With the official announcement of UND joining the Big Sky yesterday, we thought we would look at the pros and cons of the move, as well as discuss the info from the press conference.
– We love the stability of the Big Sky Conference.Â With 14 teams for football and 12 full-time members for most of the other sports, the BSC can absorb a defection or two and not miss a beat.Â We do not see that happening in the near future due to the economy but eventually it may happen.Â In the meantime, we will enjoy seeing teams like MontanaÂ or Montana StateÂ in the Alerus Center every year.
– With the Big Sky being the only FCS/D1 conference in the northwesternÂ part of the United States it makes the possibility of defections to another FCS conference about zero.Â There is no where to go meaning all schools are committed to the Big Sky, only as long as they are FCS.Â Â Â They can’t say that in other parts of the country.
– Big Sky TV.Â The Big Sky webcasts every single Football, Basketball, and Volleyball contest that is played in a Big Sky venue – for free.Â Combining that with the games they produce on Altitude TV it makes for an attractive package.Â We are under the assumption UND could still televise on FCS but we will have to check on that.Â The UND brand will be in more homes than ever, through more avenues, virtually across the entire country.
– The other option, the Summit League, did not offer that stability.Â TheyÂ will beÂ down to 8 teams once SUU and Centenary are out of the league.Â We have also heard for awhile now about Oral Roberts wanting out of the Summit if the opportunity presented itself and they aren’t the only ones.Â There has been speculation that IPFW and IUPUI would love to be in the Horizon and are simply waiting for them to expand or be affected by the bigger conferences.Â It makes sense looking that their locations.
– There is no doubt the Summit would have saved big on travel expenses but they did not offer football so it was a no-brainer.Â Three bus trips a year would have been nice for the other sports but it wasn’t meant to be.Â From what we heard the MVFC Presidents had never met on it and basically let the idea die.
– Immediate Revenue Sharing – Conference NCAA hoops revenue was $145,000 per team last year.
– Tough to beat the Big Sky brand and their reputation, visibility and success.
– We STILL maintain that USD is coming with.Â Look forward to that too.
– What more can be said about the efforts and hard work of UND and its administration?Â President Kelley and Brian Faison, along with their support staffs, have really done a remarkable job putting all of this together.Â They truly put UND in the best possible position and are to be commended.
– A special ‘thank you’ to the University of Montana for using their leverage to help make this happen.Â Commissioner Doug Fullerton and the Big Sky Conference saw this as a necessity also, but it doesn’t hurt to have the backing of the conference’s most influential institution.Â Thank you Griz.Â See you at Washington-Grizzly Stadium in 10 days.