Should ECU declare its independence?
Ken D. Dec 8, 9:21 a.m.
With the most recent changes to the landscape, C-USA is considering forming an all-sports conference. The schools to be included are Hawaii, Fresno State, Nevada, UNLV, Wyoming, Air Force, Colorado State, New Mexico, UTEP, Tulsa, Tulane, Rice, Memphis, Southern Miss, UAB, Marshall and ECU.
Are you excited, Pirate fans? If you thought there was a western bias to your league before, just wait. Has anyone heard Terry Holland's views on this alignment?
Ken D. Oct 29, 10:41 a.m.
Independence is looking better to me all the time.
West Virginia has been a good non-conference game (NC) for the Pirates every few years, but with them now having to travel a lot more for their in-conference schedule, and with their rivalry with Pitt now taking up an NC spot, it may be harder to get them to play ECU.
On the other hand, a lot of ACC teams have scheduled non-conference games against Big East opponents that are now in the ACC, so they'll need to look elsewhere for their fourth NC game. EC could end up looking good to them, too.
As for the MWC "merger", I don't see that gaining a BCS AQ spot, even if the Big East disappears or loses its status. Whoever has Boise gets lots of points in one of the categories the BCS uses to evaluate potential AQ conferences (highest finish in the final BCS standings). They also get help in the third criterion (# of conference teams in top 25 of the BCS standings). But the most important criterion, and the one that assures the ACC of its spot, is the average strength of all the teams in the conference, top to bottom. That's what's hurt the MWC and the WAC in the past. Each has had a couple of good teams at the top, but they have too many stinkers at the bottom of the league.
Joining forces with C-USA doesn't add any schools that help in the BCS standings criteria, it just adds more teams that pull down the average strength rating for the top teams. So no matter what happens, ECU isn't going to wind up in an AQ conference, so it might as well try for whatever gives them the best geographical and competitive solution.
My first choice is to try to add Cincy, Louisville and South Florida to C-USA East and form a separate 9-team conference. Otherwise, I'd just as soon be independent.
tcoutouzis Oct 28, 10:11 p.m.
With the loss of all the good CUSA competition with the exception of Southern Miss, we should go independent if we can get a bowl tie in.
dawgitall Oct 16, 2:35 p.m.
Everything would stay the same as far as team we would play. The CUSA teams would be one division and the MWC would be the other division. Maybe we would play one out of division conference game a season if any. And to balance the divisions UTEP could switch to the other division.
Pirates of the East Oct 16, 1:23 p.m.
I think indy would be better than the MWC-CUSA if we have to travel to Fresno, SD, Hawaii, etc. Im still holding out hope we can get a Big East invite, if Boise, AF, or Navy decline i've read that us and Temple are plan b's. Even if the BE is no longer a BCS conference its better than the mess we're in now.
Im not sure if we will have to travel to the west coast to play MWC teams. Terry Holland didnt like having us travel all the way to Texas to play, so I don't know why he would approve of the MWC-CUSA merger unless he knows we're not going to have to go to the west coast.
Ken D. Oct 16, 1:12 p.m.
In light of recent developments on the realignment front, do you still think independence is such a wacky idea?
If the reported changes actually happen, ECU will be in a conference that is even weaker and more geographically far-flung than than its current situation. How does the occasional away game in San Diego sound? I hear Fresno is nice this time of year. If the long hoped for invite from the Big East does ever come, it won't be to a BCS conference, and may not have many teams from the east.
I hope Terry Holland is as dissatisfied with the current conference outlook for ECU as I am.
davenportj Sep 2, 4:10 p.m.
Would the ACC ask ECU to join them I don't know. I do know that ECU has lusted for a Big East membership. As things stand now I don't know if ECU will be in the running from any conference as teams keep spinning off to form larger T.V. markets. I think if the ACC reaches out it may be to W.Va.and Louisville I just don't know
Ken D. Aug 27, 11:56 a.m.
"Would ECU still be interested in changing leagues if the choices did not include the ACC?"
I confess that much of my analysis assumes that ECU joining the ACC will never happen. If that is true, then I stick with my belief that ECU has little to gain from switching conferences. In fact, if you read all the posts here, that seems to be the assumption of most of us - especially posters who aren't Pirate fans. So why do we make that assumption? Do we assume the other NC schools would blackball ECU? Or do we assume that the rest of the league wouldn't want a fifth school from North Carolina?
When the league had eight teams, I could understand why the other schools wouldn't want even more dominance by North Carolina schools. Now that we have 12, that wouldn't be as big a fear, especially if it is part of further expansion. Five schools out of sixteen is a lot more acceptable than five out of nine.
I can actually envision the possibility of ECU coming in, along with Syracuse, UConn and Rutgers, joining Maryland, Virginia, Va Tech and BC in a northern division. That would restore the annual round robin among UNC, State, Duke and Wake who would all be in the southern division.
Some might not like such an unwieldy conference for basketball, but who says you have to act as a single conference for basketball or non-revenue sports? I don't think the NCAA would have a problem with treating the north and south divisions as separate conferences for basketball. Each of their champions would be worthy of an automatic tourney invite. That would allow you to have two separate 8-team tournaments in the format that was so exciting in the ACC for years.
The divisions could agree to act as a single conference for revenue splitting/sharing purposes even if it acts as two conferences for other purposes. Never say never, especially when conferences are changing the rules every day.
Ken D. Aug 27, 11:04 a.m.
It seems to me that, with the exception of the ACC, there are no conferences in which ECU's travel considerations would improve significantly. There are only a few non-ACC schools in the FBS less than eight hours from Greenville by car. So no matter what conference ECU is in, they'll be flying to most away games. And if you're flying, 500 miles or 1000 miles doesn't make much difference.
So, if travel isn't the issue, and rivalries aren't the issue, the only issues left are money and bowl affiliations. I don't believe more money will make ECU a better football program. I also don't believe that more money will find its way to the non-revenue sports. I think whatever additional revenues the Pirates would get will be used up by the football program in an escalating facilities arms race.
So, what does ECU hope to achieve by changing its conference affiliation? Is the goal just to be able to say that you play in a conference that has an automatic qualifier in the BCS (just like UNC and State)? What if the BCS dissolves, except for the mechanism for picking two teams to play in a "championship" game? Or if a tournament replaces even that? Would ECU still be interested in changing leagues if the choices did not include the ACC?
If there were no BCS conferences, what would ECU's goal be for its sports teams? And what would be the best way to achieve those goals?
TerrorOnTheHighSeas Aug 15, 8:11 p.m.
Awww so sad whats your problem man ? Is your team on a losing streak or something ? Too bad.
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