Being the conference rumor mill is now at a fever pitch we figured we would take another look at what is going on:
- From everything we are reading and hearing it appears UND will receive an invite to the Big Sky for full conference membership.Â We were on board for a football-only membership to the Big Sky and Summit League for the rest of the sports on campus.Â We figured that would save a pretty penny in travel costs for sports like soccer, softball, baseball, etc.Â However, it doesnâ€™t appear that option is available.
- What we gather from this move is that Doug Fullerton, the Big Sky Commissioner, has a master plan for his conference and is running a power play to get it implemented.Â He obviously wants the conference to be as big as possible in case of any future defections but in the meantime they have a big enough conference to set up divisions for Football and Basketball, if needed.Â Plus, he knew that the Summit wanted UND and it was only a matter of time before they offered, as in weeks, not months.
- The part that is still fuzzy to us is with South Dakota.Â Do the Coyotes stick with the Summit and take a massive gamble that the MVFC is going to expand or have defections so they could get in? Â How many years are they going to wait and toil in independent hell?Â Or do they take the sure thing and join the Big Sky for all sports and therefore guaranteeing their football program a spot in a AQ conference that will be one of the Top 2 in all of FCS football.Â Do they owe the Summit a buyout?Â Could they somehow avoid a buyout?
- You gotta love the way this is working out for UND.Â We didnâ€™t commit to the Summit because they dragged their feet offering due to their objection to the nickname issue.Â UND fans were getting worried that no conference was going to take us after hearing that USD got into the Summit.Â Well, as it turns out USD is now stuck in the middle and whichever way they go will cause huge headaches for their program (Summit = No football home —- Big Sky = Summit buyout and more travel for a fiscally maxed-out athletic department).
- As far as the Montana schools go, we feel they are staying.Â All signs point to them wanting an expanded and more competitive Big Sky conference.Â Having a better conference would settle down some of their fans that think they need to move up due to dominating the BSC for so many years.Â Plus, the WAC is currently a mess and I cannot see how joining it would help their athletic department.Â With Boise StateÂ leaving there is not a powerhouse school left in the conference.
- Being the Summit visit is coming up in a week, we are starting to think that this thing is going to happen soon.Â There is no way Fullerton wants that visit to happen.
- In a bizarre development, it seems as though President Kelley is currently out of the country until next week.Â With all this speculation and hype going on right now, and with the Summit visit scheduled for next week, we think that an official announcement is coming very soon with or without President Kelley on campus.
Tick, tick, tick, tick……..