they've had convos with Horizon and Summit and MEAC. Most conversations with the MEAC. The school now has a partnership with Morgan State, and being a minority serving institution, it does align with the HBCUs. AD wants to capitalize on newfound popularity of HBCUs.

Chicago State's media rights are with FloSports. Extra Points got the contract of it...and it includes football starting in 2022-23. AD says it's just in an advisory stage with alums and others.
 

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A few random musings on my part --

UConn and UMass have to be debating whether the right move is to FCS or dropping football entirely at this point. There is absolutely nothing to indicate that either school has any hope of competing at their current level. No green shoots. Not even any brown shoots. Just barren wasteland.

Eventually the cannibalism among the most powerful schools within the power conference takes hold and programs that bring nothing to the football table get cast aside. The Duke's, Vandy's and Northwestern's are part of the conference traditions -- but they are big time takers and not givers when it comes to football revenue. That can't last for long. At some point does it make sense for the academic schools (which also tend to have very broad athletic programs) to band together as a conference -- Duke, Vanderbilt, Northwestern, Rice, Stanford, Army, Navy. Maybe BYU, maybe Air Force. If the shine comes off Duke basketball in the next few years with Coach K gone then the only thing that might stand in the way is Stanford's belief that it can be relevant in football. There could even be a potential TV deal in there as the alus of these schools probably have way higher than average incomes and would also be more inclined to watch their alma mater play a like minded school than to watch them get waxed by Alabama.
 

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Now we have another P5 school asking itself if it’s in way over its head.
They aren't going anywhere. The old adage "you have to spend money to make money" seems pretty appropriate here. Rutgers didn't have the facilities in place to compete in the Big Ten, I'm pretty sure everyone knew that. They are just now getting the full member payout on an annual basis, which will make a big difference moving forward. Clearly there are issues on how they record income among other things, but they will be fine. Making an investment to try and compete with Ohio State, Penn State, Michigan, MSU, etc is expensive. I'm not saying I agree with the expenses or how they are recording things and all that; just saying that they would obviously have to invest a ton to compete in the Big Ten.
 

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Good lord. I can't imagine there is a current member of the ACC, Big Ten, Pac-12 or SEC that would make the jump so we can rule out all those schools. Who does that even leave: Boise State, Memphis, San Diego State, Fresno State? Colorado State, SMU, Tulane, Tulsa? I mean, how many mouths are they looking to feed?
Seriously. I guess the keyword there is "may" - so does that mean they're trying to gauge what they can get from TV money and if there are others they have to add? But honestly what the hell is left? If its 14 teams they want, I'll say it's probably going to include Boise State and one of Colorado State or San Diego State. If they want 16 it'll be two of those plus probably USF manages to get its way in plus Memphis.

While I'm positive football will be a requirement for any Big 12 member...maybe they actually think they could add Gonzaga and possibly even another (Saint Louis? Creighton? Wichita State?) and go the 12 FB/14 BB way? 14 FB/16 BB? 15 + 1 FB/16 BB? Who becomes an affiliate in that last suggestion though? Feels like Navy would make sense but do they commit to something like that plus how would that possibly interfere with their games vs. Army and Air Force? North Dakota State isn't jumping right into the Big 12. The other independent schools aren't getting invited for obvious reasons.

Long way of saying it but maybe the Big 12 should make sure they can ride with this 12 before thinking about going out and getting more. It might say something that a Big 12 AD is either blowing smoke or that there is a fear of the remaining 8 that not all are fully committed to the league going forward.
 

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Discussion Starter · #4,757 ·
If it were to happen it will be the Mountain West that they gut. Big 12 membership want to ensure that they survive a future assault if Oklahoma State, Iowa State and Kansas are lured away.
 

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Definitionally, what is the Sun Belt's "footprint"? It stretches from NC to TX.

I don't know if that changes anything other than basically saying "we have 2 open spots, who wants them?" to every CUSA school. That's also provided they don't lose a school. However, just looking at Knight Commission numbers from 2019 (the latest year they have), any Sun Belt school is going to have to up its financial commitment to football and overall athletic spending by a lot to match AAC schools. So too would CUSA schools. But, even Houston and Cincy are going to have to as well headed to the Big 12 (UCF is 4th in football spending among the leftover Big 12 school).

Edit: Case in point about how "being aggressive" means nothing

 

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Discussion Starter · #4,760 ·
The Big 12 made the right moves and got the consensus Top 4 that everyone thought they should get. I actually think that the Big 12 has become a more interesting conference.
 
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