Fresno could get back to prominence, but Nevada is a bit a yawn.SALT LAKE CITY -- Fresno State and Nevada are leaving the Western Athletic Conference for the Mountain West.
The schools ended a wild Wednesday by announcing they are accepting invitations to join the Mountain West, which has added three prominent members of WAC in the last two months.
Boise State is already bound for the MWC next year and now the Bulldogs and Wolf Pack are following as well, leaving the WAC's future in question and the Mountain West preparing for life after Utah and possibly BYU.
Figure there would be worse things than being in am ESPN-affiliated men's basketball conference with Gonzaga and St. Marys. And geographically, BYU might prefer to travel up and down the Pacific Coast -- like Utah in the Pac-12 -- as opposed to being lumped in with schools from Texas and Louisiana, where the LDS numbers aren't near as strong. Certainly a pitch worth making for the WCC, knowing BYU might listen after what happened to the WAC today.WCC commissioner Jamie Zaninovich told ESPN.com early Wednesday that the league would be interested in pursuing BYU for all sports except football. Zaninovich said BYU would fit well with the other church-based institutions in the eight-team league. Zaninovich told ESPN.com that he reached out to BYU but had not heard back.
Pretty damn well if you've ever wondered who those white kids with ties, a smile and a book in their hand are.I guess the Mountain West taking a tenth wife was the last straw.
BYU is an interesting case. They often have overage players because use of red-shirting and the missions means the five-to-play-four clock starts at 21.
But the big question is how do their fans travel. This only pays off if they get major bowl bids. And with no automatic bowl tie-ins, they could learn a costly lesson if the BCS bowls don't feel it would be profitable to invite them.
It's a four-year process to move from the FCS. Since there's currently a four-year moratorium on applications (it expires next year, the earliest a school could join the FBS is the 2015-16 season). Montana is a possibility (one of the few in the FCS with the local support necessary for such a move) at that point. But it's really dragging the bottom. Texas State is actively looking to make the move to the FBS when the moratorium expires. They have talked about being a FBS independent, but the new rules require an FBS conference affiliation to make the move. So the MW expansion is actually big news at Texas State. Though they need more attendance to meet the requirement of 15,000.While BYU isn't official yet, Fresno St and Nevada are leaving the WAC for the Mountain West http://sports.espn.go.com/ncaa/news/story?id=5474774
Fresno could get back to prominence, but Nevada is a bit a yawn.
This kinda screws BYU if they leave, since the remaining WAC teams (Hawaii, New Mex St, San Jose St, Idaho, Utah St, Louisiana Tech) are all crappy, and might be forced to add lower-level schools like North Texas or even FCS teams like Montana. Since BYU is supposed to play a handful of WAC teams if they go Independent, these are really unattractive teams to play yearly. That said, these teams and a BCS school or two has twice been Boise St's route to the BCS
This is really interesting. The WCC is the best non-football B-Ball league west of the Mississippi, clearly better than the WAC. But since it doesn't have football, it can't help BYU with 3 or 4 free football home games a year like the WAC can. BYU has tons of money, but paying out $500,000 or more for 7 home games a year is a lot of money. They need freebies and the WAC can give them home-and-homes with western teams like Hawaii and New Mexico St. Their sched would beOr, BYU could team with the West Coast Conference, made by and large of religious schools.
Figure there would be worse things than being in am ESPN-affiliated men's basketball conference with Gonzaga and St. Marys. And geographically, BYU might prefer to travel up and down the Pacific Coast -- like Utah in the Pac-12 -- as opposed to being lumped in with schools from Texas and Louisiana, where the LDS numbers aren't near as strong. Certainly a pitch worth making for the WCC, knowing BYU might listen after what happened to the WAC today.
Just want to check CS according to this the moratorium ends prior to 2011-12 which would make Montana eligible in 2014-15.It's a four-year process to move from the FCS. Since there's currently a four-year moratorium on applications (it expires next year, the earliest a school could join the FBS is the 2015-16 season).
linkTo this day, Perlman, Osborne and Delany won't say where they met on May 25.
Perlman will describe it only as "a very remote private location'' far from
both Big Ten country and Nebraska. It's a secret, Perlman said, because
the Big Ten may use it for future business.
They went to considerable lengths to keep the meeting under wraps.
Because Osborne is a well-known figure who tends to attract attention, it was
agreed he and the chancellor would fly separately. Perlman was joined
by Joel Pedersen, the university's general counsel. Few on any of their
staffs knew the reason for their travel.
After staying overnight in a city and eating breakfast separately to preserve their
low profile, Perlman and Osborne received cell calls summoning them to
meet a car outside. They then rode to a rural location about an hour
outside the city.
They were greeted by Delany, Big Ten Deputy Commissioner Brad Traviolia and the conference's legal counsel.
Perlman said Delany reiterated that "this shouldn't be regarded as any more
than sitting down for a chat.'' He was holding similar meetings with
Asked last week where NU's bid ranked then,
Delany said it would have been inaccurate to say the school was "not on
the horizon" or "in the lead'' — it was just in the mix.
The next four hours, however, changed that.
Read this today at work and a few things annoyed me.
The reliance on these three was clear in the article. I know the reporter tried to contact UT president Powers and Big 12 commish Beebe, and I understand people don't want to call back. I do think it sucks that he relies on unattributed indirect quotes/fact-based paragraphs with no attribution.The World-Herald recently dug deeper into Nebraska's decision to jump to the Big Ten, a landmark shift that in 2011 will end a century of athletic traditions but open a new chapter for the Cornhuskers in one of the nation's most prestigious athletic leagues. The paper's examination included the most extensive interviews to date on the topic with Delany, Perlman and NU Athletic Director Tom Osborne.
So this presumably well-connected source comes forward in January when practically every non-Big 10 BCS league team east of the Rockies is rumored to be going to the Big 10, and that's enough in Perlman's mind to start the courtship process? Even though the Nebraska liked the set-up of the league and it's unequal revenue sharing and ability for individual schools to retain TV rights? The obvious motivation to make the shift is that the Big 10 is better respected academically, is more stable than the Big 12, and arguably has the best brand of college football for the better part of the century -- why not just say this instead of some vague and unattributed rumblings that they'd "be left out in the cold" or the conference offices weren't closers to home? Furthermore, this story isn't Watergate... at least give some contextual information who this anonymous source is.In mid-January, university leaders from across the country gathered in Atlanta for the NCAA's annual convention.
In a hallway of the Hyatt Regency on Jan. 15, Perlman ran into a good friend — someone he describes only as a well-connected “sports insider.''
“You need to pay attention to conference realignment,'' the friend told Perlman, “or you're going to be left out in the cold.''
There's a lot in this article that rings true. I don't think many people would have figured Nebraska would have interest in leaving the Big XII a year ago. It's just one of those things that the more you think about it, the more it makes sense. We've just had our minds set on Notre Dame for the last 20 years.Looking back, Delany said, there's a lot of serendipity in how it all came together.
“It wasn't predicted,'' he said. “It just worked.''
I agree. What surprised me about the article was that Osborne claimed every single coach at the school wanted to make the switch. This even with so many rivalries with Oklahoma. I'm particularly surprised the baseball coach wasn't raising a stink - baseball is one sport where the Big Ten has faltered significantly the last couple of decades.Not to say I didn't think the article was a good read. Interesting last minute discussions between UNL and UT at the Big 12 meetings; somehow I don't believe Nebraska would've stayed even with and iron-clad pledge from UT but I don't blame Perlman/Nebraska for making the choice they did.
Couldn't it use one of the several stadia available in Philly to meet the requirement?Big East invites Villanova
If you're going to make the leap from FCS to FBS, jumping to a BCS conference is definitely the way to do it. But despite being the reigning champion, Villanova barely draws flies in the CAA and would need a new stadium. Can the program be viable in the Big East?
WAC commissioner Karl Benson said Tuesday on a conference call that the league filed a complaint last week in Jefferson County District Court in Colorado."The damages the WAC could incur if Fresno State and Nevada left early are very, very significant," Benson said. "That's what has driven this: to protect the assets of the WAC as a corporate entity."
Benson said WAC bylaws state members must inform the conference it is leaving for another league by July 1 or that departing member is obligated to stay through the next two school years.
Nevada and Fresno State announced they had accepted invitations to the MWC on July 18 and both have indicated they would like to leave the WAC and be in their new conference for the 2011 football season.
Benson said he has contacted the leaders of Nevada and Fresno State, seeking assurances that they will remain in the WAC through June 30, 2012. But those assurances have not come, he said.
"I thought the filing of the complaint would initiate some discussion," Benson said.
But Nevada and Fresno State still have not contacted him, Benson said.
The WAC also expects Nevada and Fresno State to pay a $5 million exit fee. Benson said the fee is not mentioned in the lawsuit and is a separate issue.
After Broncos announced they would leave, the WAC's other members -- including Nevada and Fresno State -- voted to implement the steep exit fee to protect the conference from further defections.
Couldn't it use one of the several stadia available in Philly to meet the requirement?
Radnor Township hates students, noise and football and won't allow any substantial expansion on campus to the stadium.If thye could expand the on campus stadium to 20,000 and play an independant schedule, much like UConn did as it moved up, it might be possible. The key is to keep the stadium on campus. If they are in a league they can play their 4 conference games on site, schedule a high end at large team for the Linc once a year, and play low end FBS and FCS opponents on site. A good schedule for them if they in fact took this tract would be their 8 other BE opponents plus Delaware, Navy or some other FBS school and probably Temple and a C-USA team like a Memphis, Tulane, East Carolina or the like. That would be a good program and would compliment their athletic program quite nicely.
It's a pretty natural progression, I don't know why anyone would be concerned about non-functional conferences like the depleted WAC going the way of the dodo. If another AQ becomes available in basketball, either the Great West and WAC combine to pick it up, or the Big East finally splits, with the resulting Catholic school/non-football league taking the new AQ.The NCAA might want to step in here, assure the WAC that they won't lose an automatic basketball tournament berth while searching for a seventh member.
As conferences expand to maximize revenue from television networks (more games to sell, including a conference championship), the fallout is replacing those schools that move up.
Either we lose conferences, or the FBS brand is diluted by more schools taking the leap from the FCS. The NCAA needs to decide which is better. It might be time to start enforcing attendance requirements and other guidelines. Ten of the 120 FBS schools failed to draw 15,000 per game last season.
I've heard rumors that the Big East is willing to heavily subsidize Villanova's transition to 1A. But that doesn't solve the stadium and attendance issues.Villanova is a small school that has an insufficient Fan Base, No Stadium for FBS, inferior facilities for a FBS program, no community support for Football and no money to finance this upgrade.
I assume this means neither Montana nor Weber State will move up to FBS (or the WAC) any time soon. Regarding the Big Sky's 12-team plans, the only western FCS schools that make geographical sense are Southern Utah (another Great West member) and San Diego (Pioneer).The football teams from Cal Poly and UC Davis are joining the Big Sky Conference, league commissioner Doug Fullerton said Tuesday.The universities accepted the invitations to join the conference as football-only schools late last week after university presidents approved changes to league rules that require all member schools to take part in the same 14 sports.
Cal Poly and UC Davis are Football Championship Subdivision members that compete in the Great West Conference but participate in the Big West Conference for the majority of their sports.
A timeline for the move has not been set.
"Our obligation and commitment to them is to work them in just as quickly as we can," Fullerton said.
Many of the Big Sky teams have their 2011 schedules nearly complete and Cal Poly and UC Davis must officially withdraw from the Great West, which also includes football teams from North Dakota, South Dakota and Southern Utah. Fullerton said he expects Cal Poly and UC Davis to end up with some games against Big Sky schools next year, a heavy slate of games in 2012 and likely a full schedule by 2013.
Tuesday's moves are the first part of an expansion that could lead to a 12-team Big Sky football conference with two six-team divisions, Fullerton said.
The head of the Philadelphia Union Soccer Club stated he accepted a call from Villanova last week to set up a preliminary meeting for a discussion about PPL Park down in Chester, PA. He was mildly pessimistic about it.
They do extremely well at Wells Fargo (fka Wachovia) Center games but they don't sell all those games out. Many of games draw in the 14k to 17k range which is outstanding but it often depends on Villanova's team that year and obviously Coach Wright has them winning and ranked more consistently now then when the decade started. Georgetown, Notre Dame, Syracuse & Pitt bring the best basketball crowds for those games including some sell-outs. Sometimes WVU & Marquette depending on whether they are ranked that year or not. Notre Dame vs Villanova games have often drawn a bigger ND crowd from that huge Catholic audience surrounding Philadelphia....but on the other hand, the basketball team sells out a 20,000 person arena five times a year.
I've heard reality that any financial scam like that might get several AD's & University Presidents publicly burned at the stake when the 7 State Universities with Big East Football teams start giving their taxpayer dollars to another university..a small private Catholic school. I am sure the Big East Football schools would lend support in scheduling several games thru the "provisional period" to help an upgrading program and there are other corners that can be cut along the way with League support, but they aren't sending an envelope of cash to Villanova to get this done.I've heard rumors that the Big East is willing to heavily subsidize Villanova's transition to 1A.
LinkThe University of Colorado Board of Regents will meet today in Denver to discuss legal and financial matters related to leaving the Big 12 Conference one year early for the Pac-10.
The regents previously voted unanimously to switch conferences in 2012 and would not need to meet further on that topic unless they needed to make a change to the timing or approve the cost of the move. They are expected to at least discuss both issues at a special meeting at 5 p.m. in Denver. It`s possible the board could vote to make the move a year early.
The big thing to remember about the Big East is that the football presidents have a 'get out of jail free' card that they can exercise and Big East Football can split with essentially no penalties (no exit fees and the conference members keep their credits). The card expires in 2010 and no one knows whether this card will be extended beyond 2010.
So, at some later point, if the Big East splits, then the basketball schools would reap the $5 million exit fee and basketball credits.
The BIG EAST is exploring the idea of possibly adding TCU for Football.
It's not clear whether they would just be a Football member or FULL member if they were added in 2011 or 2012.
And I've said it before, the Villanova idea is a boondoggle that will be rejected. The Trustees should see that as no one has even remotely attempted to put forth any scenario that makes sense for Villanova to upgrade.
The concerted effort to sell out Villanova stadium FAILED miserably in it's 2nd Home game vs city rival PENN with the WORST attendance since the NOVA-PENN series was reignited in 1999. Only 8100 showed up for two ranked FCS teams who are local rivals. The games at Franklin Field vs NOVA have averaged over 17,000 in the same period. So obviously the UNIVERSITY OF PENN is a hell of lot more qualified with a stadium & fanbase to becoming a BIG EAST football member than Villanova ever will be.
Villanova has no stadium, no fans, no community support, no facilities and no money to upgrade. And the more the FBS Upgrade proponents BEG & BEG for more fans to show up this Fall, even less fans bothered to come to the Penn game....pathetic.
Here is an interesting tidbit to keep in mind over the next 90 days as the BIG EAST footbal schools scramble.
The University of Hawaii is close to joining the Mountain West Conference for football, raising the prospect of leaving the depleted WAC after 32 years.
It's not clear where the rest of Hawaii's athletic programs fit in. Athletic director Jim Donovan said his poll of the school's 18 other teams indicated 16 of them would prefer to play in the Big West.
The Mountain West released a statement Thursday night saying the conference's board of directors "has authorized Commissioner Craig Thompson to begin discussions with the University of Hawaii regarding possible membership in the sport of football only."
No offer has been extended to Hawaii, a source told ESPN.com's Andy Katz.
Hawaii was talking about going independent for football and joining the Big West for other sports. Obviously joining the Mountain West for football would be great for UH, with the other sports still going to the Big West works because all of those schools are in California.The WAC announced last week it would add Texas-San Antonio, Texas State and the University of Denver. Denver doesn't have a football team.
Donovan noted these schools send the WAC farther into the middle of the country geographically, away from Hawaii, and this would increase the school's travel expenses. He also said Mountain West schools such as Air Force were schools Hawaii fans could easily see as rivals.
You know, I've said this before, but there is very little chance of Villanova actually able to make the leap without some rules changes or serious changes in dedication from Nova's fans. I mean, Villanova Stadium only holds 12,500 now, and doesn't come close to selling out. I don't know how they are going to average 15k for a couple of years in that place.Fascinating.
The travel is going to be a bitch...but its a win-win for the conference and the school.
I do wonder, though, if Villanova's arrival will mark the official split of the football schools from the hoops onlies...
FORT WORTH, Texas -- TCU has accepted a bid for full membership to become the 17th member of the Big East Conference, effective July 1, 2012.
"Having BCS automatic-qualifying status was a priority for our football program and a great reward for the success we've had the last decade," TCU athletic director Chris Del Conte said in a statement.
The conference change allows TCU to play in an automatic BCS-qualifying league beginning in the 2012-13 school year.
"Access got easier, not the road," said Horned Frogs coach Gary Patterson, whose third-ranked Frogs (12-0) wrapped up their second consecutive undefeated regular season and Mountain West title with a 66-17 win at New Mexico on Saturday.
The Mountain West does not have an automatic bid to the BCS and is going through some changes of its own. BYU and Utah are leaving the conference just as Boise State enters.