Summit League

Miscellaneous discussions. Things that don't have anything to do with Western, Leatherneck Athletics, college sports in general, etc.
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wrj
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Location: Black Hills, South Dakota

Wed Aug 29, 2018 12:32 pm

There has been a lot of chatter in Sioux Falls this summer about Augustana University in Sioux Falls moving to D1 and joining the Summit League. Do you folks think that your administration would vote to add more trips to South Dakota for each sport each season?
A proud lifelong fan of the Jackrabbits of South Dakota State University.
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Tere North
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Wed Aug 29, 2018 12:46 pm

Honestly, in my view, Western needs to find a conference affiliation closer to home.

I don't view it as voting to add another SD trip, but rather, making all WIU conference trips closer instead.
leatherneckcountry
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Wed Aug 29, 2018 1:59 pm

Tere North wrote:
Wed Aug 29, 2018 12:46 pm
Honestly, in my view, Western needs to find a conference affiliation closer to home.

I don't view it as voting to add another SD trip, but rather, making all WIU conference trips closer instead.
I actually agree with Tere on finding a closer conference unfortunately there really isn't a conference like that who would realistically have us. If I was voting I would say no because having an even # of Dakota teams is the ideal situation so that you don't have to make an extra trip for 1 game.
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ST_Lawson
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Wed Aug 29, 2018 4:15 pm

I personally would vote no because I don't think they have any business being DI and I don't want another Centenary College situation where they end up dropping back down.
In DI there aren't really any closer conferences for us other than maybe the OVC, but I haven't run the numbers on that yet.
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Tere North
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Wed Aug 29, 2018 6:57 pm

ST_Lawson wrote:
Wed Aug 29, 2018 4:15 pm
I personally would vote no because I don't think they have any business being DI and I don't want another Centenary College situation where they end up dropping back down.
In DI there aren't really any closer conferences for us other than maybe the OVC, but I haven't run the numbers on that yet.
MAC - also bowl eligible
Mac-West = Ball State, Central MI, Eastern MI, Northern IL Toledo, Western MI
MAC-East - Akron, Bowling Green, Kent State, Miami-Ohio, Ohio University

Horizon
Cleveland State, Detroit Mercy, UW-Green Bay, IUPUI, Milwaukee, Northern KY, Oakland, UI-Chicago, Wright State, Youngstown State

Both may not be much closer, but definitely more regionally appropriate with all easily driveable given IL, MI, KY, OH - plus, MAC plays FB
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ST_Lawson
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Wed Aug 29, 2018 10:19 pm

Tere North wrote:
Wed Aug 29, 2018 6:57 pm
ST_Lawson wrote:
Wed Aug 29, 2018 4:15 pm
I personally would vote no because I don't think they have any business being DI and I don't want another Centenary College situation where they end up dropping back down.
In DI there aren't really any closer conferences for us other than maybe the OVC, but I haven't run the numbers on that yet.
MAC - also bowl eligible
Mac-West = Ball State, Central MI, Eastern MI, Northern IL Toledo, Western MI
MAC-East - Akron, Bowling Green, Kent State, Miami-Ohio, Ohio University

Horizon
Cleveland State, Detroit Mercy, UW-Green Bay, IUPUI, Milwaukee, Northern KY, Oakland, UI-Chicago, Wright State, Youngstown State

Both may not be much closer, but definitely more regionally appropriate with all easily driveable given IL, MI, KY, OH - plus, MAC plays FB
MAC is FBS in football....so, that's not going to happen.
Also, we need to up our BBall game some (or be located in a metro area) to get an invite to the Horizon. That's pretty much their M.O.
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Tere North
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Thu Aug 30, 2018 7:52 am

ST_Lawson wrote:
Wed Aug 29, 2018 10:19 pm

MAC is FBS in football....so, that's not going to happen.
Also, we need to up our BBall game some (or be located in a metro area) to get an invite to the Horizon. That's pretty much their M.O.
Why does being FBS eliminate consideration?
leatherneckcountry
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Thu Aug 30, 2018 8:07 am

Tere North wrote:
Thu Aug 30, 2018 7:52 am
ST_Lawson wrote:
Wed Aug 29, 2018 10:19 pm

MAC is FBS in football....so, that's not going to happen.
Also, we need to up our BBall game some (or be located in a metro area) to get an invite to the Horizon. That's pretty much their M.O.
Why does being FBS eliminate consideration?
The MAC doesn’t want a school who doesn’t play FBS football especially when it’s not an elite basketball school. WIU would never go FBS in football we would be a bottom tier team even in the MAC
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ST_Lawson
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Thu Aug 30, 2018 8:43 am

Tere North wrote:
Thu Aug 30, 2018 7:52 am
Why does being FBS eliminate consideration?
If we're worried about saving thousands by reducing travel costs, it doesn't make much sense to dump millions into the football program to do it.

Here are the football budgets of the MAC teams by amount (in millions, rounded to the nearest 100k):
Ohio - $10.135
Toledo - $10.047
Miami (OH) - $9.346
Eastern Michigan - $9.034
Western Michigan - $8.668
Northern Illinois - $8.035
Buffalo - $7.796
Akron - $7.254
Central Michigan - $7.233
Ball State - $7.045
Kent State - $6.861
Bowling Green - $6.537

And Western...we spend $3.259. So, to be even with the bottom of the league, which, btw are generally regarded as some of the worst football teams in the entire FBS, we'd have to double our football budget. The stadium sizes range from 22,500 seats (Ball State) up to 32,885 (Central Michigan) so when we get around to redoing the west side of the stadium, we'd need to probably add a second level to it and expand it around the hillside in a horseshoe shape, which is going to be A LOT more expensive than what is currently being planned for the west side (I think the newest MAC stadium is Akron's, which cost $60M). Most MAC schools have over 20k students as well and there's a requirement that you have to average 15k+ fans per home game (rolling 2-year average) or risk being dropped back down to FCS (there's ways around that, but it would take more $ to do it).

So, we're probably looking at ~$60M (or more) for facilities improvements and anywhere from $3M to $6M additionally per year just for the football team, find a way to more than double our enrollment, and quadruple our home football attendance. I don't know what our travel costs are currently, but considering we bus to Illinois State, Southern Illinois, Northern Iowa, and maybe Missouri State when we play at those places, I highly doubt our travel budget is anywhere close to that...maybe a few hundred thousand at the most. And we'd still probably have to fly the team to most of the games in Michigan or eastern Ohio, so my guess is that it'd save us maybe a few 10's of thousands overall.

Plus, you can't go FBS without an invite from an existing FBS conference (unless you have obscene amounts of $ to throw at the NCAA....like Liberty), so we'd also have to get enough of the MAC school presidents to vote to invite us to the conference. The MAC as a conference is pretty stable right now, with the last addition being 20 years ago (Buffalo) and the last full member to leave was 13 years ago (Marshall). They have 12 teams split into two divisions of 6 each, which is a great setup for scheduling. If they were going to add a team or two, the "favorites" are probably Northern Iowa or Illinois State...we're WAY down the list for them.

So, to make a long story short, there is no way we can go FBS at this point, either from a financial standpoint or even being allowed to do so.
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wiu712
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Thu Aug 30, 2018 9:05 am

Our home attendance for 2017:
September 30 (Homecoming) = 5,631.
October 14 (Family Weekend) = 3,217.
October 28 = 2,247.
November 18 = 2,812.

Based on the above numbers, there is no reason to increase the seating capacity at Hanson Field.
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