Ill flame wrote: ↑September 21st, 2021, 4:29 pm
Where is all this Pac 12 expansion talk coming from? Didn't they already announce in no uncertain terms they won't be expanding?
They announced that they would not be expanding right now. It was clear that their new commish wanted TCU & Houston but he couldn't get enough votes at that stage to invite them in. Much like the Big XII, the West Coasters left it hanging that they did not rule out expansion moving forward. It would just have to be the right fit.
Let the record show that I am not lobbying on behalf of CUSA, but I do feel there is value in assessing it as a potential option over our current Indy/ASUN situation. Let's start with the current league lineup that commissioner Judy MacLeod leads:
I think we can all agree that it is a mess. Mismatched programs and geography. But let's start clicking through the rumored next dominoes that could fall:
The expectation that the AAC will take Air Force & Colorado State with two other schools seems to be a consensus. One of those two other schools is most likely to be UAB. Then the questions becomes which school fills that final slot. Most pundits seem to be pointing toward either Rice, UTSA or FAU.
The next conference that will respond is expected to be the Mountain West after losing their Colorado members. The general consensus seems to be that the school will mak a move to Texas where the population growth and potential recruits are located. The question becomes do they take just two to replace their losses or go all in with a four school group. Since SMU is holding out for the next Big XII expansion along with Mmphis, the MWC would likely be targeting UTEP, UNT, Rice & UTSA (and possibly Texas State from Sun Belt if any of their preferred choices passed).
Recognizing a grand opportunity to upgrade within their footprint, the Belt is rumored to coveting USM and potentially LaTech. Southern Miss seems like a lock if the Belt decides to add a pair. LaTech has always felt above their cousins in Lafayette and wanted to be in a league above them as well as lowly ULM. Recognizing that they have nowhere to move up and without access to Texas they might relent and "lower" themselves into the Belt. Every scenario indicates that the non-football Belt schools are moving along so LaTech's connections to DFW & Little Rock will also vanish. In other words, they would be on an island is left in CUSA . That likely would be enough to push them to the Belt.
In other words, if all of these hypotheticals were to come to pass, then suddenly you begin to see an Appalachian conference begin to emerge with a Florida school or two along for the ride:
Suddenly it becomes easier to envision Liberty in the middle of that geography with driveable road games from Lynchburg aplenty. And what if the regional nature of this league were enough to attract App State & Coastal (or even JMU) to join in on the fun?
Now a slew of hypotheticals would have to fall into place for this to be a potential scenario. But it is not crazy talk at this stage. Then the followup question would be whether or not this CUSA 3.0 would be attractive enough for us to give up independence and ASUN auto bids? I think that is a legitimate discussion.