BASKETBALL Mid-Major--No Escape

Discussion in 'The Raider Roundup' started by dukewayne, Oct 24, 2019.

  1. dukewayne

    dukewayne All Conference
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    Over on an ESPN College Basketball article, C-USA could not even make a list of the "best of" mid-major conferences. Included on the "best of" mid-major conferences are A-10, MVC, Ivy, MAC, and even SoCon. Little consolation found in several of the "expert" writers mentioning C-USA as a conference that probably should be included. Of course, WKU was their main example of a top team from the conference.

    Surprisingly, one of the writers mentioned UTSA along with WKU as possible bubble teams at the end of the season. Sure, I get WKU on a potential bubble list, but UTSA? I know they have a couple of good talented players, but is anyone else really expecting them to have a huge run this season?
     
  2. RandallThomason

    RandallThomason Blue Raider Legend
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    UTSA must win its season opener at Oklahoma if they want any chance to enter that discussion. Their overall OOC schedule is not strong enough otherwise. Even with a win over Oklahoma, they would have no margin for error the rest of the way. I agree with you, it’s hard to see them in that light. I almost wonder if that was a typo and the writer meant to talk about UTEP. UTEP is set to make a giant leap forward this year, but similar to UTSA, the Miners haven’t scheduled well enough to be a legitimate at large threat. MT showed the OOC scheduling formula to follow to be in the at large discussion over the period from 2013 to 2018. Few C-USA teams have been willing to do that during recent years.
     
  3. RaiderDawg78

    RaiderDawg78 All American
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    UTSA is a sexy pick for a lot of writers. I have seen them listed as a potential replacement for UCONN in the AAC.

    For whatever reason they have National momentum on several fronts.
     
  4. MTFNBY5

    MTFNBY5 Hall of Famer
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    I thought when we went D-1 in FB that men's BkB would take a step forward and leave the $&%-major label behind.

    I hoped that becoming a member of The Belt would help men's BkB.

    I just knew that the move "up" to C-USA was the ticket to BkB's top level of conferences (or just under) and we would leave the mediocrity of being a $&%-major.

    Alas, we are just where we were when we left the OVC; just another %$&-major, Belmont and Lipscomb who should still be in the NAIA are our equals or betters. Crap!!!
     
  5. blueraiderJT

    blueraiderJT Hall of Famer
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    I would love for UTSA to leave. UTEP can get the hell out too. Replace them with Appy st and Troy. If Charlotte, Rice or ODU wants to bounce, they can go too. Then bring in Ark st. and Ga southern ot Ga state. Then, we'll have a decent conference for football and basketball. UTEP, UTSA and Charlotte has done nothing for us whatsover. Rice is dead weight too. Time for a reboot or we should drop back down to the Belt.
     
  6. mtfblue

    mtfblue All Conference
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    Drop back down to the belt? The Belt is ahead of you CUSA. Rankings, Facilities and Programs.
     
  7. blueraiderJT

    blueraiderJT Hall of Famer
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    Oh you know what I mean. "Go back to the belt". There, it's corrected. I do think the Belt is an upgrade at this point.
     
  8. SpaceRaider

    SpaceRaider Moderator
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    This thread started out about basketball and seems to have flipped to football.

    CUSA is still an upgrade in basketball, but both are one bid leagues at this point, but I still believe the ceiling for CUSA is higher than the Sun Belt in basketball.

    CUSA football is stinking it up and the belt is better at this point. But both are G5 and MT in either doesn't make a dime's worth of difference. Our problems are mostly self created by (lack of) facilities, recruiting, coaching, and leadership.
     
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  9. dukewayne

    dukewayne All Conference
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    It seems that during the last big conf realignment, C-USA bet on schools with media markets in hopes that those sizable media markets would help the cause in negotiating new media deals.

    C-USA appears to have chosen poorly. Then again, there isn't a whole lot that separates conferences such as C-USA, SBC, MAC, etc. At this point, I'm about sold on the idea of G5 programs reorganizing for the best geographic fits which usually includes historic rivals i.e. MT & WKU.

    In many of the years past, it seemed that C-USA would have been a great destination for MT. Unfortunately, the C-USA MT finally entered was little more than a glorified SunBelt as most of the programs that would have been a desirable fit moved on to the AAC. Memphis & Cincinnati would have been appealing conf mates for MT, but it did not materialize. Sadly, I don't see Massaro et al having the vision or drive to get MT into a position to be appealing to a conference such as the AAC.

    At least programs like WKU, Marshall, and UAB are some pretty good conf mates for MT. Charlotte seems to have potential and are in our overall region. I like both ODU and North Texas for conference mates, but admittedly they are not the best geographic fits for MT.
     
  10. SpaceRaider

    SpaceRaider Moderator
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    One more thought...it's seems to me like our leadership gives out the impression that their job and goals were largely accomplished once CUSA membership was obtained. That was the Holy Grail that Middle fans and all involved had lived for since discussions about going 1A back in the early 90s began. Only when we arrived, CUSA was a shell of it's former self. ECU, Tulane and Tulsa, IIRC were still members but on their way out. Marshall, UAB, are still here, but for the most part it's mostly a reunion of original sun belt football playing programs and MT has been able to remain relatively competitive but it seem's like athletics has been doing a lot of resting on laurels and coasting in recent years.

    I would have hoped that our leadership, from Cope on down, would have been hard at work getting this program ready to be attractive and the most obvious choice for the next opening in the AAC. Instead our leadership seems to be content to tread water and accept their predicament and create an atmosphere of fan apathy. We're only marginally in a better place than we were in the early 90s, when Dr. Walker and Boots were making the first steps toward going 1A.
     
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  11. dukewayne

    dukewayne All Conference
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    That has been my exact impression as well. It has seemed like the repeated messages from the so called leadership is that MT has arrived in the ultimate destination for a conf in C-USA. Back in the 90's when MT was first targeting C-USA as a big goal, C-USA as then structured would have been a fantastic fit for MT. Am I mistaken, or was Louisville a brief member of C-USA as they were getting their football program performing up to a high level? Still, Memphis, ECU, Cincy, UAB etc would have been an understandable goal and good fit for MT.

    Again, a lot of the programs currently in C-USA are really pretty similar to MT. It's the vast distances between a number of the conference mates that present a sizable problem.

    Beyond the geographic problem, my other beef with some of the current C-USA schools is their apparent lack of attention to, support for, and investment in basketball. It is a horrible drag on the top half of the basketball programs that are competitive and trying to continue to grow. Specifically, it really hurts the overall ranking of the conference. It hurts programs like MT, WKU, UAB, ODU, LaTech, and even Marshall when a bunch of other programs have horrible rankings that effect the whole conf particularly when March approaches.

    As irritating as it seems that MT leadership seems content with fielding teams that are competitive in C-USA, I guess it could be worse as some of the conf programs that do not even seem to care if they are terrible or average.
     
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  12. blueraiderJT

    blueraiderJT Hall of Famer
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    Boot Charlotte, Utep, Rice and UTSA then go get App St., Troy, Ga st and arky st and CUSA becomes a real football conference. 2 of those programs have been ranked and one of them is now.
     
  13. MTOleBlue

    MTOleBlue All Conference
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    IMO it would be much more efficient for us to just focus on basketball... yes, football is big, but we haven’t been a football school and at least basketball has plenty of upside both the men and women.
     
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  14. TrueBlue147

    TrueBlue147 True Blue
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    I disagree with aligning strictly by geography. I think the problem is that our conference is just too large and that there is a lot of dead weight at the bottom in football and basketball. I think we should shrink down to 8 or 9 teams and go with the teams that are for the most part competitive in football and Basketball. A conference of MT, WKU, Marshall, UAB, Southern Miss, La Tech, ODU, Appy State as the core would be solid. Interesting match ups every week in football and basketball. No more having the F_U's and UTXX's as games no ones cares about on the schedule. And since we would only be at 8 teams, we could always add some other school if they started to become of value later. We could also move the conference headquarters to Nashville. With our headquarters being in Dallas now everything is Texas based. Why are we here at MT playing a conference basketball tournament in Frisco Texas? Its ridiculous. Even if we have to break away to form a new conference I think it would be worth it.
     
  15. MTOleBlue

    MTOleBlue All Conference
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    Just don’t call them Appy State... they hate that
     
  16. FranklinRaider315

    FranklinRaider315 All American
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    We need to call them Daddy.
    They are 7-0 and ranked #21
     
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  17. crposton

    crposton True Blue
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    And funding or enough good loyal fans.
     
  18. dukewayne

    dukewayne All Conference
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    Ironically, just about all of those schools that would be good competitive matches happen to be pretty good geographic fits as well. ODU is not exactly a short drive from MT, but they do appear to be pretty serious about competing in the big sports. ODU has outstanding support for basketball.

    I've long grown weary with the FxU schools. Admittedly, they have recently attempted to make improvements with paying for some pretty big names for HC. It's basketball that they seem to neglect. They are dragging down other conf programs who are trying to be successful.
     
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  19. dukewayne

    dukewayne All Conference
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    Both UTEP & UTSA seem like programs that do have an abundance of potential. It's just that geographically they do not make much sense as conf mates for MT. UTEP has pretty impressive facilities for basketball. They seem to get fairly decent attendance for a football team & basketball team that has struggled for a few years.

    UTSA seems like they are decent competitors on the court in basketball. It's their basketball facilities and fan support that seems questionable. The Alamo Dome is a huge benefit for their football program. Even though UTSA football has seemed to be average at best, they seem to get some pretty good attendance relative to C-USA.

    Rice. Even the $EC has a Vanderbilt. Questionable geography similar to UTEP & UTSA.

    Charlotte, another program that seems to have potential. Their location is excellent. They have an outstanding basketball facility. They seem capable of recruiting outstanding basketball athletes. It just seems they keep missing on a HC that can bring the team together for big success. Charlotte football just might be starting to rise to a level to start to realize some of that potential.
     

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