Tuesday, July 29, 2014         


 Print   Email   Comment | View 21 Comments   Most Popular   Save   Post   Retweet

More conference shuffling could set UH adrift again

By Ferd Lewis


When Fresno State and Southern Methodist tee it up Monday in the Sheraton Hawaii Bowl, it will mark the first meeting of once-upon-a-time conference opponents in eight seasons.

But don’t bet on it being nearly that long until they are reunited again under somebody’s conference tent.

One way or another, you get the feeling these two Western Athletic Conference refugees are likely to share a conference home again, be it the Big East, Mountain West or, more likely, some new made-for-TV amalgamation.

Whether the University of Hawaii will be with them is another question.

And not a comforting one to ponder, either, as recent reports underline the volatility of the college football landscape and UH’s vulnerability, 2,500 miles off the beaten path.

CBSSports.com reported Friday that Colorado State and New Mexico of the MWC “have shown preliminary but informal interest in forming a new conference that would have Boise State and/or Brigham Young as its foundation.”

That is in apparent response to a report earlier this week from CBSSports.com that the Big East has talked to Fresno State and UNLV about joining its geographically challenged league that will include SMU for 2013.

With the Big East already set to stretch 2,953 miles in length — from Storrs, Conn., to San Diego — next season, the feeling apparently is, what’s another 345 miles to Fresno, Calif., in 2014?

If the precariously balanced Big East lasts that long, of course.

If it doesn’t, then it isn’t hard to imagine SMU tying up with a new-look conference or the MWC, especially if San Diego State or Boise State are partners. Assuming the MWC still has a pulse by then.

The MWC membership delighted in having a Texas outpost when Texas Christian was in the conference (2005-11), especially for what it meant to recruiting.  And the Dallas-based Mustangs are a logical partner when this whole Big East misadventure eventually blows up as common sense and market forces suggest it should.

It is easy to scoff at CSU and New Mexico, two lagging MWC football programs, as catalysts for significant change. At least until you remember they were also two of the early instigators of the clandestine 1997 putsch that began the breakup of the old, 16-team WAC and gave us the MWC.

And even if nothing comes of the current machinations of Rams and Lobos, it is an indication of the mindset and every-man-for-himself desperation around the MWC, where there are sure to be other plots.

What you have is a situation where members look at the measly $12 million annual MWC TV contract that still has three seasons to run, and an urgency develops to get into a conference that can secure a better TV deal and a lucrative automatic berth in the new, post-Bowl Championship Series, world order.

It took UH 13 years, much prostrating and a hefty travel subsidy to finally wrangle an invitation from the MWC.

After arriving on the last life boat out of the WAC in 2011, the last things the Warriors want is to start paddling anew.

Reach Ferd Lewis at flewis@staradvertiser.com or 529-4820.

 Print   Email   Comment | View 21 Comments   Most Popular   Save   Post   Retweet

You must be subscribed to participate in discussions
By participating in online discussions you acknowledge that you have agreed to the TERMS OF SERVICE. An insightful discussion of ideas and viewpoints is encouraged, but comments must be civil and in good taste, with no personal attacks. Because only subscribers are allowed to comment, we have your personal information and are able to contact you. If your comments are inappropriate, you may receive a warning, and if you persist with such comments you may be banned from posting. To report comments that you believe do not follow our guidelines, email commentfeedback@staradvertiser.com.
Leave a comment

Please login to leave a comment.
frontman wrote:
Get your paddles ready ............... and it will be up stream.
on December 22,2012 | 04:46AM
cunfuzd4 wrote:
Unfortunately it seems someone stole our paddles
on December 22,2012 | 06:05AM
Bdpapa wrote:
Wow, the new AD has a full plate already and he didn't even start.
on December 22,2012 | 06:20AM
Ajoe wrote:
Both Colorado St and New Mexico have no clout to form a new conference with Boise and BYU. For one, CSU and UNM have consistent subpar programs that exist in weak regional TV markets that can't possibly attract a solid national TV contract. Both Boise and BYU can do far better alone and independently without them. San Diego State and Boise will not leave the MWC. They'd be foolish to go to a conference that is losing their AQ status and won't be in existence in three years. Someday SMU may be asked to join the MWC. Someday. Breath holding not recommended.
on December 22,2012 | 06:31AM
allie wrote:
both CSU and NM are top ranked tier one national reserach universities. Check the USDOE web page
on December 22,2012 | 08:13AM
BO0o07 wrote:
Troll Allie. That has nothing to do with football or sports in general and has minimal effect in a sports conference.
on December 22,2012 | 08:57AM
cunfuzd4 wrote:
No, they are just accredited by an accrediting agency that is recognized by the USDOE.
on December 22,2012 | 11:22AM
allie wrote:
check us news and world report university ratings
on December 22,2012 | 11:32AM
cunfuzd4 wrote:
Fool they're ranked in the middle of the pack of schools that chose to allow their evaluations to be published. They might be "top ranked tier one national research universities" if one only rated schools that you MIGHT someday be able to get into but that would leave out the REAL top tier research universities, none of which you'd be able to get into.
on December 22,2012 | 12:01PM
cunfuzd4 wrote:
already have and as usual, you are absolutely wrong. CSU, UNM are in the lower middle tier of universities that agreed to have their evaluations published by US News and World Reports.
on December 22,2012 | 12:04PM
honupono wrote:
as much as I admire your connecting the dots, it would be even more interesting to provide us pundants deeper looks at why things are happenning especially with the timing of UH's acceptance into the MWC. I mean I understood why UH wanted into MWC, but I really didn't understand why THEY really wanted to land there. I mean in the past, CSU and UNM as you sated instigated the first abortion from the WAC. To me its like a playground full of na keiki. Clicks form and when one stray comes into the sandbox a bunch of the kids in the box get up and go to the swingset. Then as the stray ollows them there, they keep swinging but only talk amongst themselves. After swinging as high as they can, they leave only to leave the stray alone again. I want to know what scenarios are out there. Are there smart people that can provide them? Also if UH has to think out of the box, what would some of the innovative goals be? Follow the money? Stand your ground? Make your own path? Go BIG? As someone somewhere said recently, the BCS will no longer be sooner than you think. If true, what system will replace it? Will there be a replacement? What about the PAC? Can the new AD take us there? Will the upper campus leaders make changes to be convince them we can compete?
on December 22,2012 | 07:50AM
allie wrote:
mountain west is minor league
on December 22,2012 | 08:14AM
cunfuzd4 wrote:
Albert/Alfred/Alex/Allie aka HIGH SCHOOL DROPOUT POSING AS A UH CO-ED. It is obvious that you really don't know very much about anything and are just an absolute waste of resources. If the Mountain West is minor league why is it that it obviously gets you so excited?? MWC is a mid-major conference made up of smaller D1 schools that would not be able to afford to compete in a BCS conference. CSU and NM as they did when they left the WAC are looking for a conference where they can be competitive, since even in the "minor league" MWC the two teams together were only bowl elligible 2 or 3 times since 2005. It appears that your need to put nearly everything down is an attempt to displace your well deserved feelings of inadequacy. The solution is simple, go back to continuing ed and get your GED. If you really want to overcome your obvious lack of value, you could volunteer for any number of pharmaceutical tests for which you can get paid as a guinea pig and at least provide society some value.
on December 22,2012 | 11:53AM
Bumby wrote:
About 60 to 65 teams who are basically of the BCS conferences are redoing the landscape to control the market and playoff system. The other 60 teams will be given the bone and a fortunate few will have some meat on that bone. THINK THINK THINK THINK THINK OUTSIDE OUTSIDE OUTSIDE OUTSIDE OUTSIDE DADADADADA BOX BOX BOX BOX BOX. The schools outside should create their own system. Do not play with the former BCS conference teams. Let them play each other and they will learn that so many teams will win and so many will lose. Structure of mathematics and interest will be for the top. The bottom or the losing team will not be of too much interest. Heard of the 80 20 rule. Thus the outside 60 forms a new format and create their own conference and championship format. Bring new ideas to the game like scoring format to make thing more interesting. Take ideas from the Canadian football league. Thus by playing with only their teams of this new affiliation will not give the BCS teams the privilege to show they are better. Do not give them the ability to show they are better. Let them only talk that they are better. As the 80 20 rule will start applying to both affiliations this new 60 will start to find they can create as much or more interest and as time goes on the money will come too.
on December 22,2012 | 09:28AM
nomakeshame wrote:
Bumby, if that scenario plays out, and the castaways form another Div I tier, they need to get the FCS teams to agree to not play the BCS schools. In that case, the BCS will have to prove week in and week out how good they really are, instead of scheduling cupcakes at the beginning of their seasons or in the case of the SEC, at the beginning and the end to ensure the highest possible ranking for their teams.
on December 22,2012 | 09:52AM
Bumby wrote:
In addition make a new rule to subsidize and pay the student athlete a per diem that will make them want to play in the new conference. Call it a revolution like how our country got started and as far as the mother country they looked at it as a rebellion of sort. Don't like the rules they are creating well get out and create new rules. The motto for the new association shall be "All for one and one for all." Leave no school behind.
on December 22,2012 | 10:28AM
honupono wrote:
you make sense brudah!
on December 22,2012 | 01:11PM
false wrote:
whatever happens, count on UH being the odd team out. Although Ben Jay might have the contacts and credibility to prevent that from happing. Time will tell.
on December 22,2012 | 10:55AM
Bumby wrote:
In addition the new association should pay the athletes an allowance that is more than what they are being given now.
on December 22,2012 | 10:56AM
roy2335 wrote:
I hope our new AD is proactive and not left on the outside looking in. Perhaps UH ought to be the ones starting up possible conference realignment talks, a football only conference?
on December 23,2012 | 02:34PM
oxtail01 wrote:
With UH paying travel costs, Hawaii is a nice destination for the MW football conference as well as being an attractive opponent. Heck, it's not much longer a trip than San Diego flying to east coast. As long as UH maintains a competitive football program, they should be ok. Now, it's up to Chow to prove he's capable!
on December 24,2012 | 09:10PM