With the powerhouses of FIU, NMSU, and UTEP in the league, we probably shouldn’t be casting stones.
In football, the Sun Belt is ahead of CUSA.
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When your top team in the East gets beat by a 4-4 conference record team in CUSA does make the conference look like a powerhouse. Then you add the current members GaSo, Ark State, ULM, troy state, USA and Tx State to the new powerhouse members USM and ODU. It is a quite impressive list of schools with losing records.
Post by Whup Em All on Mar 30, 2022 11:26:48 GMT -6
No casting stones here. The Sun Belt is better than CUSA in football, but only by a little. I don't have the numbers in front of me at the moment, but when I compared this season's Sagarin ratings between the post-realignment American, SBC, and CUSA conferences, while CUSA was at the bottom, it wasn't by a lot. The average Predictor ratings put CUSA only about a field goal behind the Belt. That's close enough to call it even.
CUSA fared *FAR* better in basketball. The new Sun Belt is even worse in hoops than the old Sun Belt. Their highest ranked team wouldn't be in the Top 5 in the new CUSA.
The only sport where the Sun Belt is clearly better than CUSA (again, looking at post-realignment rankings) is baseball. CUSA is good. The Sun Belt is outstanding. We have some work to do in this department.
This is a fairly important tidbit at the end of that Brett McMurphy article:
To combat its losses, Conference USA, in turn, is adding Liberty, Jacksonville State, New Mexico State and Sam Houston State to its league in 2023.
C-USA also considered adding Tarleton State and Eastern Kentucky. In March, at the conference basketball tournament, C-USA presidents heard formal presentations from both schools, but the league decided not to add either at this time, sources said.
No mention of SFA or Kennesaw. (And to no one's surprise, no mention of UTC. That new SoCon exit fee has killed their FBS dreams.)
If (as I suspect) CUSA is waiting a year (maybe 2) to allow JSU and SHSU to progress in their transition (and allow Tarleton to become a full D-I member) before taking on another set of FCS programs, then we'd wind up with this group in the next round:
EAST (6) FIU Liberty EKU WKU MTSU JSU
WEST (5) La Tech SHSU Tarleton UTEP NMSU
(In baseball, Dallas Baptist replaces UTEP, which doesn't field a baseball team.)
It's getting there. I'd still like to add SFA to further strengthen men's basketball and add another reasonably solid football team.
The only way KSU is getting in is if someone leaves, unfortunately. If I could choose the team that has to go, it'd be FIU. But all signs point to WKU as the team with its foot out the door. Regardless, it's not going to happen until the next big realignment. That could be next year, or it could be 5 years from now. Seriously... no one knows.
On a side note, the AAC bound men’s soccer programs will join the AAC for that sport this fall. FIU will join the AAC as an affiliate. That leaves Liberty, who I suppose will stay in the ASUN for men’s soccer.
Maybe FIU will make friends there and will get a call next time they have an opening.
Would think that CUSA would like to go from 9 to 12. So my guess is that CUSA is trying to find the 12th school.
Hopefully the 12th school is west of JSU. As I remember it, UTC voted for the increase in exit fee.
Re: 12 schools - I agree that 12 is the ultimate target. EKU and KSU are the best eastern options. I don't see NCAT wanting in now that they're CAA bound. Out west, there's SFA and a whole lot of lesser options. A lot of people are high on Mo State, but I just don't get the attraction. They don't really solve any geographic issues, and their fans, at least, don't seem at all interested in CUSA. Tarleton's probably the best of the rest, which could explain the conference's interest. UCA, McNeese, and SELA have a lot of work to do to make themselves attractive to an FBS conference.
Re: UTC and the exit fee - From what I understand, they did, in fact, vote for the increase. If that's not a signal of their long-term intentions, I don't know what is.