Season:

2016 Idaho Vandals Football Schedule


Record: 2-2, 0-0 (Sun Belt)
Date   Opponent Time/TV Tickets
Thursday
Sep. 1
Bobcats Montana State Bobcats
Kibbie Dome, Moscow, ID
6:00pm PT
ALT/ESPN3
Won 20-17
Saturday
Sep. 10
Huskies at Washington Huskies
Husky Stadium, Seattle, WA
2:00pm PT
Pac-12N
Lost 59-14
Saturday
Sep. 17
Cougars at Washington State Cougars
Martin Stadium, Pullman, WA
11:00am PT
Pac-12N
Lost 56-6
Saturday
Sep. 24
Rebels at UNLV Rebels
Sam Boyd Stadium, Las Vegas, NV
6:00pm PT
MWN
Won 33-30 (OT)
Saturday
Oct. 1
Trojans Troy Trojans
Kibbie Dome, Moscow, ID
2:00pm PT
ESPN3
Buy
Tickets
Saturday
Oct. 8
Warhawks at ULM Warhawks
Malone Stadium, Monroe, LA
4:00pm PT
ESPN3
Buy
Tickets
Saturday
Oct. 15
Aggies New Mexico State Aggies
Kibbie Dome, Moscow, ID
Time TBA
TV TBA
Buy
Tickets
Saturday
Oct. 22
Mountaineers at Appalachian State Mountaineers
Kidd Brewer Stadium, Boone, NC
Time TBA
TV TBA
Buy
Tickets
Saturday
Oct. 29
OFF
Saturday
Nov. 5
Ragin' Cajuns at UL Lafayette Ragin' Cajuns
Cajun Field, Lafayette, LA
2:00pm PT
TV TBA
Buy
Tickets
Saturday
Nov. 12
Bobcats at Texas State Bobcats
Bobcat Stadium, San Marcos, TX
1:00pm PT
TV TBA
Buy
Tickets
Saturday
Nov. 19
OFF
Saturday
Nov. 26
Jaguars South Alabama Jaguars
Kibbie Dome, Moscow, ID
Time TBA
TV TBA
Buy
Tickets
Saturday
Dec. 3
Panthers Georgia State Panthers
Kibbie Dome, Moscow, ID
Time TBA
TV TBA
Buy
Tickets

Idaho Headlines

    1. FB1
      September 21, 2016 at 4:03 pm

      So does this mean we will see FCS schedules in the near future?

    2. Clinton
      September 21, 2016 at 8:55 pm

      I’d like to see FCS schedules too!

    3. bwburke94
      September 22, 2016 at 2:56 am

      This fills up Idaho’s 2017 schedule,by the way.

    4. Vegas
      September 22, 2016 at 2:58 pm

      Is Idaho dropping back to FCS? When?

    Leave a Reply

    1. lost in Va.
      August 23, 2016 at 3:06 pm

      plenty of other Big Sky schools for SJSU to court….

      • NV kid
        August 24, 2016 at 1:47 pm

        non-sense

      • Stuart
        August 28, 2016 at 2:48 am

        pretty accurate. SJSU was not going to pay Idaho $550,000. They tend to pay FCS schools the minimum. Nobody in San Jose wants to see Idaho, whatever their level. UC Davis, or Cal Poly would get more interest. And they can pay North Dakota, Portland State, or as they did recently New Hampshire considerably less

        For Idaho it’s not only more money than SJSU would give them to convert the series to revenue trips to San Jose without return, but it’s also a game close to home where their own fans will attend. For WSU with Idaho as an FCS school it’s now cheap enough for them to schedule it.

        Idaho with this cancellation now has room for 8 Big Sky games on an 11 game FCS schedule in 2018, 2019, 2020 while collecting some serious revenue. Pretty much a win for everyone.

        I expect the Indiana series and the Penn State game to fall off the schedule next. The rest will probably remain, although LSU has leverage in their contract to force a lower fee negotiation if they want (but why bother?)

    2. Z Man
      August 23, 2016 at 6:54 pm

      Nevada is the only FBS school still scheduled to visit Idaho beyond 2017. And that game will likely be canceled too.

    3. Alum
      August 23, 2016 at 10:13 pm

      How does Rob Spear still have a job…?

    4. Jinzo_2400
      August 26, 2016 at 9:25 pm

      Glad that SJS cancelled this series…..rather play a FBS school or a FCS school closer to home.

    Leave a Reply

    1. Z Man
      August 3, 2016 at 7:06 pm

      Karl Benson killed FBS football at Idaho. Should’ve seen this from the start – he’s a Boise State grad.

      • Z Man
        August 3, 2016 at 7:10 pm

        I’m surprised Idaho and NMSU aren’t suing the Sun Belt to end the relationship one year early. The way they were betrayed by Benson after he came through for them twice in the past (WAC membership in 2005, then Sun Belt FB membership) should be reason alone enough to end the agreement early.

        There is precedent for such a move. If West Virginia hadn’t sued the Big East, they would have been forced to stay until 2014. West Virginia’s move inspired Pitt and Syracuse to sue to terminate their relationships early as well.

      • Patrick Michael
        August 4, 2016 at 10:17 am

        Sure, it had nothing to do with your football team being consistently crap. Should have stayed in the Big Sky where they belong.

      • Shep
        August 4, 2016 at 10:28 am

        You’re right, it was a personal vendetta and had nothing to do with the fact that the schools didn’t add anything except exorbitant and unnecessary travel costs and play in extremely small markets well outside of the footprint. WVU, Cuse, and Pitt all sued to get out so they could make more money in a different conference, why would Idaho sue to get out of the FBS guarantee money? Did you put any thought into this post at all?

      • JR
        August 4, 2016 at 10:44 am

        Karl Benson killed football at Idaho? Sorry, but Idaho’s wounds were almost 100% self-inflicted.

        1) Idaho hasn’t done any significant upgrades to it’s football facilities since 1975. The thought that they could be even competitive at the mid-major level in a facility that is overflowing at 17K is laughable at best.

        2) They pay their coaches on par with the bottom of the barrel of the FBS and the high end of the FCS

        3) They have never been pro-active with athletics and this isn’t the first time they have dropped down (they were in the PCC, forerunner to the PAC12) and they didn’t fight for inclusion in the new league. Instead they helped form the Big Sky and had no complaints dropping down to the lower division.

        4) They are ranked nationally in academics but precious few outside of the region are aware of it, and they market their brand on a regional scale, and think of their brand on par with the PAC schools and that word of mouth is good enough to market their brand.

        5) It’s idiot President, actually claimed Spokane’s media market for U of I (and didn’t even bother to mention U of I’s sizable alum in the treasure valley). Looking at various Spokane media outlets (ie Spokesman review), U of I gets billing after Eastern Washington of the Big Sky.

        6) Other than winning the Big West in 1998, Idaho doesn’t have a title in football at the FBS level. They have also never played in a bowl game outside of the state. They have never won the WAC, never won the Sunbelt (which is now essentially a conference of Southeastern FCS Converts).

        7) Considering that Idaho was in the WAC for 7 years (during Karl Benson’s tenure), and the fact that in terms of revenue and prestige it added absolutely nothing to any FBS conference your argument doesn’t hold up. Blame all the teams bolting the Big West for putting Idaho in that situation initially but the fact remains that the U of I has such a long history of being lazy in investing in it’s football program at crucial moments, that the wounds are almost completely self-inflicted. Idaho did absolutely nothing to make itself more appealing to perspective conferences.

      • Jeremiah Luann Habecker
        August 5, 2016 at 12:53 am

        Are you stupid? Commissioners have zero power in deciding membership. It was the other members who voted unanimously to kick you out. Moron. Drunk window diving is the only sport dUI has been good at for years. Pretty sure even the hillbilly SunBelt doesn’t sponsor that one.

      • Jeremiah Luann Habecker
        August 5, 2016 at 12:55 am

        The contract gives them the option of ending one year early if you bothered to read it.

      • dawgsrule
        August 10, 2016 at 2:07 pm

        Pete Liske and Elizabeth Sinser killed UI football by moving up to 1-A and leaving the Big Sky in the first place just so they could stay with Butt State (Boise), who didn’t even want them anyway.

        Idaho has played in a bowl game twice (one that didn’t even exist when they made the move) in 20 years. Whereas they were almost 1-AA playoff regulars up until the early 90s.

        Montana talks occasionally about moving up but it’s logistically impossible for a number of reasons. That’s why that conversation lasts usually less than a minute.

    2. Lost in Va.
      August 3, 2016 at 8:40 pm

      Idaho trying to compete at the 1A level was a disaster from the start…..Wyoming should up their guarantee for hosting Idaho, perhaps by $125K.

      • JR
        August 4, 2016 at 10:50 am

        Agreed. I wish the NCAA would start enforcing attendance requirements as it would help thin the herds at the FBS level and leave only the programs that truly belong.

      • JR's Mom
        August 4, 2016 at 7:02 pm

        Hey JR EAD

      • Jeremiah Luann Habecker
        August 5, 2016 at 1:03 am

        JR, agreed. They allow for tickets distributed to count toward ticket sales. dUI for years gave away free tix but never had more than a few thousands actually in the stands. When the attendance requirement is 15,000 and their stadium is 16,000 it should be pretty easy for NCAA to realize that they aren’t meeting the requirement.

    3. Blatz
      August 3, 2016 at 10:16 pm

      Wyoming injuring Idaho when the Vandals are already suffering is a bogus move. With Wyoming canceling on visiting Idaho, I do have not have any problem with Oregon cancelling visiting Wyoming. I hope that happens.

      • JR
        August 4, 2016 at 10:17 am

        What is Wyoming’s incentive to play a home game in a remote location in a 17K stadium that won’t be filled? I think they already have an FCS team on their schedule, so a second FCS program doesn’t make sense. I’m no Wyoming fan, but seriously, Idaho shoulders the blame for this one.

      • Jeremiah Luann Habecker
        August 5, 2016 at 1:15 am

        JR, exactly. Idaho was still FBS when Wyo scheduled them (obviously for an easy win which the SEC does every year)). They already had an FCS team scheduled at home that same year. Rules state that to be bowl eligible with two FCS opponents you must then win seven not six games. So when dUI was dropped to FCS Wyo had to pick one to drop and they picked the away game. Guaranteed if Idaho was playing Laramie and the Wofford game was in South Carolina the would have dropped Wofford.

      • dawgsrule
        August 10, 2016 at 2:16 pm

        Seriously why would Wyoming play an FCS team on the road? I can think of two times that’s happened in about 20 years (Idaho was one oddly enough playing at Texas State in 1997–the other was Army at Yale last year). While Michigan playing a return game against ASU in Boone in 2008 (or LSU at Jacksonville State the next year) would have been hilarious) it’s not only unrealistic but quite frankly a joke, Besides, nothing stopping UI from getting games with Northern Iowa, NDSU, Eastern Illinois or something like that and actually having a home-and-home series instead of a one-off money trip to Tennessee or Nebraska or wherever.

    4. Blatz
      August 3, 2016 at 11:00 pm

      I jumped the gun on my above comment. On second look, Idaho had four 2018 games scheduled against FBS opponents. They can’t play a full Big Sky conference schedule and have 4 OOC games. So something had to give and only on very rare occasions will a FBS program ever travel to a FCS stadium. I suspect the contracts for Idaho’s other previously scheduled OOC games are being renegotiated to much lower payouts. And expect the home games with San Jose St and Nevada to be canceled as well. Idaho knew all this was coming.

      Expect Idaho to be playing guarantee games at the Northwest and other Pac12 schools more often. WSU, Utah and Arizona need a FCS opponent in 2020, and most of the Pac12 need FCS opponents in 2021 & 2022. (UCLA, USC, Stanford are not playing FCS programs and Colorado is booked up through 2024).

      2018 – @Florida / @Fresno St / @NIU
      2019 – @Penn St / @Wyoming / @SJ St
      2020 – @LSU / @Temple / SJ St
      2021 – @Indiana / Nevada / @SJ St /
      2022 – @Indiana / SJ St / @Old Dom

    5. Dave
      August 4, 2016 at 1:02 am

      No doubt Penn St. will be dropping Idaho for 2019 now that the Vandals will be Div I-AA.

    6. Stuart
      August 5, 2016 at 1:16 am

      It’s not announced yet, but San Jose State 2019 and 2021 games at Idaho will be cancelled. The home games in San Jose in 2020 and 2022 will remain on the schedule. Like Wyoming these will be converted into cash payment games for Idaho (were “in kind”).

      • Jeremiah Luann Habecker
        August 5, 2016 at 1:28 am

        There’s no need. SJSU doesn’t have other FCS schools scheduled and they’d be easy wins.

      • Stuart
        August 5, 2016 at 3:59 pm

        The info is from the Spartan Athletic department. SJSU does not play road games at FCS schools. The games at Spartan stadium will be played, and as with Wyoming converted to cash payouts for Idaho.

        You can expect the future homes games against Nevada to be cancelled — they are not even scheduled — and the game in Reno converted to a cash game like with SJSU and Wyoming. Basically Idaho picks up 4 revenue games without lifting a finger.

        The B1G scheduling requirements do not allow FCS schools, so the Indiana and Penn State games will be almost certainly be cancelled based on the “changing schedule requirements” clause triggered by Idaho dropping to FCS.

        LSU has a walk away clause, but I expect they will simply renegotiate the fee down with the leverage, as Idaho still fills the victim role they want before their rivalry game against A&M (or Arkansas). Florida looks stuck, the language doesn’t give them an out – so a record FCS payout coming for that one (the date works for Florida, the week before FSU rivalry game).

        The rest of the games (on the road) will likely stand as scheduled. There is not enough cash involved to bother, just eat it. (Note, NIU is a return game so no cash involved).

      • Slacker
        August 6, 2016 at 4:01 pm

        Stuart. Thanks for the that info, providing some clarity.

      • Slacker
        August 6, 2016 at 4:10 pm

        I predict the B1G will provide a waiver to allows Penn St to play Idaho in 2018 (of course assuming Penn St and Idaho can successfully renegotiate the payout). Minnesota is playing South Dakota St in 2018.

      • Slacker
        August 6, 2016 at 4:14 pm

        Make that 2019. And Maryland is playing Towson in 2020.

    7. Day
      August 5, 2016 at 11:23 am

      Jeremiah,

      “JR, exactly. Idaho was still FBS when Wyo scheduled them (obviously for an easy win which the SEC does every year))”

      So the SEC is the only conference that schedules Idaho? Please!

    8. Bill Neuhauser PE
      August 5, 2016 at 5:24 pm

      Might have been the only game Wyoming won that year!

    9. Slacker
      August 6, 2016 at 4:22 pm

      Wyoming gets an extra game in 2018 (Hawaii exception) so Idaho@Wyoming would be possible?

      • Slacker
        August 6, 2016 at 4:38 pm

        Answering my own question: Big Sky programs play eight conference games and three OOC games. So Idaho could not play @Wyoming, and also play the scheduled games @Florida, @Fresno St, and @NIU

      • Shep
        August 8, 2016 at 9:37 am

        Southland and OVC are pushing for full time 12 game FCS schedules, so that may be possible depending on when/if they can get that started.

      • Evan
        August 9, 2016 at 3:02 am

        Just like there are some years when the FBS schools have 2 bye weeks, the FCS schools would have room to play 12 games (with 1 bye week). Cal Poly played 12 games in 2014 and had a bye week. However, 2018 is not one of those years. 2019 and 2020 are though.

    Leave a Reply

    Idaho Vandals to drop from FBS to FCS in 2018

    By Kevin Kelley -
    1. Day
      April 28, 2016 at 2:59 pm

      Many people were waiting for this to happen.

    2. Shep
      April 28, 2016 at 3:29 pm

      It’s the only way they could survive. NMSU needs to drop into the Southland, EMU football needs to join the MVFC, and UMass back into the CAA (their faculty senate is actually calling for a drop or removal of the program at the next hearing).

      • matraini
        April 28, 2016 at 8:56 pm

        UMass isn’t going to go down to FCS. This was the 3rd time the faculty senate brought up this nonsense and the 3rd time that is was voted down. They are also a powerless body, all they can do is make recommendations to the Chancellor, and the Chancellor is probably the most ardent supporter of FBS football in the administration.

        UMass is going to be fine in FBS, even with independence on the horizon. Already have three seasons scheduled as an indy with a 4th about halfway done at this stage which they can start adding to if necessary.

      • Z Man
        April 28, 2016 at 9:18 pm

        NBCSN wants more FBS football beyond the lone Notre Dame game they air each year. Perhaps NBC Sports can snag rights to UMass and NMSU’s home games (some on NBCSN, others on NBC Sports Live Extra) along with a package of Sun Belt games on NBCSN sub-licensed from ESPN (the Sun Belt is the only G5 conference at present with only one major national television partner; three others have ESPN and CBSSN, C-USA has CBSSN and Fox Sports).

        The FBS conferences’ (and independents’) TV contracts could become more valuable in coming years, with the amount of changes I’m projecting in the college sports landscape, as far as realignment goes.

        In FBS alone:

        ACC adds Cincinnati and UConn

        Big 12 adds Boise State, BYU, Houston, Memphis, SMU, Temple

        American replaces their departing schools with UAB, Southern Miss, Charlotte, Marshall, Rice, and UTEP

        C-USA replaces their departing schools with Eastern Kentucky, Jacksonville State, UL-Lafayette, UL-Monroe, Arkansas State, Texas State

        Sun Belt replaces their departing schools with Central Arkansas, McNeese State, Lamar, Sam Houston State, James Madison, Liberty and non-football schools Florida Gulf Coast and UNC-Asheville

        Air Force moves to football independence with a TV contact with CBS Sports Network, and moves most of its other sports to the Patriot League to be with the other service acadamies

        The MWC replaces their departing schools with Montana and Montana State (being the first schools to join the MWC without ever being in the WAC), and adds Seattle as a non-football member to offset Hawaii’s football-only membership

        The MAC adds Southern Illinois and Youngstown State as full members with football included, Cleveland State and Robert Morris as non-football members, and Fordham and Richmond in football only.

      • usap1
        April 30, 2016 at 5:32 pm

        ZMan: Put down the bong gas mask, bro. Nobody wants Cincinnati to join their league. They have been begging to join 5 or 6 conferences and nobody has given them a sniff. Their programs are rotten to the core.

    3. Stuart
      April 28, 2016 at 3:30 pm

      Scheduling requirements would include limit of 1 FCS school per year for FBS and only as home game. Also FCS limit on number of FBS opponents, and 1 fewer game. Hence it seems to me that the Penn State, San Jose State, Temple and LSU contracts are effectively easy to walk away from. The mutual agreement clause is likely to be invoked by both Nevada and Indiana as well.

      Something is going to have to give in 2018. But Idaho is in the drivers seat. Wyoming has to cancel, they already have FCS Wofford on the schedule. Fresno State could keep them without penalty, they have no other FCS opponent. Same for Florida State (bad contract, Idaho can still collect a huge paycheck), but I expect them to try and renegotiate. For NIU it works like Fresno.

      So everything after 2018 will go away painlessly. And for 2018, at least Wyoming, and maybe another school will buy out, actually giving Idaho some cash for not playing. Well done Mr. Spears

      • Day
        May 5, 2016 at 9:15 pm

        Interesting to see if Penn St & Indiana stay on the schedule considering the BIG no longer wants to play FCS.

    4. Jimmy Lynn Sanchez (NSU '05)
      April 28, 2016 at 3:54 pm

      Looks like the damages can be upwards to $15 million overall for UoI if all the schools demand payment. This is not looking good for UoI, I wouldnt be worried going to FCS as much as possibly needing to go down to Division 2 or worse pull the program. Hopefully they don’t turn into a Savannah State of a few years ago where only God stopped what could have been the biggest blowout in a game since November 9, 1980 when Portland State humiliated Delaware State by 105 points.

    5. Z Man
      April 28, 2016 at 3:54 pm

      No good can come from this. It had not been since 1982 that FBS programs dropped to FCS, and with good reason – $$$ and TV.

      NBCSN could have inked a deal with Idaho football to air their games, since the network is hungry for FBS football.

    6. Mike Kroboth
      April 29, 2016 at 4:10 am

      I heard that UMass is looking to do the same thing.

    7. Dirk H
      April 29, 2016 at 6:48 am

      I’m sad to see Idaho drop to FCS. I think they should stay in FBS, and join together with UMASS, New Mexico State, Army, and then create their own East-West Football Conference by adding other FCS schools that want to move up to FBS like Liberty, Northern Iowa, SE Missouri State, Indiana State, Illinois State, Sacramento State, Eastern Washington, UC Davis, Portland State, Delaware State, Villanova, Sam Houston State, Stephen F. Austin, Chattanooga, Youngstown State, Montana and Montana State, and the list just goes on. The Power 5, and the rest of the FBS Conferences have created a stranglehold on FCS schools preventing them from moving up to better their football programs, bring in more revenue by blocking any move up to FBS unless invited by one of the other FBS Conferences! I think this “Collusion of Conspiracy” is in violation of the US “Anti-Trus Lawst” of or relating to legislation preventing or controlling trusts or other monopolies, with the intention of promoting competition in business. Time for a Major Lawsuit against every FBS School and the NCAA over this?

    8. David
      May 1, 2016 at 6:32 pm

      Perhaps some of those future Idaho opponents… can schedule each other? It would be a reasonable place to start.

      • David
        May 1, 2016 at 6:34 pm

        For 2018, Fresno State v. NIU, and Wyoming v. Florida? Penn State could pick up Wyoming for 2019….

    9. dawgsrule
      May 2, 2016 at 2:14 pm

      Should have never happened in the first place, it was Elisabeth Zinser and Pete Liske pushing for this just so they could keep up with Butt State (who didn’t really care about them anyway). Hell they had to play home games in Pullman for a couple years. Not only that, they actually played AT Texas State (then SW Texas State) in 1997 after the move to the Big West/FBS.

      The benefits of playing money games surely can’t justify playing half your conference games in SEC-land. Besides, unless they outlaw FCS/FBS games in the future (a moronic idea for a variety of reasons) they can still keep some of them. Even if most of the Sun Belt is former FCS anyway.

    Leave a Reply

    1. Z Man
      March 1, 2016 at 3:17 pm

      This does not make sense from a financial standpoint. With a ten-team line-up you can only have a maximum of 45 conference games. With a 12-team line-up divided into 2 divisions of 6 each, you can have an 8-game schedule for a total of 48 conference games (like the SEC, ACC, Big Ten and Big 12 used to do), or a 9-game schedule for a total of 54 games (like the Pac-12 does now). By cutting the number of conference games the Sun Belt is screwing themselves big time.

      Idaho would also screw themselves if they dropped back down to FCS, something which hasn’t been done since 1982, as it would limit their TV exposure.

      • JBC123
        March 1, 2016 at 3:38 pm

        Somehow I doubt anyone is clamoring to pay top dollar to broadcast Idaho football.

      • Bill
        March 1, 2016 at 3:41 pm

        No one is watching Idaho football on TV besides the home team fans of whatever major team they scheduled in Non-Con bodybag games. Last year they played USC and Auburn but those types of games typically only draw the most loyal Trojan or War Eagle fans. Same thing applies to the conference championship game. They won’t get anywhere near the money that the P5 conferences get as they won’t get anywhere near the ratings. The same rules for conference growth that help the SEC don’t apply to the Sun Belt.

      • Stuart
        March 1, 2016 at 7:53 pm

        incorrect. Those 48 games include 15 games involving the 2 associate members. This means only 33 games with full partners. Even just 8 games with 10 teams means 40 games with full equity partners. That’s a greater than 20% improvement per full SBC school in exposure and 2nd/3rd tier potential. This also impacts building rivalries which can be carried over to other sports like Basketball. Schools will on average play one more (in the “east”) and two more (in the “west”) full members each year in Football.

        The Playoff distribution is now a flat $10m per G5 conference, so split 10 ways is better than 12 ways. Same for incentive bonuses if and when won for better placement in G5 by the SBC.

    2. Drew
      March 1, 2016 at 3:24 pm

      “The Sun Belt’s Presidents and Chancellors strongly believe it is in the best interest of the conference to have a core membership of 10 football teams that are geographically located within the ‘footprint’ of the conference and that these 10 members also compete in all conference sports.”

      I wonder what Arkansas-Little Rock and UT-Arlington think about not being part of the “core membership”

      • Phil
        March 1, 2016 at 4:27 pm

        Did you just stop at where you quoted and skip the rest of the statement?

        “This decision, along with the full 12-team membership that goes into place for the 2016-17 season with the addition of Coastal Carolina University, will reduce travel demands and missed class time for all Sun Belt student-athletes – while also furthering the development of regional rivalries within the conference.”

      • Andrew
        March 1, 2016 at 7:02 pm

        Yes, it says “full 12-team membership”, but apparently Ark.-LR and UT-Arlington aren’t part of the “core membership”

    3. singlewhitealcoholicseekssame
      March 1, 2016 at 4:43 pm

      Classless move by Sun Belt commissioner Karl Benson. It’s his fault NMSU and Idaho are in this boat to begin with. He was the commissioner at the WAC when they tried their brainless powerplay against the MWC to steal BYU. MWC retaliated by stealing Fresno and Nevada, thus starting the demise of the WAC. Benson jumped ship to the Sun Belt just before the WAC completely imploded. If anyone should be dumped it’s that moron.

      • robconstant
        March 1, 2016 at 4:50 pm

        That is true, but the Sun Belt schools not wanting to make trips from Georgia/Alabama/etc. to New Mexico and Idaho has a lot to do with this too.

      • Uga Hater
        March 2, 2016 at 12:21 am

        Singlewhite,
        You forget that NMSU and Idaho left the Sun Belt high and dry a few years back when the WAC came calling? So was that classless of those schools to leave for what they thought were greener pastures? Looks like it bit them in the ass.

      • Dirk
        April 10, 2016 at 1:04 pm

        I agree! Benson is to blame for this whole stinking mess! Idaho an NWSU should join UMASS, and create a new football conference by inviting 9-11 FCS schools to move up to FBS, I am sure there are more then 20 FCS schools from the West, Midwest and East that would gladly make the jump to FBS!?

    4. Stephen M
      March 1, 2016 at 5:29 pm

      Why won’t the Mountain West invite NMSU for all sports? They are not so hot at football but pretty decent in other sports, mainly basketball. What is the hold up there on the half of the MWC?

      Idaho would be smart to accept the invitation of the Big Sky, they are already a member for all other (non-football) sports. Football-wise they would be competitive right away and the regional match-ups/increased wins would rally fan support.

      As for the 10-team Sun Belt, why not just play 9 conference games (stop scheduling FCS games)? That way there would be a matchup for ever team and a conference championship could be won outright during the season.

      • C
        March 3, 2016 at 7:23 pm

        The MWC wants nothing to do with NMSU. They have 12 members, and unless they want to add Idaho to have a regional rivalry with Boise State, there is no point in adding them.

    5. Dave
      March 1, 2016 at 5:29 pm

      Idaho need to return to the Big Sky. That is the only league i n which they have ever been competitive. Idaho is small school with a tiny population base to draw fans from. With no history of consistently winning, they are making the right decision to go back down to the Big Sky and end the hopeless quest to play with the big boys. Doe this mean that their future body bag games continue?

      • Z Man
        March 1, 2016 at 5:57 pm

        As of now, in coming years I am projecting the Sun Belt to lose Arkansas State, Louisiana-Lafayette, Louisiana-Monroe, and Texas State to C-USA to replace schools departing for the American (UAB, Marshall, Rice, UTEP, Southern Miss, Charlotte), which replace American schools departing for power conferences (Cincinnati and Connecticut for the ACC, and Houston, Memphis, SMU and Temple for the Big 12).

        The Sun Belt then could add Liberty from the Big South, James Madison from the CAA, and four Southland schools: Central Arkansas, Lamar, McNeese State and Sam Houston State

        The Sun Belt could additionally add two good mid-major basketball schools, UNC-Asheville also from the Big South, and Florida Gulf Coast from the A-Sun (neither of which has football), to have a 16-team line-up, which in basketball would be divided into an East Division consisting of the 8 Eastern Time Zone schools. and a West Division consisting of the 8 Central Time Zone schools. In addition to the two previously mentioned schools in this paragraph, Arkansas-Little Rock and Texas-Arlington would likewise not participate in Sun Belt football as these schools also lack football programs.

      • Z Man
        March 1, 2016 at 6:47 pm

        Going back to Big Sky football is about the worst thing Idaho could do. It’s been over 30 years since a FBS team dropped to FCS, and with good reason.

    6. Evan
      March 1, 2016 at 5:59 pm

      This is what will happen (I think):

      The Big 12 will take Houston, Memphis, Cincinnati, and Louisville. The ACC will take UConn to replace LOU. The AAC, now down to 7 teams, will have a semi-merger with C-USA. One conference will have: Marshall, ODU, ECU, Charlotte, UCF, USF, FIU, FAU, UAB, SMiss, MTSU, WKU, and Temple and UMass as FB only members. Navy will go back to football independence. The other conference will have NMSU, UTEP, UTSA, UNT, Tulsa, SMU, Rice, LT, and Tulane, and Grand Canyon and UTRGV as non-FB members. Idaho will go to the Big Sky.
      As for the remaining WAC members, Seattle will go to the WCC, Cal State Bakersfield to the Big West, Utah Valley to the Big Sky (non-FB), UMKC to the Summit, and Chicago State to the Horizon.

      • Z Man
        March 1, 2016 at 6:14 pm

        “The Big 12 will take Houston, Memphis, Cincinnati, and Louisville. The ACC will take UConn to replace LOU. The AAC, now down to 7 teams, will have a semi-merger with C-USA. One conference will have: Marshall, ODU, ECU, Charlotte, UCF, USF, FIU, FAU, UAB, SMiss, MTSU, WKU, and Temple and UMass as FB only members. Navy will go back to football independence. The other conference will have NMSU, UTEP, UTSA, UNT, Tulsa, SMU, Rice, LT, and Tulane, and Grand Canyon and UTRGV as non-FB members. Idaho will go to the Big Sky.
        As for the remaining WAC members, Seattle will go to the WCC, Cal State Bakersfield to the Big West, Utah Valley to the Big Sky (non-FB), UMKC to the Summit, and Chicago State to the Horizon.”

        Some of the projections I have are the same as yours, however, I have different projections for some others:

        Cincy and UConn to the ACC as a pair
        Houston and Memphis would be joined in moving to the Big 12 by SMU, Temple, BYU and Boise State
        The American adds UAB, Marshall, Southern Miss, Rice, UTEP and Charlotte from C-USA
        C-USA adds Arkansas State, LA-Lafayette, LA-Monroe and Texas State from the Sun Belt and Eastern Kentucky and Jacksonville State from the FCS OVC
        The Sun Belt adds six FCS schools – James Madison from the CAA, Liberty from the Big South, and Central Arkansas, Lamar, McNeese State, and Sam Houston State from the Southland – and two non-football schools – FGCU from the A-Sun and UNC-Asheville from the Big South (both have decent basketball programs)

        The WAC will see much change in its membership, but here is how it will go:
        The three Central time schools will move to more geographically-appropriate conferences. You got Chi State right, but I see UMKC going to the MVC and UTRGV to the Southland
        2 of the true Western schools will leave too – CSUB to the Big West as you mentioned, but Seattle will become the Mountain West’s first ever non-football member (to offset Hawaii’s football-only status); AIr Force will join Boise State in leaving the MWC, in this case for non-football membership in the Patriot League to be with the other service acads. Montana and Montana State take the places of those two in the MWC.

        The WAC adds six schools from the D2 ranks – all located in the west and without football except for one.

        RMAC schools Colorado Mines (football to Big Sky) and Metro State
        Great Northwest schools Alaska-Anchorage, Alaska-Fairbanks (Alaska becomes the last state to have full-time D1 schools), Seattle Pacific and Western Washington

        There are many more changes I am projecting, but I can’t be bothered to list them all now.

      • Evan
        March 1, 2016 at 6:23 pm

        And don’t be shocked if North Dakota goes to the Summit League, and MVFC for football

      • Z Man
        March 1, 2016 at 6:28 pm

        There are issues preventing the 2 NDak schools from being in the same conference it seems.

      • Evan
        March 1, 2016 at 8:33 pm

        Seattle and the MW don’t go along. Seattle is a small catholic school, while the MW has big public schools that in semi-big markets and don’t care much about academics.

      • Z Man
        March 1, 2016 at 8:45 pm

        Seattle has several things going for them. Besides the chance to offset Hawaii being FB only, Seattle would represent a new market for the MWC, and thus expanding the footprint

        They could adopt the division split for basketball and use the schedule format once used by the SEC and Big 12.

      • Shep
        March 2, 2016 at 8:52 am

        They would probably take the traditional rivals SHSU/SFA over SHSU/Lamar – SHSU and Lamar aren’t that far away, and while SFA is somewhat in the nomansland they are a better regional brand and are a few hours away from Dallas.

      • Z Man
        March 2, 2016 at 11:56 am

        The Sun Belt would probably take Lamar because they were in the conference before. It helps to have history.

    7. Z Man
      March 1, 2016 at 6:05 pm

      I meant to post this as a root comment if you know what I mean (not in reply to someone else):

      As of now, in coming years I am projecting the Sun Belt to lose Arkansas State, Louisiana-Lafayette, Louisiana-Monroe, and Texas State to C-USA to replace schools departing for the American (UAB, Marshall, Rice, UTEP, Southern Miss, Charlotte), which replace American schools departing for power conferences (Cincinnati and Connecticut for the ACC, and Houston, Memphis, SMU and Temple for the Big 12).

      The Sun Belt then could add Liberty from the Big South, James Madison from the CAA, and four Southland schools: Central Arkansas, Lamar, McNeese State and Sam Houston State

      The Sun Belt could additionally add two good mid-major basketball schools, UNC-Asheville also from the Big South, and Florida Gulf Coast from the A-Sun (neither of which has football), to have a 16-team line-up, which in basketball would be divided into an East Division consisting of the 8 Eastern Time Zone schools. and a West Division consisting of the 8 Central Time Zone schools. In addition to the two previously mentioned schools in this paragraph, Arkansas-Little Rock and Texas-Arlington would likewise not participate in Sun Belt football as these schools also lack football programs.

      Additional info:

      The Sun Belt could still have a nine-game conference schedule under my proposed 12-team football alignment as follows:

      East:
      Appalachian State
      Coastal Carolina
      Georgia Southern
      Georgia State
      James Madison
      Liberty

      West:
      Central Arkansas
      Lamar
      McNeese State
      Sam Houston State
      South Alabama
      Troy

      The Sun Belt’s football schools would be organized into regional pairs, all of which would play each other on Thanksgiving:
      East: Appalachian State-Coastal Carolina, Georgia Southern-Georgia State, James Madison-Liberty
      West: Central Arkansas-McNeese State, Lamar-Sam Houston State, South Alabama-Troy

      For interdivision play, each Eastern pair would play 2 of the Western pairs every year, with one pair rotating off the schedule for 2-year stints, such that each East VS. West match-up occurs 4 times over a 6-year period.

      • Z Man
        March 1, 2016 at 6:39 pm

        And by Thanksgiving, I mean the whole Thanksgiving weekend

      • Uga Hater
        March 2, 2016 at 12:15 am

        Z Man
        Wouldn’t it make more sense to take South Alabama or Troy instead of both ULM and ULL. Alabama and Louisiana are roughly the same size and Mobile (USA) is the biggest city by far. Troy has a much richer football history than any of the schools mentioned. I would pick USA and ULL with Troy coming in 3rd. Monroe has a population of 47K and very little football history.

      • Z Man
        March 2, 2016 at 11:58 am

        Louisiana Tech wants in-state in-conference rivals, especially after Tulane moved to the American before they could develop a rivalry with them.

      • Uga Hater
        March 2, 2016 at 10:48 pm

        La Tech and Tulane were never in the conference together. Tech and Monroe are and hour apart and do not play. They would be ok with ULL but not ULM in the CUSA with them. They recurit the same players

      • Z Man
        March 2, 2016 at 11:20 pm

        Actually Tech and Tulane spent one year in C-USA together before Tulane moved on

    8. Anton
      March 1, 2016 at 6:11 pm

      Sure, going back to 10 teams would make better sense than having 11 teams and one non-regional teams playing (I’m giving NMSU the nod for the closeness to Texas State). It saves the east coast universities money from having to travel to the west coast. While this is all good and fun for the Sun Belt now, Benson will get tired of the lost revenue generated by a championship game and will eventually expand the conference to twelve teams. Being an Appalachian State student, the most recent expansion gives us another rival (Battle of Carolina), but further expansion may be tough. Does the conference go out and grab anybody (Eastern Kentucky was a runner-up in the latest)? What happens if the Sun Belt becomes a better brand than C-USA? Does Benson start cherry picking from them? What about teams within moving out? App State originally was fighting for a bid to C-USA. So many “what ifs” and “where next” to speculate.
      I will admit, cutting Idaho is reasonable, but maybe keep NMSU and add an EKU to make it 12 teams and the conference championship plays out well.

      • Z Man
        March 1, 2016 at 6:33 pm

        In several posts above yours I mentioned that as part of the fallout of the ACC and Big 12 raiding the American the Sun Belt would lose its four westernmost full football-playing members – Ark State, Texas State, and both LA schools – to C-USA, while I am projecting EKU going to C-USA at this moment so that both them and WKU can have an in-state in-conference rival.

        I am projecting that the CAA’s James Madison, the Big South’s Liberty, and four Southland schools – Central Arkansas, Lamar, McNeese State and Sam Houston State – along with the non-FB schools UNC-Asheville (Big South) and Florida Gulf Coast (A-Sun) will move to the Sun Belt in response to C-USA’s latest raid on the conference. Five Sun Belt schools – FAU, FIU, Middle Tenn, North Texas, and WKU have moved to C-USA since 2013, and if the American takes schools from C-USA again, no doubt C-USA looks again to the Sun Belt for replacements.

      • Z Man
        March 1, 2016 at 6:35 pm

        After all is said and done, the Sun Belt would have 8 schools in the Eastern Time Zone and 8 in the Central, which would form East and West Division for basketball. In addition to the new non-FB members, AR-Little Rock and TX-Arlington would also not compete in Sun Belt football, leaving the football circuit at 12 members.

    9. Gary Morgan
      March 1, 2016 at 9:38 pm

      Louisville will NOT leave the ACC. When Notre Dame joins in football, Connecticut would be team 16 for ACC.
      NMSU to Mountain West makes sense. Take Idaho for the pair.

      • Z Man
        March 1, 2016 at 10:41 pm

        Louisville being in the ACC is why Cincinnati should be pursuing ACC membership. They would probably bring UConn with them, as ND will never join ACC football.

      • David
        March 1, 2016 at 10:53 pm

        Actually, if the ACC were to invite Navy for football-only, Notre Dame could finally take the leap. Their annual game with Navy would be protected, they’d get BC, Syracuse, Pitt every year… and probably Georgia Tech, Florida State, and Miami if the divisions were redrawn in this manner: Coastal: ND, Navy, BC, Syr, Pitt, GT, FSU, Miami… Atlantic: Clemson, UNC, NCSU, Duke, Wake, VT, UVa, U of L.

      • Gary Morgan
        March 1, 2016 at 11:03 pm

        It might 2022, but ND will have to give in to the inevitable. The ACC is working well in all other sports…it would benefit both in the long run.
        I would prefer Cincy over UConn, but Cincinnati is Big 12 bound long before another ACC expansion.
        Louisville has the feel of a program that’s been with us a long time. I wish it hadn’t of taken losing Maryland to bring them in the fold

    10. David
      March 1, 2016 at 10:58 pm

      At least NMSU has a chance to make it as an independent. They have games against UNM and UTEP that are annual rivalries, and certainly UMass and Army will play ’em home and home. Take the max 2 FCS games, and you’re halfway there. Idaho, if Idaho hangs in there… they can both always play an SEC team on the road many weeks.

    11. Greg
      March 2, 2016 at 12:59 am

      Geez! Some of these theories are utterly ridiculous.

      1. The ACC is done expanding. Notre Dame is not joining in all sports. Louisville is lucky to have gotten an ACC spot. They aren’t going anywhere.

      2. The Big 12 may eventually take Cincinnati and BYU, but that’s it. Houston, SMU, Memphis, Temple, and UConn are staying put.

      3. The Sun Belt may pick up two southeastern FCS schools (EKU, JMU are my guesses) to get to 12, but will stop there.

      4. The AAC may have to replace Cincinnati eventually. If they do, UMass, Army (football only), Marshall, Old Dominion, and Southern Miss are the only serious candidates, and only one of them gets added. Ohio may be a very long shot contender.

      5. NM State may have a slim chance at CUSA if the AAC has to raid a team, but I can’t imagine anyone besides UL-Lafayette, Ga. State, and Arkansas State would be on their radar.

      6. Idaho will have no chance. They need to go back to FCS unless they are willing to accept long-term independent status.

    12. Dirk H.
      March 2, 2016 at 5:47 am

      It’s time for the WAC to reinstate Football by inviting New Mexico State, Idaho and UMASS , then invite FCS Schools for an 18-24 team Super Conference, and split them into West, Midwest, East and South Divisions of 6 Schools each, then have a 4-6 team Playoff. I am sure that the WAC can find 15-21 other FCS Schools that would gladly make the jump to FBS like North Dakota State, North Dakota, South Dakota State, Montana, Montana State, Portland State, Sacramento State, Eastern Washington, Illinois State, Northern Iowa, Indiana State, Missouri State, Youngstown State, Liberty University, James Madison, Richmond, Villanova, Jacksonville State, Sam Houston, Lamar, Stephen F. Austin, and the list would only grow for FCS Schools wanting to join the New WAC FBS, and TV Contracts, and Bowl tie-ins could be negotiated.

      • Shep
        March 2, 2016 at 8:57 am

        lol wut? You just want to make an FCS Super Conference and throw in the leftover FBS parts. Portland State and UMass in the same conference… yeah, no.

      • Jeff B
        March 2, 2016 at 11:59 pm

        Really? An 18-24 super conference of FCS teams transitioning to FBS. Seriously! So what’s the payout per team? $50,000? $100,000? Don’t really don’t think that would ever happen!

    13. Marcus
      March 2, 2016 at 4:09 pm

      Lost in all this is the players. If Idaho drops down to FCS only 63 players can have scholarships compared to 85 in FBS. Being let go from the Sun Belt was not Idaho’s decision, and seemingly staying in FBS–even as an independent–is still on the table for Idaho.

      I hope Idaho can delay dropping down to FCS (if that’s what the school decides) until 2019 or when all the current players can get through school on scholarship. If not some of the players might get cut. If any of them can transfer to play football at another school it only means a player at that school will get cut to make room. Not a good process.

      Thankfully the net number of football players nationwide that can get a scholarship nationwide won’t change. Idaho may drop down but Coastal Carolina moves up. The 22 scholarships Idaho can’t offer now can be offered by CCU.

      Nonetheless this is probably a good move for the Sun Belt. As mentioned before Idaho is so far west that travel and time missed from class was burdensome on the other sports. Having Idaho in the conference probably cost the SBC more than it paid. Best to replace the Vandals with another school that is in your geographical footprint.

      As for New Mexico State, I think there is some value to MWC if that conference were to bring the Aggies in. They’re far enough from the University of New Mexico and Albuquerque and close enough to El Paso to offer the MWC a new market. The question is whether the Lobos will try to block the Aggies from getting in and/or if they have enough support from the other schools to get in.

      Though they have 10 members now the Sun Belt should continue to play eight conference games. In a conference like this one the teams probably make more money off money games at P5 schools than they do with home conference games. Playing only eight conference games frees them up to schedule more money games.

      Overall, I can’t really say I blame anybody for this taking place though. Idaho and New Mexico State had to do something when the WAC dissolved. Meanwhile, the Sun Belt wanted to make this work and figured adding these two schools plus a few more would equal to more money for everyone involved. In the end it just didn’t work out and the gain never caught up to the gain.

      • David Wollkind
        March 7, 2016 at 6:22 pm

        To maintain independent status in football a team must play at least 5 home games. Idaho can not get 5 teams each year to agree to play in the Kibbie Dome with its 16,000 capacity. Hence they have no chance to remain an FBS independent.

      • Z Man
        March 7, 2016 at 7:32 pm

        Idaho could either build a new facility or move home games to WSU

    14. Jeremy Woodard
      March 2, 2016 at 5:19 pm

      a few things 1 the big 12 will never invite byu 2 being in jonesboro ark a-st can never leave the beit c-usa wants markets like geogia st La- Tech Western Ky and Mid tenn will block a-st ULM ULL from c-usa by 2025 the big 12 will be no more so i think in 2025 we will have 4 16 team football conf SEC B10 P12 ACC

    15. Jeremy Woodard
      March 2, 2016 at 5:41 pm

      how will we get to 16 in each of the major conf by 2025 ACC – i think nd will go in a conf at this time in football what happens to the big 12 Tex goes indy or big ten Okle and Okle st are a package deal for the pac 12 because with Kasas B-ball program k-st will go with kansas iowa st goes to the big 10 the american invites TCU Baylor and texas tech goes to the mth west ACC gets ND west va ciny hou bten gets tex and iowa st p12 gets oklahoma kansas k-st okie- st SEC gets NC State Va tech

    16. Rich
      March 2, 2016 at 5:56 pm

      I can see UT-Chattanooga leave the SoCon to join the Sun Belt.

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