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It is really astonishing how college athletics administrators fundamentally misunderstand what it is that their customer base likes about their product.
 

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I had to double check the date to make sure it wasn't April 1st. I mean, did common sense just win out in conference realignment?

That said, now that they have held onto all of their members, the MW needs to go get some schools themselves. Why not go get SMU (they just beat TCU in football), Tulsa, Wichita State and Gonzaga. I would say Memphis but not sure the Tigers would make a move as they are anticipating a move to the Big XII soon. But man, if there were any schools the MW wanted from the AAC, now is absolutely the time to go after them.

Hell, maybe they go after UAB?
 
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I had to double check the date to make sure it wasn't April 1st. I mean, did common sense just win out in conference realignment?

That said, now that they have held onto all of their members, the MW needs to go get some schools themselves. Why not go get SMU (they just beat TCU in football), Tulsa, Wichita State and Gonzaga. I would say Memphis but not sure the Tigers would make a move as they are anticipating a move to the Big XII soon. But man, if there were any schools the MW wanted from the AAC, now is absolutely the time to go after them.

Hell, maybe they go after UAB?
Yes to all of this (except UAB, too far east).
 

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I had to double check the date to make sure it wasn't April 1st. I mean, did common sense just win out in conference realignment?

That said, now that they have held onto all of their members, the MW needs to go get some schools themselves. Why not go get SMU (they just beat TCU in football), Tulsa, Wichita State and Gonzaga. I would say Memphis but not sure the Tigers would make a move as they are anticipating a move to the Big XII soon. But man, if there were any schools the MW wanted from the AAC, now is absolutely the time to go after them.

Hell, maybe they go after UAB?

Pete speculating on the candidates just as we are, but it is a line that you can read a lot into. I think UNT is more likely than SMU (just feels like SMU will stick around the AAC, only my hunch, but should shoot the shot there). I bet Tulsa would listen, and so would Wichita State. Gonzaga, again I feel like they'd need some assurances nobody plans to bolt for the Big 12 next round. Specifically given Boise is their closest league opponent if they joined the MWC I believe. That, and San Diego State would be among the marquee basketball teams they'd be up against.

But, CSU and AFA staying, that means schools like Rice, UTSA and Charlotte are acting like Lloyd Christmas when it comes to the American:

 

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Damn, everybody feeling the need to throw a tweet out there. And as for the tweet from Mike Aresco, AAC Commish, I seriously almost spit my coffee onto the computer screen. Dude, you just got told no by a couple of average athletic departments, let's not pretend you didn't ask them to the homecoming dance...you need to sit down and figure out how to spin the additions C-USA/Sun Belt schools. I'm surprised we haven't gotten a tweet from San Diego State yet alluding to their football team being ranked in the Top 25, beating Pac-12 member Utah and how they are always keeping their options open while being fully invested in the success of the Mountain West.

"Aggressively pursuing strategic initiatives" - kinda feel like is what we used to do at the clubs back in the day lol. Anyway, the knock on the MW commish is that he hasn't really done enough to push that league forward. My guess is that they are now going to be pretty aggressive. I wouldn't be surprised to hear them adding at least a couple of schools fairly soon.

On a personal note, I would love to see Rice get an invite to a bigger league. I spent some time there and have a few good friends in the athletic department. They could be the Mountain West's version of Northwestern in the Big Ten: Small, private school located in a huge city with very strong academics, a very large endowment, beautiful campus and will experience some sporadic success in athletics.

*Edit - The Rice Owls have put a pretty good amount of money into upgrades of their facilities over the last 5 or 6 years, particularly in football: Rice facilities
 

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I was reading an article in the Topeka Capital-Journal regarding expansion. It was written about 3 weeks ago. Anyway, they were talking with a sports economics professor. In it, he discussed how things have changed so dramatically (which we obviously all know), but he had some amazing figures. Texas has the highest athletic budget at, get this, $223 million per year. Oklahoma at #8 spends $163 million. Meanwhile, Kansas State's athletic budget is $90 million, up from $30 million just 15 years ago. That is a staggering amount of money.

Texas only sponsors 18 sports, 8 men and 10 women. Let's say they set aside $23 million for the athletic department staff salaries, benefits, etc. That leaves $200 million. So, maybe they spend $75 million on football, taking you down to $125 million. Men's and women's basketball probably don't have identical budgets, but I'm sure they spend quite a bit on both programs. Let's say the budgets for both total $40 million. That still leaves $85 million dollars between the remaining 15 Olympic sports. I'm sure women's volleyball gets a pretty good budget as well. I have no idea what the actual breakdown is, but it's just mind-numbing thinking about the fact that Texas Longhorn basketball most likely has a budget as big or bigger than all the AE schools entire budgets.

Who has the biggest budget in AE? I assume it's Stony Brook and what is it? Maybe $30-$35 million? The abyss between the membership of Division I is so massive, which again, we all know but when I read those numbers, it just really struck me again. I have a feeling K-State's budget is among the bottom 15-20% of P5 schools as well.
 
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Who has the biggest budget in AE? I assume it's Stony Brook and what is it? Maybe $30-$35 million? The abyss between the membership of Division I is so massive, which again, we all know but when I read those numbers, it just really struck me again. I have a feeling K-State's budget is among the bottom 15-20% of P5 schools as well.
The Knight Commission has 2019 numbers for expenses:

Stony Brook: $36.5 million
UNH: $32.1 million
Maine $22.8 million
Vermont: $22.7 million
Albany: $22.6 million
Binghamton: $21.8 million
Lowell: $21.7 million
UMBC: $18.7 million
NJIT: $17.2 million

Texas spent $43 million on football in 2019.



 

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The Knight Commission has 2019 numbers for expenses:

Stony Brook: $36.5 million
UNH: $32.1 million
Maine $22.8 million
Vermont: $22.7 million
Albany: $22.6 million
Binghamton: $21.8 million
Lowell: $21.7 million
UMBC: $18.7 million
NJIT: $17.2 million

Texas spent $43 million on football in 2019.



Thanks for that. Damn. So $43 of the $223 million is spent on football. Okey dokey.

And as for the AE, that is so telling. Is it really any wonder Maine isn't better at hoops? Or football? Or hockey now? Or baseball? Or softball? UNH is the only other school in the league trying to fund both football & hockey and they spend $10 million more/year.
 

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I was reading an article in the Topeka Capital-Journal regarding expansion. It was written about 3 weeks ago. Anyway, they were talking with a sports economics professor. In it, he discussed how things have changed so dramatically (which we obviously all know), but he had some amazing figures. Texas has the highest athletic budget at, get this, $223 million per year. Oklahoma at #8 spends $163 million. Meanwhile, Kansas State's athletic budget is $90 million, up from $30 million just 15 years ago. That is a staggering amount of money.

Texas only sponsors 18 sports, 8 men and 10 women. Let's say they set aside $23 million for the athletic department staff salaries, benefits, etc. That leaves $200 million. So, maybe they spend $75 million on football, taking you down to $125 million. Men's and women's basketball probably don't have identical budgets, but I'm sure they spend quite a bit on both programs. Let's say the budgets for both total $40 million. That still leaves $85 million dollars between the remaining 15 Olympic sports. I'm sure women's volleyball gets a pretty good budget as well. I have no idea what the actual breakdown is, but it's just mind-numbing thinking about the fact that Texas Longhorn basketball most likely has a budget as big or bigger than all the AE schools entire budgets.

Who has the biggest budget in AE? I assume it's Stony Brook and what is it? Maybe $30-$35 million? The abyss between the membership of Division I is so massive, which again, we all know but when I read those numbers, it just really struck me again. I have a feeling K-State's budget is among the bottom 15-20% of P5 schools as well.
How much were the buyouts for Charlie Strong and Tom Hermann? I know those were paid by the boosters, but does that still get counted in the overall numbers?
 

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The AE schools have a much higher per student net cost of athletics than than any of the Power 5 conferences. The AE schools are the high spenders - even compared to Rutgers and U Conn.
 

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Interesting article regarding the Big XII and the "Mountain West 4": More realignment thoughts

Towards the end of the article the author highlights an article written by one of his colleagues, "Graves has his ideas...". That is worth a read as well IMO. The author does make one mistake when he talks about splitting into divisions, he mentions the "5" Texas schools (will only be 4) and omits Cincinnati.
 

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A little something from the Orlando Sentinel (be prepared for ads galore - had to turn off Ad Blocker and I was just inundated with so many annoying ads everywhere) as it pertains to the Sun Belt: Sun Belt staying put?

Not a whole lot in there honestly but I do find it interesting that they aren't trying to be a little more proactive. The commish seems pretty confident that his league will stay intact.
 
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