Goodbye to schools that have bigger ambitions

Virginia Redbird

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yeah, because our football programs are just so on same level as far as winning and fan support. ;)
I have zero documentation to support this but my own thought is there are NDSU fans that would prefer to remain in FCS and just keep beating the brains out of the rest of FCS football forever instead of seeking a higher level of competition and not winning National Championships every year. I don't think any fan base is 100% thinking the same. I give programs like App State a lot of respect for making the move. At that time my son went to a near by college and I was in the Boone area frequently. It was not a consensus of the fan base to move up to FBS. App State is never going to win a FBS National Championship (at least not in the current system) but they have done well and some big name teams have travelled to Boone. That increases the exposure of the University and status of the program I think. You have to admire what NDSU has done in FCS but it really is time for them to step up, competition wise in my humble opinion. There are other factors involved I fully understand but just from an on the field competition perspective, what is the point of continuing the status quo? Maybe I am wrong and 100% of the Bison fan base are chomping at the bit to move to FBS. I doubt it though.

For the Redbirds, the program has been overall pretty good under Coach Spack. Some ups and downs as most programs have. A big factor is turnout at Hancock Stadium. I was able to attend a game about 4-5 years ago on a beautiful fall day and the Birds won a big game but the stands were not close to being filled. The opposing team was South Dakota State. If the opposing team was the University of Miami Hurricanes, like App State had early in their FBS journey, would Hancock be filled? What about instead of going to Wisconsin or Iowa to play they came to Hancock? Virginia Tech had a home and home with Old Dominion and the stands in Norfolk were overflowing for the Hokies appearance. Since moving to FBS, Old Dominion has signed home and home agreements with Virginia, Virginia Tech, North Carolina, North Carolina State and Wake Forest. Granted that is not Ohio State and Alabama but it beats UNI, SDSU, Western and Eastern. BTW, Ballard Stadium capacity was about 19,818 and recently bumped to around 22,000. Not a huge stadium by any means. I pulled up Hancock Stadium capacity and it was listed at 13,391. That is only roughly 6,000 less than ODU's Ballard Stadium when they moved up and if ISU completed the horseshoe the capacity could be increased. If you had the right people, vision and talent could ISU move to FBS and be successful? I think probably so but I am not sure they have any of those three criteria. Lots of people thought ODU was nuts to move to FBS but they are doing fine and moving to the Sun Belt Conference along with James Madison, Marshall, and Southern Miss. Some fans think the Redbirds should remain FCS and not take the financial risk. I don't think either position is unintelligent. I think they just have different objectives and risk tolerance. Okay, too much rambling on for a Friday morning.

Have a great weekend fellow Redbirds!
 

Total Red

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I have zero documentation to support this but my own thought is there are NDSU fans that would prefer to remain in FCS and just keep beating the brains out of the rest of FCS football forever instead of seeking a higher level of competition and not winning National Championships every year. I don't think any fan base is 100% thinking the same. I give programs like App State a lot of respect for making the move. At that time my son went to a near by college and I was in the Boone area frequently. It was not a consensus of the fan base to move up to FBS. App State is never going to win a FBS National Championship (at least not in the current system) but they have done well and some big name teams have travelled to Boone. That increases the exposure of the University and status of the program I think. You have to admire what NDSU has done in FCS but it really is time for them to step up, competition wise in my humble opinion. There are other factors involved I fully understand but just from an on the field competition perspective, what is the point of continuing the status quo? Maybe I am wrong and 100% of the Bison fan base are chomping at the bit to move to FBS. I doubt it though.

For the Redbirds, the program has been overall pretty good under Coach Spack. Some ups and downs as most programs have. A big factor is turnout at Hancock Stadium. I was able to attend a game about 4-5 years ago on a beautiful fall day and the Birds won a big game but the stands were not close to being filled. The opposing team was South Dakota State. If the opposing team was the University of Miami Hurricanes, like App State had early in their FBS journey, would Hancock be filled? What about instead of going to Wisconsin or Iowa to play they came to Hancock? Virginia Tech had a home and home with Old Dominion and the stands in Norfolk were overflowing for the Hokies appearance. Since moving to FBS, Old Dominion has signed home and home agreements with Virginia, Virginia Tech, North Carolina, North Carolina State and Wake Forest. Granted that is not Ohio State and Alabama but it beats UNI, SDSU, Western and Eastern. BTW, Ballard Stadium capacity was about 19,818 and recently bumped to around 22,000. Not a huge stadium by any means. I pulled up Hancock Stadium capacity and it was listed at 13,391. That is only roughly 6,000 less than ODU's Ballard Stadium when they moved up and if ISU completed the horseshoe the capacity could be increased. If you had the right people, vision and talent could ISU move to FBS and be successful? I think probably so but I am not sure they have any of those three criteria. Lots of people thought ODU was nuts to move to FBS but they are doing fine and moving to the Sun Belt Conference along with James Madison, Marshall, and Southern Miss. Some fans think the Redbirds should remain FCS and not take the financial risk. I don't think either position is unintelligent. I think they just have different objectives and risk tolerance. Okay, too much rambling on for a Friday morning.

Have a great weekend fellow Redbirds!
It may not be 100% of NDSU fans that want to go FBS but I'll bet it is close. One thing I've noticed about sports fans is that always seem to want what they don't have, and I can certainly understand the Bison Fatigue as they seek a new challenge. I would just give them a word of caution. Be careful what you wish for. They should consider the fate of their last two head coaches. Craig Bohl and Chris Klieman both wanted to move up to FBS and they did. Bohl went to Wyoming and Klieman is the HC at Kansas St. Sure they get to coach in bigger stadiums, and they make more money, but look at their records. Bohl is 45-50 at Wyoming. Klieman is 20-16 at Kansas St. They're not special anymore. Bohl won 3 National Championships at NDSU and Klieman won 4. I wonder if they are really happier in the FBS than they were at NDSU? I doubt it. I could see the same thing happening to the entire Bison football program. They could go FBS and they might do better than Bohl and Klieman but they're never going to win the College Football Playoff. They may never even get an invite unless it keeps expanding. They'll have moments of excitement knocking off some big name FBS schools but frankly they're capable of doing that now. If they go FBS they won't be special anymore and I don't think it would be very many years at all before they start missing what they used to have and what they used to be.

Also in the grass is greener on the other side dept. We assume that bigger is better and while we know that the smaller FBS conference schools don't always fare too well financially, the assumption is that the P5 conference schools have reached the promised land. Well, I was shocked to learn that UCLA had little choice in accepting an offer from the Big 10 because their athletic dept. is bleeding dollars. They need the Big 10 TV revenue badly. Now the Governor is angry because UCLA is leaving fellow California public university Cal-Berekley behind (USC is private). Cal had to cut 5 sports back in 2010 (men's baseball, rugby, gymnastics - women's gymnastics, lacrosse) to save an athletic dept. that was losing money. Cal was getting back on solid footing but now it faces an even bleaker future in the diminished PAC-12 or whatever conference will take them.


 
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ISUBU

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I have zero documentation to support this but my own thought is there are NDSU fans that would prefer to remain in FCS and just keep beating the brains out of the rest of FCS football forever instead of seeking a higher level of competition and not winning National Championships every year. I don't think any fan base is 100% thinking the same. I give programs like App State a lot of respect for making the move. At that time my son went to a near by college and I was in the Boone area frequently. It was not a consensus of the fan base to move up to FBS. App State is never going to win a FBS National Championship (at least not in the current system) but they have done well and some big name teams have travelled to Boone. That increases the exposure of the University and status of the program I think. You have to admire what NDSU has done in FCS but it really is time for them to step up, competition wise in my humble opinion. There are other factors involved I fully understand but just from an on the field competition perspective, what is the point of continuing the status quo? Maybe I am wrong and 100% of the Bison fan base are chomping at the bit to move to FBS. I doubt it though.

For the Redbirds, the program has been overall pretty good under Coach Spack. Some ups and downs as most programs have. A big factor is turnout at Hancock Stadium. I was able to attend a game about 4-5 years ago on a beautiful fall day and the Birds won a big game but the stands were not close to being filled. The opposing team was South Dakota State. If the opposing team was the University of Miami Hurricanes, like App State had early in their FBS journey, would Hancock be filled? What about instead of going to Wisconsin or Iowa to play they came to Hancock? Virginia Tech had a home and home with Old Dominion and the stands in Norfolk were overflowing for the Hokies appearance. Since moving to FBS, Old Dominion has signed home and home agreements with Virginia, Virginia Tech, North Carolina, North Carolina State and Wake Forest. Granted that is not Ohio State and Alabama but it beats UNI, SDSU, Western and Eastern. BTW, Ballard Stadium capacity was about 19,818 and recently bumped to around 22,000. Not a huge stadium by any means. I pulled up Hancock Stadium capacity and it was listed at 13,391. That is only roughly 6,000 less than ODU's Ballard Stadium when they moved up and if ISU completed the horseshoe the capacity could be increased. If you had the right people, vision and talent could ISU move to FBS and be successful? I think probably so but I am not sure they have any of those three criteria. Lots of people thought ODU was nuts to move to FBS but they are doing fine and moving to the Sun Belt Conference along with James Madison, Marshall, and Southern Miss. Some fans think the Redbirds should remain FCS and not take the financial risk. I don't think either position is unintelligent. I think they just have different objectives and risk tolerance. Okay, too much rambling on for a Friday morning.

Have a great weekend fellow Redbirds!
It is arguable that NDSU has built a better national profile in college football than App State has. I do admit that NDSU's success has been unique, and it likely wouldn't be replicated. I think if you asked a large number of "more than casual" college football fans about App State, many would first mention their upset of Michigan, and be able to say little else. That game came before their transition.

I took a quick glance at MAC schedules for just this season, assuming it would be reasonably typical. There are 12 teams in the MAC, each with 4 nonconference games. Out of those 48 nonconference games, I saw 3 that I think would fit your argument: Pitt at WMU, Vandy at NIU, and Cincinnati at Miami. It would seem that a single school could book 1 big brand game at home every 4 years or so. Even then, it would more likely be Wake Forest than Wisconsin, and Memphis instead of Michigan. I don't think that really moves the needle much.

We need to find our place in this new era of college football. FCS is such a broad grouping of institutions - the Ivies, the HBCUs, publics, privates, big schools and small - we can certainly identify peer institutions at this level. But we clearly have peers in FBS too. I agree with you, Virginia, that good arguments exist on both sides.

I am confident we can work on things that help us either way. We have to find a way to rebuild our attendance. Entertaining football, tailgating, bands, cheerleaders, they're all a part of it. There really aren't bad seats at Hancock. We need to fill more of them more often.
 

redbirds2000

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It is arguable that NDSU has built a better national profile in college football than App State has. I do admit that NDSU's success has been unique, and it likely wouldn't be replicated. I think if you asked a large number of "more than casual" college football fans about App State, many would first mention their upset of Michigan, and be able to say little else. That game came before their transition.

I took a quick glance at MAC schedules for just this season, assuming it would be reasonably typical. There are 12 teams in the MAC, each with 4 nonconference games. Out of those 48 nonconference games, I saw 3 that I think would fit your argument: Pitt at WMU, Vandy at NIU, and Cincinnati at Miami. It would seem that a single school could book 1 big brand game at home every 4 years or so. Even then, it would more likely be Wake Forest than Wisconsin, and Memphis instead of Michigan. I don't think that really moves the needle much.

We need to find our place in this new era of college football. FCS is such a broad grouping of institutions - the Ivies, the HBCUs, publics, privates, big schools and small - we can certainly identify peer institutions at this level. But we clearly have peers in FBS too. I agree with you, Virginia, that good arguments exist on both sides.

I am confident we can work on things that help us either way. We have to find a way to rebuild our attendance. Entertaining football, tailgating, bands, cheerleaders, they're all a part of it. There really aren't bad seats at Hancock. We need to fill more of them more often.
You know what I remember about App State?? Their last FCS play-off game!!
 

Virginia Redbird

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I was playing a little Devil's Advocate. My own personal opinion is I think ISU should stay at FCS. I think the best window to make the move has probably passed and the future is way too murky at this juncture. I think those that endorse the FBS move have solid points and, yes, I think it could be done and done well. Other programs have done it and been successful. Are they going to have the National following of Notre Dame? Of course not but what those programs are really looking for is to increase their regional exposure. Probably not a great deal of Los Angeles or Seattle kids are going to wind up at App State. What they are looking for I think is to spread their brand in the regional area and get more university exposure outside western North Carolina. None of the schools make the move without a number of studies and research.

As far as NDSU I was really just talking about on-field competition. At this point, they are like an FCS team playing Div II or III teams. Maybe a few can give them a game but almost nobody beats them. I do not have to justify that statement at all. Just look at the win/loss records. The proof is there for over a decade. Outside of the on-field competition, there are other factors. If they move up almost certainly their overwhelming dominance ends. They may still have great win/loss records but the days of predictable National Championships are gone with the wind. An undefeated season also become much harder to achieve. The expenses rise and will the Bison produce national interest? Probably not. They become most likely a good Group of 5 FBS team but not an FCS Dynasty any longer. Again, my personal opinion is from an on-field perspective that they should move up. From a financial perspective maybe they stay put.

Solid arguments can be made on both sides. I just don't think those Redbird fans who believe ISU football should move up are crazy. You have to have the people in place to make that successful though and I don't think those people have been or currently are in Normal. From what I have read enrollment seems to be good, they are in good financial shape and they don't want or maybe need the risk. I can't argue with that. Attendance at games is not very good but would bigger name teams affect that? I don't believe we will find out anyway.
:cool:
 

Virginia Redbird

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Here’s a crazy thought…

Is it possible, that as FBS evolves into what looks like two major conferences of around 48 teams (or so), that teams from the FBS move down to the FCS?
Yep, depending on what happens down the road I can see some teams moving back down a level. With the state of college football nothing is really off the table.
 

Redbirdwarrior

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Im pretty sure we saw some schools contracting to FCS just a few years ago and many more discussing it. I think the recent NIL world has further separated the haves from the have nots. Where as before, you needed the following to attract top talent:

-Name/Brand
-History
-Facilities
-NFL prospects
-TV games
-Big name coach

You now have to add booster $$$ to the list.
This is a backbreaker for about half of the FBS schools out there who simply don't have the boosters to buy players on the open market. In this regard, a team like NIU, a good, but not spectacular program is much more likely to consider a move to the FCS than ever be able to play big pocket against the likes of Texas, Michigan, Oregon, Notre Dame and Bama. And there are, what, 50 schools in the same boat?

With colleges across the country suffering enrollment and budget collapses, you will start seeing athletic budgets shrinking, too. Once that actively hits the sheets, you may see many schools and possibly entire conferences that decide that FCS might be the more cost effective solution.

As for NDSU, I spoke with a few of their fans and they rightfully point out that there is absolutely no reason for them to move anywhere. They sell out all year, have an incredible fan base, have a dozen active NFL players (more than 80% of FBS schools) and, most importantly, win win win.

Why would they risk ANY of that to go to a CUSA, MAC and spend more money for the same results or go to a Big 12 and risk no longer being known for winning?
 

ISUBU

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You now have to add booster $$$ to the list.
This is a backbreaker for about half of the FBS schools out there who simply don't have the boosters to buy players on the open market. In this regard, a team like NIU, a good, but not spectacular program is much more likely to consider a move to the FCS than ever be able to play big pocket against the likes of Texas, Michigan, Oregon, Notre Dame and Bama. And there are, what, 50 schools in the same boat?
Now add in unlimited transfer rule. Coaching staff finds a diamond in the rough, polishes until it shines. $$$ school pays him to transfer.

There is a movement for the top tier programs in football to depart from the NCAA. NCAA would no longer have oversight over their football programs. They'll make all the rules that work for them. Larger rosters to allow them to stockpile more players, etc.

I only see three forces that can push back: the TV networks, state/ Federal government, and possibly Title IX.
 
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