Wait, why is Lamar going back to the Southland?!?
Good morning, and thanks for spending part of your day with Extra Points.
I've mentioned this a few times, but just in case, I am planning on taking next week off. I've lined up a few freelance stories, and Going For Two is scheduled to continue, but after the end of the basketball season, I had scheduled some time to finally put my phone away and rest. Maybe do some woodworking. Take my girls to some museums. Actually beat a video game. You know...not work stuff.
It seemed like a good time to take a break, right? We're in a slight lull in the college sports calendar, and it didn't seem like any major realignment news was likely to break until later this month.
The last time I tried to take an actual vacation, the Supreme Court released their Alston decision. And now, as I'm frantically trying to edit everything in my backlog, an unexpected conference realignment salvo drops.
On Thursday afternoon, The American Press reported that Lamar was going to leave the WAC, after just a single season, and return to the Southland Conference.
I had heard rumors that Lamar was gettable for the Southland for a while, and on Tuesday morning, got a text from a Southland source telling me an announcement could drop today. I tried to get confirmation, and despite reaching out to ADs in both conferences, I wasn't able to do it. I think it is safe to say that, at least for some WAC schools, this development comes as a surprise.
It also raises some big questions about the future of not just the WAC, but the Southland, and even the ASUN, all leagues close to the auto-bid cutoff line for the FCS Playoffs, and all leagues that could potentially face additional defections not just to other FCS leagues...but the FBS as well.
In today's Going For Two, I sat down with Bryan and shared everything I know, and I am hearing about this decision, and what comes next for FCS and FBS realignment in the South.
You can find the video version of the podcasts on our YouTube playlist, right here.
In this episode, among other things, we discuss:
How you can save 15% on your first order at Homefield Apparel by using promocode EXTRA POINTS
What Southland and WAC sources are telling me about why Lamar would want to make this particular move
Whether any Texas schools are expected to follow them, and why
Where Sun Belt expansion (yes, the Sun Belt) fits into the future plans of the WAC, ASUN and Southland
What we're hearing about other FCS realignment storylines
The latest on the Big 12 commissioner search
What else did we write this week?
I also wrote a big newsletter about some of the problems I'm seeing in the NIL marketplace right now, including the trouble with getting quality data, and the roadblocks making it harder for brands, and athletes, to participate. Your AD probably read it.
I also wrote about what makes the new Hockey East TV deal so unique, and what other smaller leagues might be able to learn from it ($). We also had a newsletter, based on my conversations in New Orleans at the Final Four, about how basketball coaching searches REALLY work ($).
I have the budget to pay freelancers, do reporting, write so many newsletters and keep this operation going, thanks to subscriptions. Extra Points subscribers get FIVE newsletters a week, plus free stickers. I love my ad partners, but it's really your subscriptions that make this business possible:
We'll have some more newsletters next week. Thanks for your patience. I look forward to chatting with you again, once I've had a few days to rest and recover after a long and difficult season.