179 posts in this topic
By Coach Bill Lewis
"For Conference USA, the AAC, and the Sun Belt they've chased the traditional modalities: market size, TV eyes, populous areas etc. They've worked under the illusion that a broadcast company is going to reimburse them for the reach of their media markets. That's gotten them to where they are now, millions of dollars behind the Power 5. The illusion is that Old Dominion brings ESPN or Fox the Norfolk area. It doesn't. The same way that SMU or North Texas or even TCU don't bring ESPN the Metroplex on a silver platter. TV execs know where the value is and what drives ratings and for eastern Virginia it's the University of Virginia, Virginia Tech or North Carolina. Texas, Texas A&M and OU bring eyes from the Metroplex. Florida and Florida deliver the greater Miami area if at all, not FAU or FIU..."
The college sports-television industrial complex is at a crossroads. It seems like everyone involved is dealing with one crisis or another. The SEC, Big Ten and (soon) the ACC have or will have their own private fortunes through television networks, but traded a portion of their souls to get there. The Pac-12 has its own network, but no fortune. The Big 12 has a host of issues, stemming from its lack of a network. ESPN and Fox are losing subscribers by the bundle, threatening to bring the entire system down with them.
On the other end of FBS, the MAC has submitted itself fully to the whims of television, releasing a schedule earlier this month that calls for zero Saturday games in November. The Mountain West has also handed carte blanche to the television networks in exchange for a pile of cash, and is now wondering if the trade was worth it.
As detailed by the San Diego Union-Tribune, the Mountain West is fresh off a conference tournament that saw the second of its two semifinals scheduled for a 9:30 p.m. Pacific time tip off (which resulted in a 9:52 actual tip time)… and its championship game tip at 3 p.m. the following day.
“I’ve had several people, at least three people today, text me and say, ‘Is it really 9:30? I just looked at the schedule,’” Mountain West commissioner Craig Thompson told the paper “I had to say, ‘Yeah, it’s really 9:30.’ It’s brutal.”
You get better by making good hires. That goes for conferences, too. We talk a lot about potential and markets and history and geography and all sorts of factors that go into improving as a group, but the straightest line between where you are and improvement is, simply, hiring good coaches.
Some of the large changes you see are due to conference realignment. The Big East got raided, changed names, and dropped. The Mountain West lost Utah and TCU and dropped. The Pac-12 added Colorado at its most dismal and dropped. Conference USA (and, to a degree, the Mountain West) took on a bunch of start-ups and fixer-uppers and dropped. Et cetera.
That said, a lot of these upward and downward trends have to do with the coaches walking in and out the door.
Conference USA has been pretty dismal for a few seasons now. It rose in 2014, but that was primarily due to a surge by Marshall. After peaking at an average S&P+ rating of minus-3.3 in 2008 and nearly matching that in 2011, the conference has been demonstrably worse.
There could be a surge coming, though. And if it happens, hires are predictably the reason. Two have earned quite a bit of recent attention: Butch Davis at FIU and Lane Kiffin at FAU. This duo could drastically change recruiting within the state of Florida and beyond.
But if this rise occurs, it began last year when UTSA brought in Frank Wilson and North Texas hired Seth Littrell.
read more: http://www.sbnation.com/college-football/2017/3/7/14814744/north-texas-football-2017-preview-schedule-roster