I agree Georgia Southern needs to stay where it's at. Moving up is not all that it's cracked up to be. Better to dominate FCS than become an afterthought in FBS.
flowmaster. I understand your point, but Georgia Southern is considered an "entry level applicant." While CUSA has taken entry level schools, the Big East has never done so.
The two entry-schools that CUSA has taken have the advantage of being in larger media markets than Southern, and media markets appear to be valued highly (this explains part of the reason that Tulane-bad football school in New Orleans-was gobbled up by the Big East).
Georgia Southern must also look at whether a conference is a fit for all their sports. Southern's football team might only have to travel once every other year to UConn or Cincy, but the basketball, tennis, softball, etc. teams must make that trip every year. CUSA would involve longer trips well.
Facilities and athletic budget also play a part in conference affiliation. Our facilities (if we enlarge football and re-do Hanner)and our budget fit more closely with the Sun Belt Conference than with either CUSA or Big East schools.
If we wish to ascend into the ranks of FBS football, the Sun Belt is the most expedient way. Should it be our ultimate and final goal? Of course not.
We're Georgia Southern; we're supposed to win. We just need to get a shot, and Sun Belt is it.
spellbound, adding Georgia Southern and App St would certainly improve the Sun Belt. So one could say the Sun Belt is an up and coming conference. But according to their own statement the Sun Belt is also considering James Madison in Virgina, Delaware, Idaho and New Mexico St so if they add any of those schools wouldn't travel be just about as far?
Look Western Kentucky, Troy, Arkansas St and ULL are all pretty good teams so adding GSU and App St could mean up to 6 teams in bowl games in the near future. No way Sun Belt will pass this up.
wwwhunter, good point on the other names. Idaho is currently w/o a football conference; their Olympic sports are in the Big Sky, and they are being considered for football only=minimal trips. New Mex St is being considered because Tex St. is currently an outlier, and Texas is an important state for recruiting and exposure. Sun Belt might not want them to consider moving to another conference. New Mex St. is also appealing to the Louisiana schools and is a much needed moderately strong basketball program. The other advantage that Idaho and NMSU have is that they are already FBS teams and would not have to go through the NCAA mandated transition period. They would count immediately as FBS teams if the conference dips below eight football members. Message board talk has mentioned Delaware and James Madison, but I believe D. is more interested in the MAC, and with a brand new president, JMU has not made an official or public statement of a desire to move up. Could they? Both have the facilities and budgets to fit in, but they would expand the conference's footprint north. I think public announcements might not occur until after the Big East and CUSA decide whether to invite new members. These moves would involve the Sun Belt losing a member to CUSA in this game of musical chairs. Again, the Sun Belt is not an end move, it would be the first step in a new positioning.
My bad spellbound I read the list of schools being considered this week from the Sun Belt news site and figured they would know what they were talking about. Still I stand by my statement that GSU and App St would be an improvement to the Sun Belt.
But what happens when the FBS as we know it limits access to the national championship playoff (which will grow to 8, 12 or 16 teams in time) to members of the Super Conferences that are now coalescing?
Mid-major conferences will be frozen out, effectively re-drawing the line originally used in 1978 to separate I-A and I-AA. I agree Georgia Southern needs to remain in college football's second tier, but what happens when that tier is above the one in which GSU currently resides?
So, yeah. I'm pro-move. (And I haven't always been...)
Scot I agree Georgia Southern needs to move up but my point is that the Sun Belt may not be the best choice. For now maybe it is but personally I feel C-USA would offer the best opportunities for the future. Maybe C-USA is not interested and I understand that we have to be invited but I just hope this would not be our final home.
@Flowmaster: GSU would be better served playing in a geographically-friendly conference (although the Sun Belt has some wonky ideas about geography, if the reports are to be believed). So for a move up while GSU acclimates to the next level, the Sun Belt may be a nice landing spot.
Again, I have come to this position from a different, opposite stance in the recent past.
Scott you do realize C-USA is made up of southeastern teams from Texas to Florida and north to West Virginia. It would be no worse geographically than the Sun Belt but with much more respected members.
Yeah, Conference USA has a bunch of traditional rivals like Middle Tenn St, Marshall and Florida International. Plus new ones like Old Dominion and I hear WKU is heading that way so I know our fans would much more like to see those team visit Statesboro than South Alabama or that crap fest Georgia State. Of course the competition would be much better so we would probably be in for a few losing seasons moving there!
Flowmaster & watchpig I agree that C-USA seems to be the better overall conference but did they invite us? If the Sun Belt invites us we should take it. The Sun Belt has some good teams and GSU and App St will make it better so I say onward and upward!