If roundball is your blood, this is the place to discuss the Flames as they move into the Ritchie McKay era for the 2nd time.

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By Tothehoopyall1
Posts
#651456
I realize no one can predict this but something tells me we will not be in C-USA for very long. I realize we need to take it year by year and we need to do well in C-USA. However, I'm thinking 3-5 years in C-USA but perhaps a change could be even sooner. I know much of this is predicated on what happens with movement in other conferences but...... what are your thoughts/predictions on the timeline and where do you think we end up after C-USA?

BTW-I kind of hope it is NOT the Sun Belt because of how they have treated us. I hope we end up somewhere bigger/better than the Sun Belt.
By tyndal23
Posts
#651457
Tothehoopyall1 wrote: February 3rd, 2023, 12:45 pm I realize no one can predict this but something tells me we will not be in C-USA for very long. I realize we need to take it year by year and we need to do well in C-USA. However, I'm thinking 3-5 years in C-USA but perhaps a change could be even sooner. I know much of this is predicated on what happens with movement in other conferences but...... what are your thoughts/predictions on the timeline and where do you think we end up after C-USA?

BTW-I kind of hope it is NOT the Sun Belt because of how they have treated us. I hope we end up somewhere bigger/better than the Sun Belt.
When another 30 million cable cutters switch to streaming and the philosophy of “ local tv markets” goes out the window. Root for Amazon overpaying and getting a chunk of PAC 12 and have success. Many of us thought that time had already come, but last round of realignment proved different. Success on the field had zero to do with it. The Great Depression part 2 may well make that happen soon...
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By cruzan_flame13
Posts
#651458
Tothehoopyall1 wrote: February 3rd, 2023, 12:45 pm I realize no one can predict this but something tells me we will not be in C-USA for very long. I realize we need to take it year by year and we need to do well in C-USA. However, I'm thinking 3-5 years in C-USA but perhaps a change could be even sooner. I know much of this is predicated on what happens with movement in other conferences but...... what are your thoughts/predictions on the timeline and where do you think we end up after C-USA?

BTW-I kind of hope it is NOT the Sun Belt because of how they have treated us. I hope we end up somewhere bigger/better than the Sun Belt.
You're correct, we can't really say since all the movements of programs to other conferences are not completed. To me the best option moving forward would be the AAC. The AAC may still have Memphis which would help the prestige of the conference. Nonetheless, Memphis is hoping to join a P5, likely the Big XII or the ACC (if they're very desperate in a few years) in a couple years or so since they're plamning on renovating the Liberty Bowl stadium (in hopes to get some interest). The Sun Belt option would basically be a laterall move at best and I'm sure the idea of joining that conference has set sail. So basically it's AAC or nothing in the next 5-10 years. If McKay plus the staff can improve their recruiting and LU frequently makes the ncaa tourney along with the Sweet 16 a couple times, then we may get some looks.
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By Ill flame
Posts
#651459
There's no appetite in the B1G, ACC or SEC to expand for the foreseeable future. The PAC 12 doesn't seem interested in adding G5 schools and watering down their league if at all possible. The big 12 would be willing to add pac 12 schools but no one seems interested in jumping unless they decide the pac 12 us untenable. This means major realignment that would trickle down to us likely won't happen until the B1Gs next tv deal is about ready to expire in 2030. imo that's a good thing because it gives us time to become a R2 and build a better reputation both athletically and academically. I won't pretend to predict where we could end up next because it could go several drastically different directions. The AAC used to be the obvious long term fit for us but I get a feeling that won't be so obvious after the next major round of realignment. You don't have to worry about us ending up in the sunbelt, it's never gonna happen.
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By Tothehoopyall1
Posts
#651461
Ill flame wrote:There's no appetite in the B1G, ACC or SEC to expand for the foreseeable future. The PAC 12 doesn't seem interested in adding G5 schools and watering down their league if at all possible. The big 12 would be willing to add pac 12 schools but no one seems interested in jumping unless they decide the pac 12 us untenable. This means major realignment that would trickle down to us likely won't happen until the B1Gs next tv deal is about ready to expire in 2030. imo that's a good thing because it gives us time to become a R2 and build a better reputation both athletically and academically. I won't pretend to predict where we could end up next because it could go several drastically different directions. The AAC used to be the obvious long term fit for us but I get a feeling that won't be so obvious after the next major round of realignment. You don't have to worry about us ending up in the sunbelt, it's never gonna happen.
Why do yout think we are so detested by the Sun Belt?
By tyndal23
Posts
#651462
Ill flame wrote: February 3rd, 2023, 1:37 pm There's no appetite in the B1G, ACC or SEC to expand for the foreseeable future. The PAC 12 doesn't seem interested in adding G5 schools and watering down their league if at all possible. The big 12 would be willing to add pac 12 schools but no one seems interested in jumping unless they decide the pac 12 us untenable. This means major realignment that would trickle down to us likely won't happen until the B1Gs next tv deal is about ready to expire in 2030. imo that's a good thing because it gives us time to become a R2 and build a better reputation both athletically and academically. I won't pretend to predict where we could end up next because it could go several drastically different directions. The AAC used to be the obvious long term fit for us but I get a feeling that won't be so obvious after the next major round of realignment. You don't have to worry about us ending up in the sunbelt, it's never gonna happen.
I agree, however we are weeks away from knowing if PAC 12 can come to a tv deal. It is tenuous right now OR and WA aren’t about to give GOR beyond 2031 ( when Big 10 deal is up ). I wouldn’t be shocked if Big 12 is able to poach the AZ schools and Utah and force PAC to add SMU / SDSU Boise types until 2031. Big 12 has an elevator clause that allows for more P5 additions ( but not G5 ). However SDSU along with 3 PAC could be interest enough for ESPN to negotiate that in. In short - the corner schools may opt for a sure thing vs waiting to be in an undesirable position in 7-8years. Either way, I think Big 10 ( now that Warren has left ) will sit tight. Hence my Amazon comments above - they alone may be able to keep PAC 12 together near term.
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By LU 57
Posts
#651464
Tothehoopyall1 wrote: February 3rd, 2023, 2:33 pm
Ill flame wrote:There's no appetite in the B1G, ACC or SEC to expand for the foreseeable future. The PAC 12 doesn't seem interested in adding G5 schools and watering down their league if at all possible. The big 12 would be willing to add pac 12 schools but no one seems interested in jumping unless they decide the pac 12 us untenable. This means major realignment that would trickle down to us likely won't happen until the B1Gs next tv deal is about ready to expire in 2030. imo that's a good thing because it gives us time to become a R2 and build a better reputation both athletically and academically. I won't pretend to predict where we could end up next because it could go several drastically different directions. The AAC used to be the obvious long term fit for us but I get a feeling that won't be so obvious after the next major round of realignment. You don't have to worry about us ending up in the sunbelt, it's never gonna happen.
Why do yout think we are so detested by the Sun Belt?
Aside from anti-Christian bigotry, all of those schools are public and do not want to compete with our growing athletic budget.
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By Ill flame
Posts
#651465
LU 57 wrote: February 3rd, 2023, 4:09 pm
Tothehoopyall1 wrote: February 3rd, 2023, 2:33 pm Why do yout think we are so detested by the Sun Belt?
Aside from anti-Christian bigotry, all of those schools are public and do not want to compete with our growing athletic budget.
This. Plus they understand what our aspirations are and know that we will jump at the first opportunity if something better comes along. They are wanting a group of schools that are willing to stay and grow together. Fortunately for them there aren't many in the sunbelt that are desirable to better conferences for various reasons and I think they prefer it that way.
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By Cider Jim
Registration Days Posts
#651468
How about if we win just ONE game in C-USA before we talk about leaving? For crying out loud, the C-USA paint on our football turf isn't even dry yet!
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By Tothehoopyall1
Posts
#651488
Cider Jim wrote: February 3rd, 2023, 11:39 pm How about if we win just ONE game in C-USA before we talk about leaving? For crying out loud, the C-USA paint on our football turf isn't even dry yet!
Thats pretty much the point. The paint may not dry before we are looking for greener pastures. I give it a couple of years.
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By cruzan_flame13
Posts
#651490
Tothehoopyall1 wrote: February 4th, 2023, 3:30 pm
Cider Jim wrote: February 3rd, 2023, 11:39 pm How about if we win just ONE game in C-USA before we talk about leaving? For crying out loud, the C-USA paint on our football turf isn't even dry yet!
Thats pretty much the point. The paint may not dry before we are looking for greener pastures. I give it a couple of years.
I appreciate your optimism.
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By Ill flame
Posts
#651492
Tothehoopyall1 wrote: February 4th, 2023, 3:30 pm
Cider Jim wrote: February 3rd, 2023, 11:39 pm How about if we win just ONE game in C-USA before we talk about leaving? For crying out loud, the C-USA paint on our football turf isn't even dry yet!
Thats pretty much the point. The paint may not dry before we are looking for greener pastures. I give it a couple of years.
It required C-USA being on the brink of folding before they were desperate enough to take us. Let's pump the brakes here. This is our conference for at least 5 years.
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By Kricket
Registration Days Posts
#651535
I think our main focus should be how we put more eyeballs on football (and basketball).

Winning typically does that, but winning alone doesn't make us attractive to bigger conferences. Can we add more value to the TV deals then the average team does in a bigger conference? We certainly can in C-USA but probably not yet in the AAC.

Take it a step further, focus on getting to a playoff in the next few years in football and NCAA tournament runs in basketball. Easier said than done, but that's our best shot in radical growth in the fan base and becoming a national brand.

It sounds cliche but winning takes care of the rest.

Wealthy individuals providing NIL money wouldn't hurt to speed up the process... 8)
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By Ill flame
Posts
#651539
Kricket wrote: February 5th, 2023, 11:51 am I think our main focus should be how we put more eyeballs on football (and basketball).

Winning typically does that, but winning alone doesn't make us attractive to bigger conferences. Can we add more value to the TV deals then the average team does in a bigger conference? We certainly can in C-USA but probably not yet in the AAC.

Take it a step further, focus on getting to a playoff in the next few years in football and NCAA tournament runs in basketball. Easier said than done, but that's our best shot in radical growth in the fan base and becoming a national brand.

It sounds cliche but winning takes care of the rest.

Wealthy individuals providing NIL money wouldn't hurt to speed up the process... 8)
You're not wrong but we are already doing everything we can on the athletics side. We already have top tier G5 coaching staffs, facilities and according to a tweet i saw today, NIL money. With the new C-USA tv contract we will now have much more exposure. What more do you think we should be doing?

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By Kricket
Registration Days Posts
#651543
Ill flame wrote:
Kricket wrote: February 5th, 2023, 11:51 am I think our main focus should be how we put more eyeballs on football (and basketball).

Winning typically does that, but winning alone doesn't make us attractive to bigger conferences. Can we add more value to the TV deals then the average team does in a bigger conference? We certainly can in C-USA but probably not yet in the AAC.

Take it a step further, focus on getting to a playoff in the next few years in football and NCAA tournament runs in basketball. Easier said than done, but that's our best shot in radical growth in the fan base and becoming a national brand.

It sounds cliche but winning takes care of the rest.

Wealthy individuals providing NIL money wouldn't hurt to speed up the process... 8)
You're not wrong but we are already doing everything we can on the athletics side. We already have top tier G5 coaching staffs, facilities and according to a tweet i saw today, NIL money. With the new C-USA tv contract we will now have much more exposure. What more do you think we should be doing?

I have no sense for how well the collective is doing. I hope it is doing great, per the posted tweet. I don't know what's being done to make the collective even more successful so I didn't intend my post to be a criticism of what we are currently doing.

I haven't heard that we have a large commitment to NIL to be P5 competitive. I would say that will be an area we would need to focus on, but again, I have no inside information on how well we're doing on that.

My point is, we can't know how long we will be in C-USA without knowing if we will win in a significant way and grow our fan base. The end destination in mind shouldn't be finding a new conference. We are still growing.

Most fans seem to think if we have money and facilities and we're pretty good, that's enough to go P5. Why should those conferences care how good our facilities are? Even if we have a great season or two, why should they care? Do we bring eyeballs? Do we bring more eyeballs than their current teams do? If not, why should they want us?

How can we increase our fan base is a more interesting question. Outside of winning, what can we do to increase the size of our fan base? Is there a case study for this? Is it similar to building brand loyalty in any business? Idk, but I'd be interested to see if there is a model to emulate.
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By Ill flame
Posts
#651546
Kricket wrote: February 5th, 2023, 4:14 pm
How can we increase our fan base is a more interesting question. Outside of winning, what can we do to increase the size of our fan base? Is there a case study for this? Is it similar to building brand loyalty in any business? Idk, but I'd be interested to see if there is a model to emulate.
Increasing on campus enrollment is the simplest answer. If we increase enrollment to 30,000 we would be graduating approximately 37,500 MORE students every 10 years. An enrollment of 50,000 would bump that number up to about 87,500 more graduates over that time. That adds up after awhile. There's no coincidence that the big ten has the best tv ratings and also has the schools with the biggest enrollment even if they end up moving across the country.
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By Sly Fox
Registration Days Posts
#651547
Just having a large student body or even alumni base is not the end all be all. I look at schools near me like Texas State with residential enrollment pushing 40k at their main campus and the students themselves typically identify as Longhorn or Aggie fans. Ditto for UT Arlington.

Sustained winning can turn some of our LU Online folks into legitimate fans down the road. But patience has never been a realized virtue on the mountain.

I find it interesting that back in my day most of the student body came from a broader portion of America than it does today, Without the OTGH beaming into all three channels every Sunday morning we have lost the name recognition beyond the East Coast and a few diehard sports fans. And sadly most who have heard of us think we are Univ of Phoenix or Southern New Hampshire. We have primarily marketed to sell LU Online the past decade or so which has been fabulous for our coffers. But we need to at some point focus on selling our broader LU brand.

Back to the original question ... I suspect we will be there for awhile unless massive realignment occurs in college sports. And the ACC GOR doesn't run our for another dozen years. So get comfy and enjoy the ride. It wasn't that long ago we were still sitting in the Big South.
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By Ill flame
Posts
#651552
You make a valid point about the issues commuter schools have. Fortunately LU does a great job of getting the residential students to care even if they also support other teams. As long as we don't grow to the point where we become a commuter school I don't think it'll be an issue
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By Tnobes
Posts
#651556
Sly Fox wrote: February 5th, 2023, 5:25 pm Just having a large student body or even alumni base is not the end all be all. I look at schools near me like Texas State with residential enrollment pushing 40k at their main campus and the students themselves typically identify as Longhorn or Aggie fans. Ditto for UT Arlington.

Sustained winning can turn some of our LU Online folks into legitimate fans down the road. But patience has never been a realized virtue on the mountain.

I find it interesting that back in my day most of the student body came from a broader portion of America than it does today, Without the OTGH beaming into all three channels every Sunday morning we have lost the name recognition beyond the East Coast and a few diehard sports fans. And sadly most who have heard of us think we are Univ of Phoenix or Southern New Hampshire. We have primarily marketed to sell LU Online the past decade or so which has been fabulous for our coffers. But we need to at some point focus on selling our broader LU brand.

Back to the original question ... I suspect we will be there for awhile unless massive realignment occurs in college sports. And the ACC GOR doesn't run our for another dozen years. So get comfy and enjoy the ride. It wasn't that long ago we were still sitting in the Big South.
The vast majority of people graduating from a university couldn't care less about the schools athletics. If you walked around the university of Minnesota, 90% of the students could not give you the teams record or name more than 2 players on any given team. I've never been to Mississippi and have no connection to Mississippi State but I would call them my "team".
By ATrain
Registration Days Posts
#651638
ODU and VCU both have pretty big alumni and on-campus fanbases, as does JMU. Those schools have also been around a lot longer than LU, and all three have had greater postseason success than LU. It also wasn't that long ago that they were all in the same conference together, which allowed rivalries to develop.

Our current on-campus size is good enough to build that base. We just need to win baby, win. And win consistently, in both the regular season and postseason.
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By Tothehoopyall1
Posts
#651658
A couple of questions about fan base.

1- How do we define fan base? Those that actually attend? Those that give? Those that watch on TV or online? I guess it is all the above.
2- One disappintment I have is that sometimes it seems like there is less interest these days among faculty/staff in LU sports. I can remember when we were in the Big South having more participation in tailgaiting etc than we do now (speaking from the department I work in) I work in Demoss on a hall with 20-25 people. I am the only one who attends basketball/football events. 75% of them would not know who Darius Mcgee or Malik Willis if I held up a picture and asked them to guess. I can't have any sports discussions becasue there is simply almost zero interest. This needs to change, but how?
3- Liberty is in Lynchburg (population 90,000). How can we increase the fan base here? Can you imagine if Liberty were in Atlanta? The fan base discussion probably wouldn't be happening.
4- What can be done to get some of these faculty/staff to games?
5- A fan base concern with the night game format in C-USA- The family beside me this past season in Williams Stadium (Football Season ticket holders) drove up from the other side of Greensboro. I am sure they probably will not be buying season tickets this coming year. I hope I am wrong but it seems like it could be challenging for folks like this.
Thoughts??
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By Purple Haize
Registration Days Posts
#651660
I’m actually OK with the Academic side of the University not being big followers of the Athletic teams. That’s true pretty much anywhere honestly. It was true at WVU and I’m sure if Marshall had academics it would be true there too. Right @Cider Jim ?

The Lynchburg community still has a Love/Hate relationship with the University. There’s a not insignificant number of folks who would be really happy if LU didn’t exist. As more and more folks graduate and stay in the area that may change but it will take time.
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