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What is the best number of schools for a college athletic conference?
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inutech Offline
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Post: #1
What is the best number of schools for a college athletic conference?
There is a clear right answer here (and a fairly clear order of preference past that), but since I don't want to "add 1 more" I just want to push that thread down from the top of this forum.
(This post was last modified: 03-07-2022 11:14 AM by inutech.)
03-07-2022 11:12 AM
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inutech Offline
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RE: What is the best number of schools for a college athletic conference?
9 >> 12 >>>>>>>>>>>>> 8 > 10 = 14 > 16>>>> 11 > 13 > 15
03-07-2022 11:15 AM
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whupemall Offline
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RE: What is the best number of schools for a college athletic conference?
I voted 12, but with the important caveat that it's only "best" if the teams available to get to that number improve the conference in football and basketball and actually WANT to be part of the conference, and aren't merely looking at it as a stepping stone to their "preferred" conference. (Not to put to fine a point on it, but there's nothing wrong with seeking to improve one's standing. We'd all accept an SEC bid if one came our way. The key is to be happy with CUSA while you're here, rather than tearing it down at every available opportunity.)

So... to summarize:

12 > 9 if 3 strong additions are available.

9 > 12 if there aren't 3 strong additions.

Both of those > anything else.
03-07-2022 03:23 PM
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inutech Offline
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RE: What is the best number of schools for a college athletic conference?
(03-07-2022 03:23 PM)whupemall Wrote:  I voted 12, but with the important caveat that it's only "best" if the teams available to get to that number improve the conference in football and basketball and actually WANT to be part of the conference, and aren't merely looking at it as a stepping stone to their "preferred" conference. (Not to put to fine a point on it, but there's nothing wrong with seeking to improve one's standing. We'd all accept an SEC bid if one came our way. The key is to be happy with CUSA while you're here, rather than tearing it down at every available opportunity.)

So... to summarize:

12 > 9 if 3 strong additions are available.

9 > 12 if there aren't 3 strong additions.

Both of those > anything else.

I'm fairly dogmatic about this topic, but I did consider an "it depends" option, because, yeah - future 9 + Notre Dame is better than just the current 9.

But let's assume all things being more or less equal. I do think 12 is the one place you could make a decent case if you like football championship games and divisional races and some travel savings without giving up too much actual coherence.
(This post was last modified: 03-09-2022 03:33 PM by inutech.)
03-07-2022 04:35 PM
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rtist Offline
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RE: What is the best number of schools for a college athletic conference?
The right number of schools for a college athletic conference will vary depending on how much money the conference can make with having more members. If having more members brings more money, then more members it is.

Beyond strictly money, I'll hear an argument for geography/culture being reasons why a conference might expand to a particular number.
03-07-2022 05:04 PM
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inutech Offline
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RE: What is the best number of schools for a college athletic conference?
(03-07-2022 05:04 PM)rtist Wrote:  The right number of schools for a college athletic conference will vary depending on how much money the conference can make with having more members. If having more members brings more money, then more members it is.

Beyond strictly money, I'll hear an argument for geography/culture being reasons why a conference might expand to a particular number.

Well, it's a philosophical question, isn't it? Is the "point" of an athletic conference to make money or is it a pure competitive/athletic mechanism (don't answer that - at the FBS level, your "makes the most money" criteria is clearly the only factor).

But the beauty of 9 is pure round-robin, playing every team every year (and home and away in some sports).

The geography and culture could theoretically be present (or absent) with any number, so that just puts you back to the "it depends" scenario.
03-07-2022 05:26 PM
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sstaedtler88 Offline
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RE: What is the best number of schools for a college athletic conference?
I think 14 is too many and sort of dilutes some of the main rivalries. Too hard to keep track of that many teams for observers. I like 12 decent teams. If one or two leave, it doesn't leave you in a dire situation.
03-07-2022 08:57 PM
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THUNDERStruck73 Offline
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RE: What is the best number of schools for a college athletic conference?
(03-07-2022 08:57 PM)sstaedtler88 Wrote:  I think 14 is too many and sort of dilutes some of the main rivalries. Too hard to keep track of that many teams for observers. I like 12 decent teams. If one or two leave, it doesn't leave you in a dire situation.

The problem with 12 is that is gives you an odd number of crossovers. Can that be worked out? Sure. The MAC did it, but it creates a weird rotation. 14 gives you 6 division games and 2 crossovers in fb and a 19 game bb conference schedule... Idk, 14 is fine.
03-07-2022 09:05 PM
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inutech Offline
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RE: What is the best number of schools for a college athletic conference?
(03-07-2022 09:05 PM)THUNDERStruck73 Wrote:  
(03-07-2022 08:57 PM)sstaedtler88 Wrote:  I think 14 is too many and sort of dilutes some of the main rivalries. Too hard to keep track of that many teams for observers. I like 12 decent teams. If one or two leave, it doesn't leave you in a dire situation.

The problem with 12 is that is gives you an odd number of crossovers. Can that be worked out? Sure. The MAC did it, but it creates a weird rotation. 14 gives you 6 division games and 2 crossovers in fb and a 19 game bb conference schedule... Idk, 14 is fine.

12 is great for football. You have 3 cross-divisional games, but that means you're playing half the other division, so while schedules are still uneven in the sense that not everyone is playing the same opponents you get at least some overlap (plus you're playing a decent percentage of the conference). The odd number doesn't really matter, it just levels out the odd number of divisional games.

14 was awful.
03-07-2022 09:11 PM
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THUNDERStruck73 Offline
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RE: What is the best number of schools for a college athletic conference?
Well, Id have loved for you all and WKU to have moved with us... Would have nailed down the regional thing. I'm really gonna miss both of you guys.
(This post was last modified: 03-07-2022 10:04 PM by THUNDERStruck73.)
03-07-2022 10:03 PM
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Gemofthehills Offline
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RE: What is the best number of schools for a college athletic conference?
The more I read comments, the more I like 9. Really believe CUSA will be an upper tier G5 conference in a short time period. The additions will surprise other members with the quality of their play.

I could see some other G5 members wanting to be accepted into CUSA in the future just not sure there are many/any who would make better long term members than some FCS programs. ie SFA would be a better get than Tx State.
03-08-2022 07:40 AM
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inutech Offline
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RE: What is the best number of schools for a college athletic conference?
(03-07-2022 10:03 PM)THUNDERStruck73 Wrote:  Well, Id have loved for you all and WKU to have moved with us... Would have nailed down the regional thing. I'm really gonna miss both of you guys.

With 16 teams, the 'belt would be super-regional (because each division would be their own conference).

We'd never actually play y'all in that scenario but nobody would have much traveling to do. For a moment I kind of wondered if the other G5 conferences would take everyone just to finish off the conference and make it a G4 situation. Would have been weird.

I did like sharing a conference with Marshall, even if the conference was too big to play you often enough.
(This post was last modified: 04-14-2022 11:37 AM by inutech.)
03-08-2022 09:53 AM
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inutech Offline
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RE: What is the best number of schools for a college athletic conference?
(03-08-2022 07:40 AM)Gemofthehills Wrote:  The more I read comments, the more I like 9. Really believe CUSA will be an upper tier G5 conference in a short time period. The additions will surprise other members with the quality of their play.

I could see some other G5 members wanting to be accepted into CUSA in the future just not sure there are many/any who would make better long term members than some FCS programs. ie SFA would be a better get than Tx State.

I think we'll be ok. Probably better than ok in basketball.

These aren't necessarily the other 8 teams any of us would have chosen (heck, probably with 4 exceptions I doubt any of us would be in the top 8 for any of the others), but it's better to be in that situation with 9 teams than 10-16.
03-08-2022 09:55 AM
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BlueRaiderBoy Offline
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RE: What is the best number of schools for a college athletic conference?
For universities in CUSA 4.0; we're as big as we can be at "9"and likely won't exceed "10" members over the next three to five years. For long term stability (which will never exist for any of the Non-Cartel Conferences) "12" is the perfect number for football and works pretty well for all other sports, too. I'm optimistic we will be competitive across the board with MWC, AAC, MAC and SB. 04-cheers
03-08-2022 11:25 AM
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THUNDERStruck73 Offline
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RE: What is the best number of schools for a college athletic conference?
(03-08-2022 11:25 AM)BlueRaiderBoy Wrote:  For universities in CUSA 4.0; we're as big as we can be at "9"and likely won't exceed "10" members over the next three to five years. For long term stability (which will never exist for any of the Non-Cartel Conferences) "12" is the perfect number for football and works pretty well for all other sports, too. I'm optimistic we will be competitive across the board with MWC, AAC, MAC and SB. 04-cheers

Agree with you that there is ZERO reason to go beyond 9 at this point.
03-08-2022 11:43 AM
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AssKickingChicken Offline
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RE: What is the best number of schools for a college athletic conference?
I voted 12. For football, you play three from the other division every year and you have everyone home/home in four years. This is assuming no permanent crossovers, but I don’t see a reason to do that. In basketball you can have a 16 game schedule with the option for more if you want it.

Of course, you have to add the right schools. I don’t have a crystal ball to see who would transition well. FCS is our only option as I don’t see anyone wanting to move from another G5.


I do think staying at nine for at least two or three years is a good idea. It gets us and Sam fully established into FBS and gets everyone a chance to know each other.
03-08-2022 12:14 PM
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inutech Offline
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RE: What is the best number of schools for a college athletic conference?
(03-08-2022 12:14 PM)AssKickingChicken Wrote:  I do think staying at nine for at least two or three years is a good idea. It gets us and Sam fully established into FBS and gets everyone a chance to know each other.

Also, NCAA credits divide better by 9 than by 12.
03-08-2022 12:25 PM
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forphase1 Offline
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RE: What is the best number of schools for a college athletic conference?
I went with 12 as I think it just works the best in general. The question asked was not conference specific, but just a generic best number. That said, for CUSA purposes, I think they should stay at 9 for a while. Let the conference grow and gain some cohesiveness between all the remaining and new members and allow time for the FCS callups to have the growing pains that is usually associated with moving up. Yes, I know that the fans of the callups are convinced they will compete from day one, but give them the chance to prove that on the field first. Once those things happen, then perhaps see what 3 other teams may be interested in joining and/or moving up. But 9 may be the best option for a while, unless there is another shakeup and things go crazy.
03-08-2022 12:25 PM
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AssKickingChicken Offline
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What is the best number of schools for a college athletic conference?
(03-08-2022 12:25 PM)inutech Wrote:  
(03-08-2022 12:14 PM)AssKickingChicken Wrote:  I do think staying at nine for at least two or three years is a good idea. It gets us and Sam fully established into FBS and gets everyone a chance to know each other.

Also, NCAA credits divide better by 9 than by 12.


Especially in a one bid league. I’m not pushing for 12, but it would help with scheduling and give us a buffer if we get raided again.


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03-08-2022 12:59 PM
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ODUDrunkard13 Offline
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RE: What is the best number of schools for a college athletic conference?
The answer to OP is 281-330-8004.
03-08-2022 01:03 PM
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