- Big XII: who knows what they are doing…they were supposed to make a decision before now on expansion. We all lived through the reports of the interviews, and now we are reading about teams being subject to the whims of Oklahoma. The weirdest tidbit lately was Nebraska’s AD opining on how happy they are in the Big 10 to counter rumors they want to move back to the Big XII (https://www.yahoo.com/sports/m/5fba3142-8896-314f-9a5f-9e0be0500648/ss_nebraska-ad-says-school-is.html). Well I guess that makes as much sense as some Big XII schools not wanting Houston in the conference because they are too strong. The Big XII is a mess. Good luck to whichever team gets sentenced...I meant invited into it.
- My Analysis of Potential G5 Conference Mates: before the season started, I did a personal analysis of the American, C-USA and MAC for the purpose of trying to figure out which conference makes the most sense to me. In other words, instead of looking at which conference had the most prestige, I looked at it from the perspective of which teams I would enjoy seeing the Herd play. Whatever, the dysfunctional Big XII ultimately decides to do, I don’t think it is outside the realm of options that most of the G5 conferences do some reshuffling. Along those lines, here is my analysis of the teams in the American, C-USA and MAC: Teams that Are Strong Rivals: WKU, Miami, Toledo, UCF, Ohio and ECU (American-2, C-USA 1; MAC 4). Strong Conference Mates, but Not Rivals: LaTech, Rice, Southern Miss, BUGS, Western Michigan, Northern Illinois, UC, Houston, Navy (American-3, C-USA-3, MAC 3). Teams that Don’t Hurt, but I Could Care Less About: Middle Tenn, ODU, UTEP, Akron, Buffalo, Kent, Ball State, Central Michigan, UConn, USF, Temple, Memphis, SMU, Tulane, Tulsa (American-8, C-USA-3, MAC-5) Teams We Need to Get Away From: UAB, FAU, FIU, Charlotte, North Texas, UTSA, Eastern Michigan (American 0; C-USA-6; MAC-1). So stripping away peer budgets and whether they play games during the week or not, my personal analysis of the teams shows that my preference is for us to be in either the AAC or the MAC.
- C-USA’s Threats from the West: Rice, LaTech, UTEP, UTSA are all candidates to be picked up by either the AAC (if they lose teams to the MWC) or the MWC itself. Over the last couple of months we have seen scenarios under which the AAC loses some of its western teams to the MWC, namely SMU, Tulane and Tulsa (See, http://www.sltrib.com/sports/4311746-155/mountain-west-commissioner-says-expansion-is). And the Texas C-USA schools fill in those gaps. If either of those happen, C-USA would end up being very weak.
- I want to be in a conference with WKU: I don’t think it’s a secret that many of us aren’t big fans of WKU and their spawn of HR Puffinstuff mascot. To their credit, they have shown up in C-USA just like we did in the MAC with swagger and solid wins. So no matter where we end up, I would like to keep playing them.
- UCF: I also miss playing UCF. I never liked UCF, but I sure did enjoy disliking them. I don't think they like us that much either. I sure do miss those guys. Would be great to get back into a rivalry with them again.
- ODU: I’m not buying that ODU is a better candidate for the AAC than Marshall. I keep reading about how their athletic budget is so much bigger than ours. I also look at their little stadium and realize that if they used their budget for capital improvements, what would their balance sheet look like then? I'm sick of hearing about "potential."
- UAB: don't get me wrong, I think UAB was a political victim, but I would like to get as far away from that train wreck as possible. While I like that they ultimately overcame their idiot president and Alabama's political infrastructure, I don't want to be associated with them. By the time they get a competitive team again, it may be too late. Plus, I wouldn't be surprised if the Alabama powers that be don't kill it again if they become a mid-major power in football. Their presence in C-USA is weakening the conference.
- New and Unimproved Island of Misfit Toys: if Raiding Parties hit from the AAC and/or MWC, here is a potential new look Island of Misfit Toys: Herd, WKU, Middle Tenn, UAB, FAI, FIU, UNCC, North Texas, UTSA, ODU, and possible back fill from the Sun Belt (Appy State and Georgia Southern). At that point, I can see a scenario in which C-USA could be forced to merge with the Sunbelt for survival. That would add the following to the Island: Arkansas State University, Univ. of AK at Little Rock; Coastal Carolina; Georgia State, UofLA Lafayette; UofLA Monroe; Univ. of South Alabama; Texas State University; Univ. of Texas at Arlington; and Troy. I hope that never happens; but if it did, I think we would pray for King Moonracer to order us off that island.
- What if MAC Became More: I don’t want to see us rejoin the Same Old MAC, but what if the MAC added Marshall, WKU, Middle Tennessee, and another strong team? In an era where than has been a shift in wealth to the P5 athletic budgets, doesn’t it make some sense for the G5s to look at regrouping into conferences that limits travel costs? Also, that line-up even with Eastern Michigan would be a stronger conference than the current C-USA.
- I HERD: that President Gilbert gets it, and wants Marshall to be in the best conference we can get into. That maybe C-USA, it may be something stronger. Go King Moonracer!!!!
I was working on portions of this blog before the season started. I didn't post it because I wasn't sure that I wanted to blog anymore. Looks like I am getting over that dilemma. I just got back from a trip that allowed me to spend 7 hours hanging out in airports yesterday. I'm not sure my ideas are fully developed yet, but here are the Ten Things I Think I Know About The Island of Misfit Toys in 2016:
Thundering in MD