Saturday, December 17, 2011

Wednesday, December 14, 2011

2012 WAC Football

In 2012, WAC football will consist of these teams:

Idaho, Louisiana Tech, New Mexico State, San Jose State, Utah State, Texas State, and UTSA.

These teams went 36 and 47 this year (against not great competition).

Texas State and UTSA won't be full FBS members until 2013. So, their games in 2012 won't count towards the 6 needed for a team to become bowl eligible.

UTSA has just played one football season. The Alamo Dome is the only good football facility UTSA has and that's downtown, many miles from campus. However, it'll probably be the best stadium in the WAC.

Idaho plays its games in a basketball gym.

The WAC lost its best programs in the realignment shuffle and LA Tech is rumored to be an attractive target if further conference shuffling occurs. Conference USA might need to pick up a few teams, for example.

Also, according to NCAA rules, football conferences must have at least 8 members. The WAC is getting by on an exemption. They need to add another team to get to 8. If one or more teams leave the conference (maybe LA Tech and New Mexico State), the WAC would need to add 3 teams. Where are those 1 to 3 teams coming from?

Things do not look good for football in the WAC.

Maybe the WAC needs to try to merge with another conference, but who would want the picked over teams the WAC has left?

There are only 11 FBS conferences. The 6 best/biggest conferences have no need to add any of the lowly schools left in the WAC. That leaves only the Conference USA, Mid-American Conference, Mountain West Conference, and the Sun Belt Conference.

The MAC is a stable, regional conference with a footprint in the northeastern United States. It would make zero sense for them to merge with the WAC or take any of the WAC teams. That leaves the CUSA, MWC, and the Sun Belt.

The CUSA and MWC have talked merger (at least in football but possibly in all sports). The MWC has 8 schools and the CUSA has 9. The plan seems to be to play a 7 or 8 game conference schedule and have the winner on each side play in a cross conference championship game. That would result in 17 schools under one championship game (which is nice). It seems likely that at least one of those 17 schools will get pinched.

The most likely outcome seems to be that the CUSA and MWC will merge and end up with 16 schools and 2 divisions with a football championship game. They will likely shuffle schools around in a way that makes the most geographic sense. Each division will play either a 7 or 9 game conference schedule. This combined conference will probably end up with all the best schools not in the top 6 conferences and the MAC. It would be a nice little conference.

So, what's left? The Sun Belt Conference. They have (or will have) 10 football playing schools. They seem to have a few schools that might be attractive to the CUSA or MWC if those conferences (or the combined conference they likely will become) needs teams. The most attractive school in that conference is probably North Texas since it is in a large media market and it has a rather large enrollment.

What if the WAC and the Sun Belt Conference combined? What would that look like?

The combined conference would have a sustainable number of teams (17 if nobody gets poached). It would have the 12 minimum schools needed to have a football championship game. It would have 3 teams in each of Texas and Louisiana, 2 teams in each of Florida and Arkansas, and 1 team in each of 7 other states. It would have schools in the major media markets of Miami, Dallas/Fort Worth, San Antonio, and San Jose. Travel requirements for the eastern conference would be very reasonable. Travel requirements for the western conference wouldn't be as good.

The eastern conference could be made up of UA of Little Rock, Arkansas State, Florida Atlantic, Florida International, UL of Lafayette, UL of Monroe, Middle Tennessee State, University of South Alabama, Troy University, and Western Kentucky. The western conference could be made up of Louisiana Tech, North Texas, Texas State, UTSA, Idaho, New Mexico State, San Jose State, and Utah State. The championship game could rotate between a handful of places people would like to travel to, maybe Cowboy Stadium in DFW, the Alamo Dome in San Antonio, the Superdome in New Orleans, and the Sun Life Stadium in Miami.

I think it would be a nice little conference. Maybe it could play conference games at odd times to get on ESPN and ESPN 2. Maybe it could stick to conference games only being within division so that teams could schedule 4 or 5 teams each year from the better conferences. It would always be the lowest rung on the conference ladder but it would be better than two even lower rungs and it would probably result in better overall TV contracts. Neither conference right now has enough teams for a conference championship game.

Here is a map of the proposed conference footprint:


A more likely outcome than the above is that the conference realignment shuffle will eventually result in WAC becoming a non-football conference. The WAC football schools would then either have to go independent, catch on with another conference, or move down to the FCS level (maybe that's where Idaho needs to be anyway).

Maybe the Sun Belt Conference will just add Texas State, UTSA, and Louisiana Tech and let the remaining WAC teams twist in the wind. Adding just those 3 teams would seems to be a great move for the Sun Belt. It would really open up Texas for recruiting for that conference while adding the media market of San Antonio.

Friday, December 9, 2011

Dan Gilbert's Latest Letter in Comic Sans


Comic sans totally makes whatever you are saying more credible and forceful, don't you think?

Thursday, December 8, 2011

Wednesday, December 7, 2011

Die Penny, Die!

I saw this because of SaraC and now I'm passing it on.