CUSA-MWC Might Have Mighty Legs

Previously, I had expressed how more and more, I was thinking that the Big East may not be the right answer for the Pirates. In fact, one BYB poster put it perfectly when he wrote: I feel like we’re the late passenger running to board the Titanic. Thanks 00-Buc…you crystallized my feelings on the topic.

AQ Buster Merger?

The analogy is a pretty good one when you think about it. Remember in the move Titanic, Leonardo DiCaprio’s character – Jack – won what was tantamount to winning the lottery when he laid down a poker hand worth two tickets on the ill-fated luxury liner. Well, we know how that worked out, a few days of luxury followed by a miserable death. The BE is just that…two years of access to the BCS pot of gold followed by a return to non-AQ status.

I have long thought that a proper combining of the MWC and CUSA premier teams could really give the watered down BE a run for that AQ bid. (Caveat: There is no guarantee, by the way, that the BCS will even allocate that AQ slot to any conference. They may very well consolidate down even further and just leave more teams out.)

However, for now, if we assume that the AQ status is indeed up for grabs in 2014 season, then the CUSA/MWC merge has a real shot, if Boise State stays put. Heck, why not try to pull in WVU and USF…that would be sweet. Up till now, though, CUSA seemed to be just as dysfunctional as the BE…sort of taking a wait and see approach. But in this recent interview with CUSA commissioner Britton Banowsky, it appears that the Silent Bob of college football actually has some moxie and quietly appears to have his eyes set on that AQ status and forging a better tomorrow for those CUSA schools committed to sticking together.

And, considering the Big East track record – teasing up a school like Temple which was KICKED OUT by the very same league – there is some appeal to sticking with the ugly girl we have danced with for many years. That the Orlando Sentinel of all rags did this interview should clue us all in that even UCF – which has been on a two- coordinated campaign to get into the BE is having second thoughts now.

Hopefully Terry Holland has an architectural hand in what Banowsky is doing because – aside from travel costs – the CUSA/MWC merger looks a whole lot more appealing than what the Big East seemingly has to offer: a Titanic conference whose luxury days are over and the iceburg already has done its damage below the waterline.

Maybe it’s OK if we miss that boat.

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9 Comments

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9 responses to “CUSA-MWC Might Have Mighty Legs

  1. Chris

    I would totally agree Rob, save for the fact that the other C-USA premier teams (Houston, SMU, UCF), may not be in the conference when the time comes. When UCF gets the call, they will accept before the BE commissioner stops talking. The Big East may also invite the other two programs as I’ve seen rumored in other reports. The bottom line is we are being snubbed again… is it the 1-4 record (or worse, our record since the Marshall game last year), or is it a deeper, more fundamental perception of our fine university? Has the non-conference scheduling strategy worked against us instead of for us? If realignment would have happened during the 2008 season when we upset VT and WVU, would we have gotten a longer look? I’m at a total loss to explain it. Or heaven forfend,the a**hole at the Daily Tarheel was on to something. I’m a Pirate, through and through, so I will be in our corner even in the darkest hours, but I would like someone to explain to me why we are the red-headed stepchild of the whole dang country…

    • As odd as it sounds, I think it has to do a lot with location. We are roughly equivalent, academically, to WVU. However, WVU is the flagship university for their state (for what its worth). ECU resides in a state with many fine institutions, several of which have very strong academic and athletic traditions. Among those schools, ECU was given a strictly regional role for many years and, therefore, left out when conferences like the ACC were formed. Finally, ECU is located in a rural part of our state. I know the arguments we are making on “Undaunted” but we all know our TV market doesn’t compare to the one, say, UCF enjoys. I think these are things we can overcome. However, these factors put us off the radar in many parts of the country. My $.02.

      • Chris

        Thanks Ed, but how would that explain a Virginia Tech.. Blacksburg is not exactly a metropolis. They were given their shot and they have done wonders with it.. Now if only someone will give us ours…

      • Right but Tech has a statewide following (I live in VA) and they are one of two flagship universities in the state. The other, UVA, isn’t exactly a powerhouse in football.

  2. If Houston and SMU go with UCF…I totally agree…then it doesn’t really matter if CUSA/MWC were to pull together.
    I have long-lived with similar thoughts about ECU and the seeming active pursuit of locking us out all the way back to why ECU was chosen to be the brunt of Buddy Ryan’s joke to Jimmy Johnson for playing us when he was at Miami. I suspect some of it has to do with how our own UNC system and its big wigs have treated us over the years.
    Look back to when Virginia Tech was forcing its way into the ACC. OUR Governor went the extra mile to get a them into the ACC but wouldn’t do squat to help our cause. It is more than frustrating.

  3. Question…are there any advantages to just being an independent or do the benefits of being in a conference, even one without any real rivalries, outweigh the negatives? If we were an independent, we could focus on playing the teams we really want to see, including WVU, App State, the ACC schools, etc…Thoughts?

    • You know…that is an interesting thought. BYU did just that and they are the top non-AQ draw ahead of us. If you are not AQ, why burden yourself with the costs that go with conference affiliation? If we get left out, football independence seems like a viable option to me. Not sure about the other sports which would probably need the conference more than football.

      In football, we could build out a schedule that minimized travel expenditures, had one or two marquee games and then fill out with a good mix of winnable games. The only concern to me would be bowl game opportunities being minimal as they all seem to be tied in to conferences. I wonder if a 10 or 11 win independent ECU team would get locked out of a bowl since they would have no affiliation? Do the bowls have the right to choose an Independent?

  4. Ralph Wright

    I would love to see the CUSA schools stick together and leave the BE to die in its own greedy stench… Just saying.

  5. I hear you Ralph. I really have pent up disdain for the BE given the way they are treating our university and program.

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