CUSA update article from The Athletic ($$)

RaiderDoug

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Those of you with a sub to The Athletic might find this interesting. Some cliff's notes style paraphrasing for those who don't:

1. Kennesaw State. Sounds like it's happening, just waiting for the confirmation and them to get some ducks in a row with their stadium issue. Also, EKU and Tarleton State appear to be on deck, couple others behind them have some issues (McNeese and SFA). 12 is the max, but they could sit at 10.

2. Couple of quotes from our Stooges - Stockstill "I like the position we’re in right now".

Regarding us turning down the MAC:

MTSU officials pointed to the money to be gained by the exit fees of departing C-USA members (around $20 million in total to be split up), avoiding its own exit/entrance fees and the fact that its alumni base trends southward, as a school just outside of Nashville.

“We felt like, let’s take that money and apply it to our programs and make them better, and we’re in a position to do that,” said MTSU athletic director Chris Massaro, who noted new facilities plans in the works.


3. CUSA leaders acknowledge the issues surrounding the TV/media deals, they don't like streaming on places like facebook, stadium etc. They're looking for ways to make it easier to stream or find CUSA broadcasts, which leads us to:

4. Remember in the MAC threads when people were against the move because of mid-week games? Well, I hope you guys can get pumped for Tarleton State on a Tuesday!.

5. No one likes or wanted Liberty, but CUSA was flat out desperate and they have money, so here they are. They like SHSU and Jax, and NMSU basketball. I think they like Kennesaw.

6. Someone wants to create a G5 challenge, where the top teams from G5 play each other early in the year. I think this is a good idea. They're running into scheduling issues as the early games tend to be the money games G5 teams need to stay afloat and schedules are set for years in advance.
 

MidTennMtneer

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Interesting indeed. Politics aside (I'm not claiming one way or the other) on Liberty, but from a commitment to athletics and budget point of view, they absolutely were the right add.

Not surprised on weeknight games. ESPN will want inventory and some concessions. As long as it means more $ for the conference, I'm game.

Current conference deals and payout per school from what I could quickly find
CUSA $2.8m / $200k (through 2023 season)
MAC $8m / $666k
SBC $14m / $1m
AAC $83m / $7m

Judy blew it big time with the last deal. And I agree we aren't a cultural fit for MAC. I was looking at it as a get away from Judy line of thought.

What annoys me is schools that jumped to FBS before us or soon after have already moved forward. I mean even Marshall has made moves to move what was currently up each time they've done so. We are now in a league with new move ups due to poor leadership.

Rick is happy because CUSA has all the bad teams he can beat up on to hit .500. Again, there hasn't been a single year, not one, that CUSA has had an overall winning record at the end of the season as a conference. Not one.
 

Predarat

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If it were not for some of the extra issues that go along with Liberty they would probably be AAC or SunBelt.
 

AustinLewis

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Just when I thought I'd heard the last of Tarleton State, they're back.
I have a buddy (and former Tarleton St FB player) who speaks very highly of president at Tarleton State right now. Visionary. Pushing for growth.

They are currently expanding stadium to 24k (after expanding / renovating less than 10 years ago).

A LOT to like about their potential (if they can produce on the field, who knows).

Folks I know in East TX are a little concerned that SFA doesn't have the support to move to FBS (not just $$$, but among boosters, community, etc). Adding to that, SFA has a permanent president & is looking to join one of the Texas university systems (I imagine both president and system will want a say in move to FBS).
 

JohnDavidBlue

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man, I can't believe that this 1-A vision that Dr. Walker sold me in the late 90s would have me excited to be in a conference with Sam Houston, Tarleton, Kennesaw State, etc. some 20~ years later

WTF

and a clown saying he likes the position we are in????!!!!!!


poop GIF by University of California
 

RaiderDoug

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What annoys me is schools that jumped to FBS before us or soon after have already moved forward. I mean even Marshall has made moves to move what was currently up each time they've done so. We are now in a league with new move ups due to poor leadership.
I'm not sure the door has completely closed.

I think it's only a matter of time before the Big10 takes Oregon and Washington, the B12 will take the 4 corners programs, and then the Pac-leftovers, MW, and maybe the AAC will scramble up a bit. There will be some movement.

Geographically, we're in a perfect spot smack dab in the middle of the Sunbelt.

Unfortunately, I don't see our our programs becoming attractive as long as the Stooges are in power, which is indefinitely at this point. Watch a bunch more conference movement happen, and the Sunbelt will end up taking Liberty and WKU and we'll be stuck with.........Nicholls State or someone like that.

Still, if by some miracle we manage to get our $hit together, I think there's going to be a door open.
 
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MidTennMtneer

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I'm not sure the door has completely closed.

I think it's only a matter of time before the Big10 takes Oregon and Washington, the B12 will take the 4 corners programs, and then the Pac-leftovers, MW, and maybe the AAC will scramble up a bit. There will be some movement.

Geographically, we're in a perfect spot smack dab in the middle of the Sunbelt.

Unfortunately, I don't see our our programs becoming attractive as long as the Stooges are in power, which is indefinitely at this point. Watch a bunch more conference movement happen, and the Sunbelt will end up taking Liberty and WKU and we'll be stuck with.........Nicholls State or someone like that.

Still, if by some miracle we manage to get our $hit together, I think there's going to be a door open.
100% agree on all that. Looks like someone else has falled down the realignment Twitter rabbit hole too.

We absolutely belong in the SBC, it's just making the correct moves (facilities, people, performance) to get there.

It cracks me up that all the maps the SBC ever puts out has their logo directly over the gaping hole that is us and WKU. And a regional conference to boot. Who'da thunk it.

 

sWiley

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I think it's pathetic we would entertain (and jump at) the idea of returning to the Sun Belt. How pitiful.

Talk about an administrative and leadership blunder. I hope they laugh in Massaro and McIdiot's face and tell them no way in hell, go play in traffic.

Maybe MT has no business in the FBS business and should just return to it's OVC roots instead. That would make more sense considering our lack of commitment to the major sports over the last 20~ years.

I still like the idea of shutting everything else down and focusing on Men's Basketball only. I just don't believe MT has any business in the football business. There isn't enough community support, and more importantly, there isn't enough administrative and leadership support. In fact, on the whole, it's almost non-existent across the board. We've lost at least half our fan base, and outside of student athletic fee's and $ games @ Alabama, there's quite literally nothing keeping it going.

The whole operation is honestly an embarrassment at this point, and has been for some time.

If our “leaders” truly are serious about football and mens basketball then PROVE IT.

Fire Stockstill, build new facilities as fast as humanly possible (stop gatekeeping saying you need donations), stop rewarding coaches with extensions when they don’t win a title, go all in with NLI and recruit local businesses to pay our players, fire these geriatric underperforming assistant coaches (west, Mallory, Polly), take control of this pathetic CUSA conference and go to ESPN and ask them what day of the week they want us to play on and how many games they want that day? Try something different. What about only playing on Tuesday and Wednesday? No more Saturday. 2-3 CUSA games on Tuesday and Wednesday. A triple header CUSA on a Wednesday would be awesome. Grow a brain and think outside the box. We are a fringe product that needs to find its place amongst the landscape, and I’ll tell you a secret, it ain’t on Saturdays going up against 100+ other schools.

Grab the Bull by the horns. Do something. Stop sitting around and doing things the same old boring bureaucratic way at the pace of snail and expecting a different outcome.
 
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sWiley

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Pitiful to want to be in a better conference??????


Yes.

It's like divorcing your wife because you think the grass is greener....

then 10 years go by and you realize it's not so you come crawling back, on bent knee, begging for her to take you back.

No thanks.
 

Sommy

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Pathetic and embarassing. How can an MT fan be happy with adding Kennesaw State, EKU and Tarleton State. I'm telling you as someone that knows, Tarleton is cringe worthy. It's reputation is as a glorified community college.

If we can't get to AAC, call the MAC. CUSA is separating itself as clearly the toilet bowl of college athletics. It's embarrassing to be a part of it quite honestly. I really feel like if we get pulled down in this terrible conference, there is no chance of ever moving this program forward, even when Massaro and McPhee move on. No chance, we will be buried too far down to ever climb back up.
 
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SpaceRaider

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Yes.

It's like divorcing your wife because you think the grass is greener....

then 10 years go by and you realize it's not so you come crawling back, on bent knee, begging for her to take you back.

No thanks.
Yeah, I don't think we'll see Johnny Depp going back to Amber Heard.
 
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JohnDavidBlue

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It’s business though. If SBC were an option, we would be really stupid not to take it. Especially if the next media deals favor that conference.
 
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sWiley

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It’s business though. If SBC were an option, we would be really stupid not to take it. Especially if the next media deals favor that conference.

It's still pathetic and shameless, which is par for the course with this admin.

Forgive me for wanting to see it all burn. I thoroughly despise this admin and would do anything outside of breaking the law to see them all fired.
 
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MidTennMtneer

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Yes.

It's like divorcing your wife because you think the grass is greener....

then 10 years go by and you realize it's not so you come crawling back, on bent knee, begging for her to take you back.

No thanks.

Look at Marshall. They jumped from FCS to the MAC. Felt CUSA was better and moved there. Same thought process we had. Then they saw the SBC was better and moved there. And no one is looking down on them for it. They are willing to go where the best opportunity available is for the foreseeable future. Can't fault that logic at all. As their president said when they moved to the belt, "I'm looking forward to not watching our games on Facebook."

Sure AAC would be better, more $, and should be stable as not many will leave there, especially if the P5 becomes the P4. But the SBC is the same. They created a niche of a regional G5 and ran with it and Gill has built a mountain on what Benson started. It shows leadership matters. CUSA was great under Slive and Banowsky. It's fallen under Judy just as the SBC did under Waters before we left.

We have failed with regards to leadership for our school and conference. CM should be on the phone constantly with every conference.
 

sWiley

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Look at Marshall. They jumped from FCS to the MAC. Felt CUSA was better and moved there. Same thought process we had. Then they saw the SBC was better and moved there. And no one is looking down on them for it. They are willing to go where the best opportunity available is for the foreseeable future. Can't fault that logic at all. As their president said when they moved to the belt, "I'm looking forward to not watching our games on Facebook."

Sure AAC would be better, more $, and should be stable as not many will leave there, especially if the P5 becomes the P4. But the SBC is the same. They created a niche of a regional G5 and ran with it and Gill has built a mountain on what Benson started. It shows leadership matters. CUSA was great under Slive and Banowsky. It's fallen under Judy just as the SBC did under Waters before we left.

We have failed with regards to leadership for our school and conference. CM should be on the phone constantly with every conference.


Marshall never joined the SBC, left for a "better" conference, then got buyers remorse and wanted back in because everything went to shit.

When MT was in the SBC, it was the worst FBS conference. MT left to join CUSA because it was a better conference at the time. 90% of that initial group of teams have left and CUSA is now the worst conference. All these other programs that left CUSA decided they would be better off associating with other universities instead of MT. So now, once again, MT is in the worst FBS conference. This is not a coincidence. When you completely ignore your major athletics programs for 20 years, other schools can see you do not take competition seriously, so guess what? They leave, because they DO take it seriously, and want to be with other like minded universities.


The SBC is now better because MT is not in it. MT's vacancy allowed the SBC to add better programs. We did the SBC a great favor by leaving, paying that big exit fee, and allowing them to recruit better programs.

MT always seems to be in the worst FBS conference. Do we see a pattern here ?

Finally, there's a reason the SBC wanted other programs and not MT. And that reason is a good one. We already tried to leave them high and dry once, plus there are/were better options available.

Sorry for the negativity, but it's all true and I'm just so over this university
 
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MTTim

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I've said this before. If this were a business that required accountability, results and performance the entire company, from president to floor sweeper would be shitcanned in a New York second. In my 40 years in business I have never seen such incompetence displayed by leadership.
 

sWiley

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I've said this before. If this were a business that required accountability, results and performance the entire company, from president to floor sweeper would be shitcanned in a New York second. In my 40 years in business I have never seen such incompetence displayed by leadership.

There's nobody to hold them accountable. Nobody cares about MTSU, much less MTSU athletics.
 

MTLynn

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There's nobody to hold them accountable. Nobody cares about MTSU, much less MTSU athletics.

Someone cares because the university has been denied the acquisition of a law school and a name change for over 30 years, while a politically appointed sexual harasser has been given raises and extensions for the past 20 years.

7 Wood would be gone if the higher ups weren't happy with how things were going at the university.
 

Sommy

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" Who you spend time with is who you become. Change your life by consciously choosing to surround yourself with people with higher standards!"
-Tony Robbins

If we get sucked lower and lower into the worse conference in athletics (by far the worse if we add Tarleton State, Kennesaw St and EKU), I'm afraid we will likely NEVER be able to pull out of it. Even when the admin and coaches finally turn over, it will be too late. We will be buried.
 

crposton

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Pathetic and embarassing. How can an MT fan be happy with adding Kennesaw State, EKU and Tarleton State. I'm telling you as someone that knows, Tarleton is cringe worthy. It's reputation is as a glorified community college.

If we can't get to AAC, call the MAC. CUSA is separating itself as clearly the toilet bowl of college athletics. It's embarrassing to be a part of it quite honestly. I really feel like if we get pulled down in this terrible conference, there is no chance of ever moving this program forward, even when Massaro and McPhee move on. No chance, we will be buried too far down to ever climb back up.
What does Tarleton State's reputation as a "glorified community college" have anything to do with athletics? For one, there is nothing wrong with community college and I don't like the negative comments about schools being "diploma mills" or "glorified community colleges". I am one that believes someone can get a good education pretty much anywhere and can use that to better themselves regardless of the reputation of the school by academic elitists. This is an athletic conference and athletics are all that should matter. Tarleton State is 4-1 with the one loss being to TCU and have committed more money and resources to facilities than we have. I am not happy with the addition of Tarleton State or Kennesaw State, but I am sure we would have complained just as much about Coastal Carolina and look what they have done. I also don't understand complaining about being in a conference with directional state schools and then being mad we didn't join a conference with Eastern/ Central/Western Michigan and Northern Illinois.
 

RaiderDoug

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What does Tarleton State's reputation as a "glorified community college" have anything to do with athletics? For one, there is nothing wrong with community college and I don't like the negative comments about schools being "diploma mills" or "glorified community colleges". I am one that believes someone can get a good education pretty much anywhere and can use that to better themselves regardless of the reputation of the school by academic elitists. This is an athletic conference and athletics are all that should matter. Tarleton State is 4-1 with the one loss being to TCU and have committed more money and resources to facilities than we have. I am not happy with the addition of Tarleton State or Kennesaw State, but I am sure we would have complained just as much about Coastal Carolina and look what they have done. I also don't understand complaining about being in a conference with directional state schools and then being mad we didn't join a conference with Eastern/ Central/Western Michigan and Northern Illinois.

Liberty is a diploma mill. It's a religious version of the University of Phoenix. Add to that some non-mainstream views and there's a reason no one wanted them until we needed them to save CUSA.


I don't know anything about Tarleton State. I fully admit that much of my distaste is snobbery, and with respect to our actual athletic achievements (at least in football), relatively unwarranted.

That said, there's a point where you water down the G5 to the point where it's a completely indistinguishable mish-mash of laughable sounding schools. With all due respect to those football programs (who i'm sure will obliterate us on the field the first time we play) - Tarleton State? Kennesaw State? Jacksonville State? What and where the heck are these things?

One directional state U? Sure. Two of them. Ok. Three? Eh. An entire conference? Not a good idea. And these aren't even directional states. Tarleton? Jacksonville (and not the Florida one), Kennesaw. They sound made up. WTF is a Tarleton? I'd have less an issue with Central Texas U or North Georgia State. At least there's some sort of Q-rating when you hear that.

The point is, if you take a bunch of FCS teams, and all of a sudden move them up to the FBS - you still have the same old FCS crud, you haven't really done anything except change the name.

Shame on us for squandering a 25 year headstart, but I do feel we should be better than to be lumped in with a bunch of start-ups.

WRT Coastal Carolina - they're going to last as long as they can keep that coach....which is about 6 more months. They are not built on a solid foundation like App State.
 
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crposton

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Liberty is a diploma mill. It's a religious version of the University of Phoenix. Add to that some non-mainstream views and there's a reason no one wanted them until we needed them to save CUSA.


I don't know anything about Tarleton State. I fully admit that much of my distaste is snobbery, and with respect to our actual athletic achievements (at least in football), relatively unwarranted.

That said, there's a point where you water down the G5 to the point where it's a completely indistinguishable mish-mash of laughable sounding schools. With all due respect to those football programs (who i'm sure will obliterate us on the field the first time we play) - Tarleton State? Kennesaw State? Jacksonville State? What and where the heck are these things?

One directional state U? Sure. Two of them. Ok. Three? Eh. An entire conference? Not a good idea. And these aren't even directional states. Tarleton? Jacksonville (and not the Florida one), Kennesaw. They sound made up. WTF is a Tarleton? I'd have less an issue with Central Texas U or North Georgia State. At least there's some sort of Q-rating when you hear that.

The point is, if you take a bunch of FCS teams, and all of a sudden move them up to the FBS - you still have the same old FCS crud, you haven't really done anything except change the name.

Shame on us for squandering a 25 year headstart, but I do feel we should be better than to be lumped in with a bunch of start-ups.

WRT Coastal Carolina - they're going to last as long as they can keep that coach....which is about 6 more months. They are not built on a solid foundation like App State.
Vox.com is not exactly a website I go to for unbiased opinions. Posting a story from them would not sway my opinion one way or another. Liberty has an ABA accredited law school which is something the University of Phoenix doesn't have and neither do we. What is an Appalachian? What is a Vanderbilt? Tarleton State is named for John Tarleton whose endowment started the college. Did I have to look that up? Yes, but my point is that it is named after the person who paid for its founding much like Vanderbilt, Duke, etc. I am not saying Tarleton is either of those, but the name of the college should not matter. Kennesaw State is located in Kennesaw, GA much like Memphis State was located in Memphis. Same with Jacksonville State being located in Jacksonville, AL which is also the same for Troy (State) being located in Troy, AL.

Tarleton State, Kennesaw State and Liberty are in the 331-440 category of academic rankings for national universities according to U.S. News and World Report. They share that ranking with Georgia Southern, South Alabama, Texas State, Louisiana-Monroe, Louisiana-Lafayette, Southern Mississippi, Western Kentucky, Texas-El Paso, and Texas-San Antonio. We have always been in conferences with universities like the ones joining CUSA now. Tarleton State is at least in the national colleges rankings. Coastal Carolina, Appalachian State, and Troy are in the regional rankings.
 

FranklinRaider315

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OK, I’ll be the bad guy.
Kennesaw St. began playing intercollegiate football in 2015.
Tarleton St. has been Div. 2 from 1904 thru 2019.

The fact that we are even in the same discussions of conference affiliation with these schools is downright embarrassing given where we were in 2009.
I’m with Wiley.
Just kill Blue Raider Football and stick to Basketball.
 

RaiderDoug

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Vox.com is not exactly a website I go to for unbiased opinions. Posting a story from them would not sway my opinion one way or another. Liberty has an ABA accredited law school which is something the University of Phoenix doesn't have and neither do we. What is an Appalachian? What is a Vanderbilt? Tarleton State is named for John Tarleton whose endowment started the college. Did I have to look that up? Yes, but my point is that it is named after the person who paid for its founding much like Vanderbilt, Duke, etc. I am not saying Tarleton is either of those, but the name of the college should not matter. Kennesaw State is located in Kennesaw, GA much like Memphis State was located in Memphis. Same with Jacksonville State being located in Jacksonville, AL which is also the same for Troy (State) being located in Troy, AL.

Tarleton State, Kennesaw State and Liberty are in the 331-440 category of academic rankings for national universities according to U.S. News and World Report. They share that ranking with Georgia Southern, South Alabama, Texas State, Louisiana-Monroe, Louisiana-Lafayette, Southern Mississippi, Western Kentucky, Texas-El Paso, and Texas-San Antonio. We have always been in conferences with universities like the ones joining CUSA now. Tarleton State is at least in the national colleges rankings. Coastal Carolina, Appalachian State, and Troy are in the regional rankings.
But it does.

At some point, the average casual college football fan is going to look at this lineup of programs and LOL.

And these are the programs were going to be associated with. While everyone else we grew up with graduated to bigger and better things, we got demoted to the kiddie table.

It is perception. But perception is often far more powerful than reality.

When you line up all the facts you can find on the internet, there might not be all that much difference between Tarleton State and, say, Marshall. But good luck getting people interested in the big MTSU vs Tarleton State game on a Tuesday night.
 

BRaiderDave

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Probably the reason coach .500 was given a lifetime contract… for the life of the football program.
Lynn, that idea actually occurred to me as well. Again, I don't have any inside knowledge of them even considering this but how they've operated the last 10 years or so would be the same way you would behave if you had a plan to kill the program.
 
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MTFAN61

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OK, I’ll be the bad guy.
Kennesaw St. began playing intercollegiate football in 2015.
Tarleton St. has been Div. 2 from 1904 thru 2019.

The fact that we are even in the same discussions of conference affiliation with these schools is downright embarrassing given where we were in 2009.
I’m with Wiley.
Just kill Blue Raider Football and stick to Basketball.
I know there are those that support bringing on any & all fcs newcomers, & so be it. To each his own. Judy is trying to expand cusa back to 14 teams. One drawback is this does reduce revenue sharing compared to 9 members, of which there is not a lot of money per school anyway. Personally I'm not crazy about the direction of our conference presently, nor am I with going to Sun Belt. Why? Our administration & coaching staff are not going anywhere for foreseeable future. If you don't like this team's results in a watered down CUSA, how will you like it in the Sun Belt with aspiring teams & administrators. We'll get smoked week in & week out there more than where we are in CUSA presently, resulting in an even more angry fan base. A good alternative, drop football & join Murray & Belmont in the Missouri Valley in basketball. Less angry fans, which I think all of us would love. For those still wanting a football team, fine with that also. Just go independent. That way we can handpick nations weakest teams & still go 6-6. Status quo still the same.
 
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FranklinRaider315

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I can remember just two years after I became a MT alum, sitting with my college teammate behind the Memphis bench proudly wearing my Blue Raider golf shirt and getting the stink eye from Highland Hundred members/boosters. The look on West’s face when Dasher took off up the middle for that TD was priceless.
 
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Predarat

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Our best hope is Memphis gets plucked by the Big 12 or some other conference. Then the AAC has their heads up their ass and adds MTSU for some reason.
 
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MidTennMtneer

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Perception is it exactly. It's why I want out of CUSA so bad. These schools may be fine institutions and great at athletics. But all the public will see is MT, being FBS for over 20 years, is still lumped in with a group of relatively unknown schools. Ones that replaced schools that moved to FBS around or after us and have already moved to greener pastures and grown.

Yes it can be argued about us going back to SBC as bad. But right now, SBC is above CUSA and that is what I mean by greener pastures.

FBS
MT 1999 SBC, CUSA (0 champs, never ranked)

North Texas 1995 SBC, CUSA, AAC (3 conf champ)
FAU 2004 SBC, CUSA, AAC (2 conf champ)
UTSA 2011 CUSA, AAC (has been ranked & conf champ)
App State 2014 SBC (has been ranked)
ODU 2014 CUSA, SBC
Charlotte 2015 CUSA, AAC
JMU 2022 SBC (has been ranked)
 

MTFAN61

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Speaking of Bowling Green, I had them in mind while bringing up the Valley. Deep down MT & WKU are both much more basketball schools compared to football. And both feel tied to the hip. IE Western was praying for the MAC, but wouldn't go without us. If MT presented a show cause to Western & the Missouri Valley, I bet Western would bolt in a second. Can you imagine WKU, MT, Murray & Belmont in a basketball league along with the other existing members. Now that would be a league I would throw some NIL $ toward. Oh well, it's nice to dream
 

JohnDavidBlue

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It would be nice to be in a league where they have proven themselves.

I don’t care if the name is Turk Turkelton or whatever but I prefer to be in a group of schools that have a following, history, and name value. Granted we barely have any of that but that doesn’t mean I want to stay there.
 
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MidTennMtneer

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Lynn, that idea actually occurred to me as well. Again, I don't have any inside knowledge of them even considering this but how they've operated the last 10 years or so would be the same way you would behave if you had a plan to kill the program.

Quiet quitting...isn't that what they call it?

So Stock started the trend?!....more like McPhee!