Quick review. App State has said it wants to drop the C and get with the B. The lower echelons of the penthouse are in flux, with the Big East absorbing CUSA, CUSA takin’ in the Sun Belt, and the suddenly svelte Sun Belt sitting back, rubbing its chin, and waiting and thinking.
Waiting …… and thinking.
It would appear the shrinking Belt has plenty of applicants. Among them is the school we affectionately refer to as the Stink. It’s been wanting to make like George and Weezie for as long as App State has. And that day may finally – FINALLY – be here.
And yet ….
“I think fans can be divided into three groups,” (Stink AD) Kleinlein said before meeting with the club members. “A third of our fans are kind of apprehensive because they don’t understand what it’s about and why we’re making the move.
“Then, we have a third of our fans who are excited. They think we’re going to be Georgia, which I have to educate them, that’s not going happen right away.
“Then, I think we have a third of our fans who are sitting there and they’re excited, they just don’t know which way to go.”
That translates to 2/3 of Stink fans in the “maybe” column. /whistles
We dare not estimate a proportion for App State fans. (We are fully on record as not really caring. Just let us know what time’s kickoff.)
But some friends of the Griz look regretfully to what’s happening here.
I know, I know, we’ve already covered this subject in Missoula ad nauseam. You still can’t help but wonder if UM, which attracted App State’s largest home football crowd in 2012, will feel the same five years down the road.
It hurts just a little knowing App State’s intentions because they convey an attitude. Moving up is an idea often coveted by the biggest and boldest of the FCS. I’d like to think UM is still in that group.
App State and UM are both doing the right thing at this point. But because fortune usually does favor the bold, it’s hard to not feel just a little envious over here in western Montana.
It’s easy to be green when the future is one great unknown. Eventually all fantasy must succumb to reality, inevitably pleasing or abhorrent.
The nation’s self-proclaimed paper of record recently looked at all this intradivisional movement, and was a bit down on the whole idea.
Buffalo moved up to what was then Division I-A in 1999 and immediately struggled, which is customary. But 13 years later, Buffalo still has had only one winning season, and that was four years ago. In the last 10 seasons, Buffalo has compiled a 33-87 record; in five seasons, it has won two games at most.
Charlie Donnor, the associate director of athletic development at Buffalo, said the benefit of the football program could not be measured solely in wins and losses.
“The purpose of F.B.S. football is to brand the university — it gives us exposure in places we could never go before,” said Donnor, who added that Buffalo, part of the State University of New York system, had had an increase in out-of-state students attending since 1999.
“Everyone in I-AA loses money and doesn’t get much for it,” (former UMass chancellor John) Lombardi said. “But even a crummy team in I-A football has higher visibility than a great team in I-AA. So while there are more costs to move up, the universities think that maybe they’ll at least get something for it.
“Of course, it’s an illusion that you can make money moving up. What they’re really trying to do is align themselves with the better-known institutions.”
So success in FBS isn’t measured by win-loss, but by how many people know your win-loss. Got it.