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FCS Conference Scheduling Alliances - Would they work?


LUSportsFan

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I'm seeing more and more reports of the "big boys" (including some of the G5 programs now) not wanting to schedule FCS programs in the future. The latest round is from some of the SEC programs. Just wondering if a conference scheduling alliance among the SLC and some of the other FCS conferences might be an alternative.

 

Would a scheduling alliance help soften some of the blow if the "money game" opportunity dries up?

 

Conferences I think would be great to align with would be the Big Sky, Southern, Ohio Valley Conference, Missouri Valley Football Conference, SWAC, MEAC, and maybe the Colonial and the Big South. The alliance could be set up such that teams within a particular conference would rotate home and away games with aligned conferences. Below are some of the advantages and disadvantages as I see them.

 

Advantages:

1. Scheduling stability

2. Upgrade the home schedule; particularly for the western FCS conferences like the SLC.

3. Fans would get an opportunity to see new teams.

 

Disadvantages:

1. Possible increase in travel costs; but that would be on both sides.

2. Would probably pass some of the pain down to the sub D-1 programs. I'm sure those programs need their version of the "money game" as much as we do.

 

Our out of conference issues will diminish as we move to the nine game conference schedule. That will still leave us 2 and sometimes 3 games to fill. If the FBS "body bag" game is no longer available, that could end up with a home schedule with a bunch of sub D-1 schools.

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I think its a no brainer especially if fbs schools do away with playing fcs.home/home balance the travel costs.i also think the years that sfa/lamar,sam/lamar,etc. aren't playing a conf game they should play a non conference game.

 

When the new schedule format came out I remember posters saying we should play the SLC schools as non-conference games when they weren't on our conference schedule...my question is would the SLC even allow that?...to my knowledge I can't remember ever seeing 2 members of the same conference playing in a non-conference game setting. But honestly I'd rather see a scenario where we could make an agreement with another FCS conference and have a rotating schedule playing different opponents from that conference...of course we'd probably get stuck with the SWAC for geographic reasons an wouldn't get much from it...

 

Edit: After doing a little research I see where the B1G and ACC started throwing this idea around a couple weeks ago at their respective spring meetings

 

http://collegefootballtalk.nbcsports.com/2014/05/14/acc-and-big-ten-discussing-playing-non-conference-games-against-conference-opponents/

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Would they work? I think, yes. Personally, i think we should not play money games at all. I think they go against what Lamar is about or should be about. Being killed by a high profile team for cash gives negative publicity to the school. Is negative publicity better than no publicity? IMO the answer is no. Ok, the admin brings in money by playing these games. That means nothing to me. I would like to see competitive games when i go watch the games. The real issue to me goes back to the leaderships mission statement and the solution lies pretty deep i think. Who are we trying to attract? What are we trying to accomplish? For example, If the coaches handle all the scheduling and we base their worth or value on number of wins and we make them play a money game that they have little chance to win, then Expect sub d1 games also, ie. the environment is structured so that no one will be interested in non conference games. In response directly to your question, i think we we should schedule alliances and we should drop the money game now, and thus make people want to come watch games that have the potential to be competitive. If i was in charge and i wanted to get me to buy season tickets, this is what i would do if it were 1. Possible and 2. Feasible. I dont know the financial factors. I used to think that winning was the only way to increase fan support. I think that to be incorrect now. I think the goal should be to create an environment conducive to success. And not success as the end all be all. Creating the environment where we could have a better schedule would be a step in the right direction .
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I think an alliance would be a good thing. If FBS schools want to exclude FCS schools from their schedule fine. I'm not a big SEC fan anyway and if TAMU wasn't in the SEC I would be an SEC fan at all. It figures that conference is leading the way in this matter. I have no doubt it's a direct result of their SEC Channel being launched. There's too much at stake to put an FCS laugher on. Nobody but the school playing the FCS team is going to give a crap enough to watch. I'm for an alliance and with a long conference schedule you won't have to worry about filling too many holes in your schedule.

As for playing conference opponents as a non-conference game this idea seems preposterous to me. They're in your conference and you play them it's a conference game. If you schedule conference opponents it is a conference game no ifs ands or buts. You could conceivably have an all conference schedule. Would that be such a bad thing?

As for that SEC Network thing...that's what should have happened when Texas cut a TV deal for themselves but the Longhorns were selfish and it cost the Big 12 several schools and diminished the conference as a result. If a Big 12 Network had been created it would have shared a big revenue for the whole conference and it's not like Texas is hurting for cash. If that deal had gone down then Nebraska, Colorado, Texas A&M and Missouri would still be in the Big 12 and teams like Oklahoma and Oklahoma State wouldn't be considering bailing out to the PAC 12. Thanks Texas, really appreciate that me-first attitude.

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I read that Nick Saban wants the big 5 conferences to only play teams from the other big 5 conferences, which not excludes FCS schools but would exclude teams from the Mountain West, CUSA, etc. too. There's even talk that if the big schools don't get more freedom they'll break away from the NCAA. Talk like this has made me pretty agnostic about Lamar moving to the Sun Belt because it's becoming the big 5 conferences and everyone else.

 

As far as the FCS is concerned and Lamar in particular, with 3 non-D1 teams on the schedule this year, I'm not sure how anyone can get excited about those games. It appears Woodard is choosing between beating up on crappy teams instead of losing to good teams. IMHO neither option will put fans in the seats. Maybe start the season against D2 team, the way a FBS team plays one FCS team, but play the best FCS teams possible.

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What I've been hearing up here in Austin is that the super conferences (Big 12, Big 10, PAC 12, ACC, and AAC) wants to form a super conference separate from the NCAA and shut out the Sun Belts WACs and other lesser FBS conferences. This would include all sports; so it would affect basketball and baseball as well. The 'money games' from the Big 5 conferences will be a thing of the past. It's all about money - for themselves.
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