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It’s past time for radical change in Conference USA


meangreen11
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Southern Miss plays home football games at The Rock, but league foes from a time zone away rarely bring many visiting fans.

The first thing I’d do as commissioner of Conference USA? I’d blow it up.

It doesn’t work.

It didn’t work long before the pandemic. It certainly won’t work now.

Most of all, the economics don’t work. There’s too much travel, not nearly enough revenue.

In many ways, the league was designed – and has been altered over the years – with TV markets in mind. That’s why FIU (Florida Internatonal University)  and FAU (Florida Atlantic Univeristy) were accepted as members in 2013, to regain the Florida TV market lost when first South Florida and UCF (University of Central Florida) exited. That’s why UTSA (University of Texas at San Antonio) was accepted in 2013. San Antonio is a big city with lots of TVs.

read more:  https://www.northsidesun.com/news-breaking-news-sports-columns/its-past-time-radical-change-conference-usa#sthash.PUnfUtCn.dpbs

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Is this the same guy writing multiple articles or different guys writing the same article?

Nice to know the reason USM has sunk as low as CUSA, is that the other regional foes are just afraid to play them.   I actually like Hattiesburg, but doubt it adds much to USM's value.  

Everyone apparently sees the benefit of a regional conference, yet no one seems to actually be working on it. Maybe the AD's are secretly working on realignment because they sure have plenty of time to do it.  

Edited by GrandGreen
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2 hours ago, meangreen11 said:

Southern Miss plays home football games at The Rock, but league foes from a time zone away rarely bring many visiting fans.

The first thing I’d do as commissioner of Conference USA? I’d blow it up.

It doesn’t work.

It didn’t work long before the pandemic. It certainly won’t work now.

Most of all, the economics don’t work. There’s too much travel, not nearly enough revenue.

In many ways, the league was designed – and has been altered over the years – with TV markets in mind. That’s why FIU (Florida Internatonal University)  and FAU (Florida Atlantic Univeristy) were accepted as members in 2013, to regain the Florida TV market lost when first South Florida and UCF (University of Central Florida) exited. That’s why UTSA (University of Texas at San Antonio) was accepted in 2013. San Antonio is a big city with lots of TVs.

read more:  https://www.northsidesun.com/news-breaking-news-sports-columns/its-past-time-radical-change-conference-usa#sthash.PUnfUtCn.dpbs

Why is it that those that want radical change choose crises to try to enact their stupid ideas?

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2 hours ago, peanuts104 said:

Why is it that those that want radical change choose crises to try to enact their stupid ideas?

What is stupid about trying to save on travel expenses and increase attendance by having closer opponents than the current SBCUSA setup throws down right now?

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Regional competition has yet to help Appogee attendance. I've sat there across from the student/ visitor side (my season tickets go back to Fouts Field) and on occasion you'll see several hundred in the visitor section...but not packed. The closest is when playing a P5 and that doesn't happen often.

Last year I went to several away games..USM one of them. Other than team member families, there weren't very many UNT fans who make these trips.

You want change...immediate help would be new leadership in CUSA administration. My hope is in a new conference affiliation.

Edited by RBP79
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27 minutes ago, RBP79 said:

Regional competition has yet to help Appogee attendance. I've sat there across from the student/ visitor side (my season tickets go back to Fours Field) and on occasion you'll see several hundred in the visitor section...but not packed. The closest is when playing a P5 and that doesn't happen often.

Last year I went to several away games..USM one of them. Other than team member families, there weren't very many UNT fans who make these trips.

You want change...immediate help would be new leadership in CUSA administration. My hope is in a new conference affiliation.

At the very least a new commissioner

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Realigning with the SBC will bring short term benefits such as reduced travel time and cost reduction. It should bring long term rivalry benefits which will increase interest and attendance. It will not happen unless college football and basketball are cancelled this year and CUSA/SBC members are forced to take measures to insure the survival of their individual athletic programs. Just an old man's opinion.

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1 hour ago, wardly said:

Realigning with the SBC will bring short term benefits such as reduced travel time and cost reduction. It should bring long term rivalry benefits which will increase interest and attendance. It will not happen unless college football and basketball are cancelled this year and CUSA/SBC members are forced to take measures to insure the survival of their individual athletic programs. Just an old man's opinion.

The SBC is considered a step down for most of the UNT fans I know. 

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1 hour ago, Tom McKrackin said:

The SBC is considered a step down for most of the UNT fans I know. 

I realize that. However, I don't think we are in a position to turn up our noses at anyone. The CUSA WEST Division was considered to be worst in D1 last year. In fact, the SBC is ranked by many over CUSA. I think if we could cherry pick a few programs like Ark. St. , Louisiana, and Troy to merge with existing CUSA WEST we could have a workable 10 team conference which would allow three  OOC games .Necessity is the mother of invention. lets see what our financial situation is at end of year if no football or basketball.

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I should point at the several ADs from CUSA have said there is no discussions at all about a merger, team swap or anything with any other conference. The whole thing appears to be being pushed by reporters, generally reporters who cover non-CUSA school, who don't have anything else to write about. 

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The vast majority of CUSA fans think their team is too good for the league.   Yet, strangely not one team has any better options. 

CUSA could get most of the benefits of a regional league just by creating West and East divisions and not requiring crossover games other than championships. Reducing conference games would open up the schedule to play more regional opponents. 

Does it really make sense to send a volleyball, soccer or softball team thousands of miles to play before a few hundred people?  Travel is nice and should be maintained to some degree as it is important for the athlete experience.  Fly less but make it more meaningful when it happens.  

Of course, nothing is going to happen until there is an answer to the coronavirus.  

In response to the above, if AD's are not actively looking for ways to improve their situations than they are not doing their jobs.  

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I know some like to travel to games and want it to be easy, understandable. But, do you really think LSU or UT cares how many opposing fans show up at the home games? They don't, they sell what the powers that be require, if up to them it would be ZERO. My point is, we should be focused on selling more tickets to our fans first and not if the opposing teams show up, and fill out what should be a shrinking section not growing. Oh and I am aware that LSU travels very well, but they have lots and lots of rabid fans, and they go to Wisconsin you name it, does not really matter.

Lets sell out our games by creating demand from our  growing fanbase first, it seems weak relying on opposing teams for attendance. 

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4 hours ago, wardly said:

Realigning with the SBC will bring short term benefits such as reduced travel time and cost reduction. It should bring long term rivalry benefits which will increase interest and attendance. It will not happen unless college football and basketball are cancelled this year and CUSA/SBC members are forced to take measures to insure the survival of their individual athletic programs. Just an old man's opinion.

I agree with the first part of your statement.  If CUSA and SBC are to survive, the cost of travel and related expenses need to be drastically reduced for two conferences with minimal revenue.  

The latter part, regarding the schedule cancellations for this year being necessary for change, is not going to happen this year but should be started soon as it will take a couple of years for restructuring and schedule changes to occur.

I still cling to the hope that we will be able to join a conference that does not include most of our current conference mates.  Normally, I wouldn't think a better conference would be possible but I don't want to underestimate the abilities of our president and athletic director.  I firmly believe that they will give that their best shot.  However, whatever our outcome, the restructuring of CUSA/SBC is necessary for survival in the opinion of this even older man.

 

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6 hours ago, VideoEagle said:

I should point at the several ADs from CUSA have said there is no discussions at all about a merger, team swap or anything with any other conference. The whole thing appears to be being pushed by reporters, generally reporters who cover non-CUSA school, who don't have anything else to write about. 

Agreed. If there is no football or basketball this fall things might change.

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4 hours ago, Tom McKrackin said:

The SBC is considered a step down for most of the UNT fans I know. 

I agree that the SBC would be a step down but all programs are not inferior to all CUSA members.  For example, are Appalachian State and Troy inferior to Florida International or Old Dominion?

As the Western Division of CUSA is the stronger of existing alliances I would hope that they would have the lead in selecting who would be taken in to the new CUSA.  If it were my choice I would take Troy, Louisiana, Arkansas State and Texas State and give up UTEP.  That would only be a ten team conference but enough for now.  

 

 

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3 hours ago, 97and03 said:

Yes. I am sure. 2019 is one year and one sport. We left for a reason. Better conference, better contracts, better for all sports, better perception. Our AD even acknowledges it as a step backwards. I agree. Our university has invested in sports massively of late and it would be a shame for that to go to waste with poor choices like our past. Had we invested in sports and facilities earlier we probably would have never been in the belt.

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6 hours ago, 97and03 said:

One year rankings don't mean a lot.

There is a substantial difference in the overall academics between the leagues.  There are also other sports than football and basketball. 

I am all for more regional leagues, so App St doesn't concern me. 

Without any research, I would think that ULaLa and Ark State would be much better candidates. 

 

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Stand pat until the TV contracts expire and wait for realignment to really begin. Wren will hopefully have us positioned to make a step forward. If not, I've proposed a "new SWC" consisting of, 

UNT, UTEP, UTSA, Rice, Ark. St, LaLa, La Tech, S. Miss, Texas St and any other regional who might be left out of the realignment.  (Texas Tech?) 

Let the rest of SBCUSA eat cake.

Edited by Hunter Green
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