Should ECU declare its independence?
Ken D. Dec 13, 9:48 a.m.
If I were up at 2:30 in the morning, I don't think this is what I'd be thinking about. :)
cherokeetomahawk Dec 13, 2:31 a.m.
This is one question that requires a great deal of thought.
Ken D. Dec 11, 5:29 p.m.
This may have made some sense in 2007, but I don't see where it has any virtues today except to continue to allow the league championship game that was lost with the defection of three schools. That's not much, in my book. I'm afraid at some point the merger became an end in itself, rather than as a means to some useful end.
tcoutouzis Dec 11, 5:19 p.m.
He has the one that has been pushing the merger. Terry has been pushing this since 2007. It sounds like they are finally going to do it.
Ken D. Dec 11, 1:19 p.m.
I don't think ECU's self-image would permit them to drop down to the FCS. And I understand why ECU plays one of the toughest non-conference schedules in the FBS. Being in C-USA means their overall strength of schedule will always be relatively low. And in an ideal world, they would get more credit than they do for "quality losses" out of conference. But it's not an ideal world, and the reality is, IMO, that if ECU goes 8-4 with quality losses to West Virginia and Virginia Tech, they won't be ranked. And if they were instead 10-2 with wins over Florida International and William and Mary they would be ranked.
They would also be hard to leave out of the bowl picture when only two or three bowl eligible teams are passed over every year with 35 bowl games - a lot more than there were when the Pirates were shut out in the 80's and 90's. When ECU was being passed over, there were only 107 teams in the FBS. Next year, there will be 123. Most of those schools who moved to the bowl division are less attractive bowl teams than ECU.
scousler Dec 11, 10:22 a.m.
ECU has one big problem - EC_WHO? Their football program has taken a virtual nosedive in the past ten years and until they resurrect it to the level it was in the '90's, it pretty much limits their options. They really have two logical options - improve their program and win more games against BCS opponents or put less emphasis on football and drop back down to Div II and play in the Southern Conference again. The major BCS conferences don't want them - and the other conferences incur some pretty steep travel comittments, without a really significant bowl opportunity/payout at the end of the season to offset expenses. Going independent might help - but unless they get a guaranteed bowl tie-in, they could end up with nothing even after an 8 win season.
If ECU wants to compete on a national level - then they will have to pay for it and win on a national level. About 3 or 4 9-11 win seasons strung together and more importantly a half dozen or so victories against quality BCS schools should dramatically improve their prospects. I think they should schedule more sanely to achieve that and spend more money on better head coaches and assistant coaches who can get it done. ECU was ESPN's darling in the 90's because they did this - but a series of bad coaching hires and lackluster recruiting shows they just didn't do enough to maintain and improve their program since.
Ken D. Dec 11, 8:54 a.m.
UConn doesn't need any help jumping. They're begging to get in to the ACC. Notre Dame is the hold up. The league is trying to give the Irish all the time it needs to decide to join for all sports. But that's not going to help ECU one way or the other.
ECU's fan base may be rabid and loyal, but it isn't very big compared to a school like Rutgers, even when Rutgers is horrible (which is most of the time). And expansion is less about fannies in the seats than it is about eyeballs in front of the TV. ND plus Rutgers adds about 6.4 million eyeballs. ND and UConn bring 5.7 million, UConn and Rutgers 3.1 million, and UConn and ECU total 1.9 million. That's assuming all their fans actually have two eyes each. That last combination wouldn't bring enough additional revenue to offset the fact that the pie has to be divided two more ways.
And if ECU wants to tout to networks that it draws well outside its small market area, let's hope they don't look at sites like this one, which draw the interest of only a handful of Pirate fans. Just look at the small number and the infrequency of posts and views in the Pirates Cove Forum.
ECU's not likely to get a satisfying solution to its football conference needs. Maybe they need to think about the needs of their other sports, which are only hurt by being in a coast to coast conference.
daniel81nc Dec 10, 5:40 p.m.
i got a better idea.. the ACC takes in ECU and hopes that makes uconn jump. that would solve it all and we would not have to see that horrible rutgers team join the acc. i have kinda given up on notre dame. they have dug their own grave and their basketball is going to go down with the rest of the ship uss big east.
Ken D. Dec 10, 11:46 a.m.
In all likelihood, that would leave ECU almost exactly where they were before all this started. Chances are, UTEP would shift to the Mountain West, where they belong geographically, and somebody like North Texas would be added to C-USA to bring each conference to nine schools. ECU would play four conference opponents from what used to be C-USA East and four from C-USA West each year.
They still won't have AQ status, and there's no reason to assume they will have a better television contract or better bowl tie-ins. Sounds like a lot of running in place to me. Unless the goal from the beginning was to maintain the status quo for the Pirates, we've gained nothing.
cherokeetomahawk Dec 10, 11:04 a.m.
Probably a resounding "yes."
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