Anything and everything about Liberty Flames football. Your comments on games, recruiting and the direction of the program as we move into new era.

Moderators: jcmanson, Sly Fox, BuryYourDuke, Class of 20Something

#621759
Coach Freeze was on ESPNU Radio today and Coach Freeze was the most ope about conference affiliation that I have heard him be.
247sports wrote:Hugh Freeze wants Liberty to join conference in future
By NICK KOSKO


Hugh Freeze and the Liberty Flames are one of the most intriguing programs in college football. The team finished 10-1 last season while playing an independent schedule, only losing to ACC opponent NC State by a single point.

This begs the question, would Liberty join a conference eventually to play higher quality Group of Five or Power Five teams? Freeze is definitely interested. The only Power Five opponents Liberty played in 2020 were Syracuse, Virginia Tech and NC State.

Freeze joined ESPNU Radio on Wednesday to discuss his desire for Liberty to eventually latch on to a conference.

Ane he had plenty to say: "Yes we are intersted in talking with conferences if they decide they want to expand." And this nugget: "Would we one day want to sit down at the right table with the right conference? Absolutely. I think it makes sense and hopefully that will happen in time.”

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#621771
CCWMichael wrote: Not much can beat playing for a conference championship!

Not sure I agree with that. (not sure I don't either). That statement caused me to try and think through the emotion attached to different scenarios. Playing for and winning a conference championship would, no doubt, be very exciting. I think, however, I think it's even more exciting to go to a bowl game and beat an opponent from another conference. It certainly expands the exposure for LU. I recognize that winning the conference doesn't preclude the bowl game experience and , in fact, could enhance it allowing us to play against a more well known foe. I could not have been any more excited than the last two years winning the Cure Bowl. I attended the first one and lost my voice before halftime. This year, despite the hour, I jumped off the sofa with a loud war cry when we blocked the field goal. Isn't it amazing to be so blessed that we can even have these musings. What a future!
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#621772
Right now, I'm still opposed to the SBC and CUSA, unless they give us a Notre Dame type deal. Obviously, AAC or higher is what we all want. I'm fine with ASUN & Indy for the next few years until the next round of realignment. The ASUN & WAC expansions are just the first dominoes. The A10 rumors is just more evidence that another shake up is probably forthcoming. We just need to be patient and keep winning,
#621774
On the Liberty podcast from a couple weeks ago, he gave an honest assessment about what a realistic future is for the football team. He said that if we are competitive in most of the games we play and go to bowl games most years, that he would call us successful. He added that this was due to our independent status. Independent status gives us options that conference teams don’t have in schedules. We don’t need a conference to go to bowl games. I hope he stays two more seasons to put us in a good place as far as conference invitations. I keep reading tidbits about a reshuffling of conferences coming up in few years.
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#622368
Sly Fox wrote: February 4th, 2021, 10:48 am Agreed. But that is the same asterisk that a certain poster is vocal about chasing. Army has not received the same designation from any P5s.
Wrong. Big 12 considers them a P5 for OOC. And the main reason for P5 Equivalent push is exactly because of “loosely goosey ”Conference autonomy to designate whoever they like to count as a P5 game - we only need ACC to count us as a P5 OOC and we are golden. The road to getting there isn’t nearly as complicated as most of you imply.
#628681
Marshall fan here. I will continue to hope that Liberty is the driving force behind a new East Coast Conference.

Imo, the current CUSA setup is to unstable. There are too many teams and everyone is to spread out. Outside of an AAC invite, I would like to see Marshall in the same conference as Liberty, ODU, Charlotte, App State, and James Madison. A tight foot print that will cut travel cost down substantially and where real rivalries can develop. Also, something that is not bigger than 10 teams. What are your thoughts?
#628711
JK37 wrote: July 13th, 2021, 9:47 pm We’re headed for bigger and better things than all those schools.
Don’t get carried away JK...Step by incremental step remember...( someone clarify what the next step is please - ha ). In all seriousness, Ian has said in two separate interviews since 12 team playoff expansion news, he doubles down on the Independent model really working for us. Also stated he runs every series by HF, even in the distant future. Would love to be a fly on the wall for any discussion about scheduling philosophies since that announcement. Ian also may be playing it close to the vest about being totally happy with Independent ( I really think he likes indie and isn’t just saying it ) vs stating publicly we would take any G5 conference that would have us - simply from a negotiating standpoint. Would Ian dare to schedule 5 plus P5 games if he thought that is what it would take to beat out BYU for a playoff spot ? - I say No way he does. Not without President approval, P5 budgets and a coach like HF on board long term. The good news is, if we have a year like UCF and beat the crap out of every team by 40 and win our 2-3 mediocre P5 games in the mix - a playoff spot is achievable ( with some outside help) Then the fans will start clamoring for a BYU / ND type schedule and we will still probably have to go through the Tyndal 23 Plan of 7 road games to get there. Getting a playoff spot suddenly“ won’t be enough” and being able field teams that can actually win a NC will be the new goal. All good by me, the 12 team playoff forces our hand and should eliminate the “we want to be a top G5 equivalent “ talk.
#628715
cruzan_flame13 wrote: July 13th, 2021, 11:35 pm At this point, I'm only hoping for a better home for basketball (and other Olympic sports)). Of course that has been said already and the available options may be slim.
In reality, if we stay in ASUN for another 10 years, does that really hinder us in those sports from becoming a Gonzaga in hoops or Coastal type NC in baseball or really effect our softball recruiting ? I get the “extra” tourney spots 2 plus bids but is it really that big of a hindrance in recruiting ? Seems like just when you say it would be a slight advantage for hoops - it is the opposite for baseball and softball. I get there is a probably a bigger impact in hoops, but how noticeable is it from a recruiting standpoint if your already making the tourney regularly and having McKay 20 plus win seasons - speaking of G5 leagues of course and not P5.. ASUN just got 2 in on baseball and softball correct?
#628732
So it seems like a resounding “no” from your all’s side. If Marshall had Liberty money then I would probably feel the same way. I’ve always liked Liberty, and admire your administrations Drive to be the best.

One thing that I would throw out there is that a new conference would most likely be a nice upgrade for your Olympic sports. Charlotte, ODU, WKU, and Marshall in basketball is not bad. Also, soccer with our National Championship program along with Charlotte who is pretty good as well.

I think conference membership provides stability and is a great way to build rivalries among programs within close proximity. With the new playoff taking place in 2023 and a auto bid going to the highest ranked G5 conference champion then it would be another incentive.

I was thinking something along the lines of the following, where you are only required to play 6 conference games and the other 6 you are free to schedule as an independent:

East
Marshall
Liberty
ODU
Charlotte
James Madison

West
La Tech
UAB
Southern Miss
WKU
MTSU
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#628737
LU 57 wrote: July 14th, 2021, 8:48 am I actually like the idea of a return to regional conferences and believe what you laid out is a meaningful uptick to the ASUN. Not sure how feasible it is though.

Weird how quiet it has been on the realignment front generally.
Thanks! Yeah the whole feasibility thing has me scratching my head as well. I had thought that if the MEAC loses another team then we could scoop up that conference, rebrand it, and gain all of their NCAA credits without having to follow the rules of schools having to have 7 consecutive years of membership together to keep the credits.

The only way this would work is if Liberty wanted to do it. You all are the only ones with enough cash and aggressiveness to pull it off. Then you question what’s in it for Liberty? Well, I really do not know outside of better access to the CFP and some better competition in Olympic sports.

This is all a great hope from my POV. I fully realize there is a 99.9% chance it’ll never happen as I have laid out. However, maybe it could come to fruition in a different looking form. Either way, good luck on the upcoming season. I’ll be cheering for you all as my second favorite team from now on.
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#628738
We should not be lumped in with ODU, Charlotte, JMU and other such schools. Our dreams and visions should be much higher. These schools bring nothing to the table.
Of all the schools recently mentioned in this thread, only Marshall intrigues me.

Speaking of scheduling, I have seen the unofficial softball schedule for 2022. Lots of ACC and Big 10 schools on it. I do believe at least one B10 school will be visiting Liberty. RPI should be good again.
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