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Will 5 power conferences break away from FBS?


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NEW YORK (AP) — The five power conferences are trying to redefine what it takes to operate a Division I college athletic program, with their commissioners calling out the NCAA at media days around the country.

Big 12 Commissioner Bob Bowlsby and fellow commissioners Mike Slive of the Southeastern Conference and John Swofford of the Atlantic Coast Conference have taken turns critiquing the NCAA over the last week, and it's likely Jim Delany of the Big Ten and Larry Scott of the Pac-12 will follow suit in the coming days.

The schools in the most powerful and wealthy leagues want more freedom to be able to run their programs the way they want, without the less powerful schools standing in the way.

Does this mean the end of the NCAA as we know it is near? Or will there be a new division of college football — Division 4 as Bowlsby calls it? Not necessarily.

Former Big 12 Commissioner Dan Beebe says he thinks Atlantic Coast Conference, Big Ten, Big 12, Pac-12 and Southeastern Conference can get the power to govern themselves without cutting off all ties to schools from the less powerful and wealthy FBS conferences.

And NCAA expert John Infante, who writes the ByLaw Blog at athleticscholarship.com, says the best solution for the schools in those conferences is not leaving Division I, but reshaping it in a way where some smaller schools choose to leave.

The lightning rod issue at the heart of this debate has been the proposed stipend to college athletes that would add about $2,000 to an athletic scholarship to cover the full cost of attendance. All the commissioners from the major conferences have pushed for it, but it could not be passed because smaller schools said they couldn't afford it.

So, a possible solution for the powerful, wealthy schools is to set up a level of football at which all the participating schools gave players stipends — and let the smaller schools play each other.

The programs that would be most affected by the big five isolating itself from the rest of college sports would be from the lesser leagues in college football's top tier: the Mountain West, the American Athletic Conference (formerly the Big East), Conference USA, the Sun Belt and the Mid-American Conference — aka the group of five.

Those schools still want to compete against the big five on the field, cash in on the monster pay days that usually come with playing those games and capitalize on the attention that comes when they occasionally win one.

Read more: http://www.usnews.com/news/sports/articles/2013/07/23/will-5-power-conferences-break-away-from-fbs

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Looks like you may have to put your hopes and dreams of us failing on hold.

At issue is Division IV, or, probably more realistically, a new subdivision within Division I containing the ACC, Big 12, Big Ten, Pac-12, SEC and possibly the American Athletic Conference and Conference USA. Currently, Division I is subdivided into the FBS and FCS in football. Let's call the proposed new subdivision the F$S. Bowlsby also suggested the creation of federations within the NCAA to make unique rules to govern each individual sport. This is intriguing but complex. The simpler solution is a new subdivision for football, which is where the greatest differences between haves and have-nots exist.

http://sportsillustrated.cnn.com/college-football/news/20130722/big-12-bob-bowlsby-ncaa/?sct=hp_t13_a6&eref=sihp

I honestly thinks he means the MWC instead of CUSA.

Pretty much everybody in the AAC and MWC can afford to keep up with the P5, can afford to pay stipends, don't play body bag games and almost all of them have 40k+ stadiums. Bowlsby seems to recognize this which is why he said seeven or eight conferences feel the same way but especially the P5. My guess about that seven or eight is that the other two or three conferences are the AAC, MWC and perhaps the new Big East, who don't play FBS ball but are still high revenue basketball schools.

I think the P5 will tell everybody in order to avoid antitrust lawsuits, that if you meet certain requirements (i.e have 30-35 million+ budget, a 40k seat stadium or higher, etc.) then you can play in the upper division. While schools like UAB, Eastern Michigan, UTSA, Idaho, New Mexico State and pretty much everybody else in the bottom 3 conferences of the MAC, Sun Belt and CUSA back into the tier with FCS.

Like he said, there's a big diff between Texas and Northern Iowa but there is also a big difference between Houston and UL-Monroe for example.

  1. ...bring back the independent scene. Look for defectors from several mid majors. Keep an eye on UConn Cincy Boise Houston SMU and more

  2. Get ready for conference Armageddon round 3. The more and more likely division 4 is going to encompass the 5 majors and

^Even though he's always flying off at the mouth. I could see this being a likely scenario as well. If they do split yet don't expand their conferences to 14 or 16 teams a piece, then I can see them make requirements of having a larger stadium and a bigger budget than most G5 schools, (which all of the schools named and a few others have) I wouldn't be surprised at all to see us, Boise, Cincy, UCONN, SMU and others like UCF, USF, the service academies defect from the G5 and individually leave to join D4. We would all go indy before playing with undesirables.

Edited by Cougar King
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Looks like you may have to put your hopes and dreams of us failing on hold.

http://sportsillustrated.cnn.com/college-football/news/20130722/big-12-bob-bowlsby-ncaa/?sct=hp_t13_a6&eref=sihp

I honestly thinks he means the MWC instead of CUSA.

Pretty much everybody in the AAC and MWC can afford to keep up with the P5, can afford to pay stipends, don't play body bag games and almost all of them have 40k+ stadiums. Bowlsby seems to recognize this which is why he said seeven or eight conferences feel the same way but especially the P5. My guess about that seven or eight is that the other two or three conferences are the AAC, MWC and perhaps the new Big East, who don't play FBS ball but are still high revenue basketball schools.

I think the P5 will tell everybody in order to avoid antitrust lawsuits, that if you meet certain requirements (i.e have 30-35 million+ budget, a 40k seat stadium or higher, etc.) then you can play in the upper division. While schools like UAB, Eastern Michigan, UTSA, Idaho, New Mexico State and pretty much everybody else in the bottom 3 conferences of the MAC, Sun Belt and CUSA back into the tier with FCS.

Like he said, there's a big diff between Texas and Northern Iowa but there is also a big difference between Houston and UL-Monroe for example.

  1. ...bring back the independent scene. Look for defectors from several mid majors. Keep an eye on UConn Cincy Boise Houston SMU and more

  2. Get ready for conference Armageddon round 3. The more and more likely division 4 is going to encompass the 5 majors and

^Even though he's always flying off at the mouth. I could see this being a likely scenario as well. If they do split yet don't expand their conferences to 14 or 16 teams a piece, then I can see them make requirements of having a larger stadium and a bigger budget than most G5 schools, (which all of the schools named and a few others have) I wouldn't be surprised at all to see us, Boise, Cincy, UCONN, SMU and others like UCF, USF, the service academies defect from the G5 and individually leave to join D4. We would all go indy before playing with undesirables.

For Houston to do anything, you must win 10+ games THIS YEAR. Otherwise, you're stuck in the AAC forever.

Going to be tough to do without Sumlin.

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Looks like you may have to put your hopes and dreams of us failing on hold.

http://sportsillustrated.cnn.com/college-football/news/20130722/big-12-bob-bowlsby-ncaa/?sct=hp_t13_a6&eref=sihp

I honestly thinks he means the MWC instead of CUSA.

Pretty much everybody in the AAC and MWC can afford to keep up with the P5, can afford to pay stipends, don't play body bag games and almost all of them have 40k+ stadiums. Bowlsby seems to recognize this which is why he said seeven or eight conferences feel the same way but especially the P5. My guess about that seven or eight is that the other two or three conferences are the AAC, MWC and perhaps the new Big East, who don't play FBS ball but are still high revenue basketball schools.

I think the P5 will tell everybody in order to avoid antitrust lawsuits, that if you meet certain requirements (i.e have 30-35 million+ budget, a 40k seat stadium or higher, etc.) then you can play in the upper division. While schools like UAB, Eastern Michigan, UTSA, Idaho, New Mexico State and pretty much everybody else in the bottom 3 conferences of the MAC, Sun Belt and CUSA back into the tier with FCS.

Like he said, there's a big diff between Texas and Northern Iowa but there is also a big difference between Houston and UL-Monroe for example.

  1. ...bring back the independent scene. Look for defectors from several mid majors. Keep an eye on UConn Cincy Boise Houston SMU and more

  2. Get ready for conference Armageddon round 3. The more and more likely division 4 is going to encompass the 5 majors and

^Even though he's always flying off at the mouth. I could see this being a likely scenario as well. If they do split yet don't expand their conferences to 14 or 16 teams a piece, then I can see them make requirements of having a larger stadium and a bigger budget than most G5 schools, (which all of the schools named and a few others have) I wouldn't be surprised at all to see us, Boise, Cincy, UCONN, SMU and others like UCF, USF, the service academies defect from the G5 and individually leave to join D4. We would all go indy before playing with undesirables.

I can't believe I'm gonna post this, but Cougar King is right. UH is in good shape for being included in a future new FBS Division because of their market, size, tradition, and results. I think the teams you listed (except SMU) all have a great shot to be included in that new division. I do disagree about your independence stance. If you get left behind, it will make even more sense not to be independent, because cost and revenue sharing will matter even more when you won't have the stature of being included in the new FBS. I think that some schools, like Tulane, Rice, and SMU might just say that they would rather not have a program if that can't play at that FBS highest level. I could see them drop to Division III if they still want football around.

All of this is why Utah and TCU were the absolute biggest winners in conference realignment. They got moved up to the Big Boys Table and get a headstart over the other non-AQs in figuring out a way to stay at the top FBS level. I actually think the MWC/AAC upper echelon of teams might get included, too, just to show that the Big Five aren't colluding for themselves only. I'd expect Boise State, BYU, SDSU, Fresno State, Colorado State, UNLV, Nevada, AFA, Navy, UH, UCF, USF, ECU, UConn, and Cincinnati to be the 15 that get strong consideration to be FBS when this split occurs. If all of those teams get included, you would have 80 teams that are included at that highest level, but that seems higher than I'd expect that level to get to. I would think 72 is the round number that would make sense--6 conferences of 12, or 4 conferences of 18.

If 72 is the correct number, that would leave 52 of us behind. Add in some of the bigger FCS schools, and I'm certain you'd see a new division of i-aa that would also be around 72. NOt what any of us really want, but it is what it is.

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Without SunBelt type teams to pad schedules, schools like Vanderbilt, Duke, Wake First, etc are going to have a bad time.

Who gets the service academies? Didn't congress get up in arms last time this happened?

Those schools usually have a bad time, historically, anyway. They will be gladly take the $$$ over wins every day of the week, just as they have all done for their entire history. OTOH, they might see a nice pickup in recruiting, as they can tell a kid that they can play at the top level, while they can't if they go to Memphis or Charlotte.

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Would congress allow something like this? I imagine them stepping in if it is something they don't like.

Like they didn't do the last time we had a huge division shift in college football, in the early 80s?

Congress isn't going to stop this--hell, they will probably encourage it, just to help their big schools in their individual states.

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Like they didn't do the last time we had a huge division shift in college football, in the early 80s?

Congress isn't going to stop this--hell, they will probably encourage it, just to help their big schools in their individual states.

Never underestimate a politician to help his own alma mater in exchange for something.

If there are enough congressmen/congresswomen from the schools that are to be included in anything like this, then of course it will pass! And, if folks from schools raise enough stink, they will simply be included somehow.

So, how many UNT alumns are representing Texas in the US House/Senate?

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Never underestimate a politician to help his own alma mater in exchange for something.

If there are enough congressmen/congresswomen from the schools that are to be included in anything like this, then of course it will pass! And, if folks from schools raise enough stink, they will simply be included somehow.

So, how many UNT alumns are representing Texas in the US House/Senate?

Not nearly enough...

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I don't know that I would mind a break between the power 5 and the rest of us.

Would such a split lead to the regional rivalries we all want?

Remove schools' false hope of breaching the power 5 and there would be incentive to play non-conference games regionally.

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If this does happen, I think the biggest differences we would see would be:

1) The most obvious, anyone not in the new top tier would be left out of any chance of competing for the big national title.

2) Possibly less TV money, though there are already so many TV spots available that it might not be that much of a difference.

3) Different and/or less bowls available, or a playoff, or a blended bowl/playoff system, unless we just get moved to FCS in a big lump (which might make an even bigger mess, so I would think it would be as mentioned above, a few dozen of us and a few dozen of the higher-end FCS in the new middle segment of Div. I).

Look at one other big thing not mentioned by any of you yet, I don't think (in this or other threads)...the big boys don't just schedule CUSA, Sunbelt, and MWC teams for OOC money games...they also often include regional FCS teams. So with the split, unless they totally push for only playing in their same rung of the division, I would still suspect that there would be money games (and opportunities for upsets) between the big boys and a new midmajor division (or a new version of FCS). The only problem I see with that (and it's more of just an oddity) is along the lines of the fact that when Appy State beat Michigan, they changed the voting rules to allow an FCS team to receive Top 25 votes. So if this happens, and one of us is really killing it in our OOC games and beats 4 big boys in one year, what do they do? They made a few changes to allow for parity in terms of overachieving midmajor and FCS teams and now are moving away from that. So what would they do if one of us took down 4 Top 10/Top 25 schools in one season? Would they get an invitation to the grown-ups' table, or would we see new movements regarding non-competition, or would there be just the abyss of loud silence?

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I really think the schools in the MWC, AAC and CUSA are probably mostly all ok. They are looking mostly, from what I gather, in really separating out the 300+ Division 1 schools that vote on all NCAA rules (currently the rules are enforced on all sports nearly universally with the biggest differences being the number of scholarships allowed in each division) into just the ones that are playing FBS level football. There are some schools in FBS that really belong in FCS (ULM the most obvious), but I really think this is all about getting all the basketball only schools out of the voting pool so they can make meaningful changes to the way things are enforced (ie: stipends, recruiting rules, etc).

Maybe I'm wrong...but this seems like the media has either purposely misrepresented the argument or doesn't understand it.

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Bring it on. Does the 3A high school champ feel unsatisfied because they are not in 5A? Hell no I say.....screw the big schools.....I'll take UNT vs UTSA rivalry and a chance to win a future championship playoff system with my left out brothers

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If this does happen, I think the biggest differences we would see would be:

1) The most obvious, anyone not in the new top tier would be left out of any chance of competing for the big national title.

JM, can it be said that maybe about 80% of the present Power 5 conference schools "NEVER" seriously compete for an NCAA football national championship?

New Criteria To Remain NCAA FBS ?

I'd have no problem with a 40,000 seat minimum seating (Apogee would only need 9,500 additional seats) to be in some proposed upcoming new Super Conference plus some kind of attendance criteria to be met every 2 or 3 years because.........North Texas would be able to meet both criteria. (Fact is and IMO, probably the last 15 or so schools to gain admission into NCAA FBS level should have had tougher criteria to meet but obviously did not).

Sure, I know there will be some on this forum who can only live or think from our past who will disagree with the attendance part but in 1994 the Mean Green Nation pulled together like no time before (or after) to meet that era's new NCAA D1-A stadium criteria as well as its new attendance criteria. And for what its worth, hasn't our entire UNT constituency all but doubled in size since the early 90's? Fact remains back in that day, our entire UNT constituency wanted NCAA D1-A classification real bad and we all did whatever it took to regain it. Many have said that 1994 football season was one of our favorite Mean Green moments of past decades.

And if some of the coaches in the NCAA who are making $5 million per year want a stipend and even say so on ESPN (like yesterday) in a verbal grand stand move as they are basically in essence saying..... "look at me, ain't I just something so darn Tea'Sippin' special".......... then let them pay those stipends out of their own annual pay checks. (I have no problem with a sensible stipend but room and board from full scholarships ain't too bad of a deal, either)

GMG!

Edited by PlummMeanGreen
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I was listening to Jack Arute today on the College Sports Radio via Sirius and he just sounded so giddy at the thought of the Big Five moving on. The Big Media is on board here--ESPN and Fox want this to happen, in my opinion, as do most of theose who cover the sport.

I think the Big Five split will essentially work itself out to where they won't play anyone outside of their group as soon as future scheduled non-AQ games can be bought out or played. I think they will introduce a playoff system for 8 teams to start that will include the BCS Bowl Games. Then, your Cotton Bowl, the Chick-Fil-A Bowl, etc...will be Power Five Bowls still. It won't hurt the BIg Five programs so much to schedule better in OOC, since a loss early on, wouldn't knock you out of the playoff picture. Therefore, a team like Texas could actually be able to play LSU in OOC without it hurting them, unlike now. Instead of trying to get a BCS Bowl spot, the goal is to get a playoff berth, probably for their conference champions and the other 3-4 teams that finished second in their conference.

What I think we be really interesting is to see who the non-AQs who don't get moved up will do for a playoff system. I'm completely onboard with the FCS playoff system over, since it crowns a legitimate champion. Not that the New Orleans Bowl hasn't been fun, but it doesn't really have a future, in my opinion, if the future is playoff oriented.

I guess we will see

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And then you have some of your Power 5 conference commissioners who don't really want to leave the NCAA as it is but merely tweak it so that the voting power plays pulled by the lower classified or non-NCAA FBS groups gets resolved. Few of the Go5 conferences would rarely vote against what the Big Boys want, its all the lower NCAA classification conferences that throw a monkey wrench into what the Big Boys legislative desires are at each annual winter NCAA convention and with their subsequent bloc votes against it.

This is all P5/Big Boys Media Days Head Football Coaches "we're getting bored" talk because they are not on the fields for 2-a-days with their kids. When that happens all this NCAA Super Conference talk will disipate as quickly as a snow flake on a hot 100 plus degree Texas summer day. (A snow flake)? :hair:

GMG!

Edited by PlummMeanGreen
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Bring it on. Does the 3A high school champ feel unsatisfied because they are not in 5A? Hell no I say.....screw the big schools.....I'll take UNT vs UTSA rivalry and a chance to win a future championship playoff system with my left out brothers

Here's the problem: We're not a 3A school. We're within the top 30 (top 25 by some counts) largest state universities in the country. We're larger than many of the perennial national title contenders out there. I know some may disagree, but to me it's embarrassing to even consider dropping down in weight class to fight 145 lb welterweights just because we're kind of sucking as a 250 lb heavyweight.

Look, the only element some of you seem to care about is having regional rivals and/or in-state conference mates. If this is the case, why did we ever leave the Southland Conference? Do you remember how we dominated and played in I-AA national championships every year? Oh wait . . . didn't work that way. In fact, it only took us 8 years to win as many conference championships in I-A as we did the entire time in I-AA. What happens when we acquiesce to being left behind and even applaud the development of a new division? Sure, being among schools like Rice, UTEP, Louisiana Tech, and UTSA doesn't seem that bad. But, what happens when one (or two or three) of those aforementioned schools finds a way to assemble the revenue/attendance/influence to move up and leave our sad little "3A" conference? We would end up even more irrelevant as a football program than we were in 1994 prior to the move to I-A. And, just in case you don't think it's plausible for any of the above schools to be included among the big boys, consider this: Rice could probably join a better conference any time they wanted. They have such a sterling academic reputation that plenty of the "big boy" schools would kill to have them among their brethren. Also, they have a baseball team that has won a national championship in recent memory. Finally, they simply have enough wealthy alumni that if they really wanted to (they haven't shown the desire so far, but just wait) they could pull some strings. As for UTEP, they could shift to the Mountain West at any time, and there is the distinct possibility that the entire MWC might be included in a jump up to a Division IV. If we remain complacent and sit back while many other football programs in the state move up in rank, we may be shocked at just how many of them eventually jump together and leave us staring up and wondering what happened.

One point that I've made before is that when you list out the top 40 or so largest state universities in the country, almost all of them excel in one or more of the major revenue sports (for the sake of this discussion I'm including baseball). And, nearly every one of those schools is highly respected academically. No matter how you try to slice it, a school's reputation is a school's reputation, and academics and athletics are intrinsically linked in the general public's perception of an institution's efficacy and overall well-being (with the exception of Ivy League schools and various other highly prestigious private institutions--some of which aren't even all that bad at athletics). We REALLY need to start acting like our peer institutions (large, national research, state universities). I know we don't currently have the athletic budget or endowment that most of the other schools on that list have, but we must take our lumps in the meantime while we slowly work toward getting there. Knowingly embracing a divisional separation that officially casts us as "less than" most if not all of the relevant football programs in our state and region will NOT be good for our overall reputation as an institution of higher learning. It also will not necessarily help us win, as noted above. And, it will NOT help us build a fan base and/or increase athletic revenue. Quite simply, it will set us back further than, perhaps, we have ever been since the inception of our football program 100 years ago.

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Here's the problem: We're not a 3A school. We're within the top 30 (top 25 by some counts) largest state universities in the country. We're larger than many of the perennial national title contenders out there. I know some may disagree, but to me it's embarrassing to even consider dropping down in weight class to fight 145 lb welterweights just because we're kind of sucking as a 250 lb heavyweight.

Look, the only element some of you seem to care about is having regional rivals and/or in-state conference mates. If this is the case, why did we ever leave the Southland Conference? Do you remember how we dominated and played in I-AA national championships every year? Oh wait . . . didn't work that way. In fact, it only took us 8 years to win as many conference championships in I-A as we did the entire time in I-AA. What happens when we acquiesce to being left behind and even applaud the development of a new division? Sure, being among schools like Rice, UTEP, Louisiana Tech, and UTSA doesn't seem that bad. But, what happens when one (or two or three) of those aforementioned schools finds a way to assemble the revenue/attendance/influence to move up and leave our sad little "3A" conference? We would end up even more irrelevant as a football program than we were in 1994 prior to the move to I-A. And, just in case you don't think it's plausible for any of the above schools to be included among the big boys, consider this: Rice could probably join a better conference any time they wanted. They have such a sterling academic reputation that plenty of the "big boy" schools would kill to have them among their brethren. Also, they have a baseball team that has won a national championship in recent memory. Finally, they simply have enough wealthy alumni that if they really wanted to (they haven't shown the desire so far, but just wait) they could pull some strings. As for UTEP, they could shift to the Mountain West at any time, and there is the distinct possibility that the entire MWC might be included in a jump up to a Division IV. If we remain complacent and sit back while many other football programs in the state move up in rank, we may be shocked at just how many of them eventually jump together and leave us staring up and wondering what happened.

One point that I've made before is that when you list out the top 40 or so largest state universities in the country, almost all of them excel in one or more of the major revenue sports (for the sake of this discussion I'm including baseball). And, nearly every one of those schools is highly respected academically. No matter how you try to slice it, a school's reputation is a school's reputation, and academics and athletics are intrinsically linked in the general public's perception of an institution's efficacy and overall well-being (with the exception of Ivy League schools and various other highly prestigious private institutions--some of which aren't even all that bad at athletics). We REALLY need to start acting like our peer institutions (large, national research, state universities). I know we don't currently have the athletic budget or endowment that most of the other schools on that list have, but we must take our lumps in the meantime while we slowly work toward getting there. Knowingly embracing a divisional separation that officially casts us as "less than" most if not all of the relevant football programs in our state and region will NOT be good for our overall reputation as an institution of higher learning. It also will not necessarily help us win, as noted above. And, it will NOT help us build a fan base and/or increase athletic revenue. Quite simply, it will set us back further than, perhaps, we have ever been since the inception of our football program 100 years ago.

Everything you posted is spot-on, except for two points:

1.) We aren't gonna have a choice--neither will most programs that are non-AQ right now. The Big Five will either have the NCAA do it or they will do it on their own, but they will determine who will be able to split the revenue pie that will come from all of this.

2.) Our size is only a huge advantage if we look at enrollment, but those numbers of people who attend games, buy season tickets, and also donate anything to the school is woefully below those other peers with larege enrollments. The comparison to look at is endowment funds and also to look at attendance and ticket revenues from athletics. Those are your peers.

Its a tough pill just because all of the recent progress at UNT with the football program is impressive enough, but it just came too late. Even with all of the improvements in facilities, coaching salaries, and conference affiliation, they all happened anywhere from a decade to three decades to late. I think if we had what we have today, even ten years earlier, we might just be able to make a case for ourselves. We probably would have already been in either the old CUSA or the MWC. If that was the case, we would have had a stronger chance to get included in a separation. As it is, it just doesn't appear that any current CUSA, SBC, or MAC school will get much support on this, either, just as probably half of the schools in the MWC or AAC won't.

I hate the idea of never playing at the highest level of college football or basketball in the future, but there's really not much we can do about it now. If they separate, then we have to make the best of it. Back in 1982, we dropped down and played teams that no one heard of or cared about, while everyone else around us that most fans did know either still played at the top level (all SWC schools and UTEP) or they just quit (UTA and Lamar). Maybe it wouldn't be as bad this time around, especially if you had more regionally recognizable opponents in your conference. Its nowhere close to what anyone wants, but it just appears that we all had better come to grips with what lies in front of us.

2.)

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I really think the schools in the MWC, AAC and CUSA are probably mostly all ok. They are looking mostly, from what I gather, in really separating out the 300+ Division 1 schools that vote on all NCAA rules (currently the rules are enforced on all sports nearly universally with the biggest differences being the number of scholarships allowed in each division) into just the ones that are playing FBS level football. There are some schools in FBS that really belong in FCS (ULM the most obvious), but I really think this is all about getting all the basketball only schools out of the voting pool so they can make meaningful changes to the way things are enforced (ie: stipends, recruiting rules, etc).

Maybe I'm wrong...but this seems like the media has either purposely misrepresented the argument or doesn't understand it.

Who is in and who is out?

This will be the big question, much like in realignment. But think of this potential change as similar to realignment in that for all the drastic scenarios floated, in the end it wasn't nearly as earth shaking as many had predicted.

Along with the Big 5, a majority of the other major football-playing leagues would likely go with them -- Mountain West, American Athletic, Conference USA, Sun Belt and MAC. The top basketball leagues like the Big East, Atlantic-10 and perhaps the WCC would go as well. The Ivy League and Patriot League will be talked about, too.

Read More: http://sportsillustrated.cnn.com/college-football/news/20130725/college-sports-braces-for-more-change/#ixzz2a5l5WfvY

Edited by MeanGreen61
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Those that think that a higher division would not be a near death blow for all not included, are kidding themselves. First, you would have even less chance of ever recruiting anyone with an offer to the higher division, second what little coverage you currently get would substantially diminish as would your fan base and support.

However, I don't think this is a sure thing or even likely. There are legal obstacles and despite what they say publicly; I think ads and coaches like playing teams with little chance to win. The stipend issue at the last proposed rates is not going to scare anyone, the Belt even voted to participate. Marginal teams who make the cut might rejoice, but deep down they have to know that someday they too could be eliminated as loses would mount and the money spending race continues.

My guess is the major conferences will continue to try to separate themselves ala bcs but will continue to play other teams. Logic would tell you that eventually a more sane approach would be adopted with limits on expenditures, more protections for athletes and a more competitive structure would be developed. However, I have just about gave up on that; more likely the teams with almost unlimited resources will continue to escalate costs and others will try in vain to keep up.

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Everything you posted is spot-on, except for two points:

1.) We aren't gonna have a choice--neither will most programs that are non-AQ right now. The Big Five will either have the NCAA do it or they will do it on their own, but they will determine who will be able to split the revenue pie that will come from all of this.

2.) Our size is only a huge advantage if we look at enrollment, but those numbers of people who attend games, buy season tickets, and also donate anything to the school is woefully below those other peers with larege enrollments. The comparison to look at is endowment funds and also to look at attendance and ticket revenues from athletics. Those are your peers.

Its a tough pill just because all of the recent progress at UNT with the football program is impressive enough, but it just came too late. Even with all of the improvements in facilities, coaching salaries, and conference affiliation, they all happened anywhere from a decade to three decades to late. I think if we had what we have today, even ten years earlier, we might just be able to make a case for ourselves. We probably would have already been in either the old CUSA or the MWC. If that was the case, we would have had a stronger chance to get included in a separation. As it is, it just doesn't appear that any current CUSA, SBC, or MAC school will get much support on this, either, just as probably half of the schools in the MWC or AAC won't.

I hate the idea of never playing at the highest level of college football or basketball in the future, but there's really not much we can do about it now. If they separate, then we have to make the best of it. Back in 1982, we dropped down and played teams that no one heard of or cared about, while everyone else around us that most fans did know either still played at the top level (all SWC schools and UTEP) or they just quit (UTA and Lamar). Maybe it wouldn't be as bad this time around, especially if you had more regionally recognizable opponents in your conference. Its nowhere close to what anyone wants, but it just appears that we all had better come to grips with what lies in front of us.

2.)

You make some compelling points on this issue. And sure, if we really don't have a choice, then we don't have a choice. But, until the day comes that we are forcibly pried apart from the "big boys," I suggest that we fight tooth and nail to remain at the highest classification of college football. Let's say a measure such as the proposed $2000 or $3000 per athlete stipend is implemented and required for all programs who want to remain FBS (or whatever the top football division is called in the future). This would cost several hundred thousand dollars, but we could absolutely afford that, and I really hope we wouldn't even debate this before signing on. Or, what if we were required to increase our stadium capacity to 40,000 or 45,000 within say 3-5 years? Again, I would hope we would jump right on that.

As for our size, I see your point here too. You're right; as it stands now, our enrollment doesn't necessarily give us a competitive advantage over smaller universities. However, doesn't it at least grant us some potential for upward mobility? I know we've been beaten to death with the "potential" argument, but just because we haven't capitalized on it yet does not mean we won't in the future--if we are blessed with the right leadership, marketing campaign, etc. Also, I'm really disturbed by the disconnect between our size of enrollment and our athletic attendance/revenue. The correlation is just nowhere near where it should be, and we are one of only about 2 or 3 large state universities in the nation to have this problem. FIU may be the only other one, and they have the excuse of nurturing a football program that's still in its infancy. This separation between enrollment size and athletic support (that is perhaps unique truly only to us) indicates a broader and even more troubling institutional failure that theoretically could be adversely affecting academics as well. Personally, I don't think we can afford (and I'm not just talking about athletics now) to simply accept this phenomenon as one of the idiosyncrasies of our school and go about our business, happily marching toward football purgatory and all that comes with it. Regardless of football, this problem must be fixed sooner rather than later anyway, if we are to remain competitive as a quality academic and research institution. Basically, we are simply too big to suck at anything. If we are sucking at something, that should alert us that someone isn't doing his or her job properly. Let's take this opportunity of a possible threat to our football classification to put on our big boy pants and aggressively correct the internal institutional failings that are preventing us from truly thinking and acting like our large, prestigious, successful peers.

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