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Gordon on SLU and the Conference Shuffle...


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Good point - this is a late article that really shows no real investigation by Gordo. He disappoints me. Everything he said is old news and to be honest, given all that has happened, I think SLU is better positioned now then when it all started weeks ago. Clearly, MU going to the Big East would only happen if they have no other options. He has taken a defeatist approach when clearly others in the media have seen other more positive scenerios.

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what it shows me is that gordon really has a "second class school" attitude towards slu. gordon has been supportive of slu in the past. far more than i would have ever expected an ex-antler to be, however, when it comes down to it, he doesnt take the billiken program serious either.

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I think everyone is being paranoid. Maybe Gordon didn't research the issue as much as he should have, but he wasn't criticizing SLU or suggesting that SLU should move to a lesser conference. He was merely pointing out that under the scenarios being proposed at the time of his article, there was a decent possibility that SLU could find itself in an unattractive conference. Unfortunatley, this still remains a possibility. Gordon respects SLU and expects good things from the program. In fact, in this article Gordon points out that "the university's leadership worked very, very hard to position the Billikens in better conference situations over the years."

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see david, i dont think it is a possibility that slu will end up in a worse conference. in the worst case scenario, i see slu remaining in a watered down c-usa. however, that said, reading a number of articles over the last couple of days, it is beginning to sound as though c-usa has been the driving force of a number of behind the scenes positioning moves that might result in a merger of the big east and c-usa to create at least two killer conferences. the teams that need to be afraid are the bottom feeder football schools of c-usa imo like tulane or houston as they might be the "left behinds".

if gordon truly was a billiken cheerleader/believer, he would be researching and reporting all he can about the above instead of preaching doom and gloom opinions about the billikens possible fate.

a supportive press in this situation could go a long way towards creating the needed public pressure to make things happen positively. as usual, we are getting very little of that. it doesnt bother me because i didnt really expect our media to rally around the cause. they never have been there for us before, why expect it now?

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I don't think it is the duty of a local sports reporter to be a "cheerleader/believer". In the past on this board, Stu has made the same point. They are supposed to tell it like it is. Agree that Gordo's column was weak (and sent him an email to that effect). It was a few days behind in the progression of events and neglected to mention the possibility that SLU could wind up in a reformed conference with like-minded b-ball schools or that CUSA just might not come out of this too bad. At the time his article came out, the prevailing wisdom was that only Miami was going to the ACC. I did not think the article was balanced for these reasons.

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ending up in a considerably weaker conference. If Louisville and Marquette were to jump to the Big East CUSA would suck. Period, end of story. I have no desire to remain in such a conference and would expect us to look elsewhere if this happened. How strong a possibility is this, I don't know but I'll guess there's a 20% chance of that happening. There's probably a 40-50% chance that Louisville goes alone. Again a bad thing for SLU. Why people keep saying the move yesterday is a good thing is beyond me. A good thing would have been all four teams go to the ACC, thus the certain destruction of the Big East.

As for Gordon, his article may have been poorly researched but he is 2nd only to Cusumano in general support for SLU. IMO his article was very realistic that this could be a bad thing for SLU.

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Read the article carefully, and you will see that Gordon essentially summarized the various scenarios being suggested by the national publications (ESPN.com, Sportsline.com, etc.). This is lazy reporting but was not intended as a criticizm of SLU.

Roy, I think you downplayed your "worst case scenario." A CUSA without Louisville, Cincy, and Marquette would be little or no better than the MVC in terms of quality of competition and would remain a nightmare with respect to travel, lack or rivalries, and football/basketball incompatibilities. If Marq, UL, and Cincy left, then I would expect DePaul, SLU, and Charlotte to immediately begin conversations with the A10, Horizon, and MVC.

I also think CUSA, as it currently exists, is a lame duck conference. Best case scenario is that the Big East and CUSA get together, boot a few bad programs, and divide the remaining teams into two conferences. I would be surprised to see one new 20-team conference.

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maybe in this case, cheerleader is a wrong term. but still, if he is going to opine in such a negative manner about such an important issue, one would think he might do a little research.

look at the scenario it could set up. young kevin lisch who may have been leaning towards slu now reads this article and reads into it that if slu is knocked to a lesser conference, he doesnt get to play against calipari, pitino, marquette, etc. instead he is faced with 4 years of drake or loyola. or more likely, bill self or bruce weber while recruiting kevin will be happy to point all of the above out and remind him that a committment to their program garners opportunities vs big ten and big 12 schools. all fuel fired by jeff gordon's lame article.

true i want the post to be a cheerleader for slu. i always have advocated that postition. however if we have to only get the truth and whole truth, at least let it be well researched and true not lame opinion.

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>>however if we have to only get the truth and whole truth, at least let it be well researched and true not lame opinion.<<

Lisch should know about how the probably conference shakeup could affect SLU, but I agree with you that articles should set forth the good and the bad senarios. Gordon's rip and type article did not even include all the possibilities nor the latest thinking on what was to come.

Unfortunately, next year is going to be huge for the Billikens. We need the basketball and soccer teams to make strong national showings (for basketball, that means NCAA tourney bid) and construction starts on the Biondi Dome before this conference shakeup comes down. Hopefully the Big East holds steady until their lawsuit is disposed of. It might buy us a year.

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if you take Marquette, Louisville, Cincy, and Memphis out of the equation. Top teams would be SLU and Charlotte in watered down CUSA. How can you say that conference would be above the Mo Valley with Creighton, SIUC, and SMS? You could make an argument, but I don't see much of a difference.

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I agree on that possibility as well. Instead of joining the MVC or god forbid Horizon, wouldn't there be interest in creating a new midwest basketball conference similar to the old MCC. If SLU gets left out you can bet DePaul, Dayton etc will be also.

Instead of just jumping in the MVC, grab Bradley, Creighton and Evansville, Butler out of the Horizon along with Dayton, Depaul, Xavier(if they get left in favor of UC). I became a Billiken fan during the Grawer years and actually liked that conference. It's not the Big East but is sure as hell better than a watered down C-USA or MVC, Horizon etc.. and much more realistic than the Papal league.

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Since the average person reading the column knows much less then most of us about the situation, the article clearly is not well done and creates a poor perception. Gordo has been a fair to SLU in the past - that is why I was disappointed in the quality of it as I said previously. If he or anyone had done any research at all, they would have easily found that the chance of teams from the CUSA and the Big East and A10 doing something is far more likely today then SLU having to settle for the Valley. If Louisville leaves then I would not be happy but it is not the death of CUSA. If Louisville, Cincy, and Memphis leave then CUSA has a problem. Someone said that the bottom feeders of CUSA should be the ones to worry - he was absolutely correct. Those with weak football and basketball programs are in deep trouble. I still think that MU will hang with DePaul and SLU and the three of us will end up in a situation that either is all bb or a division of bb and a division of football and bb teams in a new conference or an expanded CUSA or Big East.

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>Instead of just jumping in the MVC, grab Bradley, Creighton

>and Evansville, Butler out of the Horizon along with Dayton,

>Depaul, Xavier(if they get left in favor of UC). I became a

>Billiken fan during the Grawer years and actually liked that

>conference. It's not the Big East but is sure as hell better

>than a watered down C-USA or MVC, Horizon etc.. and much

>more realistic than the Papal league.

Agree with the concept; however, I sure hope we do not end up in the same league with Bradley and Evansville. SLU, DePaul, Creighton, Butler and Dayton would be a strong nucleous to build from. Charlotte is out-of-the way geographically but they fit the mold of "like-minded", non-football schools (minus the religious affiliation). Memphis will likely be left hanging also if CUSA blows up and we might be able to entice them to become a basketball only member of a new conference such as the one discussed. SIU would not be a terrible selection either.

Whatever can be cobbled together with the rubble left over after realigned (should SLU find itself in the rubble) will not be sufficient to build something as attractive for b-ball as CUSA; however, it would definitely be better than going to the Valley IMHO. If Marquette were somehow (god willing) added to the above list, then I would start feeling pretty good about this new conference.

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I don't see the big problem with either Bradley or Evansville, both have great arenas and fan support. Both have good traditions. Bradley has had some great years and Evansville used to beat up on SLU during the MCC years. I think long term, both offer more than say Butler. Butler has had a couple of nice seasons but still don't draw all that well and were god awful in the MCC. Dayton was pretty pathetic then also.

The problem with many of these scenarios is they are so short term. Most people look at who was in the NCAA the last year or two and make these dream conferences. Butler has had a lot more down time than up and same goes for SIU. With Weber gone, will they return to medicority playing in front of 1500? I guess they do bring that great Carbondale TV market.

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What we are not allowed to critique an article?? I do not think it is paranoid to look at this article, and wonder why it shows such a lack of effort?? It IT is ppoorly researched, is old news, and fails to consider many possible conference alignments. What I wonder is did he write it two or three weeks ago and then it got shelved until this week. I agree that Gordon has in the past been a solid supporte of SLU, and that is why it is surprising.

By the way even if I were paranoid that does not mean they are not out to get me.......gotta go their at the door...

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The problem with your teams are Peoria and Evansville and the "bus circuit" perception. Yes, Carbonale is the same thing but they have had greater recent success. Omaha is not a huge city either but, again, much better recent success (also stellar in soccer and very good in baseball). I don't want to be in a league of bus towns. Creighton brings more to the table than the rest and we should cut off the MVC teams at 1 or 2 in a new lineup. We might as well just go to the valley if we are bringing along Bradley and Evansville (who will never be more than mid-majors).

SLU is different because it is located in a top 20 TV market (don't underestimate how important this is) and has a powerful president who has cajoled some dollars to put behind the team. We want to align ourselves with the likes of DePaul, not Bradley and Evansville. We are likely to find ourselves at the cross-roads within one year and the roads to Peoria and Evansville are small time.

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No one should ever say anything negative about the Billikens or someone might not want to come here. Give me a break. If I were Bruce Weber and wanted Mr. Litch or whomever, I wouldn't need Gordo's story to point out that CUSA sucks. All I'd have to ask is do you ever want to play on broadcast tv? Or would you rather have a home and home with Tulane or Indiana? We don't have a great conference to sell now. We lose any of the big four and CUSA is puppy chow. If Gordo didn't point it out believe me Bruce or someone else sure as hell would.

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all i am saying is why give additional fuel for the fire? the more a recruit would hear/read it, the more likely they would be to believe it.

i have said this before, but when jared jeffries was a high school senior, jared admitted that the indiana media played a huge part in getting him to change his mind and stay home to play for indiana as opposed to going to duke. the media can make a difference. either way.

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Personally, any league with a Valley teams that are being talked about will not be a big time conference. You can maybe get away with Creighton because of its most recent success and that Altman has decided to stay passing on chances to go to the Big Ten and elsewhere. The other mentioned schools are just never going to be big time so don't even consider going there. Also, looking at what a team has done 20-30 years ago is just plain silly - basketball landscape today is very different today. Small schools who a long time ago had a respectable program but have long fallen out of favor will never be a major player again - oh they may get lucky now and then but it will be a rarity rather than a regularity. SIU-C lost their coach and this will always be the case for them and others who happen to find a good unknown - that is one of the criteria that makes a conference a lower rung, coaches see it as a stepping stone not an end destination. Now before you all start saying how is SLU different let me offer these thoughts: 1. Major market 2. Consistent to 50 attendance for the past 10 years 3. Finished the last two years in 4th and 5th places in a conference that is considered top tier 4. Won a major conference tournament championship in the past 4 years 5. Budget for the men's basketball team in the top half of a major conference. None of the Valley teams or Butler can boast all of this partly because they do not play in a major conference. Being in the right conference is key! Also, while we all have concerns about CUSA and how good a conference it really is, you can not argue with the facts - it was ranked 7th in the country last year and over the past 10 years it has been ranked higher more often than not thus making it a top tiered league.

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