Movin' on up....and down (or Bringin' on the Heartbreak)
There are certainly ups and downs in college athletics. Including where schools want to be in terms of the competition. Ever heard of Grand Canyon University? I did, very coincidentally, about six years ago. At that time, it sounded like some sort of online, junior college. Except they're heading for Division 1 sports.
Don’t miss a minute of the exciting journey at GCU to Division I – follow me for exclusive info on Lopes Athletics. We are #LopesRising— Mike Vaught (@GCU_AD) May 6, 2016
And at the other end, the University of Idaho will be dropping from FBS to FCS, the first school to do that. From the CBS Sports story:
The move comes after the Sun Belt Conference exercised an option on March 1 to drop Idaho and New Mexico State from the league and go with a 10-team conference beginning in 2018.
Idaho then had to make a choice where it wanted to continue playing football. The only FBS option was to compete as an independent....Without a conference tie, that option is not financially viable for the school.
Idaho's fate seems to have been sealed when NCAA legislation passed allowing schools to stage championship games with only 10 teams. The Big 12 (with only 10 teams) had sought the legislation as an option if at some point it wanted to play a conference title game.
For the Sun Belt, splitting its revenue 10 ways instead of 12 -- and still entertaining the possibility of a conference championship game -- made it an easy decision to cut loose Idaho and New Mexico State.
Since moving up to FBS -- formally Division I-A -- in 1997, Idaho has had just three winning seasons. It was 4-8 in 2015.
While the move enjoys some support in the community, Idaho will lose its FBS branding -- playing at the highest level of college football. Idaho students fund football to the tune of $127 per semester in their tuition payments.
Did you read that? Student fees fund football with $354 per year per student for 16 sports. I believe at Rutgers students pay about $360 for 22 sports, the entire athletic program....except football and men's hoops.
Which brings up....greed and money (or When Love & Hate Collide)
Yes, everyone's favorite topics when talking about college sports.
Marshall football's Doc Holliday: 'Our problem right now is it's all about greed and money' https://t.co/E7V7ez3wpN— Jason Belzer (@JasonBelzer) May 9, 2016
Marshall head coach Doc Holliday is concerned about the conflicts arising between conferences as the constant push to make (and, in the case of Michigan's Coach Nutjob, spend) money creates tension. And hurts athletes and fans.
"What's happened a lot in the Power 5, you have to be careful with your fanbase," he told SiriusXM College Sports Nation. "There are a lot of conferences out there that aren't good fits for certain schools, because their fans can't (travel). One thing Conference USA has done for Marshall is bring the conference back to us, within driving distance."
Be careful what you wish for.
You may not be crazy about the name but at least it's at home (or Should've Said No)
High Point Solutions Stadium. We hear comments around here that people aren't crazy about the name. That we should get more money for naming rights. That it should be called Rutgers Stadium.
Kim Klement-USA TODAY Sports
Although I would point out that Quinnipiac's hockey facility is the High Point Solutions Arena. But I digress.
Regardless of the name, it is ours and it sits on our campus. The same cannot be said for other schools. UConn's stadium is 17 miles from campus, as is thefrom UCLA. Heinz Field, home of Pitt, is just three miles from campus as the crow flies, but it belongs to the Steelers. And, somewhat amazingly, that fact cost the Panthers a QB.
I said there would be exceptions! (or Two Steps Behind)
I had written that I wasn't going to compare or talk about former opponents who we have left behind. Unless we could really laugh at them. Like here, with Syracuse.
Now, to be fair and honest, Mark Coyle left Syracuse because he had previously worked at Minnesota. And he said the right thing:
"I can't stress enough that I regret the timing. There was one place I was going to leave Syracuse for- that was Minnesota." -AD Mark Coyle— Minnesota Gophers (@GopherSports) May 11, 2016
He only left the Orange **snicker** because Minnesota **snort** was the place **guffaw** he wanted to be.
Losing your AD to Minnesota cannot help Syracuse's self-esteem.— Pat Forde (@YahooForde) May 11, 2016
Do what Jim said (or Pour Some Sugar on Me)
When Rutgers received its invitation to join the Big Ten, everyone was happy. No, joyous. No, ecstatic. Delirious. Yeah, the lifeline had been thrown to us and we grabbed it with all our might. And our Jim Hoffman wrote just how important that was to us.
Records show Houston, Memphis, CSU and UCF have reached out re: Big 12 membership, but BYU hasn't: https://t.co/9gvu66Lzu1— Matt Brown (@MattSBN) May 11, 2016
But the great realignment carousel continues spinning, and in some cases schools are actively seeking new places to reside as noted above. I wonder just how aggressive Rutgers would have been in soliciting new conferences if we hadn't gotten into the Big Ten. I'm thinking not so much. Because....Pat Hobbs wasn't here.
And speaking of making a case for yourself.... (or Armageddon It)
What if Rutgers had needed to seek out another conference? What would it have done, what could it do to get someone's attention? Could it have made the case the way Memphis recently has?
FedEx offering big sponsor $ (including for a Big 12 title game) if Memphis gets an invite https://t.co/mSL4umQs6S— Max Olson (@max_olson) May 10, 2016
Is there an alum out there, or a local firm, that would be willing to do that for Rutgers? Is there enough pride and respect to garner that kind of support? Would J & J kick in? Or Morris Plains-based Honeywell? How about Home Depot, co-founded by Newark and Rutgers' own Bernard Marcus? It's an interesting situation.
Moment of Zen
This is just too cool to pass up....and the reason for the headline and the stretching for sub-headlines.