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Did I hear a WOOSH?

Conference Realignment thread

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On 2/11/2024 at 11:14 PM, Did I hear a WOOSH? said:

The Massey Composite rankings have the MWC rated as the 7th best conference this season, most closely aligned with the A10 conference (8th).  That is a very good spot.  The PAC is on an island in 6th place, but the majority of them are leaving for the runaway top two conferences in the XII and BIG, respectively.

Every time this topic comes up I find myself desperately wishing that Hawaii could find some way to be invited into the MWC as a full member.

While the Big West is the best option for most of our non-football sports, my favorite sport is basketball and I would love to see Hawaii playing top-level competition again.  I know we haven't done anything over the past half-dozen years to show we deserve it, but I was attending games in the Stan Sheriff Center back when our home conference schedule featured former WAC opponents like New Mexico, San Diego State, Fresno State, Nevada and UNLV, and crowds of 8,000 to 10,000 for big games were the norm.  Moreover thanks to our strength of schedule and ability to recruit higher-level talent, we were able to line up non-conference home games with teams like Kansas, Indiana, Michigan State and North Carolina, and not only compete with them but sometimes beat them.  It was an amazing big-time college basketball experience and it's a shame we couldn't hold onto it.

Oh well, who knows, maybe we'll have a coaching change after this season and start winning some Big West championships, and that will open the door to a potential reunion with our old WAC rivals.

 

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On 2/12/2024 at 9:06 AM, smithy said:

Wasn't it Hawaii who chose to be in two conferences and not the other way around? I'm sure Hair wanted Hawaii to be a full member back in the day. 

I'm pretty sure Hawaii's invitation to the MWC was for football only because the Front Range schools didn't want to send their non-football teams on road trips to the Islands.  Putting our non-football sports in the Big West was our fallback option... one we were grateful for, because it allowed us to escape the dying WAC, and because the Big West is a great home in many ways (institutional fit, relatively easy travel, and top-notch competition in men's and women's volleyball, baseball, and some other niche sports in which Hawaii excels).

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On 2/12/2024 at 12:54 PM, HawaiiMongoose said:

Moreover thanks to our strength of schedule and ability to recruit higher-level talent, we were able to line up non-conference home games with teams like Kansas, Indiana, Michigan State and North Carolina, and not only compete with them but sometimes beat them.  It was an amazing big-time college basketball experience and it's a shame we couldn't hold onto it.

 

You were able to line up those teams because they generally were already in Hawaii to play in holiday tournaments.  Big schools dont need to fly all the way to Hawaii for one-off games.

It gives me a headache just trying to think down to your level

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On 2/12/2024 at 9:23 AM, RSF said:

You were able to line up those teams because they generally were already in Hawaii to play in holiday tournaments.  Big schools dont need to fly all the way to Hawaii for one-off games.

True.  Often it was because they were here to play in Hawaii's own Rainbow Classic, which used to be one of the nation's top holiday tournaments (check out #4 in the top 10 video) before being supplanted by the Maui Invitational.  Our upset of #2 Kansas was in the Rainbow Classic.

Unfortunately it's become very tough in recent years to convince blue-blood teams to play Hawaii before or after the Maui Invitational.  They don't see any upside because a win does little or nothing for their NET ranking and a loss would seriously damage their non-conference resume.  An exception is next season when North Carolina is scheduled to play Hawaii in the Stan Sheriff Center three days before heading over to Maui to compete in the Invitational.  The other teams lined up to play in that tournament are Michigan State, Memphis, Dayton, Auburn, Iowa State, Colorado, and 2023 NCAA national champion UConn.

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On 2/9/2024 at 10:05 PM, Headbutt said:

How long since UTEP brought the Sun Bowl?  It's been a low level ACC/Pac12 matchup for better than a decade now.  We've all got our preferences, and I respect others opinions.  However, my preference is hell no to UTEP and I don't see any real value in GCU or even Gonzaga.

If the MWC does expand into Texas there are much better choices then UTEP, especially considering they'd have to bring financial value and I don't see El Paso doing that. The only sceanrio UTEP gets into the MWC is if the Conference is only partially raided, which seems very unlikely.

The most likely scenario I see the PAC2 being able to achieve (outside of a full reverse merger or buying their way into a Power Conference) is going Indy and keeping the current scheduling agreement if it means keeping their Power status, similar to ND and the ACC. It's probably the best/only way to use what leverage they have to negotiate with the CFP Committee to give them their much desired 5-7 format. 

If that occurs I think going after a pair of Texas schools would be smart to ensure added value to the new MWC TV deal, could use the additional funds from OSU and Wazzu to help bring a pair over. UTSA and UNT would be my picks as they would add value (why the AAC added them), a new Timezone/TV slot options and as far as I understand they make less then the current legacy AAC teams, meaning they'd get more in the MWC.

SDSU..........Utah State

Fresno........Wyoming 

SJSU..........CSU

Hawaii........Air Force

UNLV...........New Mexico

Nevada.......UTSA

Boise...........UNT

*OSU...........*Wazzu (scheduling alliance)

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On 2/12/2024 at 1:54 PM, HawaiiMongoose said:

Every time this topic comes up I find myself desperately wishing that Hawaii could find some way to be invited into the MWC as a full member.

While the Big West is the best option for most of our non-football sports, my favorite sport is basketball and I would love to see Hawaii playing top-level competition again.  I know we haven't done anything over the past half-dozen years to show we deserve it, but I was attending games in the Stan Sheriff Center back when our home conference schedule featured former WAC opponents like New Mexico, San Diego State, Fresno State, Nevada and UNLV, and crowds of 8,000 to 10,000 for big games were the norm.  Moreover thanks to our strength of schedule and ability to recruit higher-level talent, we were able to line up non-conference home games with teams like Kansas, Indiana, Michigan State and North Carolina, and not only compete with them but sometimes beat them.  It was an amazing big-time college basketball experience and it's a shame we couldn't hold onto it.

freestar

Oh well, who knows, maybe we'll have a coaching change after this season and start winning some Big West championships, and that will open the door to a potential reunion with our old WAC rivals.

 

Recruiting/NIL considerations aside, Hawaii could schedule multiple invitationals-especially during winter break time..and probably get some real nice participation from eastern power level teams.  The key would be getting several ‘good’ teams in the same tournament. I’m not sure your NIL situation but I could definitely see stacking your resources more into basketball than football and having that pay off.

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On 2/12/2024 at 3:08 PM, utgrizfan said:

If the MWC does expand into Texas there are much better choices then UTEP, especially considering they'd have to bring financial value and I don't see El Paso doing that. 

The most likely scenario I see the PAC2 being able to achieve (outside of a full reverse merger or buying their way into a Power Conference) is going Indy and keeping the current scheduling agreement if it means keeping their Power status, similar to ND and the ACC. It's probably the best/only way to use what leverage they have to negotiate with the CFP Committee to give them their much desired 5-7 format. 

If that occurs I think going after a pair of Texas schools would be smart to ensure added value to the new MWC TV deal, could use the additional funds from OSU and Wazzu to help bring a pair over. UTSA and UNT would be my picks as they would add value (why the AAC added them), a new Timezone/TV slot options and as far as I understand they make much less then the current legacy teams, meaning they'd get more in the MWC.

SDSU..........Utah State

Fresno........Wyoming 

SJSU..........CSU

Hawaii........Air Force

UNLV...........New Mexico

Nevada.......UTSA

Boise...........UNT

*OSU...........*Wazzu (scheduling alliance)

UTSA/UNT aren’t leaving.  Texas State could be an option though.  

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On 2/12/2024 at 1:26 PM, Did I hear a WOOSH? said:

UTSA/UNT aren’t leaving.  Texas State could be an option though.  

I think UTSA and UNT would gladly leave.

They are not even getting a full share in the American. If it meant joining a league that isn’t just going to be poached again by the ACC and Big XII, they would leave. They would certainly leave if it meant joining the PAC brand. 

I think adding UTSA, OSU, WSU and one other member would be a good move for the PAC/MWC. 


 

 

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On 2/12/2024 at 10:08 AM, utgrizfan said:

If the MWC does expand into Texas there are much better choices then UTEP, especially considering they'd have to bring financial value and I don't see El Paso doing that. 

The most likely scenario I see the PAC2 being able to achieve (outside of a full reverse merger or buying their way into a Power Conference) is going Indy and keeping the current scheduling agreement if it means keeping their Power status, similar to ND and the ACC. It's probably the best/only way to use what leverage they have to negotiate with the CFP Committee to give them their much desired 5-7 format. 

If that occurs I think going after a pair of Texas schools would be smart to ensure added value to the new MWC TV deal, could use the additional funds from OSU and Wazzu to help bring a pair over. UTSA and UNT would be my picks as they would add value (why the AAC added them), a new Timezone/TV slot options and as far as I understand they make much less then the current legacy teams, meaning they'd get more in the MWC.

SDSU..........Utah State

Fresno........Wyoming 

SJSU..........CSU

Hawaii........Air Force

UNLV...........New Mexico

Nevada.......UTSA

Boise...........UNT

*OSU...........*Wazzu (scheduling alliance)

I agree that if the MWC decided to take another run at expanding into Texas, those two would be the most likely targets.  The fact that they get paid less than the legacy AAC schools might enable them to get out with a lower exit fee.  And while North Texas and Rice were the MWC's top targets a few years ago, since that time UTSA has become a more compelling football addition than Rice, and has moved up a notch academically by attaining an R1 Carnegie classification.

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On 2/12/2024 at 1:35 PM, SteedLaw said:

I think UTSA and UNT would gladly leave.

They are not even getting a full share in the American. If it meant joining a league that isn’t just going to be poached again by the ACC and Big XII, they would leave. They would certainly leave if it meant joining the PAC brand. 

I think adding UTSA, OSU, WSU and one other member would be a good move for the PAC/MWC. 


 

 

I do still think a full merger of the PAC+MWC is the most likely scenario and those 3 plus 1 more would/should beat the current AAC TV deal. Not going after UTSA before imo was a mistake, so them and another large Market Texas team (UNT, Rice etc.) would add value. I think all the CUSA additions are only making around 2-4 million currently.

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On 2/12/2024 at 10:21 AM, Did I hear a WOOSH? said:

Recruiting/NIL considerations aside, Hawaii could schedule multiple invitationals-especially during winter break time..and probably get some real nice participation from eastern power level teams.  The key would be getting several ‘good’ teams in the same tournament. I’m not sure your NIL situation but I could definitely see stacking your resources more into basketball than football and having that pay off.

NIL is a work in progress here, as it as at most non-power schools, but the resources are starting to flow.  The current top scorer on Hawaii's basketball team had been planning to turn pro after last season, but was convinced to stay another year by an NIL deal.

However scheduling has become a lot tougher than you might think.  The positive is that ESPN continues to sponsor the Diamond Head Classic, which guarantees us three solid home opponents over the Christmas holiday.  However the Maui Invitational now dominates Thanksgiving weekend, and since Hawaii is never invited to play in it, the team typically travels to a Mainland tournament that weekend.  Hawaii has tried to maintain the Rainbow Classic as an early November season-kickoff tournament, but has had to shrink the field from eight to four teams in recent years due to lack of interest from Mainland schools, and actually had to cancel this season's Rainbow Classic because one of the committed participants backed out late.  I think the only way to get power conference teams interested in playing at Hawaii again is to significantly raise the program's profile, and short of becoming a Big West version of Gonzaga by winning multiple consecutive conference titles, the only feasible path to doing that starts with getting the program into the MWC.

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On 2/11/2024 at 2:36 PM, SteedLaw said:

You know what they say about "birds of a feather"...

My take is that the MWC appears to be becoming part of the new PAC/MWC once Washington State and Oregon State join.

Look, it is University Presidents (i.e., academics/researchers/administrators) who are making these decisions. And, for most of these institutions, research and academics IS the game -- athletics is really just a small sideshow by comparison in total revenue, budget and expenditure dollars anyway.

I see no way that non-research or low research schools like GCU and Gonzaga would get an invite to the new PAC/MWC -- regardless of how good their basketball programs are. Colorado State is pushing half a billion a year in research now with Utah State and New Mexico not far behind. (And, this says nothing about wholly-owned research subsidiaries or joint venture subsidiaries.) Even Boise State (i.e., currently the lowest in the conference in research) is now a Carnegie R2 with a research and expenditure budget creeping up to being on par with their athletics budget -- and they are currently the lowest in research in the conference.

WSU and OSU would fit right at home here with us. In fact, they would be 2nd (Washington State) and 5th (Oregon State) place in overall R&D revenue, budgets and expenditures -- (i.e., Colorado State would still be 1st, Utah State would be 3rd, New Mexico would be 4th and Hawaii would be 6th). GCU and Gonzaga? They would not even make this list and would be far below even Boise State. Unlike Oregon State and Washington State, UTEP would be above Boise State, but would still be at the near bottom of the conference -- so I don't think that would at all be exciting to these University presidents. Again...birds of a feather and I just don't see it.

I know MANY on these forums would disagree -- but I still see schools like Texas State and UTSA being far more likely candidates given their Carnegie R1 research statuses. Even the two Montana Schools and U. Idaho would be far more likely adds to the conference than schools like Gonzaga, UTEP, and GCU. 

 

Just my two cents anyway...

Source: https://ncsesdata.nsf.gov/profiles/site?method=rankingBySource&ds=herd

TV executives are making these decisions.

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On 2/12/2024 at 11:53 AM, jdgaucho said:

Hey @HawaiiMongoose, on your way out the door will you please put in a good word for us to GCU and Seattle about them taking your place?  Thank you.

LOL.  We both know Hawaii isn't going anywhere.  Those glory days in the old WAC are dead and gone, and the Big West will remain Hawaii's home for the foreseeable future.  I just let myself indulge in a bit of nostalgia now and then.

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On 2/12/2024 at 2:26 PM, HawaiiMongoose said:

LOL.  We both know Hawaii isn't going anywhere.  Those glory days in the old WAC are dead and gone, and the Big West will remain Hawaii's home for the foreseeable future.  I just let myself indulge in a bit of nostalgia now and then.

And there's nothing wrong with that. Btw, I was very friendly with Gavin Smith as a kid. Played with him and against him in Little League and Babe Ruth League baseball for several years and we went to the same junior high school. Gavin was a phenomenal athlete and it's too bad he didn't attend Hawaii from the beginning rather than being just a role player for John Wooden for three years or he might have been mentioned in the video you linked. (Not the brightest bulb in the box but a very nice guy who certainly didn't deserve such a sad ending to his life.)

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On 2/12/2024 at 2:26 PM, HawaiiMongoose said:

LOL.  We both know Hawaii isn't going anywhere.  Those glory days in the old WAC are dead and gone, and the Big West will remain Hawaii's home for the foreseeable future.  I just let myself indulge in a bit of nostalgia now and then.

 

If it's any consolation to you, I also like indulging in a bit of nostalgia. And likewise, the glory days in the old Big West - which included several members who now call the MWC home - are also dead and gone.  We're never getting UNLV back. 

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On 2/11/2024 at 9:12 AM, NorCalCoug said:

The MWC is not a power conference in basketball.  😂 

With the PAC ending and the media starting to fawn it’s only a matter of time. If we repeat 2011 or better with 2 schools in the S16 the media will get louder and you’ll have to deal with it. Sorry, I’m just tracking the media and their new found love of the Mtn West. 

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Speaking of nostalgia @818SUDSFan, I saw a book celebrating the first century of Aztec football when I went to the SDSU-Nevada game at Snapdragon.  It's good that the history is chronicled so that it doesn't get lost.

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On 2/12/2024 at 12:26 PM, Did I hear a WOOSH? said:

UTSA/UNT aren’t leaving.  Texas State could be an option though.  

they are getting peanuts on the media deal

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