Should ECU declare its independence?

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  • tcoutouzis Feb 16, 2012
    Sports Legend

    From what I have heard they are looking at Temple, FIU and a team from Ohio that hasn't been named. Temple just wants football only which I am not sure will fly with the conference vision. Terry seems confident that they will go to 24 teams and will be a better conference than the Big East with a better TV deal.

    I think they might include 1 or 2 1AA schools. Maybe App and Georgia Southern.

  • Ken D. Feb 16, 2012
    Sports Legend

    View quoted thread

    It seems to me that both the Big East and C-USA are expanding, not by adding better teams than they already had, but by moving further down the food chain. At the end of the day, both of them are weaker - and significantly so - than they were before all this started. The Big East has moved down to the level C-USA occupied pre-expansion (indeed, 7 of their 12 members are now former C-USA teams) while C-USA is threatening to become Sunbelt West.

    They are both in a race to see which is the taller midget.

  • tcoutouzis Feb 16, 2012
    Sports Legend

    I think that we will actually surpass the The Big East in TV dollars and strength. I think they may pick up only one possible 1AA team. That would be App St. Taller midget or not I would love to have a 4 team playoff for the Alliance Championship. It is going to set a the foundation for a national playoff and put the BCS out of its misery. They are looking for good teams in decent markets. We have heard about Temple, FIU, La Tech, North Texas, UT San Antonio some school in the MAC from Ohio. I am not sure of any others though. We'll see what happens. The Big East did take Memphis so obviously they are aware that the BCS as we know it is going away. Any football team we add will strengthen the conference by leaps and bounds.

  • Ken D. Feb 17, 2012
    Sports Legend

    I don't think the goal was for C-USA to be stronger than the Big East. I thought the goal was for ECU to be in a better conference than it was before. I don't think that's the case. I believe this new conference will be much weaker than it was, and I don't believe it will put more money into ECU's athletic budget. I also think it will preclude ECU from participating in any playoff format likely to be adopted.

    I don't see a win here.

  • davenportj Feb 17, 2012

    I hope this is for the short term. ECU can patch up a eastern conference with S.Miss. and maybe break away in a few years. or maybe they will get the CALL! And YES I don't like the merger

  • lazydawg58 Feb 19, 2012

    I'm afraid ultimately we will see the FBS subdivide. The Pac, B10, B12, ACC and big Daddy SEC become Division One and hold a championship. Then the BE, CUSA/MWC, SB, Mid Am., and whatever they are calling that other one out west hold a Division Two poor man's championship. Then we have the FBS.

  • Ken D. Feb 19, 2012
    Sports Legend

    View quoted thread

    I think the biggest thing that keeps that from happening is that football is a zero sum game. That is, for every winner there must be a loser. What keeps the alumni of the schools in the power conferences happy is having winning records and going to bowls. This past year, 42 of the 58 schools in those five conferences achieved that. The only way they can continue to do so is if they routinely play and win a significant number of games against lesser conferences and lower division teams.

    If they break away, they may be forced to just play each other, which means on average only about 29 schools will finish the season happy. That's a lot of unhappy alumni.

  • lazydawg58 Feb 20, 2012

    View quoted thread

    I was thinking that they continue to play each other, just don't get invited to the elite bowls if you aren't in one of the five big time conferences.

  • VT1994Hokie Feb 23, 2012
    Sports Legend

    Not too many postings on here for ECU. I know they have lost a few close basketball games.

  • 4DORADSTROYA Feb 27, 2012
    All Star


  • davenportj Feb 28, 2012

    View quoted thread

    Stay out of this "John" unless you got an invite for us

  • richardgoudie Apr 28, 2012
    Towel Boy

    Independence would be an option with a lot of risks. My concern then is we end up with 7 or 8 football games against FBS teams and all the others against FCS. That would also water down the home schedule making season ticket sales suffer. Only diehard Pirate fans like myself would continue to buy season tickets I predict.

    Depending on how the Mountain USA pans out I would like to see ECU start it's own conference in the east before considering independence. So a conference with the following:

    So Miss
    La. Tech
    Troy Tulane App St NC-charlotte

  • richardgoudie Apr 29, 2012
    Towel Boy

    Additonal Perspective:

  • Ken D. May 4, 2012
    Sports Legend

    When I posted this last July, I'll bet there were a lot fewer fans who would have answered this question "yes" than there are today.

  • 4tarheels May 6, 2012
    Sports Legend

    View quoted thread

    I agree. ECU has better chance of creating and/or maintaining respectability on it's own than associating with the Sun Belt/USA. Either that, or Pirate fans need to come to grips with fact that ECU is no better La. Tech, etc.

  • Ken D. May 6, 2012
    Sports Legend

    View quoted thread

    There's no doubt it's harder to put together a good schedule as an independent. But I don't think it's impossible. I think the very thing that makes it hard for ECU to be part of a strong regional conference helps them as an independent. There are a lot of schools in the region that are part of respectable conferences, and ECU can tap into that.

    For example, I think the Pirates could assemble a core group of annual opponents based on different affinities. Let's say they could play Southern Miss, Marshall, Charlotte and fellow independent BYU every year. To that core, alternate the following pairs of schools home and home so each visits ECU once each four years: UNC/NC State, Wake Forest/Duke, Army/Navy, and South Florida/Central Florida.

    That would give the Pirates four solid home games a year as a base. To beef up their schedule, ECU has avoided playing FCS opponents in their four non-conference games. As an independent, there are a lot of fan-worthy opponents in the region that they could play as a fifth home game. These include William & Mary, Richmond, Old Dominion, Furman, App State and others.

    That leaves three games a year, and a host of possible opponents the Pirates have played in the recent past, including in Greenville. These include UAB, Maryland, UVa, Rutgers, UConn, Temple, South Carolina, Kentucky, Vanderbilt, Georgia, Virginia Tech and West Virginia. Even Notre Dame is a potential opponent.

    Once every four years, I would try to schedule a Thanksgiving weekend game at Hawaii, since doing so allows ECU to schedule a 13th regular season game. That could provide interested fans with a bowl-like experience at a nice location, to offset the limitations not having a contractual bowl tie-in might create.

    In short, I think ECU could have a more attractive, fan friendly schedule as an independent than in a weak, far-flung C-USA.

  • Lost and Loaded Jun 21, 2012
    Sports Legend

    Why not go independent - then no one will ever have to watch ECU play football again. We also won't have to worry about some ECU team with a winning record play in a bowl game either. Stop drinking so much and watch ESPN or read a newspaper. ECU is not Notre Dame - never will be - they are lucky to be in C-USA.

  • Ken D. Oct 31, 2012
    Sports Legend

    View quoted thread

    You referred to Sunbelt/USA. Why not? It makes more sense than Mountain/USA, at least from a geographical standpoint.

    There are - or will be - 24 schools left in these two conferences. Why not merge into a 24 team mega-conference with four 6-team divisions?

    Piedmont Division: ECU, Marshall, Western Kentucky, Middle Tennessee, Old Dominion and Charlotte.

    Dixie Division: Florida Atlantic, Florida International, Georgia State, UAB, Troy and Southern Miss.

    Gulf Coast Division: South Alabama, Lafayette, Monroe, Louisiana Tech, Tulane, and Arkansas State.

    Lone Star Division: Tulsa, Rice, North Texas, UT San Antonio, Texas State and UTEP.

    Play five division opponents plus one opponent from each of the other three divisions. Piedmont and Dixie champs play each other in one Conference semifinal and Gulf and Lone Star champs in the other. The two winners play each other in a bowl game for the conference championship.

  • Thorpedoed v2 Oct 31, 2012

    I don't think they should go indie, as they'll probably get less bowl bids than they do now. However, they need to quit C-USA like a bad habit before they get caught in a downward spiral.

  • Ken D. Oct 31, 2012
    Sports Legend

    View quoted thread

    That ship has already sailed. There is nowhere to go but up at this point.

  • Dafuq Oct 31, 2012

    View quoted thread

    They could be cruising for FCS territory if they don't move soon.

  • Lost and Loaded Oct 31, 2012
    Sports Legend

    I think the Pirates should roll it back a bit and drop a level in college football. At present, the best they could ever do is a top 25 finish and a slight bowl upgrade. Rolling back to the Southern Conference would save a ton of money and still provide competitive, entertaining football games.

  • Ken D. Oct 31, 2012
    Sports Legend

    View quoted thread

    Not to mention giving them a legitimate shot at a national championship every year. But when I even hinted at what you just suggested a couple of years ago, Pirate fans were all over me. FCS just doesn't fit the fans' perception of what ECU should be.

  • lazydawg58 Nov 1, 2012

    The 2nd or 3rd (give or take a few students) largest public university in the 10th largest state in the country doesn't need to be FCS. A more compact, regional conference yes but not dropping down to the second tier. This will all shake out eventually and ECU will be in a better situation. Nothing will happen and then all of a sudden all kinds of things will start happening.

  • Ken D. Nov 2, 2012
    Sports Legend

    View quoted thread

    It certainly isn't likely. Attendance at Pirate games is routinely 20,000 more than the record highest attendance at any other FCS school, and at least 40,000 more than average FCS attendance. Add to that the trend for schools to move up in class, not down, and many of the schools ECU might join up with may be FBS soon anyway. In that list I'm including App State, Richmond, William & Mary and James Madison. Charlotte and Old Dominion are already committed to the FBS.

  • Ken D. Nov 2, 2012
    Sports Legend

    Somewhere in all the posts on this forum somebody said the big dogs may not be finished feeding yet. But there aren't many prizes left out there. I could still see the Big East being raided again. It's not out of the question that the Big XII might snatch Louisville and Cincinnati to mollify West Virginia who is currently isolated. Now that Notre Dame's position has been clarified, we could also see the ACC take UConn and Rutgers (the latter possibly for football only).

    If that were to happen, perhaps the three southeastern schools that left C-USA for the Big East (USF, UCF and Memphis) might come back for a new east of the Mississippi conference. They could join ECU, Southern Miss, Charlotte, Old Dominion and UAB - and pluck Middle Tennessee and Western Kentucky to make a competitively respectable and geographically logical eastern league.

  • tcoutouzis Nov 2, 2012
    Sports Legend

    We will never move down to FCS. How many FCS teams have 50K seat stadiums?

    As for expansion I know TH talked to the Big 12 about joining last year. I know that he was turned down. However, Chuck Neinas has just been signed up as a consultant to help us with conference expansion. He may try to open the door to the Big 12, but more than likely the Big East aka CUSA 2.0. We'll see.

  • Ken D. Nov 3, 2012
    Sports Legend

    View quoted thread

    A few of them have big stadiums, but they're mostly empty on Saturdays. ECU ranked #44 in average attendance in 2010 (the most recent year I could find). They were the highest average outside the five major conferences. Louisville was slightly ahead of them, and Cincinnati was 15,000 per game behind them.

    If Neinas could package Louisville and ECU to the Big XII, it might be good for ECU, moneywise. But competition wise? It would have to be football only for the Pirates, IMO. But, frankly, I don't see that happening either. I don't think the Big XII would consider Cincy, because they wouldn't add much in terms of markets that Louisville doesn't already give them. I could see them going west for #12 and inviting Boise State.

    Without Louisville, Rutgers and UConn, the Big East would fold. Replace Western Ky and MTSU with Cincy from my previous post and you have an even stronger league.

  • lazydawg58 Nov 3, 2012

    Steve Logan said this morning that ECU had to get out of CUSA and into the Big East. I was a little surprised about that. I just don't see much good in the the BE. But maybe I'm just mad about not getting invited in by them. He talked about working very agressively with politically powerful people to get it done at all cost. I still think they need to allow things to shake out and be in a good position to create a good conference in the reworked FBS.

  • MoDuke v2 is gone Nov 3, 2012
    Sports Legend

    Maybe ECU should wait to see if the ACC might invite them in to replace carolina just in case they get the death penalty once all the investigations are concluded.

  • hovis Nov 6, 2012
    All Star

    Simple answer...yes.
    You already have the games for VT and UNC. And if at this point you hired someone to build you an independent schedule and they gave you what you have in conference USA you would fire him.
    If the skill level of the teams was not markedly increased you could still save a boatload of money by not have to constantly fly your other sport womens' and mens all over the planet.
    And the bowl revenue from conference USA does not even come close to the money you would save by this more regional schedule.
    To convince your athletic department that as fans you are committed to this course of action you could all try to get season tickets sold out. That would bring in extra revenue that they could budget around. Then there is the off chance that you go to a bowl and do not have to divide the money with anyone. Some bowls actually lose money for the attending teams because they cannot sell enough of their allotment and only get a conference cut of the bowl money.
    None of the above is easy or really likely to work well...but Cusa is a sure fire program killer for ECU at this point.

  • tcoutouzis Nov 25, 2012
    Sports Legend

    I have been hearing that Louisville is getting the invite tomorrow from the ACC. I have also heard that UC will be getting the bid over UConn. If the ACC picks up 3 then UConn would be next.

    Take it for what it is worth, it was said that FSU wants Louisville or they are gone. It was also said that they are picking up UC to block the Big 12 expansion east which would force Clemson and FSU to stay in the ACC as they won't have any regional competition.

    I wonder if we should go to the BE? I can't imagine they would give us full admission for all sports.

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