With Bison dominating and other top teams leaving, what's the future of FCS football

goredbirds

Member
Joined
Feb 19, 2018
Messages
64
It gets back to the question "Would you rather ISU end a successful season by winning the Lending Tree Bowl or by making a deep run (or even winning) the FCS national championship?" The Orange Bowl appearance by NIU a decade or so ago was truly an exception that is highly unlikely to be repeated. As for me, I'm inclined to want ISU football to be a big fish in a small pond year in and year out versus a little fish in a big lake. The MAC would be the natural conference for ISU if they decided to make the leap to FBS.
 

CaliRdBrd

Well-known member
Joined
Jul 17, 2017
Messages
4,988
It gets back to the question "Would you rather ISU end a successful season by winning the Lending Tree Bowl or by making a deep run (or even winning) the FCS national championship?" The Orange Bowl appearance by NIU a decade or so ago was truly an exception that is highly unlikely to be repeated. As for me, I'm inclined to want ISU football to be a big fish in a small pond year in and year out versus a little fish in a big lake. The MAC would be the natural conference for ISU if they decided to make the leap to FBS.
Did you ever think, that over time, this program could become a regular top 25 program in FBS?
If Boise did it, anyone can.
ISU (fans and administrators) need to step back from the “mediocrity is fine” mindset that is pervasive within ISU sports.
Dream big and go FBS.
Frankly this should have happened years ago.
 

Virginia Redbird

Well-known member
Joined
Jul 26, 2017
Messages
2,173
Location
Chesapeake, Virginia
I have been a fan of FCS football and the playoffs. I was supportive of ISU staying FCS. As the college football world continues to change so dramatically I am beginning to change my opinion. FCS continues to lose schools. Truly, hats off to NDSU for developing, and more impressive, maintaining the program that leaves every other FCS football program with the only goal left of being second place. I think NDSU is totally happy being a huge fish in a very small pond. I don't see them ever departing FCS and as the stronger schools leave the chance of somebody ending their total and complete dominance is becoming less and less likely. It may be circumstances as described in many articles about the Bison or it may be they don't want to become App State. App State has become a solid FBS program but they lose a few games each season. I am not certain that the Bison fans could stand losing more than one game every five seasons or so. Rather than step up to be challenged with the better competition showing the courage of an App State, they prefer their comfort zone of being a big fish in the small fishing pond. They will likely say they will play anybody anytime and they have a solid record against FBS competition...once a season. Those comments would not go over well with Bison fans or be called sour grapes but it really is not. I admire the program and what they have accomplished. They are without question the best FCS program of all time. But they lack the courage to rise to a better level of competition.

I think at this point I would rather see ISU put full efforts and resources into moving to FBS. If they could attain the level that App State has attained or close to it, I would be good with that. Whatever the tacky name of the bowl game, it would be great to travel to one. The local team here, Old Dominion, went to the Bahamas Bowl a few years ago. Yeah, I would consider going to see ISU play somebody in the Bahamas as opposed to say...let me think...say...Fargo? App State had the University of Miami come to Boone a few years ago. ODU had Virginia Tech come to Ballard Stadium in Norfolk a few years ago. How cool would it be to see teams of that level come to Hancock? You could say App State was a top dog FCS program well before they jumped up and far above the level of excellence ISU has obtained in football and I would have to agree (although the Birds beat them in a playoff game in Boone a few years ago). ODU started its football program in 2009. They have only been playing football for 13 years and while the program has had some down years most of that time has been good. They were 9-3 in 2016 with a bowl win over the MAC's Eastern Michigan in Nassau. The last time the Birds were in the FCS playoffs they traveled to Cape Girardeau, MO (SEMO), Conway, AR (Central ARk), and Fargo, ND (NDSU). I think I would rather travel to see them play in Nassau, Bahamas. The Bahamas Bowl has an arrangement with the MAC and Conference USA. If the Birds were to move to the MAC and make the Bahamas Bowl...I am booking flights, rooms, and tickets!

Sorry for the long post but just wanted to provide a different perspective and a changing opinion with the change in college football. You want to go to Fargo in December...more power to you my friend.
 

ISU86

Well-known member
Joined
Jul 17, 2017
Messages
999
Here is a list of the thirty-nine institutions who have moved up from FCS to FBS since 1982 (when the NCAA sub-divided Division I football into I-A (FBS) and I-AA (FCS)):

1983
Ball State
Bowling Green State
Eastern Michigan
Kent State
Northern Illinois
Ohio


1987
Akron

1989
Louisiana Tech

1992
Arkansas State
Nevada


1994
Louisiana-Monroe

1995
North Texas State

1996
Alabama-Birmingham
Central Florida


1997
Idaho (returned to FCS in 2018)
Marshall

1999
Boise State
Buffalo
Middle Tennessee State


2001
South Florida

2002
Connecticut
Troy


2005
Florida Atlantic

2006
Florida International

2008
Western Kentucky

2012
Massachusetts
South Alabama
Texas State
Texas-San Antonio


2013
Georgia State

2014
Appalachian State
Georgia Southern
Old Dominion


2015
North Carolina-Charlotte

2017
Coastal Carolina

2018
Liberty

2022
James Madison

2023
Jacksonville State
Sam Houston State


Of all the schools listed, only two (Connecticut and (future) Central Florida) will have made it to the "Power 5", but UConn became a "Group Of 5" after the Big East Conference stopped sponsoring football.

Only four have even made it to upper-tier portion of the "Group Of 5" (American Athletic or Mountain West): Nevada, (departing) Central Florida, Boise State, South Florida) and those were as much based on their geography as their results.

Now, the AAC will be adding a few more from this list (North Texas State, Alabama-Birmingham, Florida Atlantic, Texas-San Antonio, North Carolina-Charlotte) in 2023; again, this was more based to geography (and need) versus results (and it will remain to be seen as to whether the AAC will be held in as high regard).

The overall progress of these thirty-nine (as a whole) can provide valuable information and insight as to whether a move to FBS is worth it (or not). Would a Mid-American, Sun Belt or USA affiliation be a minus or a plus (and a stepping stone to a better conference)?
 

StLRedbird

Well-known member
Joined
Jul 26, 2017
Messages
1,872
I can't help but think the new NCAA transfer rules are important in a FBS discussion. One of the main advantages of FCS vs G5 used to be the no-wait transfers flowing from FBS to FCS. The one year wait to going in the other direction was a big impediment to guys like Ridgeway and Reid seeking bigger stages.

Are the new transfer rules temporary? If the new rules are permanent, I see no reason to continue hanging out in FCS. Others have opinions that differ, but I think our guy Spack is up to the challenge. In fact, he may relish it.

If the new transfer rules are temporary, then the decision gets more nuanced. I would still favor MAC FBS > FCS, but it's a closer call.

Here's a question worthy of burning a few cycles on... Is the spate of expansion in The Valley - up to 12 teams for the first time ever - in part due to nervousness about the football publics leaving for a conference better aligned to their overall objectives?
 

cubird

Well-known member
Joined
Jul 19, 2017
Messages
1,598
The big question is after an initial investment to jump to FBS...can you break even? How many teams in the MAC are breaking even and are they cutting other sports to reach that goal.
 

TIMMY

Well-known member
Joined
Jul 17, 2017
Messages
4,968
Location
1050 W Addison
This whole playing for National Championships thing I just don't get. We've been to the National Championship game that no one other than the 2 teams playing knows or cares about exactly 1 time. We've hosted playoff games and no one shows up because of the weather. Maybe it's time to try something else.
 

Redbird222

Well-known member
Joined
Jul 18, 2017
Messages
3,722
The big question is after an initial investment to jump to FBS...can you break even? How many teams in the MAC are breaking even and are they cutting other sports to reach that goal.
There are direct costs and direct revenues that are easier to distinguish but there are indirect potential benefits with branding, enrollment, and donations that makes this exercise a much more complex task.

Applications have been known to go up when schools make runs in NCAA basketball tournament, have meaningful FBS bowl wins, or enjoy athletic success in higher profile sports. Even if the total enrollment stays consistent, there may be a more selective acceptance rate. Donations generally increase during these time periods immediately following these accomplishments (athletic and nonathletic).

Athletics can also drive better branding to help obtain long term goals/donations such as larger enrollments, more selective enrollments, and introducing academic programs that produce an alumni population more able to donate (think engineering vs teaching). While the athletics alone doesn't necessary accomplish this, it can be an important component of the overall strategy that addresses it.
 

ISU86

Well-known member
Joined
Jul 17, 2017
Messages
999
My thought has changed over time.

Not sure where I fall in terms of FCS vs FBS, but I do think the need is here to be in a conference where the membership is more consistently aligned across the board.

Whether that means taking some subset (or all) of the MVFC and make a new conference (FCS vs FBS would be a whole new discussion); finding an existing FBS conference (who is also willing to take us) may be another story (I think (as of today) CUSA probably would (need bodies), not so sure about MAC or SBC). CUSA would certainly be an expensive expenses venture as their new membership footprint (Texas-El Paso, Louisiana Tech, Middle Tennessee State, Florida International, Western Kentucky, Sam Houston State, Jacksonville State, New Mexico State, Liberty) is certainly spread across hell's half acre.

Let the non-football MVC members go to the Horizon, Summit, or build their own.
 

MadBird

Well-known member
Joined
Jul 16, 2017
Messages
3,427
Location
Madison, Wisconsin
This whole playing for National Championships thing I just don't get. We've been to the National Championship game that no one other than the 2 teams playing knows or cares about exactly 1 time. We've hosted playoff games and no one shows up because of the weather. Maybe it's time to try something else.
I'll pontificate more later on the bigger topic, but to Timmy, on this "no one knows or cares or shows up" issue, I'll just say, how is it different than playing in the Soup Bowl or Toilet Bowl or some other non-entity bowl? You're on ESPN, for God's sake, that's the gold standard for lots of folks around here. In fact, you're on more than once, since the semi's are on too. If you're in the MAC, some of the games are played on Tuesday or Wednesday and no one will show up for sure then.

But I am conflicted on the bigger issue, not sure there is a "win-win" to solve everyone's issues.
 

Yogi

Member
Joined
Dec 12, 2021
Messages
40
1977 we were 3-7-1 lost to 4 mac schools we beat eiu and wiu both division 2 at the tie we beat Niu from the mac 1978 we went 2-9 beating Ind State and eastern mich you can look it all up we basically played a mac schedule and our ass handed to us we used to make the playboy bottom 10 every year as 1 f the worst football teams in the US most of you are not old enough to remember what it was like before the divide into a and aa it took us a long time to get competitive in fcs(aa) FBS We have nowhere near the money or support to move to fbs
 

TIMMY

Well-known member
Joined
Jul 17, 2017
Messages
4,968
Location
1050 W Addison
If we can't compete financially or athletically with the NIU's and Ball State's of the world we should get out of the athletics business. The '70s were a long damn time ago. Give me the MAC and wrestling!!!🤼‍♂️
 

Total Red

Well-known member
Staff member
Joined
Jul 17, 2017
Messages
2,460
Location
One mile west of Hancock
Yes we could easily compete with NIU and Ball St. in football if we wanted to but we don’t have enough people who want to. In areas where we have interest we do outperform those schools. You’re right, it’s not the 70’s anymore.


“The audience for NIU esports is also growing, with a record high of 800 members participating in the NIU Esports Discord community.”

“Both Ball State and Daleville established their esports programs in 2020. At Ball State, more than 50 students are involved in the varsity esports program, and more than 700 students participate in esports club activities.”

“The BBC is a great building for bowling and billiards, and this gives us the opportunity to make the activity room into something that will truly meet a student and university need,” she said. “And to be able to do that at the main entrance of the campus is just phenomenal.” The new (5.95 million dollar renovation) project ensures that as many Redbirds as possible can engage with the rapidly growing program. Redbird Esports quickly outgrew The Vault, a high-tech gaming space housed in the Student Fitness Center, and the Digital Innovation, Graphics, and Gaming Studio (DIGGS) in Julian Hall. In addition to the three varsity esports teams, there are 18 registered student organizations (RSOs) that fall under the Redbird Esports umbrella, boasting a cumulative membership of over 1,000 students.
 

Yogi

Member
Joined
Dec 12, 2021
Messages
40
Ball State football budget 7135305 our budget 4429532 about half of the budget that is a simple fact if we move to fbs the budget is going to have to e doubled tell me where the money comes from Dont get me wrong I would love to be in the mac but I just dont see it happening Lets focus on winning where we are first
 

Birddog

New member
Joined
Nov 21, 2021
Messages
10
Location
Normal
Ball State football budget 7135305 our budget 4429532 about half of the budget that is a simple fact if we move to fbs the budget is going to have to e doubled tell me where the money comes from Dont get me wrong I would love to be in the mac but I just dont see it happening Lets focus on winning where we are first
BSU and ISU have very similar athletic budgets, fund same number of sports and about the same number of student athletes. There is also a similar heavy reliance on student fees. But as you state, the football budget is bigger at BSU. So it is really a reallocation issue. What do you cut? Or do you rely on increased dollars from buy games to make the difference.


Also, does ISU feel the need to add more women’s sports for title IX?
 
Top Bottom