Are you happy with your current conference?

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Are you happy with your current conference?

Post by dbackjon »

If not, what changes would you make?
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Re: Are you happy with your current conference?

Post by dbackjon »

For NAU, the Big Sky is about the only feasible all-sports conference around. I do like that it is all-sports, and doesn't allow affiliates, and requires all members to play the core sports (including FCS Football).

The strength of the conference has gone down, to be sure, especially with the departure of what were the three strongest programs - Boise, Idaho and Nevada.

The schools that replaced them - Sac St, Portland St, and Northern Colorado, while good fits for the conference, are nowhere near the strength of the departed schools, especially in terms of support.

Nine is generally a good number for football, but makes basketball scheduling hard. Options for expansion?
Dakota schools would really stretch the conference - Missoula to Fargo is almost a thousand miles, 1,700 plus miles to Flagstaff or Sacramento. Fargo is actually more than a hundred miles closer to STATESBORO Georgia, than it is to Flagstaff. SUU is a good fit geographically, especially for NAU, but not quite there yet athletically or academically. Denver would fit well with UNC, but is private, and no football.
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Re: Are you happy with your current conference?

Post by Col Hogan »

Great questions...

UMass is in the CAA for football...but not a full member of the conference (same for UNH, Maine, and a couple of other teams)...

We are a full member of the A-10, which just dumped football (and we all moved to the CAA)..

It would be very difficult to maintain one conference for us, since we are in different leagues/conferences for all our major men's sports teams(Football-CAA, Basketball-A-10, Lacrosse-ECAC, and Hockey- Hockey East)

What ever conference we go into, I want to see us maintain football rivalries with URI, UNH and Maine, Delaware and JMU...
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Re: Are you happy with your current conference?

Post by dbackjon »

NAU is fortunate that only one sport we compete in, women's swimming and diving, is not a Big Sky sport.

For swimming and diving, we are in the WAC, just having taken 2nd at the conference champs.

It gets harder when you are sponsoring more sports - NAU used to have a hockey team - was in a four team conference with the Alaska schools and US International (which later dropped all sports).
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Re: Are you happy with your current conference?

Post by Mvemjsunpx »

dbackjon wrote:For NAU, the Big Sky is about the only feasible all-sports conference around. I do like that it is all-sports, and doesn't allow affiliates, and requires all members to play the core sports (including FCS Football).

The strength of the conference has gone down, to be sure, especially with the departure of what were the three strongest programs - Boise, Idaho and Nevada.

The schools that replaced them - Sac St, Portland St, and Northern Colorado, while good fits for the conference, are nowhere near the strength of the departed schools, especially in terms of support.

Nine is generally a good number for football, but makes basketball scheduling hard. Options for expansion?
Dakota schools would really stretch the conference - Missoula to Fargo is almost a thousand miles, 1,700 plus miles to Flagstaff or Sacramento. Fargo is actually more than a hundred miles closer to STATESBORO Georgia, than it is to Flagstaff. SUU is a good fit geographically, especially for NAU, but not quite there yet athletically or academically. Denver would fit well with UNC, but is private, and no football.
I agree that trying to add the Dakota States to the Big Sky was a bad idea. Aside from those two schools essentially being in Minnesota, they would have likely bolted for the Gateway &/or Summit League anyway. Those conferences are much better regional fits for them than the Big Sky.

However, I think you're looking a little too nostalgically at the Boise/Nevada/Idaho era. Boise has a great rep now, but they weren't quite the same thing when they were in the Big Sky. All three were pretty good in football, but clearly not as good as Montana has been since they left. Idaho had a good men's basketball program in the '80's, but would we really want them now? They're about as bad as Sac State. Boise was the only one of the three to ever have a good women's basketball program in those days (and that was mainly because of one player: Lidiya Varbanova). And besides, it's not like the conference really had a choice in whether to keep those three. They didn't have a whole lot to choose from to replace them, either.

As far as expansion, there's aren't too many schools to choose from. The Dakota U's present the same problems that the Dakota States did. I don't see Cal Poly or UC Davis leaving the all-California Big West Conference, so they're out. The only option seems to be Southern Utah unless Central Washington moves up or someone like Denver or Utah Valley State adds football.
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Re: Are you happy with your current conference?

Post by dbackjon »

between 1978 and 1995, Idaho went to the I-AA playoffs 11 times, reaching the semis twice,

In that same time frame, Nevada went 7 times, winning 9 games, before going I-A in 1992.

Boise went to the playoffs 5 times, winning 7 games

Before Nevada left, Montana had only been to the playoffs 3 times, losing in the first round twice.

NAU didn't make the playoffs until 1996, MSU only once last century, Weber twice and EWU once before Nevada leftm and Idaho State twice.

So yes, the three schools were dominant in football.

If Montana were to go FCS - would they go Idaho's way?

And agreed - no good fit for the Big Sky right now.
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Re: Are you happy with your current conference?

Post by AZGrizFan »

I've said it before and I'll say it again: Combine the GWFC and the BSC for football only. It makes too damned much sense NOT to. Look at the Griz OOC schedule this coming year, for God's sake! 3 of the 4 are against GWFC schools!
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Re: Are you happy with your current conference?

Post by dbackjon »

AZGrizFan wrote:I've said it before and I'll say it again: Combine the GWFC and the BSC for football only. It makes too damned much sense NOT to. Look at the Griz OOC schedule this coming year, for God's sake! 3 of the 4 are against GWFC schools!
That could work. Then add Denver for all other sports...
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Re: Are you happy with your current conference?

Post by AZGrizFan »

dbackjon wrote:
AZGrizFan wrote:I've said it before and I'll say it again: Combine the GWFC and the BSC for football only. It makes too damned much sense NOT to. Look at the Griz OOC schedule this coming year, for God's sake! 3 of the 4 are against GWFC schools!
That could work. Then add Denver for all other sports...
BSC North

Montana
Montana State
EWU
Portland State
UNC
UND
USD

BSC South

Weber State
SUU
Cal Poly
NAU
Idaho State
UC Davis
Sacramento State

or

BSC Coastal

Portland State
Sac State
Cal Poly
Cal Davis
Eastern Washington
NAU
SUU

BSC Mountain

Montana
Montana State
USD
UND
Idaho State
Weber State
UNC
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Re: Are you happy with your current conference?

Post by Mvemjsunpx »

AZGrizFan wrote: BSC North

Montana
Montana State
EWU
Portland State
UNC
UND
USD

BSC South

Weber State
SUU
Cal Poly
NAU
Idaho State
UC Davis
Sacramento State

or

BSC Coastal

Portland State
Sac State
Cal Poly
Cal Davis
Eastern Washington
NAU
SUU

BSC Mountain

Montana
Montana State
USD
UND
Idaho State
Weber State
UNC
The Coastal/Mountain makes a lot more sense than the North/South idea, especially since Northern Colorado is further south than Idaho State and Weber.

I don't think there's any way you'll see UND or USD in the Big Sky. We don't want them & they probably don't want to join us. They're not even vaguely in any Big Sky school's region except for maybe Montana State. The conference may as well try to steal Texas State or Sam Houston State from the Southland; those two make about as much sense regionally. UND & USD probably want to eventually join with NDSU & SDSU in the Gateway/Summit, anyway. If there aren't any Dakota schools in the Big Sky, you could move SUU into the Mountain division.

I doubt you'll see this idea happen. Davis & Cal Poly probably wouldn't look to the Big Sky unless the Great West dissolves. That may happen, though, if UND & USD bolt. Also, the Big Sky would have to accept football-only members, which hasn't ever happened (Gonzaga was a basketball-only member until 1979). Also, you might see resistance to the 2 division idea from some of the current BSC schools because they would end up hosting Montana less often. Games against Montana increase their attendance dramatically.
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Re: Are you happy with your current conference?

Post by GrizFan88 »

Alright after viewing all the possible scenarios i see one that would probably fit the best. Move Montana up into the WAC and possibly kick out Haiwii and move them to the PAC-10 (which makes way more sense). And to fill the void in the Big Sky move SUU, CAl Poly,UC-davis, or all three into the Big Sky.

Now i know im going to get alot of respsonses saying that "the griz will turn into Idaho" or "they cant compete. Well that isnt true. The Griz are only getting better under the coaching of Hauk and i am pretty sure they could make an impact in the WAC. First off they could easily mop the floor with Utah State and Idaho, and have a good possibility of beating Nevada, New Mexico State and San Jose State. Their Stadium is probably big enough for the Division (Reaching 25,000) and the location makes a lot more sense and will save alot of money to go to Haiwii. Dont get me wrong it might take them a little bit to adjust but eventually they would, and it will happen eventually. I can see Montana moving up in the next 5 years easily and when they do it will be awsome to watch!
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Re: Are you happy with your current conference?

Post by Ursus A. Horribilis »

GrizFan88 wrote:Alright after viewing all the possible scenarios i see one that would probably fit the best. Move Montana up into the WAC and possibly kick out Haiwii and move them to the PAC-10 (which makes way more sense). And to fill the void in the Big Sky move SUU, CAl Poly,UC-davis, or all three into the Big Sky.

Now i know im going to get alot of respsonses saying that "the griz will turn into Idaho" or "they cant compete. Well that isnt true. The Griz are only getting better under the coaching of Hauk and i am pretty sure they could make an impact in the WAC. First off they could easily mop the floor with Utah State and Idaho, and have a good possibility of beating Nevada, New Mexico State and San Jose State. Their Stadium is probably big enough for the Division (Reaching 25,000) and the location makes a lot more sense and will save alot of money to go to Haiwii. Dont get me wrong it might take them a little bit to adjust but eventually they would, and it will happen eventually. I can see Montana moving up in the next 5 years easily and when they do it will be awsome to watch!
Hey if that's what you would like to see I'm not gonna rip on it. I disagree however as I think where we are now is more exciting than being in contention in the WAC. I've also heard the we'll move up in the next 5 years thing for about 10 years now. Considering there is a four year moratorium on ANYBODY even being considered for moving up I don't see it happening. I've been wrong before though. I think the thread is more about what could be done for each conference or what you think would work at this level as this is where we will most likely be for the foreseeable future. Welcome to the board Griz88, it's a pleasure to have more Griz fans in here.
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Re: Are you happy with your current conference?

Post by Mvemjsunpx »

GrizFan88 wrote:Alright after viewing all the possible scenarios i see one that would probably fit the best. Move Montana up into the WAC and possibly kick out Haiwii and move them to the PAC-10 (which makes way more sense). And to fill the void in the Big Sky move SUU, CAl Poly,UC-davis, or all three into the Big Sky.
OK, how exactly is this going to happen? It's not like there's some master figure who decides what teams go into what conference. Who's going to "kick out" Hawai'i & move them into the PAC-10? I don't know if Hawai'i has any interest in changing conferences & I really doubt the PAC-10 wants them (the travel budgets would increase monstrously).

Does the WAC want Montana? Does Montana even want to move up? Many fans want to move up but I'm guessing just as many want to stay in FCS. I'm opposed to a move up as long as FBS doesn't have a playoff system. I don't want to see Montana win the WAC & be rewarded with a trip to the [enter small-time computer manufacturer here] Jack Sh!t Bowl in Boise. I don't think the Griz athletic department really cares to move up, either. I doubt the revenues will increase much, if at all, given Montana won't be able to schedule as many regular season home games. Any possible revenue increase would likely be offset by the necessary increase in the recruiting budget, anyway. The Griz might get a little more national exposure due to some regular season TV contracts with the WAC, but I believe their chances of getting a national-TV FCS playoff game are actually higher than getting a bowl game in any given year. Montana will no doubt be able to compete in the FBS mid-major ranks, but will they be able to compete well enough to make it worth it? There's always the chance of a BCS Bowl, but to bank your hopes on that is pretty foolish. Boise's Fiesta Bowl appearance & win was a miracle shot, so to expect something similar for Montana is way too optimistic.
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Re: Are you happy with your current conference?

Post by GrizFan88 »

I see all of these as really good points. And you are right in a way as a fan i would like to see the Griz move up to and compete. I also aree with the bowl pairings...that is whay Division 1-A needs to get a playoff system, it would be so much better. And the thing about Haiwii, i know th travel will go up greatly, but PAC-10 teams are much bigger schools and can afford it easier im sure then WAC schools. And i personally think that eventually in the long run the GWFC will dissolve and Cal-Poly, UC-Davis and Southern Utah will move to the Big Sky and the Dakotas to the Gateway. Either way though, Go Griz!!
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Re: Are you happy with your current conference?

Post by Ursus A. Horribilis »

GrizFan88 wrote:I see all of these as really good points. And you are right in a way as a fan i would like to see the Griz move up to and compete. I also aree with the bowl pairings...that is whay Division 1-A needs to get a playoff system, it would be so much better. And the thing about Haiwii, i know th travel will go up greatly, but PAC-10 teams are much bigger schools and can afford it easier im sure then WAC schools. And i personally think that eventually in the long run the GWFC will dissolve and Cal-Poly, UC-Davis and Southern Utah will move to the Big Sky and the Dakotas to the Gateway. Either way though, Go Griz!!
This is only a point on the Hawaii thing. They are in the WAC for a reason. They are traditionally a mediocre team in the WAC. With that being said why on earth would the PAC 10 want to add expenses to their travel budgets just because they could afford it more easily? If you were the commissioner of the PAC 10 would you really think of adding a team that is not a traditionally strong team with a strong fan base to your conference and by doing so weaken the conference while adding expenses to the member schools budgets for not only football but all of the other sports as well? You would be on the unemployment line in mere minutes.
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Re: Are you happy with your current conference?

Post by AZGrizFan »

Mvemjsunpx wrote:
AZGrizFan wrote:
BSC Coastal

Portland State
Sac State
Cal Poly
Cal Davis
Eastern Washington
NAU
SUU

BSC Mountain

Montana
Montana State
USD
UND
Idaho State
Weber State
UNC
The Coastal/Mountain makes a lot more sense than the North/South idea, especially since Northern Colorado is further south than Idaho State and Weber.

I don't think there's any way you'll see UND or USD in the Big Sky. We don't want them & they probably don't want to join us. They're not even vaguely in any Big Sky school's region except for maybe Montana State. The conference may as well try to steal Texas State or Sam Houston State from the Southland; those two make about as much sense regionally. UND & USD probably want to eventually join with NDSU & SDSU in the Gateway/Summit, anyway. If there aren't any Dakota schools in the Big Sky, you could move SUU into the Mountain division.

I doubt you'll see this idea happen. Davis & Cal Poly probably wouldn't look to the Big Sky unless the Great West dissolves. That may happen, though, if UND & USD bolt. Also, the Big Sky would have to accept football-only members, which hasn't ever happened (Gonzaga was a basketball-only member until 1979). Also, you might see resistance to the 2 division idea from some of the current BSC schools because they would end up hosting Montana less often. Games against Montana increase their attendance dramatically.
You know, NAU is't really in any Big Sky school's region either. Nor is Sacramento State. The conference is so far flung that it's become ridiculous. Trying to formulate a functioning I-AA conference in the West is almost impossible these days. :evil:
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Re: Are you happy with your current conference?

Post by skinny_uncle »

The Valley/Gateway has been a good fit for the Salukis.
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Re: Are you happy with your current conference?

Post by GrizFan88 »

I agree. It will be hard to creat a conference with enough close teams to play against. The problem is in states like Wyoming and Nevada, not enough schools big enough to join the Big Sky or the Why not this, have NAU and Sac state leave to join the Great West and have North Dakota and South Dakota join the Big Sky. That would clear up some travel issues but agreed it is still a far distance to travel. But if SUU could travel to North and South dakota to play the jackrabbits and the bison for over 5 years alot of Big Sky schools could. And the distance to the dakotas is around the same as Montana traveling to NAU. Just have the schools play one of the dakotas away and the other at home every year. THat would cut down on some expenses.
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Re: Are you happy with your current conference?

Post by dbackjon »

GrizFan88 wrote:I agree. It will be hard to creat a conference with enough close teams to play against. The problem is in states like Wyoming and Nevada, not enough schools big enough to join the Big Sky or the Why not this, have NAU and Sac state leave to join the Great West and have North Dakota and South Dakota join the Big Sky. That would clear up some travel issues but agreed it is still a far distance to travel. But if SUU could travel to North and South dakota to play the jackrabbits and the bison for over 5 years alot of Big Sky schools could. And the distance to the dakotas is around the same as Montana traveling to NAU. Just have the schools play one of the dakotas away and the other at home every year. THat would cut down on some expenses.

What good does that do? As you stated, the Dakotas are just as far, if not farther than NAU. Why would you want to add teams that are not eligible for 5 years, and get rid of a school that has been around since almost the beginning? And where do you suggest the rest of our sports go.

Not a well thought out plan for the conference, but then again, we know that most Griz fans think the Big Sky revolves around them... :roll:
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Re: Are you happy with your current conference?

Post by Ursus A. Horribilis »

GrizFan88 wrote:I agree. It will be hard to creat a conference with enough close teams to play against. The problem is in states like Wyoming and Nevada, not enough schools big enough to join the Big Sky or the Why not this, have NAU and Sac state leave to join the Great West and have North Dakota and South Dakota join the Big Sky. That would clear up some travel issues but agreed it is still a far distance to travel. But if SUU could travel to North and South dakota to play the jackrabbits and the bison for over 5 years alot of Big Sky schools could. And the distance to the dakotas is around the same as Montana traveling to NAU. Just have the schools play one of the dakotas away and the other at home every year. THat would cut down on some expenses.
Not only what dback has said about all of the other sports besides football but instead of traveling this distance every other year we would now be traveling the distance every year since there are two schools to accommodate.
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Re: Are you happy with your current conference?

Post by Ibanez »

I'm content with the Big South. It's a great, small conference that we've dominated and grown up in. WE're starting to play bigger schools and get better recruits. hopefully, there will be a place for us in the SoCon.
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Re: Are you happy with your current conference?

Post by MrTitleist »

UND and USD won't come to the Big Sky. As dbackjon mentioned earlier in this thread, the Dakota schools are VERY far away.. Vermillion and Grand Forks are very closely located to the opposite Dakota border, and travel would be a bigger pain to those two schools. I'd rather see Poly and Davis come into the 'Sky, but with their basketball affiliations, that's doubtful. Southern Utah and Central Washington (if they ever move up) would be the only fits at this time, IMO. But all I'm sayin'.. NoCo and Sac. St. better step it up.
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Re: Are you happy with your current conference?

Post by SUUTbird »

I belive SUU will move up into the Big Sky eventually. They are begining to it seems play some more Big Sky schools in their schedual and when NoCol was in the Great West they always gave each other a good game. And look what happened in 07 Montana only pulled away in the 4th quarter against SUU when the score was 17-9, and when SUU went to MSU they lost 7-3. Even though their 0-11 record didnt show it my T-Birds could be a gritty team when they needed to be.
But if that doesnt happen the GWC needs to step it up and try to get more schools into the conference. Especially because the Dakotas might leave to join the gateway after there introduction years are up. Just one more team would allow at least 1 automatic bid into the playoffs, that is if the dakotas stayed. San Diego for instance should leave the pioneer conference and join the Great West, that would save expenses for them drastically. This is what should happen with the GWC:

GWC TEAMS
-Cal Poly
-UC-Davis
-SUU
-North Dakota (if they dont leave)
-South Dakota (if they dont leave)
-San Diego
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Re: Are you happy with your current conference?

Post by tampajag »

Competitivly, I really have no choice, we missed our opportunity to improve by about 10 years. After some shoddy work by the administration, every one has to work hard just to get back to where we used to be. So many people have passed us by it's not even funny.
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Re: Are you happy with your current conference?

Post by dbackjon »

tampajag wrote:Competitivly, I really have no choice, we missed our opportunity to improve by about 10 years. After some shoddy work by the administration, every one has to work hard just to get back to where we used to be. So many people have passed us by it's not even funny.

So what needs to be done?
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