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  1. #1
    Top FCS Ruler Go Green's Avatar
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    SI explains the I-A/I-AA split

    I found this 1978 article explaining the I-A/I-AA split to be fascinating and mostly prescient.

    https://www.si.com/vault/1978/01/23/...s-its-decision

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    Re: SI explains the I-A/I-AA split

    Quote Originally Posted by Go Green View Post
    I found this 1978 article explaining the I-A/I-AA split to be fascinating and mostly prescient.

    https://www.si.com/vault/1978/01/23/...s-its-decision

    Good article. Thanks.
    FIRE THOSE CANNONS!

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    Major FCS Advocate Derby City Duke's Avatar
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    Re: SI explains the I-A/I-AA split

    That was a good read; I had forgotten that Richmond and Bill & Mary had been in the SoCon.
    "The advancement and diffusion of knowledge is the only guardian of true liberty." - James Madison


  4. #4
    Major FCS Advocate The Boogie Down's Avatar
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    Re: SI explains the I-A/I-AA split

    Quote Originally Posted by Go Green View Post
    I found this 1978 article explaining the I-A/I-AA split to be fascinating and mostly prescient.

    https://www.si.com/vault/1978/01/23/...s-its-decision

    Surprised this didn't get more comments. Maybe it will now since it's more of an off-season subject. Anyway, interesting read although the author (a Miami grad who helped Bear Bryant with his biography) seems to have a slight I-A bias. Wonder how many schools have been I-AA since 1978 and, in looking back now, if their fans think the split was all for the best? Would things have been better without an official split and with the entire I-AA world operating the way G-5 currently does? Would be cool to get others takes, especially those who were around then, on the split.

    An aside, funny how so many of the I-AA schools mentioned (like San Jose State, Ball State, Marshall and Boise State) have since moved up.
    Top-20 FBS Rankings: 1935, 1936, 1937, 1938, 1939, 1940, 1941

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  5. #5
    AGS FCS Master JALMOND's Avatar
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    Re: SI explains the I-A/I-AA split

    Quote Originally Posted by The Boogie Down View Post
    Surprised this didn't get more comments. Maybe it will now since it's more of an off-season subject. Anyway, interesting read although the author (a Miami grad who helped Bear Bryant with his biography) seems to have a slight I-A bias. Wonder how many schools have been I-AA since 1978 and, in looking back now, if their fans think the split was all for the best? Would things have been better without an official split and with the entire I-AA world operating the way G-5 currently does? Would be cool to get others takes, especially those who were around then, on the split.

    An aside, funny how so many of the I-AA schools mentioned (like San Jose State, Ball State, Marshall and Boise State) have since moved up.


    This was 40 years ago and, my opinion, it would have happened eventually; if not then, then probably when ESPN came on the scene. Interesting when the article mentions "TV package" as the dollar explosion brought about by ESPN (and other networks) hadn't happened (and couldn't have even been imagined back then). I know Portland State was 1-AA back then, but soon decided to drop back down to DII shortly after, then returned to DI status (and 1-AA) in 1996. We saw another "split", so to say, just recently with the emergence of the P5/G5 within D1-A. I'm also thinking another split is just on the horizon, possibly involving some of the G5 schools and the upper FCS schools.

  6. #6
    Regular FCS Advocate Lion1983's Avatar
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    Re: SI explains the I-A/I-AA split

    Quote Originally Posted by JALMOND View Post
    This was 40 years ago and, my opinion, it would have happened eventually; if not then, then probably when ESPN came on the scene. Interesting when the article mentions "TV package" as the dollar explosion brought about by ESPN (and other networks) hadn't happened (and couldn't have even been imagined back then). I know Portland State was 1-AA back then, but soon decided to drop back down to DII shortly after, then returned to DI status (and 1-AA) in 1996. We saw another "split", so to say, just recently with the emergence of the P5/G5 within D1-A. I'm also thinking another split is just on the horizon, possibly involving some of the G5 schools and the upper FCS schools.
    I don't think it will be a split, as much as a merger. Don't think it would be a good idea to have 3 distinct D1 football sub groups.

    I know there is, but FBS is still considered 1. And, even though some don't agree, a UCF, Boise State, Memphis and so on can theoretical compete for the National Championship (that is technically not recognized by the NCAA).

    If you made the G5 and "upper FCS" it's own deal, eventually, you will have the bottom of that class, complaining, saying they need to split so they can be competitive and the top of the other FCS saying, We can compete with them, why are we not there.

    I say make it a true FBS and FCS. My opinion, the Sun Belt, half or better of C-USA, the MAC and most of the MWC should be in FCS. I personally don't like watching non meaningful bowl games with schools who just broke .500 to get in and 2000 (if that) fans in the stands.

    I also don't think JMU or NDSU should be interested in going FBS, App St and Georgia Southern, Liberty and Coastal all should have stayed to see (and show) how good FCS football could really be.

    Just my opinion, but I'm a grass roots person anyway.

  7. #7
    Master FCS Advocate NY Crusader 2010's Avatar
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    Re: SI explains the I-A/I-AA split

    Quote Originally Posted by Lion1983 View Post
    I don't think it will be a split, as much as a merger. Don't think it would be a good idea to have 3 distinct D1 football sub groups.

    I say make it a true FBS and FCS. My opinion, the Sun Belt, half or better of C-USA, the MAC and most of the MWC should be in FCS. I personally don't like watching non meaningful bowl games with schools who just broke .500 to get in and 2000 (if that) fans in the stands.

    I also don't think JMU or NDSU should be interested in going FBS, App St and Georgia Southern, Liberty and Coastal all should have stayed to see (and show) how good FCS football could really be.

    Just my opinion, but I'm a grass roots person anyway.
    MAC, Sun Belch and C-USA are the same level as P5 schools on paper only. The Valley is ranked more highly than these conferences most years, I believe. Send these guys down -- I think their fans would realize quickly that competing for a national title is far more rewarding than competing in bowl games in Mobile, Alabama or in empty stadiums in Detroit and New Orleans. And the big schools have the bowls rigged. Unless you end up in or near the Top 10, you don't even get a bowl game against a big name from a power conference and a chance to prove yourself against the big boys. All these schools just end up playing each other in glorified exhibitions in mid-December in the middle of the day on ESPN when most can't even watch because we are still at work.

    MWC and AAC should stay up top and make it a P7. Drop the other three down.

  8. #8
    Major FCS Advocate The Boogie Down's Avatar
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    Re: SI explains the I-A/I-AA split

    Quote Originally Posted by NY Crusader 2010 View Post
    MAC, Sun Belch and C-USA are the same level as P5 schools on paper only. The Valley is ranked more highly than these conferences most years, I believe. Send these guys down -- I think their fans would realize quickly that competing for a national title is far more rewarding than competing in bowl games in Mobile, Alabama or in empty stadiums in Detroit and New Orleans. And the big schools have the bowls rigged. Unless you end up in or near the Top 10, you don't even get a bowl game against a big name from a power conference and a chance to prove yourself against the big boys. All these schools just end up playing each other in glorified exhibitions in mid-December in the middle of the day on ESPN when most can't even watch because we are still at work.

    MWC and AAC should stay up top and make it a P7. Drop the other three down.

    Could not agree more. More importantly, Sagarin, who rated the "Sun Belch" on par w/the Ivies, agrees too. Sagarin link: https://www.usatoday.com/sports/ncaa...rin/2017/team/

    MWC (too bad BYU ain't in the mix anymore) would be the only truly questionable addition to a "P-7" landscape. Still, Boise St and Air Force have done a lot more over the years than the usual cast of P-5 cellar dwellers like Oregon State, Kansas, Vanderbilt, Rutgers etc., etc.

    Moving down the bottom G-5 leagues would also add more talent to the FCS which would hopefully then get weaker conferences like the Patsies to step up their game.
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  9. #9
    AGS FCS Champion DFW HOYA's Avatar
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    Re: SI explains the I-A/I-AA split

    Quote Originally Posted by NY Crusader 2010 View Post
    MAC, Sun Belch and C-USA are the same level as P5 schools on paper only. The Valley is ranked more highly than these conferences most years, I believe.
    MAC schools are a step above these schools. The problem with C-USA is its mix between I-AA step-ups (UTSA, Old Dominion, Charlotte) and legitimate I-A programs that were left behind in the food chain (Rice, UTEP, Marshall). Rice was playing big time football before six C-USA schools were even founded.

    True story: A decade ago, Rice undertook a study whether to maintain I-A football or maintain Division I sports at all. Among the options considered, and then quickly taken off the table: joining the Patriot League.
    Georgetown: "We play where we do not compete, and compete where we do not play."

  10. #10
    Top FCS Ruler Go Green's Avatar
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    Re: SI explains the I-A/I-AA split

    Quote Originally Posted by DFW HOYA View Post

    True story: A decade ago, Rice undertook a study whether to maintain I-A football or maintain Division I sports at all. Among the options considered, and then quickly taken off the table: joining the Patriot League.
    Hindsight is 20/20, but I wonder if Rice would have been better off joining Conference USA from the get-go instead of the WAC.

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