Whether HS or College, we are all FB fans. This is tied into local HS FB so I hope it does not get taken down. I am sitting here watching Weber St. and Montana play in the FCS play-offs. In the past I have brought up on Sportstalk about the idea of UTEP moving down to the D1 FCS level for FB but staying in D1 for all other sports. Possible D1 Conference for other sports would be the West Coast Athletic Conf. with Gonzaga and St. Marys or the American Conference with basically many of the old CUSA teams such as SMU, Tulsa, Houston etc... The West Coast does not have FB and the American has Wichita St., which does not have FB. For FCS they could stay local within the Texas Area with the Southland Conference with teams such as Lamar, Incarnate Word, Stephen F. Austin etc... or go to the Big Sky with the likes of Weber State. By dropping they would lose 20 something scholarships since FCS offers less scholarships. Within time and when the budget allows, this would allow UTEP to add Baseball without any Title IX implications since D1 scholarships for BB are I believe 13.5 scholarships. So this would fall within the amount of 20 something that is lost by moving down. Many have said you need FBS level FB since it drives the other sports. I looked up all the top teams in FCS FB and UTEP in the past has brought in less revenue than many of them. So don't tell me that you need to stay at the FBS level to keep other sports going. Many of these FCS schools have seen runs in the NCAA BB tournament (Gonzaga, Wichita St.) and have appeared in the NCAA Baseball tournament, or Wrestling etc... at the D1 level. Some even have hockey programs!!
Many say fans would not go to the games. Excuse ME!!!! Have you seen the stands at UTEP lately?? UTEP would have the largest stadium by far in FCS!! We are a tier 1 University now and a great recruiting tool. Aside from Houston and maybe somewhere else, we would be one of the largest cities to have a University with an FCS level team. Why could we not turn this into a major FCS level team??!! They have play-offs. We could all be sitting around tonight watching UTEP on ESPN or better yet be hosting an FCS level play-off game. Are you going to tell me that fans would not attend UTEP games. If we put together a winning team at this level people would go!!
Now, we all know we don't put out numerous D1 FBS level scholarships. And power 5 conference scholarships are rare. We do have many kids go to UTEP, but lets be real, where has UTEP been ranked among D1 schools most years???? Yes, we have Aaron Jones. etc..., but overall???? What are your thoughts on the recruiting of local talent at UTEP for an FCS level team? I truly believe we have kids who could really contribute. Any thoughts??
Zero chance that The American or West Coast would take UTEP Olympic sports. Face it, the only conference that would accept UTEP would be the WAC.
With regards to me mentioning the local talent being recruited to UTEP as an FCS school, my intention is that if you were to take the kid that UTEP is recruiting now from EP that they will contribute more at that level. I agree that you can not fill the roster with our local kids and be successful. But I do believe that there are SOME kids who could definitely contribute and play a huge part in competing at an FCS level. The talent pool is lower overall than at the FBS level obviously. But I truly believe that with the right coach, UTEP and its size of campus and size of city and size of the Sun Bowl and its academics could build an FCS powerhouse with select local kids playing a big part in it. I mean, what the hell, why not give it a try.
* We can't possibly draw fewer people in the stands.
* Both conferences mentioned in original post are stronger in all sports at the D-1 level than C-USA.
* IF FB became a powerhouse at FCS this t own would go to games.
The West Coast or American Athletic conferences would never accept UTEP into their conference. Stop dreaming. Maybe the WAC would.
I am not saying UTEP will magically turn into a 10 win team, but with the leadership changes recently I think we will see more athletic success. The new regime seems to value the marketing sustainability of successful sports programs more than the previous group. Money is starting to be spent on facility upgrades and more to come. I think in a few years, El Paso will be happy with where all the programs are. UTEP has had the smallest recruiting budget for all Texas D1 schools for years. No money put into facilities and lowest combined salaries for staff. Those are recipes for failure. Thus, 1-11 seasons. Hopefully, the changes and commitments from leadership to the program will lead to success. No reason UTEP shouldn't be a 6-9 win team every year.