paradox wrote: ↑September 17th, 2021, 10:05 am
Not really sure what Ian means by Mid-Atlantic. But, I'm guessing, he's using the term loosely. I'll take a hypothetical stab at this. Buffalo, Army, Navy, Temple, UConn, UMass in a north division. And Marshall, LU, ODU, Charlotte, ECU, App State in a south division. I guess, he's saying that only a hypothetical such as this would interest him at this point in time. And a conference like this would make too much sense, which means it will probably never happen.
All this to say, we're in a solid position right now. Ian has done an outstanding job scheduling football as an Indy. And the ASUN has been a significant upgrade for basketball.
The idea Ian is referring to is one that is now being floated around by the national writers, and it is something ODU AD Selig Wood promoted when he spoke with the Harrisonburg Daily News-Record back in August.
Here is the framework of the idea:
The AAC, Sun Belt and C-USA all share geographical footprints, which means more travel for everyone involved. So, in Ian's mind (this is me speculating since I haven't spoken with him at length about this yet) and based on what national writers are suggesting, you take the three G5 conferences and realign them to better fit. For this purpose, the MAC and MWC are not getting touched.
I'll use the example Harrisonburg felt would work (these conference names could obviously remain as AAC, Sun Belt and C-USA, but they were remained for geographical purposes):
East Coast Conference -- Temple, Navy (football only), Marshall, James Madison, Liberty, Old Dominion, Appalachian State, East Carolina, Charlotte, Coastal Carolina, Georgia State, Georgia Southern
Deep South Conference -- Memphis, Middle Tennessee, Western Kentucky, UAB, Troy, South Alabama, Southern Miss, Louisiana Tech, USF, FAU, FIU
Gulf West Conference -- Arkansas State, Louisiana-Monroe, Louisiana-Lafayette, Tulane, Tulsa, North Texas, SMU, Rice, Texas State, UTSA, UTEP, New Mexico State (football only)
That gives two of the three conferences 12 members for football. The next step would be figuring out where Wichita State, Arkansas Little Rock and Texas Arlington go. Little Rock and UTA can obviously go in the Gulf West, while Wichita may be better served to go to the Big East (would make most logical sense to give Creighton a travel partner and add another strong basketball school).
From a market standpoint, each league would have several major ones. And if there is an alliance in scheduling, Liberty getting to see Memphis, UAB, Louisiana and SMU on a rotational basis wouldn't be a bad thing at all. Plus, an 8-game league schedule would allow Liberty to keep its future ACC games and the future Big 12 matchup with UCF in 2024.