The college football landscape is changing by the minute. We have seen this happen before. Like I have said before on here and on the podcast North Texas is in a much better place this time around than it is in years past. With that said, there is still a lot going against Mean Green this time around as well. Having no baseball doesn't help. One bowl win in last ten years doesn't help either. SMU potentially blocking our move to the American doesn't help. But it is not all doom and gloom. UNT is in a large market, facilities that are tops in G5, budget that is in line with some of the bottom of P5. We are also really successful in virtually every sport besides baseball and football at the moment. But I do trust UNT leadership more this go around than in years past.
1st question " Who does the American get to replace Houston?"
As much as I hate to say it, I think it will be Rice or UTSA. I know UTSA is new and facilities are just on the rise. But I find it hard for American to pass on locking down the south Texas market. San Antonio is a very large market. I know budget is low at the moment. But it has not affected schools like Tulsa being in the American to this point in time. Another option is Rice. Just due to the history from the Southwest conference days not to mention the academics. They seem to be headed in the right direction.
2nd Question " How do they replace Cincinnati and UCF?"
I have heard Boise. But geographically it just doesn't make sense to me. To replace UCF do they add FAU? App State? UAB? Marshall? I believe they all could be possibilities. All of these schools have had success. You might ask why not La Tech? Well, I think Tulane does the same thing to them SMU does to us. It’s repetitive. And Tulane wants to keep the Louisiana recruiting market to themselves. There is 330 Miles between the schools but I believe Ruston would be not be considered a big enough market for the "P6" School.
3rd Question What I would like to see happen
I hope that the rest of the American conference realizes the "sleeping giant" in Denton has to many things going the right way that they tell the little private school who is so adamant about keeping them out to just shut the hell up. Do I see it happening? No, likely not - but it would be nice. What I would like to see is CUSA and Sun Belt settle their differences and make appropriate pairings. They are really the only to G5 conference that truly overlap most of their geography. Break it into an east and west and cut down on travel costs. With the 3 big names leaving the American it could be argued that conference isn't near as sexy as it once was. Perhaps the Sun Belt and CUSA could hang on to their big guns a hybrid model that could eventually be seen as the true Power 6 conference. My proposed divisions would be as follows with the assumption that Rice and UAB are the teams that exit CUSA for the AAC: