- Mar 1, 2015
Appalachian State is kind of a mirror image of JMU athletically and academically. They were really successful in 1AA for along time and moved up to D-1 and have done fine. But really, Is winning the sunbelt any more significant than winning the CAA or any more profitable? The better teams in both leagues are probably about the same. I read the sunbelt media deal pays about 500,000. That’s not a lot of money. The A10 teams get almost that without football. App State cut several sports last year while dealing with 20 percent budget cuts. JMU has a big Olympic sports budget, spending big on basketball arena and hasn’t had to cut anything. Moving to the sunbelt probably doesn't increase revenue very much. It adds more costs. It doesn't really increase notoriety. Nobody cares about sunbelt football.If JMU were to receive an invite to the CUSA or Sun Belt, that would be VERY hard to pass up. A winning season qualifies them for a bowl game which means $$$.
I’m not naive to know that this is exactly what ODU did, but they clearly weren’t ready. JMU has had a good football program for a long time. I can only imagine that their athletic department would handle this better.
Programs that move up even with some reasonable success really never any real relevance in the grand scheme of college football. If they do they don’t sustain it. Many schools have budget issues trying stay afloat with football, some have some pretty established athletic departments. Seems foolish. The haves are the haves and they aren’t letting you in the club. I bet in the coming years you see some sliding back to FCS.
All these schools that moved up in the same general era remind me of a gold rush. A lot of big dreams and nothing materializes for 99 percent. The only people who made out were the ones selling lumber, booze, and whor#s.