Realignment Du Jour

Discussions about all Other Portland State Sports go in here.
Post Reply
User avatar
Pounder
Posts: 763
Joined: August 18th, 2006, 4:44 pm
Location: Amongst All The Green

Realignment Du Jour

Post by Pounder » March 13th, 2018, 11:30 am

Interview (without the apparent Qs and As, perhaps) with the deputy commissioner of the Big Sky.

http://www.standard.net/Basketball/2018 ... -expansion

So now it's time to discuss the general trends and how it affects the Big Sky.

20 basketball conference games is a thing because the major conferences are announcing or planning to do the same. The number of exposure/money games will go down, so the Big Sky pretty much has to follow suit. This is a problem for the Big Sky because of already low visibility... but that also informs why Gonzaga is considering the Mountain West at this point. Gonzaga will probably bring a touch of ESPN with them to enhance Mountain West exposure; the current WCC has perhaps four watchable games per year.

Continuing on this vein... there's talk about "regionalization" realignments because the Sun Belt and C-USA cover the same territory and schools are burdened with the costs of travel and the increasing sensibility towards study time for student athletes.

(On a side note, that makes you wonder if the WCC could be broken up. That could make things interesting out west to say the least. But anyone see that happening? Probably not. There's still too much fit among those schools.)

I expect the Big Sky to downplay any talk of a split while Idaho just barely conceals their promotion of it. The key issue for football is obvious... all the schools in the northern half benefit from Montana. A question: can a handful of southern-based regional schools be persuaded to start (or bring back) football, or move up from D2? Then, can NAU/Poly/Sac/Davis/maybe Southern Utah be persuaded to go their own way? Would that be a good idea? The bad news: the most likely schools to move up are probably in Colorado... and I kind of suspect Northern Colorado prefers staying where it is. They'd need Azusa Pacific to get out of D2, almost certainly. You'd think Grand Canyon could be drawn in, but they seem more ambitious than to get with that group.

But before I say "there we are," gotta walk back to the regionalization issue. It's noted now with the Mountain West and it's hinted at in the south and it needs to be mentioned. That paragraph about football I wrote is about survival... plus kind of how the Big Sky is unwieldly in its current structure. The point: the moves you are about to see being made will be about basketball instead of football. Only the P5 conferences have the juice to really make money off football anymore. Still, out west, I doubt that means any conference is about to go after Weber State. Still, keeping an ear to the ground (as the interview states) is always necessary.

bigskyconf
Posts: 1497
Joined: September 6th, 2014, 4:09 pm
Favorite School: portland state

Re: Realignment Du Jour

Post by bigskyconf » March 13th, 2018, 6:37 pm

Sometimes I think you posts these just to elicit a response from me, then jump all over it. Some things are just too funny (the WCC breaking up? Really?). Truthfully, the Big Sky corrected two things from Fullerton's fallacy that should never have happened in the first place, 1) that Idaho should never have left the conference, and 2) that North Dakota be allowed to join. Both of those things needed to be corrected (and both were). As other conferences seek to get better (or as you put it, "regionalize"), the Big Sky should listen, but not expand just to expand. If there is another school out there that wants to come in to the Big Sky, and by doing that both parties improve, than the conference should listen. I don't see Azusa as an option as the Big Sky has already tried entering the LA market and was met with a big thud (thanks, Northridge). The next issue is what to do with Poly and Davis, as the Big Sky was much better as creating a buzz when all the schools played football and basketball in the conference. I think there will be an ultimatum given to those two to either move their basketball teams in to the Big Sky, or take their football and leave (literally). Also, contrary to what Griz fans may think, Montana football in the Big Sky is nowhere near the level of Gonzaga basketball in the WCC. Montana football does not dominate the conference like Gonzaga basketball does in the WCC. The reason why other teams in the conference want to play Montana has nothing to do with the team, but more so with the fact that their fans travel so a big gate is pretty much guaranteed (as long as the venue does not get switched at the last minute, thanks, Timbers). All conference football teams, even Portland State, have been to the level of Montana and in some cases have exceeded the level that Montana is at. There is no domination by Montana in the Big Sky.

User avatar
martymoose
Moderator
Posts: 4738
Joined: August 20th, 2006, 11:16 am

Re: Realignment Du Jour

Post by martymoose » March 13th, 2018, 7:28 pm

bigskyconf wrote:
March 13th, 2018, 6:37 pm
All conference football teams, even Portland State, have been to the level of Montana and in some cases have exceeded the level that Montana is at. There is no domination by Montana in the Big Sky.
Usually I just sit back and let you guys go at it, but I have to disagree with your statement.

Uh, didn't Montana win twelve straight BSC titles from the late 90s to the 2000s with five national championship games played in that period?

If that isn't domination, I'm not sure what is...

bigskyconf
Posts: 1497
Joined: September 6th, 2014, 4:09 pm
Favorite School: portland state

Re: Realignment Du Jour

Post by bigskyconf » March 13th, 2018, 11:35 pm

martymoose wrote:
March 13th, 2018, 7:28 pm
bigskyconf wrote:
March 13th, 2018, 6:37 pm
All conference football teams, even Portland State, have been to the level of Montana and in some cases have exceeded the level that Montana is at. There is no domination by Montana in the Big Sky.
Usually I just sit back and let you guys go at it, but I have to disagree with your statement.

Uh, didn't Montana win twelve straight BSC titles from the late 90s to the 2000s with five national championship games played in that period?

If that isn't domination, I'm not sure what is...
Half of those were shared titles so I would not call it "domination", and definitely not comparable to Gonzaga basketball in the WCC.

User avatar
Pounder
Posts: 763
Joined: August 18th, 2006, 4:44 pm
Location: Amongst All The Green

Re: Realignment Du Jour

Post by Pounder » March 14th, 2018, 12:12 am

bigskyconf wrote:
March 13th, 2018, 6:37 pm
Also, contrary to what Griz fans may think, Montana football in the Big Sky is nowhere near the level of Gonzaga basketball in the WCC. Montana football does not dominate the conference like Gonzaga basketball does in the WCC. The reason why other teams in the conference want to play Montana has nothing to do with the team, but more so with the fact that their fans travel so a big gate is pretty much guaranteed (as long as the venue does not get switched at the last minute, thanks, Timbers).
The whole attraction TO the current Big Sky is that Montana (and to some degree Montana State) travel well for football. That is more important here than the “shades of dominance” question (and nobody really reaches the level of Gonzaga v WCC). Follow. The. Money. Always.

Read that piece and you might see what Idaho is working at here. I wasn’t advocating that the Big Sky take Azusa Pacific. One possible Idaho goal is to build a split southern conference to get them OFF the schedule and keep the Montanas on it more frequently. It’s not helping Portland State to see the big home game every 4 years instead of every two. But the problem there... I recall a bigger crowd last time Montana was in Hillsboro. It didn’t even sell out this last season.

Moreover, maybe a bigger problem with that scenario... the ideal FCS football conference is probably 8 schools, maybe 9. But now, the ideal basketball conference is at least 11 schools. This may not end well, or it might behoove the Sky to get a bit less traditional and a bit more creative, lest it get left further behind. Meanwhile, there’s going to be movement somewhere at this level, stay tuned.

bigskyconf
Posts: 1497
Joined: September 6th, 2014, 4:09 pm
Favorite School: portland state

Re: Realignment Du Jour

Post by bigskyconf » March 14th, 2018, 11:35 pm

Pounder wrote:
March 14th, 2018, 12:12 am
Read that piece and you might see what Idaho is working at here. I wasn’t advocating that the Big Sky take Azusa Pacific. One possible Idaho goal is to build a split southern conference to get them OFF the schedule and keep the Montanas on it more frequently. It’s not helping Portland State to see the big home game every 4 years instead of every two. But the problem there... I recall a bigger crowd last time Montana was in Hillsboro. It didn’t even sell out this last season.
I did read the piece and what is concerning is no one really knows what was discussed behind closed doors regarding this Idaho situation. It is sad because Idaho was over a barrel with its football team so the conference did not need to promise them anything, yet while the conference is saying they didn't give in, Idaho is saying they did. It seems Idaho wants to pretend the last 20 years did not happen and they are a long-standing member of the Big Sky, that they never thought of themselves as being on a par with Boise and so much better than EWU, Montana and especially Idaho State.

Like the article said, everyone wants to play Montana every year because they travel so well but until a compromise of some sort is worked out, not every one will play Montana every year. What is interesting is that Idaho coming on and getting Montana as a rivalry game, that has caused the EWU/UM game to NOT be a rivalry game, which means that game will be played as often as the PSU/UM game. There has been a bit of an uproar over that, not just in Cheney but in Missoula as well. Just like most schools want to play Montana every year, the Griz want to play EWU every year and now they can't, kind of giving Montana a taste of how the rest of us feel.

It will be interesting to see how this works out. Ironically, the Pac-12 is in pretty much the same boat and they are talking about a possible 9-game conference schedule. Between them, us and the Mountain West (the three main conferences playing D1 football in the Rocky Mountain region) maybe a workable model can be put together.

User avatar
Pounder
Posts: 763
Joined: August 18th, 2006, 4:44 pm
Location: Amongst All The Green

Re: Realignment Du Jour

Post by Pounder » March 26th, 2018, 11:09 am

I was in Spokane Saturday night. A lot of news reports centered on Gonzaga making a conference decision in a couple weeks.

It sounds like BYU is not a consideration here. It DOES sound like the Mountain West 16-school thing is gaining traction (shakes head, really not a good idea). It does sound like UTEP is wedging almost squarely into the rumor mill at this point... which would be a relief for C-USA. If this goes to 16, things could get a little "interesting."

That's the kind of scenario causing the Big Sky and WAC to make an agreement that does the following:

Preserve the WAC autobid and move southern BSC schools to that (though that opens some other questions)...

...and probably creates a "Big Sky Football Conference" so that the "WAC" schools aren't trying to make crazy football decisions. I mean, think Missouri Valley Football Conference as the model, except the Big Sky would probably run the football conference and the northern schools in the "all other sports" conference. That football conference probably involves NO membership changes from the current football alignment.

bigskyconf
Posts: 1497
Joined: September 6th, 2014, 4:09 pm
Favorite School: portland state

Re: Realignment Du Jour

Post by bigskyconf » March 26th, 2018, 6:24 pm

Those interested, here is a link to the CBS Sports story by Dennis Dodd about Gonzaga. Most other stories I've found are from fan boards.

https://www.cbssports.com/college-baske ... two-weeks/

It does not sound like BYU will go, which makes me think too many bridges were burned when they left the MVC in 2010. Many bridges were burned when Idaho had their delusions of grandeur, so many that it took 20 years to heal.

The logical choice to replace Gonzaga would be Seattle U, a Jesuit university with 7000 students and basketball only (no football). But I don't see the WCC keeping such a national profile without Gonzaga, no matter who they get to come in. I also don't see any current Big Sky school considering a move to the WCC without Gonzaga, nor do I think any would get an invite from the WCC. Grand Canyon could possibly move to the WCC as well (20000 on campus students, religious affiliation as Christian, basketball only no football). If both leave the WAC, that puts that conference on really shaky ground. Also, amid rumors of Chicago State possibly closing, things could get interesting in a hurry in the WAC.

User avatar
Pounder
Posts: 763
Joined: August 18th, 2006, 4:44 pm
Location: Amongst All The Green

Re: Realignment Du Jour

Post by Pounder » March 28th, 2018, 10:56 am

The WCC made their counterproposal public. http://www.sandiegouniontribune.com/spo ... story.html

A reduction in conference games when most other conferences are increasing that number seems like getting yourself caught in your trap, no? If there's going to be less of a supply of good games for this conference to pursue, and THEN the conference asks every school to play more home games than away games, isn't that going to push down the RPI for those schools further instead of raise them up?

Not that this will necessarily influence Gonzaga's decision. The screwy thing about the Mountain West, despite being arguably a primarily football conference, is a fair number of the basketball arenas that are larger than Pac-12 venues. UNLV, New Mexico, and Wyoming are larger than anything in the Pac, and Boise, Reno, and San Diego all have arenas larger than the Pac-12 average. However, is the money in the package being offered by the WCC sufficient to overcome the certain increase in attention?

bigskyconf
Posts: 1497
Joined: September 6th, 2014, 4:09 pm
Favorite School: portland state

Re: Realignment Du Jour

Post by bigskyconf » March 28th, 2018, 2:03 pm

Pounder wrote:
March 28th, 2018, 10:56 am
Not that this will necessarily influence Gonzaga's decision. The screwy thing about the Mountain West, despite being arguably a primarily football conference, is a fair number of the basketball arenas that are larger than Pac-12 venues. UNLV, New Mexico, and Wyoming are larger than anything in the Pac, and Boise, Reno, and San Diego all have arenas larger than the Pac-12 average. However, is the money in the package being offered by the WCC sufficient to overcome the certain increase in attention?
Also a fair bit of those schools play at altitude. Even Las Vegas (2200 ft) is higher than Spokane (1500 ft). Laramie (7200 ft) is even higher than Flagstaff (7000 ft). I still don't see how the Mountain West is any "greener" than the WCC regarding the Gonzaga situation (as you said, one thinks Mountain West, one has to think football before basketball). Have the Zags even tried looking at the Pac-12? (they can always say no, but the Zags have advanced just as far or further than any Pac-12 team in March Madness the last few years).

User avatar
Pounder
Posts: 763
Joined: August 18th, 2006, 4:44 pm
Location: Amongst All The Green

Re: Realignment Du Jour

Post by Pounder » March 28th, 2018, 3:43 pm

bigskyconf wrote:
March 28th, 2018, 2:03 pm
Pounder wrote:
March 28th, 2018, 10:56 am
Not that this will necessarily influence Gonzaga's decision. The screwy thing about the Mountain West, despite being arguably a primarily football conference, is a fair number of the basketball arenas that are larger than Pac-12 venues. UNLV, New Mexico, and Wyoming are larger than anything in the Pac, and Boise, Reno, and San Diego all have arenas larger than the Pac-12 average. However, is the money in the package being offered by the WCC sufficient to overcome the certain increase in attention?
Also a fair bit of those schools play at altitude. Even Las Vegas (2200 ft) is higher than Spokane (1500 ft). Laramie (7200 ft) is even higher than Flagstaff (7000 ft). I still don't see how the Mountain West is any "greener" than the WCC regarding the Gonzaga situation (as you said, one thinks Mountain West, one has to think football before basketball). Have the Zags even tried looking at the Pac-12? (they can always say no, but the Zags have advanced just as far or further than any Pac-12 team in March Madness the last few years).
The Pac-12 doesn't think it needs Gonzaga... it already has Washington State. That's pretty much how the Pac-12 thinks. Also, it's state law in Washington that UW and WSU cannot be in separate conferences, so there won't be a trade.

The only school that makes real financial sense, by this thinking, for the Pac-12 to add... Texas.

Texas has been known to consider this, and once came close to making the jump (specifically when Big 12 TV revenues were paltry compared to then Pac-10 revenues). But they didn't. Now Big 12 revenues have risen and there's some rather mad rumbling around the Pac.

Thing is, they're working from a formula based on expanding the footprint rather than eating at it. To a considerable degree, it makes sense... but it has that three-hours-later limitation. IOW, the Big Ten and SEC get all the good TV slots, followed by Kirk Herbstreit shaming Pac-12 fans for complaining about the 7:30 pm timeslots the Pac gets for football.

Shrug.

(Here's kind of a thinking exercise... what if the Pac-12 forgets about Texas despite all the potential "TV eyeballs" and goes a different direction. At the time Texas considered the move, Oklahoma and Oklahoma State were gung-ho about going. The Pac was going to add the Texas AND Oklahoma schools... ended up with just Colorado and Utah instead. Why not Oklahoma... and Kansas?)

VikNut
Posts: 61
Joined: November 6th, 2014, 10:25 am
Favorite School: PSUVikings

Re: Realignment Du Jour

Post by VikNut » March 29th, 2018, 8:06 am

I always thought that having the PAC-12 adding both Oklahoma schools and both Kansas schools was a good idea. Gets footprint closer to Texas hotbed recruiting ground and upgrades both football and basketball. Quality of product is more important than gaining potential eyeballs if those eyeballs aren't actually watching your product.

User avatar
Pounder
Posts: 763
Joined: August 18th, 2006, 4:44 pm
Location: Amongst All The Green

Re: Realignment Du Jour

Post by Pounder » April 3rd, 2018, 10:43 am

http://www.spokesman.com/stories/2018/a ... s-stay/#/0

Gonzaga got the concessions they wanted and are staying... OR (as seems to be the belief in more than a handful of MWC centers) the MWC waved off the Zags. Not that I know how much stock to put into that... it can be hard for public institutions to simply forego revenue they'd otherwise get in order to attract a new school to a conference. You have to believe that the money would be replaced. Maybe ESPN ended up giving a quiet thumbs down.

This doesn't stop putting stress on the WAC. Missouri-Kansas City is still contemplating returning to the Summit (who itself has two more "eastern schools" it could lose) and Chicago State's situation is still very much a situation (at the very least, dropping to D3 could be an option). With Bakersfield already leaving, that bit of a deal with the Big Sky (which has sometimes been rumored) seems more promising.

User avatar
Pounder
Posts: 763
Joined: August 18th, 2006, 4:44 pm
Location: Amongst All The Green

Re: Realignment Du Jour

Post by Pounder » October 30th, 2018, 11:00 am

https://s3.amazonaws.com/sidearm.sites/ ... y_10_1.pdf

Time to get Alan's attention. The link is to Dixie State's study regarding a possible move to D-1... and the WAC. Metro State in Denver also just released something similar, and mentioned the WAC as motivation.

Of course, the WAC is desperate. They're probably about to lose Missouri-Kansas City and Chicago State. Who else did they contact?

If the WAC adds a few schools in certain locations and Portland State drops football, does having a Denver destination and a 1.5-hours-from-Vegas destination help? I mean, maybe not.

However...

Has Central Washington been contacted? Azusa Pacific?

Alan
Posts: 498
Joined: July 27th, 2015, 3:10 pm
Favorite School: OCE

Re: Realignment Du Jour

Post by Alan » October 30th, 2018, 5:04 pm

Pounder wrote:
October 30th, 2018, 11:00 am
https://s3.amazonaws.com/sidearm.sites/ ... y_10_1.pdf

Time to get Alan's attention. The link is to Dixie State's study regarding a possible move to D-1... and the WAC. Metro State in Denver also just released something similar, and mentioned the WAC as motivation.

Of course, the WAC is desperate. They're probably about to lose Missouri-Kansas City and Chicago State. Who else did they contact?

If the WAC adds a few schools in certain locations and Portland State drops football, does having a Denver destination and a 1.5-hours-from-Vegas destination help? I mean, maybe not.

However...

Has Central Washington been contacted? Azusa Pacific?
OMG! Let’s talk “Fantasy Conferences.” I hear the WAC is looking at adding FCS football. If Dixie State went D1, they would be the only football playing school other than FBS New Mexico State. No football conference there.
Now for the “what if” department. Let’s say Weber and S Utah elect to join UVU in the WAC, now we have three FCS football schools. Looking around, what else do we have? Well UC Davis could become an affiliate member for football. Now we have four FCS football schools. How about Cal Poly moving its football program to the WAC. Now we have five. Sacramento State moves their programs and we have six. How about NMSU? Maybe they pull an Idaho and move down. Then we would have seven team FCS WAC.

Wow! That would make an FCS Sky manageable. Maybe we pick up Seattle U in basketball. Fun!

Fantasy, pure fantasy.

10/31/2018 edit: Oh, I forgot NAU. Let's say they move their programs and then FCS WAC has eight members. The Sky is left with PSU, EWU, Idaho, Idaho State, Montana, Montana State, and Seattle U. Six for football and seven for basketball.

User avatar
Pounder
Posts: 763
Joined: August 18th, 2006, 4:44 pm
Location: Amongst All The Green

Re: Realignment Du Jour

Post by Pounder » October 31st, 2018, 11:17 am

Would Dixie State count on being in the WAC for most sports and end up with football parked in, um, the Big Sky? With Southern Utah around, that doesn't seem likely.

Thing is... once the Cal State system finishes off Humboldt State football, could either Sac State or Cal Poly be the next targets? Poly is showing that their soccer rivalry with UC Santa Barbara is more popular than the football program, and Sac would be thoroughly woeful if it weren't for the Causeway Classic.

User avatar
Pounder
Posts: 763
Joined: August 18th, 2006, 4:44 pm
Location: Amongst All The Green

Re: Realignment Du Jour

Post by Pounder » November 1st, 2019, 11:09 am

https://www.bozemandailychronicle.com/s ... hronsports

When an article like this comes out of Montana (which is still pretty much the power center of the conference... pretty much), it makes one think there's something afoot.

Yet... the previous discussion in this thread is a year to 18 months ago. This question is ever-present for, frankly, EVERY conference. What's notable... no followup.

bigskyconf
Posts: 1497
Joined: September 6th, 2014, 4:09 pm
Favorite School: portland state

Re: Realignment Du Jour

Post by bigskyconf » November 1st, 2019, 1:52 pm

Pounder wrote:
November 1st, 2019, 11:09 am
https://www.bozemandailychronicle.com/s ... hronsports

When an article like this comes out of Montana (which is still pretty much the power center of the conference... pretty much), it makes one think there's something afoot.

Yet... the previous discussion in this thread is a year to 18 months ago. This question is ever-present for, frankly, EVERY conference. What's notable... no followup.
There is followup. It is just not unique to the Big Sky. Sports talk radio in Portland is always lamenting the fact that not everyone plays everyone else in the Pac-12 either. Same thing with the Mountain West. With those three conferences not being able to play every conference foe, it leads me to think it is more a Western thing than any certain conference problem (if it is indeed a problem).

User avatar
Pounder
Posts: 763
Joined: August 18th, 2006, 4:44 pm
Location: Amongst All The Green

Re: Realignment Du Jour

Post by Pounder » November 1st, 2019, 3:55 pm

bigskyconf wrote:
November 1st, 2019, 1:52 pm
There is followup. It is just not unique to the Big Sky. Sports talk radio in Portland is always lamenting the fact that not everyone plays everyone else in the Pac-12 either. Same thing with the Mountain West. With those three conferences not being able to play every conference foe, it leads me to think it is more a Western thing than any certain conference problem (if it is indeed a problem).
The followup I'd be looking for is media in Arizona and southern Utah and distant parts of California talking to ADs and mysteriously coming up with ideas and plans (which are planted by the ADs). Screw sports radio. Always screw sports radio.

https://www.denverpost.com/2019/10/30/f ... et-forces/

Meanwhile, I do wonder if all this will matter not far down the road. In the 70s and 80s, there was always talk of "Superconference." With the possibility of player compensation, that seems far more possible now.

Post Reply