Thursday, November 29, 2012

Making sense of CUSA moves

Conference USA announced Thursday that it has added Middle Tennessee State and Florida Atlantic, effective no later than the 2014 season.

As conference realignment continues to swirl at a seemingly out-of-control pace, here are a few thoughts about the league's new look (which continues to change substantially) and how the moves might affect the Charlotte 49ers (not to mention trying not to be confused by references to FIU and FAU):

-- Charlotte is no doubt heart-broken about the loss earlier this week of East Carolina to the Big East (in football only). That was going to be a great football rivalry (although there's nothing to say they can't play nonconference games against each other).

-- By adding Middle Tennessee and Florida Atlantic, CUSA stayed at 14 schools and kept with its stated goal of having schools in major media markets. Middle Tennessee, which is located in Murfreesboro, is part of the Nashville TV market, which ranks 29th. FAU is in Boca Raton and benefits from the Miami-Fort Lauderdale-West Palm Beach market (as does Florida International, another recent addition).

-- So here's how CUSA's East and West divisions could break down in 2015, when Charlotte comes into the league (remember, CUSA is losing ECU, SMU, Houston, Tulane, Memphis and Central Florida).

East
Charlotte
Marshall
Ala.-Birmingham
Florida International
Florida Atlantic
Old Dominion
Middle Tennessee

West
UTEP
North Texas
Rice
Tulsa
Louisiana Tech
UTSA
Southern Miss

-- I've heard from some Charlotte fans wondering why the 49ers can't get in the Big East now. After its most recent defections, the new Big East will stretch from sea to shining sea and include what seems to be about half of the current Conference USA. Why would Charlotte want to be in that league? Especially if Cincinnati and/or UConn are the next to bail.

-- Left out of the discussion again is Appalachian State, which still wants to move up to FBS. The Mountaineers could be a logical choice for the Sun Belt, which just lost Middle Tennessee and FAU.


-- And when Charlotte starts football in 2015, this will all have changed several times again anyway, I'd bet.

47 comments:

Anonymous said...

I'm willing to bet Tulsa and Rice are the next to go. Makes little to no sense for two private schools, a good one in Tulsa and an elite one in Rice, to stay in a conference with a bunch of directional schools. There's not a flagship state school in the bunch, and most are at best the third best public school in their state. The best school of the bunch may be Marshall, and that's not saying much. CUSA should just go ahead and add Arkansas-Little Rock and Missouri-Kansas City.

Anonymous said...

ECU can still schedule us. They'll want to drill us early and often to take a bight out of our recruiting in the state.

Anonymous said...

God, we're doomed.

J said...

3:35 PM - Ain't gonna happen. UNC-Greenville football is in the exact same position that South Carolina's was 20 years ago - a school with loud-mouth, bloviating fans who think their team is elite when there is absolutely no evidence whatsoever that they have ever done anything to deserve any superlatives. Not to mention that it's a rotten school academically, not that their fans care; they bloviate about that as well. They ran to the Big Least to get away from us. Within 2 years of FBS, we will have blown so far by them that a Charlotte vs UNC-Greenville game will drag OUR nonconference schedule strength down.

Good luck to UNC-Greenville in their impossible search for relevance. AAAAAAAARRRRRRR!!!!

As for C-USA, this doesn't look like much of a league, but it's probably true that it won't look anything like this by 2015. We'll see how it all shakes out. I'm just glad we'll be playing FBS football.

Anonymous said...

We left one of the best 6 or 7 basketball conferences for this crap? Not to mention that basketball conference just got better with the additions of Butler and VCU.

Now, instead of conference basketball games against Xavier, Butler, Dayton, etc., we get to play against household names like FAU, FIU, and MTSU.

Anonymous said...

Mistake Number 1: Not starting football 20 years ago.

Mistake Number 2: Not starting football 10 years ago.

Mistake Number 3: Not using Memorial Stadium and instead building a tiny stadium and not allowing anyone to the games except FSL Holders. What a great way to chase away potential fans.

ProudFSLowner said...

Memorial Stadium is an old dump 15 miles south of the campus. And that will bring fans?

Having a stadium on campus was necessary and a great move. Yes, it cost money to get it going, which is why they went with a FSL model. And while you didn't seem to get one, enough people did.

And by the way, the FSL seats amounted to $20/month per seat when they were first announced. $20/mo. Now I can't speak for everyone's financial situation, but $20/mo per seat, lets say $40 a month so you can get two seats, is hardly a sacrifice to most people in the Charlotte area.

The only mistake would be to allow leeches, especially who are also big sport fan alumni, the opportunity to buy individual game tickets without financially helping out on funding the team in the first place. I for one am glad they are creating a system that prevents those kinds of cheap-skates the opportunity to pay the bare minimum. Hopefully, what they will do is open the remaining tickets available (outside of the student section) for purchase by FSL owners, donors, families of coaches/players/staff, etc. Give the power to the people who helped financially bring football to Charlotte--who could afford $20/mo. If truthfully, you could not afford it--I get it--my comments do not apply to you. But for many, they could and can afford it, but refuse to do it. I hope you don't ever get in.

Anonymous said...

Thanks Judy!!!!

ProudFSLowner said...

But for the record, I do agree with your first two points about bringing football to charlotte a lot sooner. I get that after 9/11, asking for donations was inappropriate (Rose actually started a feasibility committee just before 9/11), but it should have already been up and running for many years by then.

Anonymous said...

UNCC football will not draw 8000 people after Game 2 of the first year.

ProudFSLowner said...

For the people who are complaining about our departure from A10: if we didn't, our football program stays in FCS. Joining the CUSA helped us go from "hopeful FBS program one day" to the absolute fastest track to FBS in 2 years.

I do hope that Charlotte gets discussed among the Big East/ACC changes, but I'm not holding my breath. I think we stay in CUSA until the 16-team mega-conferences emerge. Then someone will want to add the Charlotte market.

Just a prediction...

Anonymous said...

Wow, J. A little hostility towards the Pirates. Whats the matter, one of them steal your girlfriend back in the day.
ECU wants exactly what UNCC will want in 10 years, their due respect. Any true ECU fan will tell you we dont deserve to be in the ACC now, but we did deserve to be added to the Big East 3 expansions ago. The Pirates will enter the Big East already in the Top 3 in average attendance. Your stadium is built to hold 15K, we average 47K. You have a long way to go. Get over the little brother issues, pal. You'll get to play with the big kids one day. Just wait your turn.

Anonymous said...

You said it best,it has nothing to do with football,it's all about TV markets.

Anonymous said...

You guys are complaining about what conference you're in? You're just starting football!! Other schools have have built their programs over the years with blood, sweat and tears and you guys are getting a huge head start because you're in a large market, and that's all that seems to matter these days. Focus on beating whoever you're lined up against. And do yourself a favor and change the name of your school to the University of Charlotte. Keeping the name UNCC will ensure you stay irrelevant.

Judy's Scarfmaker said...

Thanks David for breakdown. Glad our admin commented and is selling it.

-Judy's Scarfmaker

Anonymous said...

I was giving the school about $1,000 a year and buying between 2 to 4 basketball season tickets a year and have been doing this since the mid 90s. Instead of spending that $1,000 ON FSLs I donated another $1,000 to the 49er Club and threw in a donation to academics. If I cannot purchase a couple of football tickets to some games the school will not get another penny out of me. A 15,000 seat stadium is very small only qualifies for FBS if it is full every game. We need a larger stadium like Memorial and we need MORE FANS. We need both of them NOW. Turning away grads that have given to the school for years and turning away the average sports fan in Charlotte is a pretty damn stupid way to build the fanbase we need for BCS Football.

Anonymous said...

5:04-

As an outsider, I think everything you said about ECU can equally apply to UNCC, if not more so. Let's see, loudmouth fans who think they are an elite team? Check. School that is academically a lightweight? Check. No national relevance in anything? Check. At least ECU has played games and had successful seasons.

Anonymous said...

Memorial's capacity is around 17,000 these days.

Anonymous said...

UNCC has historically had much more success in basketball than ECU has in football. EZU academics are a joke and have always been. There is a reason the Big East accepted them for FOOTBALL ONLY. I hope the Pirates enjoy their regular basketball butt-kickings from Elon and App State in the mighty Southern Conference.

Anonymous said...

Tailgating for Niner games will have more logistical problems than they have on the EZU campus. The UNCC campus does not have all the adjoining tobacco fields that can be used to park cars in the fall.

Anonymous said...

Anon 9:01, Memorial's seating capacity is slightly above 25,000. Those extra seats would have been great for the extra seats UNCC will need next year. UNCC decided to do what they have always done when it comes to athletics. They asked a small number of fans and doners for more money instead of reaching out and trying to get more supporters. Other schools have also solicited for additional donations but they also provide a way for others to attend their games too. It's called appealing to the masses and Charlotte has a large mass of people starving for a college football team they can call their own. It is a shame these masses will be turned away from the stadium while the few hundred that bought fsls pat themselves on the back and feel important in that tiny 15,000 seat stadium.

Anonymous said...

It is amazing how arrogant UNCC fans are. Your school is every bit as bad as ECU. Your basketball team isn't any better historically than ECU is in football. You had one good season 30 years ago. The city of Charlotte has never embraced UNCC or any of their teams, and adding FCS football won't change that. And make no mistake, Conference USA is a glorified FCS conference.

Anonymous said...

Memorial stadium is NO LONGER 24,000. Having an on-campus stadium is awesome. Complaining that people will be turned away ???? that's good. Demand is good. Who knows where Charlotte 49ers will really be in 2015. Too much flux. I'm going to enjoy the ride no matter where it goes and it will go good. GO NINERS!!!!

Anonymous said...

The only people punished for the athletic depts incompetence are the fans...

Anonymous said...

Memorial Stadium seats 24,788. UNCC could have started play this year if you had decided to use Memorial Stadium the first few years. 15,000 is way to small for FBS.

soccerfan said...

DEAR ECU FANS,
we clear thinking level headed Niner fans apologize for Jason Feltis rant. The kid clearly has no class.

Anonymous said...

Didn't ECU AD terry holland fight to get UNCC in to CUSA even though they had never played a down? Even though Rose couldn't get business done herself, obviously?
Why the hostility to the Pirates?
Not sure about the success thing either. 20 years ago, quite a long time, ECU finished #8 in the country in football. I don't recall UNCC ever finishing in the top ten of a major NCAA sport. Why the hostility towards a school that has even inclusive to your school, point your finger at the schools that take disproportionate monies form our state compared to our student populations. Embarrassing UNCC FANS ON THIS BOARD, like "J"

Anonymous said...

Low class UNCC fans bubbling up on this board. Why swipe ECU?
Also I don't recall UNCC doing anymore than them in basketball. Good luck filling your stadium week in and week out with those great FSL's you sold, oh wait they did not sell. Try filling a 50,000 seat stadium every week for 4 years, you could'nt. Holland should have flushed you guys and your pathetic AD as well.

BrettTheNiner said...

Memorial Stadium is now 19,000 seats, according to the Parks and Rec website, because the end zone seats fell into a sinkhole and were not replaced. The Niners have discussed using temporary seating at the new stadium to allow averaging over 15,000 until the stadium is expanded.

ProudFSLowner said...

For the record, if you are donating to the school, whether it be 49er club, FSL, etc, I think you should have the capability of getting a ticket. So for the fan outraged that he/she wont' be able to get a ticket, I believe they will have some sort of policy that enables you to get a ticket (albeit, after the FSL owners get theirs, but still you'll have a ticket). It's not official, but hang in there.

The ECU bashing is pointless. ECU got a better opportunity and they took it, just like we got a better opportunity and we took it. It does not mean the two schools cannot schedule a rivalry between the two schools. South Carolina and Clemson aren't in the same division, yet they still schedule games. It can happen.

I have no animosity towards ECU. Both schools are crumbs in this state, trying to gain relevancy in an ACC-thick market. How do we get relevancy? By beating the big boys. And that will probably take years for both programs to achieve and some very good recruiting. But the important thing is both schools are now on that path.

Anonymous said...

EZU hasnt done and aint going to do anything with Ruffin.

Anonymous said...

ECU's been beating the "big boys" for decades. #7 Miami, #9 Miami, #5 WVU, #17 V Tech, etc.

Two totally different schools. ECU has relevancy in this state, but they still get sat on by the "Big 4". When you fill stadiums to 50,000+, win CUSA Championships, beat big boys, travel very well for bowl games, consistently go to bowl games, etc you are relevant, thus why the Big East called.

The real ones who should be griping are the APP fans. They deserve in CUSA, some might say more than UNCC. UNCC points to market all the time yet can't sell out their fables basket ball games?!?!

ECU fans wanted the rivalry and support UNCC for the most part, but they are light years behind ECU in football and close to even in basketball.
Not slights to UNCC, but compare yourselves to Elon and those schools until your product actually hits the field and you can sustaina capacity crowd. Harder than you think. UNCC fans post on here because they are passionate, its the ones who don't even read the articels who won't bother going to games and that is most of UNCC fanbase.

Anonymous said...

Charlotte fan, alum and FSL owner here. Everyone please calm down on this. Here is the bottom line. ECU has a great football program and they deserve to move up. I am happy for them. I hope we can schedule non conference games down the road as nothing would make me happier than hosting the Pirates. As far as CUSA and it's supposed irrelevance, I think all the hundreds of talented players and coaches who work their tails off and all the dedicated fans of the CUSA teams would take issue with that. No school has a divine right to any position in any athletic conference. Most of the big schools are where they are because they have been around a long time and have built themselves over time. Charlotte fans need to hold there heads up with pride and build our program up and stop worrying about what other schools are doing. We are making huge strides in out athletic program overall with very nice facilities and a clean program that we can be proud of. And stop ragging on Judy Rose. The bottom line is that she has taken us farther than anyone else, farther than I thought we could go. She has done an excellent job and built an overall athletic department to be proud of. If you were with me at UNCC back in 1987 when we had no football, no on campus basketball then you would understand how far we have come. We can only hope that we get someone with the same quality when she retires.

ProudFSLowner said...

Simply put, you don't compare a football crowd to a basketball crowd. Football happens 7-9 games a year in your home stadium. Basketball, a lot more, and throughout the week. It's a lot less to miss a basketball game because you have ample opportunity to see another game. Football, you only get so many more opportunities. You cannot compare the two. And you don't tailgate for basketball games (at least most don't). Football games are an all day experience.

You can take any school (minus most of the schools making the top 25) and say the same thing.

People will come, Ray. People will most definitely come.

Anonymous said...

The on campus football stadium is to be expanded to 45,000 albeit with temporary seating in the beginning.
This is a requirement for admission to CUSA. The original decision to build a small on campus facility was made at a time when FBS football was far from a certainty.
Having games at Memorial Stadium would be a very bad idea, particularly from the point of view of current students, who pay a substantial fee each year for privileges such as admission to home athletic events.
As an alum and a fan, I view the move to CUSA as a necessary evil. However, as good a basketball conference as the A10 is, the 49ers have not prospered in that sport during our time in the
league. For any program not in one of the "big six" conferences, the deck will always be stacked unfavorably anyway.

Anonymous said...

I hope we get someone with better hair and better fashion scense.

Anonymous said...

^^^^
Major or Rose? Hair and fashion sense are important for both a coach and an athletic director! Yes, they are.

Anonymous said...

CUSA is a bad move for basketball. I think that stinks. We really need to get a group of schools together and consider forming a new league pulling in the good From conference USA and the big east and others. ECU, Charlotte, Cincy, old dominion, Marshall, southern miss, Alabama Birmingham, central Florida, south Florida, temple, Memphis, uconn, Tulane, western Kentucky, Georgia state, umass would all be schools to start a conversation with. Keep it east of the Mississippi to keep some sanity to it.

Anonymous said...

10:50, you are an idiot.....I could list even more top 10 schools that Charlotte has beaten in basketball. You are freakin clueless. Everyone knows u cant compare football attendance to basketball. If so, why has ECU NEVER come close to matching Charlotte's average bball attendance?

Anonymous said...

this all gonna change again....ACC is gonna implode in 3...2...1
11-30-2012

Anonymous said...

As an ECU alumni the EZU comments are hilarious, never understood the bashing of other school's academics, for those that still think ECU is a pushover academically or called UNC-Greenville (that guy is an idiot) I can only speak from my own experience that after graduating in December of 2011 I had a job at an Architecture firm in Charleston the day I received my diploma and many with comprable degrees from UNCC and NC State for that matter are still at home sending out resumes. As for UNCC glad they finally have football but fans just need to slow down and be happy that its there. Its foolish to think that UNCC would come in and immediately be in the conversation with established programs but rest assured it won't be long before a bigger conference comes calling. Hopefully C-USA will wise up and add App State they deserve to in the FBS as much as anyone.

Anonymous said...

I've read some really stupid comments from a couple of the EZU fans, such as "the 2 schools are equal in basketball" and "UNCC has never finished in the Top 10 in anything". UNCC has FIVE FINAL FOURS; one in basketball, 2 in soccer, and 2 in golf. UNCC has been to post season in basketball more than 20 times compared to once for ECU. Last but not least, UNCC has defeated EZU over 80% of this time the 2 schools have played.

1_milkman said...

Wish they could have gotten inti the MAC

Jason Feltis said...

Uh... That wasn't me ranting. There are other people out there with J names. I know, shocking.

Go Niners!

Anonymous said...

my goodness these Niners are clowns. Complaining about CUSA when they haven't played a down. What a sense of entitlement when they've done nothing. Bashing schools that go to bowl games more years than not. Delusional.

Anonymous said...

Hey dumb ass at 11:30am, you know there are other sports involved too right?

Anonymous said...

Hey dumber ass, football pays the bill and is the primary sport the article references. They teach you reading comprehension stupid?