I really don't think UNT spent all that $$ on upgrading facilities, building a new stadium and "committing" to athletics to stay in the Sunbelt much less jump on the chance to be in a conference with 1-AA teams.
If they did then......yikes
I have said this often, but building Apogee literally saved the UNT Football program from extinction, as Fouts was decrepit and literally couldn't function as a stadium anymore. Generators had to be used to prop that old dump up for a gameday. Apogee keeps us from ever worrying about losing the program, as it is beautiful and modern and cost a lot of money, so the university HAS to keep the program going.
What Apogee can't do, though, is get us to move upward to a new conference and change our university's reputation regarding athletics from the last 50+ years. Sure, Apogee will help us if we were to move up, but having games against Texas Southern, Florida International, South Alabama, Louisiana-Lafayette, and Arkansas State will never drive attendance in this market. New conferences want TV sets and media coverage, along with a winning program. Our DFW market has the TV sets, but we have very little media coverage, and obviously, the winning hasn't really been there to create a buzz around the program.
What I think about UTSA and Texas State is that they are solid fallbacks for the Sun Belt Conference. I don't think we should try to blackball them, ala SMU vs us, but I don't think we should go overboard to help them get included, either. Same goes for La Tech, and really NMSU, who abandoned our conference and forced us to take the two tranistional Florida Airport schools just to stay FBS. If the conference leadership decides for any of those schools to be admitted, it will be good for UNT, only because people here know of those schools and are somewhat easy to travel to. But, it will also be bad for us because we still have no one with any FBS skins on the wall to be conference mates with from Texas, which further perpetuates our problem that no one worth a damn to Texans will ever be associated with us in a conference. And, to me, the biggest gain from moving up into the merger is that I believe that the future first culling of FBS will be from the WAC/SBC/MAC. I realize that there could be a future culling after this that would take out the remaining Alliance teams, too, but I don't think that will happen any time soon. But I do think that non-Alliance, non-AQs, are going to get dropped back down to a FCS existence, and it will probably happen within the next decade. If we can get in with the Alliance and if we have even just a couple of Texas teams in that league, as well as Tulsa, Tulane, USM, etc. to be associated with, it would do a lot to help continue our progress as a FBS program, as it would probably cement us at the FBS level for many years to come. I don't believe that being in the SBC/WAC conglomerate will do that. I think it will just continue to make us an after-thought in DFW and eventually move us back to a non-FBS level in the future.
It is better to be pissed off than to be pissed on...