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At what point is FAU better off as an Independent?

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At what point is FAU better off as an Independent?

I was watching CSS and they were showing the old championship games from the 80's and I looked it up and UM was independent in those years, including under HS.

That begs the question, if we continue to improve and the Sun Belt is unable to win against its OOC opponents 25-50% of the time, would we be better off as an independent?

As an independent we do not have the surefire bowl tie-in, BUT if we have a quality team we can schedule national powerhouse teams rather than Sun Belt teams and make our strength of schedule very strong.  Imagine a schedule where we play 2 Big East, 2 Big 10, 2 SEC, 2 ACC, and the rest from MAC/SUNBELT/CUSA.  The payouts from those big games would be higher as well, so even a "bad year" is financially agreeable.  Leverage that into the athletics programs and facilities and maybe we get invited to the Big East through the backdoor.

In the Sun Belt we have no chance for a national title, a slim chance at a BCS game (basically have to go undefeated), and even a regular bowl we have to win our conference.  What does everyone think?

Florida Atlantic University Owls
2007 Sun Belt Football Champions 2007 New Orleans Bowl Champions 2008 Motor City Bowl Champions 2011 Sun Belt Basketball Champions No Bowls without Owls
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Re: At what point is FAU better off as an Independent?

SeminOWL2006 said

I was watching CSS and they were showing the old championship games from the 80's and I looked it up and UM was independent in those years, including under HS.

That begs the question, if we continue to improve and the Sun Belt is unable to win against its OOC opponents 25-50% of the time, would we be better off as an independent?

I think the pertinent question here is: when? When would you see us being able to survive as an Independent?

When I think of Independent, the one team I think of is Notre Dame. If you know nothing else about ND, you know about their football team and their hunchback. Their football team is good enough to survive as an Independent. I don't see us surviving as an Independent for a while.

P.S. I don't respond to guest posts. All guests are encouraged to register with the site.
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Re: At what point is FAU better off as an Independent?

I agree with the fact that we either need to move up in conference level or go independent.

The Sun Belt is so lame, look at Conference USA and the Sun Belt. They have 6 bowl tie ins and we have 1! We are almost their equal competitively but are so far behind with the bowls it is ridiculous. All you have to do is look at how badly Troy got screwed last year. They went 8-4 including blowing out Ok. St. but sat home while over a dozen 6-6 or 7-5 teams went to bowls, and not because they won their conference title.

If the Sun Belt as any conference at all, Troy should have played in Mobile against Tulsa and it would not have been the embarrassment of a game that it was, and they would have had all of their local fan base to go to the bowl as well! By the way, the MAC is getting weaker and weaker as well as the BCS conferences get get richer and richer!

The plan to play that many BCS conference teams would pay off, the trick would be for the NCAA to stop allowing BCS teams from playing FCS or even NAIA teams for their "bodybag" record building games. It has almost become rare for a big 6 BCS conference team to not have a "bowl eligible" record with a 12 or 13 game schedule. The Sun Belt is basically locked out except NO and for a lot of luck otherwise, ask Troy!

How many schools want to risk  their record against strong teams like FAU or Troy, or even L-Monroe (ask Alabama!).
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Re: At what point is FAU better off as an Independent?

The SunBelt is on the rise though.

You may see CUSA loose some bowl bids here and if waters is comptent (Dobutful I know) he should be able to pick up at least one of those.

If FAU and a couple other teams stun some OOC games this year and put together bowl eligible seasons, it will really cement that growth.

This is a pivotal season in SunBelt history. If we win it gets respect if the teams loose it remains the lapdog of college football.

I have come here to chew bubble gum and kick @$$ and I'm out of bubble gum.

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Re: At what point is FAU better off as an Independent?

Scheduling would be a nightmare as an independent.

Go Troy Go
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Re: At what point is FAU better off as an Independent?

We have one conference title in the SBC. Lets not get ahead of ourselves and think that we are too good for the SBC. If we string together 3-4 consecutive conference titles then we can start to think that maybe we are too good for the SBC.

As for the indepent question, scheduling would be very difficult. Being an independent is very difficult. Not too many teams can pull it off.

GO OWLS!!!

You can run kitties, but you can't hide!!!
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Re: At what point is FAU better off as an Independent?

I think the days of playing as an independent are gone.  Twenty years ago, maybe, because you had a lot of independents in the south and east, a good mix of majors and mid-majors, so scheduling wasn't that big of an issue.  Notre Dame still manages because of their name and reputation, and it certainly doesn't hurt that all of their home games are televised.

FAU as an independent would be scraping for whatever dates are left on opponents' schedules.  In addition to the "bodybag" games, as one poster put it, I think we'd also get stuck with an unwelcome number of I-AA teams.  Plus, no bowl tie-ins and probably fewer TV games, which would hurt recruiting.

Playing eight BCS teams, as SeminOWL proposed, would be very ambitious but unlikely, not because they don't want to play us, but rather because most conferences get the bulk of their OOC games out of the way early in the season.  There just wouldn't be enough dates left in October and November, so we'd end up playing a SBC-quality schedule anyway – or worse – and without the few benefits we get from playing in the conference.
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Re: At what point is FAU better off as an Independent?

All very good points, it is just that the Sun Belt leadership has got to get better or we have to go on somewhere else.
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Re: At what point is FAU better off as an Independent?

GeorgiaOwl said

All very good points, it is just that the Sun Belt leadership has got to get better or we have to go on somewhere else.

Yes, the SBC has to get better, but it's not as if we have much of a choice here.  It's not like we can up and go join the SEC because we want to.  As much as we complain about it, we are actually lucky to have the Sun Belt.  We could not survive as an independant…not many schools can.  Notre Dame can because they have the TV deal with NBC…and 100 years of tradition, an enormous fan base, lots of donors with deep pockets, etc.

The Sun Belt isn't perfect, far from it, but until we are actually given a better option, just embrace it and help it get better.  Go to the games and bring along as many friends as you can.  Help build the fan base to the point where we can't be ignored when the next round of conference shakeups take place.

As far as the conference, it is (slowly) moving in the right direction.  It is very competitive and the talent level is improving every year.  Getting at least one more bowl bid would go a long way in increasing the stature of the league.
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Re: At what point is FAU better off as an Independent?

owlfan1 said

We have one conference title in the SBC. Lets not get ahead of ourselves and think that we are too good for the SBC. If we string together 3-4 consecutive conference titles then we can start to think that maybe we are too good for the SBC.

As for the indepent question, scheduling would be very difficult. Being an independent is very difficult. Not too many teams can pull it off.

GO OWLS!!!

I agree, I think everyone is buying into the hype. We need to stop, catch a breath, and relax. Let's see how this season ends before we starting talking drastic changes.
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