Why does SJSU stay in the MWC?

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Why does SJSU stay in the MWC?

Post by OKAggie » January 31st, 2019, 10:15 pm

Short answer: because they can, and they maximize their revenue stream over any other option.

But from a competitive standpoint, why are they here? I'm talking about football and men's basketball (I honestly don't know how they do at any other sport, or care -- I barely care about USU's teams in those other sports, to my shame.)

Some numbers to help frame the question:

Football: Since joining the WAC in the WAC-16 expansion in 1996, they have had two winning seasons in 24 years. They have yet to have an overall winning season as a member of the MWC; record in conference games is 16-32.

MBB: The Spartans have had one winning season since 1994 -- they went 17-16 in 2010-11. They haven't been above .500 in conference games since that 1993-94 season, as a member of the Big West. In other words, they went through their entire 17 seasons in the WAC, and their first 6 seasons in the MWC (I'm going out on a limb re this season) without finishing with a winning conference record.

The last year they were above .500 in both football and basketball was 1987, when the football team was 10-2 and ran the PCAA table 7-0, and the MBB team went 15-14.

They don't draw flies in either sport. There is next to no local interest.

How does their leadership, on campus and the regents, justify such perpetual underperformance? Wouldn't they be much better off to drop or downgrade football, and move basketball and the olympic sports to the Big West? -- the last conference home in which they were competitive.

I'm not trying to kick them when they're down, or make a case for kicking them out of the conference. I just wonder why they don't cut their losses and move on to a level where they can compete. To the extent there are hard core SJSU fans, I sympathize with them -- we had many similarly dark years in football and basketball (though rarely at the same time). But you can only tell yourself that success is just around the corner for so long.

Any insights?


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Re: Why does SJSU stay in the MWC?

Post by YoungBloodAggie » February 1st, 2019, 7:58 am

While they may be maximizing their revenues, I am not sure that overall profitability is optimized by competing in the MWC. Given that you can hear a pin drop at their football and basketball home games, I doubt they are even breaking even in the "revenue sports" at this point. While USU may be in only a marginally better position financially, at least our basketball and football teams are competitive for what they cost.

If collegiate athletics are truly the "front porch" to the university's "house," SJSU has a meth lab out in front of their door.


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Re: Why does SJSU stay in the MWC?

Post by Aggie formerly in Hawaii » February 1st, 2019, 8:31 am

It is crazy. As bad as they are in football they are far worse in basketball. They are a dead program. They certainly don't add anything from a winning standpoint, but are in the bay area; not that anyone in the bay area cares about San Jose State sports.



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Re: Why does SJSU stay in the MWC?

Post by NVAggie » February 1st, 2019, 9:21 am

I never like reading these threads much. I remember many people telling USU that they should cut their losses and go down to the Big Sky. Now look where we are as an Athletic Department. I also don't feel like we are on some high plateau that allows us to shame the weak. Our own foundation is great, but not firm.
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Re: Why does SJSU stay in the MWC?

Post by ViAggie » February 1st, 2019, 11:14 am

Why was UNLV, out of all schools, the only WAC-16 expansion school invited to join the MWC when it broke away?

ANSWER: Market, location, etc. People see schools and athletics as a commodity and market potential. Did it help that UNLV is traditionally good at BB? Sure. But have they had decent sustained success in FB? We all know the answer to that one.

If nothing else, SJSU is a foothold in a region, right or wrong, good or bad. They were able to remain D1-A/FBS throughout the years, and they found a way to persist, and here they are.


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Re: Why does SJSU stay in the MWC?

Post by OKAggie » February 1st, 2019, 12:48 pm

NVAggie wrote:
February 1st, 2019, 9:21 am
I never like reading these threads much. I remember many people telling USU that they should cut their losses and go down to the Big Sky. Now look where we are as an Athletic Department. I also don't feel like we are on some high plateau that allows us to shame the weak. Our own foundation is great, but not firm.
I couldn't care less what you like to read. I'm not telling them what they should do. I'm asking what are their reasons -- in the face of generational failure in the revenue sports -- for continuing to play them? What are the purposes of a university's athletics programs, and how does SJSU stack up?

Do they provide entertainment opportunities for their students? Not so you'd notice.

Do they provide a "front porch" to the university? To the contrary -- they suggest that you can expect mediocrity from San Jose State University, Fortunately for them their university is much better than their athletics.

Do they provide a link to the community? YBA's "pin drop" comment is only a slight exaggeration -- they are historically the worst home draw in the conference by far. If USU dropped football or dropped to Big Sky in basketball, the community would notice immediately -- even though we still don't draw as well as we should. If SJSU dropped to the Big Sky in football or the Big West in basketball (or dropped sports altogether), the city of San Jose would scarcely notice. (You may recall that we played to large Spectrum crowds in the Big West.)

Do they provide educational opportunities for their student-athletes? Yes, as do their Cal State sisters in Sacramento and Long Beach and Fullerton (and Monterey Bay.... :( ). They'd provide fewer due to scholarship limits, but they're running deficits to offer those scholarships as a FBS program anyway. My guess is that not wanting to be seen as lesser than Fresno St. or San Diego St. in the Cal State system food chain has a lot to do with their insistence on continuing to play in the MWC, but I don't know anything.

I truly don't care if they stay or go -- the bowl-eligibility boost to MWC teams from near-automatic wins in football is more or less offset by the RPI or NET detriment to MWC teams from near-automatic wins over a 300+ rated team in basketball. People talk about the value to the MWC from having a team in the Bay Area TV market, but I'd be curious to know what true value is added to a team no one watches or cares about -- I suspect the conference's media revenues would be about the same without them, but I don't know anything.

I just wonder how their administration justifies this -- in the face of budget concerns in the CSU system -- to their regents, the legislature and the voters.


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Re: Why does SJSU stay in the MWC?

Post by NVAggie » February 1st, 2019, 1:57 pm

Whoa, knot in that panties time. It is pretty simple. They are optimistic that something can change. They had an outstanding season right before entering the MWC, just like us. If you are going to question why they remain, you should question why we did the same thing for so many years.



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Re: Why does SJSU stay in the MWC?

Post by OKAggie » February 1st, 2019, 2:17 pm

NVAggie wrote:
February 1st, 2019, 1:57 pm
Whoa, knot in that panties time. It is pretty simple. They are optimistic that something can change. They had an outstanding season right before entering the MWC, just like us. If you are going to question why they remain, you should question why we did the same thing for so many years.
I was around when we did, and I understood why. No need to keep questioning. We aren't SJSU, so our reasons might not be the same as theirs, and even at our worst we've never been so bad for so long in both sports as they have. To reiterate: they haven't had a winning season in both football and MBB since 1987, and have only 10 winning seasons in either (7 FB, 3 BB) out of 64 since then. (We've had 25 in basketball (I'm counting this year) and 7 in FB (5 in the last 8 years) in the same time frame.)

Back to the fundamental question of the OP (and your bare assertion): what's the basis for their optimism? I won't break out the overused "definition of insanity" here, but it applies.


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Re: Why does SJSU stay in the MWC?

Post by Jjoey53 » February 1st, 2019, 6:32 pm

YoungBloodAggie wrote:While they may be maximizing their revenues, I am not sure that overall profitability is optimized by competing in the MWC. Given that you can hear a pin drop at their football and basketball home games, I doubt they are even breaking even in the "revenue sports" at this point. While USU may be in only a marginally better position financially, at least our basketball and football teams are competitive for what they cost.

If collegiate athletics are truly the "front porch" to the university's "house," SJSU has a meth lab out in front of their door.
Along with 3 tireless cars on jacks, a broken screen door and missing wooden steps. In addition most of the paint has peeled away.

I do think they will make strides in hoops the next couple years. They started 2 freshmen and 0 seniors.


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Re: Why does SJSU stay in the MWC?

Post by trombone_ninja » February 2nd, 2019, 10:37 am

You say the community probably wouldn’t even notice if they dropped to the Big Sky, but would they notice if they started winning in the Big Sky? Would attendance go up? Would it be more enjoyable than being the eternal doormat of the entire FBS?

One of my professors here at the University of Northern Colorado has a lot of complaints about athletics here (particularly football), and it all goes back to making the jump from DII to DI FCS. UNC’s football team had eight DII playoff appearances (including back-to-back national championships) in the 90’s but since going up to FCS have posted losing seasons almost every year. He says that UNC has too much to compete with at this level. College football isn’t a big deal here, and for the people who do care, there’s CSU and CU Boulder. For everyone else, there’s the Broncos. Greeley isn’t a large town, and UNC football isn’t a big draw for most people here, much less anyone outside of town. This professor insists that going back to DII would be a better fit and athletics would have a lot more success.

Not exactly a similar situation, but it makes me wonder how SJSU would fare competitively at a lower level. Seems to me that for the average student it’d be more fun to win in a lower division than lose in a higher division. But money rules everything, so I guess the real question Is whether attendance would go up and whether increased ticket revenue would make up for the difference in conference revenue.


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Re: Why does SJSU stay in the MWC?

Post by BigBlueDart » February 2nd, 2019, 10:58 am

trombone_ninja wrote:
February 2nd, 2019, 10:37 am
Not exactly a similar situation, but it makes me wonder how SJSU would fare competitively at a lower level. Seems to me that for the average student it’d be more fun to win in a lower division than lose in a higher division. But money rules everything, so I guess the real question Is whether attendance would go up and whether increased ticket revenue would make up for the difference in conference revenue.
I think another consideration would be that their expenses would be lower at a lower division, too. Fewer scholarships to provide, and less keeping up with the Jones's. Or at least the Jones's are easier to keep up with.



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Re: Why does SJSU stay in the MWC?

Post by usugoalie13 » February 2nd, 2019, 11:13 pm

trombone_ninja wrote:
February 2nd, 2019, 10:37 am
You say the community probably wouldn’t even notice if they dropped to the Big Sky, but would they notice if they started winning in the Big Sky? Would attendance go up? Would it be more enjoyable than being the eternal doormat of the entire FBS?

One of my professors here at the University of Northern Colorado has a lot of complaints about athletics here (particularly football), and it all goes back to making the jump from DII to DI FCS. UNC’s football team had eight DII playoff appearances (including back-to-back national championships) in the 90’s but since going up to FCS have posted losing seasons almost every year. He says that UNC has too much to compete with at this level. College football isn’t a big deal here, and for the people who do care, there’s CSU and CU Boulder. For everyone else, there’s the Broncos. Greeley isn’t a large town, and UNC football isn’t a big draw for most people here, much less anyone outside of town. This professor insists that going back to DII would be a better fit and athletics would have a lot more success.

Not exactly a similar situation, but it makes me wonder how SJSU would fare competitively at a lower level. Seems to me that for the average student it’d be more fun to win in a lower division than lose in a higher division. But money rules everything, so I guess the real question Is whether attendance would go up and whether increased ticket revenue would make up for the difference in conference revenue.
Well looking at your point about being more competitive after moving down. It really didnt help Idaho at all.



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Re: Why does SJSU stay in the MWC?

Post by dogie » February 13th, 2019, 6:59 pm

San Jose State is 3-19 on the season. They are currently in a five-way tie for last place in the country in victories. Given the fact that they play in the MWC as opposed to the bottom-tier conferences of the other four, there is a good chance that they will be the only team in the country that doesn’t win four games.

On the other hand, they are the best three-win team in the country according to the NET rating.



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Re: Why does SJSU stay in the MWC?

Post by Aggie formerly in Hawaii » February 14th, 2019, 12:20 am

OKAggie wrote:
February 1st, 2019, 12:48 pm
NVAggie wrote:
February 1st, 2019, 9:21 am
I never like reading these threads much. I remember many people telling USU that they should cut their losses and go down to the Big Sky. Now look where we are as an Athletic Department. I also don't feel like we are on some high plateau that allows us to shame the weak. Our own foundation is great, but not firm.
I couldn't care less what you like to read. I'm not telling them what they should do. I'm asking what are their reasons -- in the face of generational failure in the revenue sports -- for continuing to play them? What are the purposes of a university's athletics programs, and how does SJSU stack up?

Do they provide entertainment opportunities for their students? Not so you'd notice.

Do they provide a "front porch" to the university? To the contrary -- they suggest that you can expect mediocrity from San Jose State University, Fortunately for them their university is much better than their athletics.
Football they are occasionally mediocre. Basketball I would say they are saying "you can expect a horrible awful product."

USU basketball has not been as bad at SJSU for any interval. Even during the Kohn Smith era USU won 44% of our games. Close to mediocrity. SJSU isn't mediocre, they are just awful. San Jose State's basketball program is a stain on the conference and a huge black eye for their university.



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Re: Why does SJSU stay in the MWC?

Post by 918AGG » February 25th, 2019, 9:29 am

dogie wrote:
February 13th, 2019, 6:59 pm
San Jose State is 3-19 on the season. They are currently in a five-way tie for last place in the country in victories. Given the fact that they play in the MWC as opposed to the bottom-tier conferences of the other four, there is a good chance that they will be the only team in the country that doesn’t win four games.

On the other hand, they are the best three-win team in the country according to the NET rating.
And here are their three basketball wins:

Life Pacific by 17
Bethune-Cookman by 2
Northern Arizona by 5

I went and watched SJSU v AF on Saturday (because my wife and kids were out of town and I have a mental illness). Baumann has the worst handles that I've ever seen a in a D1 player. In the first quarter, the ball was in-bounded to him and he immediately looked to give it up - and I thought "well, that's weird" - but there was a reason. The guy has no ball handles whatsoever. He botched a fast break because he couldn't hold on to the ball, and he dribbled the ball off of his foot more than once.


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Re: Why does SJSU stay in the MWC?

Post by dogie » February 25th, 2019, 9:33 pm

SJSU is now in a three-way tie for fewest wins at three.



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Why does SJSU stay in the MWC?

Post by WAaggieFan » February 26th, 2019, 10:27 pm

918AGG wrote:
dogie wrote:
February 13th, 2019, 6:59 pm
San Jose State is 3-19 on the season. They are currently in a five-way tie for last place in the country in victories. Given the fact that they play in the MWC as opposed to the bottom-tier conferences of the other four, there is a good chance that they will be the only team in the country that doesn’t win four games.

On the other hand, they are the best three-win team in the country according to the NET rating.
And here are their three basketball wins:

Life Pacific by 17
Bethune-Cookman by 2
Northern Arizona by 5
4th win
New Mexico by 7

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Re: Why does SJSU stay in the MWC?

Post by BigBlueDart » February 27th, 2019, 11:19 am

New Mexico is just absolutely baffling this season, aren't they? They have beaten the top team in the league and lost to the worst team in the league. That's pretty descriptive of their season, overall.



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Re: Why does SJSU stay in the MWC?

Post by Aggiestyle » February 27th, 2019, 2:25 pm

BigBlueDart wrote:
February 27th, 2019, 11:19 am
New Mexico is just absolutely baffling this season, aren't they? They have beaten the top team in the league and lost to the worst team in the league. That's pretty descriptive of their season, overall.
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Re: Why does SJSU stay in the MWC?

Post by Jjoey53 » February 27th, 2019, 4:30 pm

Will that loss end the coach’s tenure that, just like Duryea last year?


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