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October 03, 2013

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Miner Maniac

You know the Apocalypse is near when I'm in agreement with Joe!

Pascal Fortran

Joe, the FCS championship was actually pretty darn good. ND State defeated a very strong Sam Houston state at the MLS soccer stadium in FriscoTX in front of 50,000 people. The game was televised on ESPN.

Since El Paso is an island (metaphorically speaking), UTEP would fit best in the Missouri Valley Conference. Most of the teams they'd face are in TX, OK AR, & AZ. It's competitive, quality football.

For the record, you may recognize some past FCS athletes: J. Flaco, W. Payton, J. Rice, T. Owens, J. Skeleton, T. Romo, Jarrod Allen, London Fletcher, Robert Mathis, John Stallwotrth, Terry Bradshaw, Adam Vinitari, Courtland Finnegan, Howie Long, etc.

Regards you toad! And, welcome back - you were missed.

Raymondo


Every year it seems, same story; this year's team is "the team" that will win a bowl game. Reality is UTEP isn't winning getting in bowl games and isn't winning where it's at. It hasn't won in a long, long time.

Give the fans something to cheer about and win some games in a division where it is competitive. Quit throwing good money in after bad.

Pascal Fortran

Well stated Raymundo.

And, as far as Joe's quality of student-athlete argument goes; watch a game closely next time it's televised. The UTEP offensive line matches up OK w/most teams, but is extremely slow. Texas A&M will expose UTEPs O-line mediocrity, and that's UTEPs current strength.

Hell, E. Carolina's defense would blow UTEPs O-line off the ball.

UTEPs defensive unit, God bless them, is just horrible. Slow, small, and timid. I can see a CUSA team putting 60 to 70 points on UTEP, and a legit FCS school putting up 90 to 100 points if the opposing coach doesn't call off the dogs; opting instead to go with 2nd and 3rd tier personnel to gain experience.

CLEOFITZWITZ

Stupid indeed. During the Price era, UTEP averaged just under 5 wins a season. This is not a program that should be considering a drop to FCS status. It's a program that is ready to turn the corner to achieving bigger and better things. With the right leadership and some vision, we can be regulars in bowl games. That will lead to increased revenue from exposure, attendance and bowl payouts. Plus, we get the ancillary effect of extended practices from extending the season into December. Moving to a lower division will attract less talent and less national exposure. The MLS stadium in Frisco seats a grand total of 20,000. They couldn't fit 50,000 if they covered the field with fans.

Canaima

Maybe we are turning the corner. Maybe we've been turning the corner for the last 40 years. Every time we change coaches, we're told the program is turning the corner. To me, its hard to justify so much resource for so little result. As much as I like football and follow the Miners, I'd opt for spending that money elsewhere: strong women's programs, men's basketball, club sports, bring back a baseball team...

So Joe the Expert, what are the economics? Does UTEP make money off of football? I seriously doubt it (USA Today says just 23 programs make enough to cover expenses). So, if not, what percent of the athletic budget does football use?

And Joe, I don't think that anyone suggesting the drop to FCS was assuming we would still recruit a lot of D-1 talent. But I also bet that the upper echelon of FCS players could make it at some D-1 schools just as some current UTEP players are probably equals to a lot of FCS players. I just don't see anything in your arguments that convince me that UTEP couldn't be competitive at the FCS level. Regardless, it is probably a moot point because it would probably never happen anyway.

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PeteWallst

Cleo,

What you are saying is what we've been hearing forever. You talk about Price but neglect to consider more than four decades of sub par, sub standard play.

I'd also like to know what portion of the athletic budget goes to a team that has losing season after losing season. What's the balance sheet like? What exactly is spent on football, basketball, and the remaining sports versus what is brought in through ticket sales, donations, or taken from the general school funding pool? Bet it would be eye-opening to see the breakdown of what's brought in versus what is spent.

Can you imagine the kind of sports programs we'd have it we took the funding for football and moved it to basketball, soccer, and volleyball?

ComstockLow

Hey! We are officially turning the corner. We lost tonight to a team that shouldn't be playing in the "elite" division of football. What a joke.

PascalFortran

PeteWallst, you can obtain all of UTEPs expenditures and revenues by tendering a request to the university. You may have to pay a fee for copying, but state universities are required to provide those types of data.

PascalFortran

CLEOFITZWITZ, you are smoking pyote if you think this program is turning a corner. They are ranked darn near the bottom in defense, and their offense, while exciting at times, is scoring against teams ranked near them in defense.

Unfortunately, UTEP has to draw from a terrible talent pool in ELP, & within 200 miles of El Paso. That's almost instant doom, as most programs that do well always secure the best talent within said radius - El Paso kids just aren't good football players. Sure, there's the occasional breakout player here and there, but high school football in El Paso (including west TX) & New Mexico sucks. Hawaii has the same dilemma, but island kids can play football.

UTEPs ability to do well in hoops is different. All Floyd needs to secure is 20 or so decent players that he can develop, and he's a great teacher.

Ed

Imagine how bad this team would be without Showers. Scary.

alvinyork

It's been tried before. Back in the 1980s, UTEP petitioned the WAC for permission to drop down one division for football, but remain in the WAC for all other sports.

The WAC said no.

Ed

Alvinyork, the Missouri Valley Conference competes in Div. 1 in all sports but football, so that's a perfect. They put a few teams in the NCAA hoops tourney last year.

Rick

The Southland Conference is the perfect FCS conference for UTEP and NMSU. Extremely competitive teams in football, hoops, and all Olympic sports UTEP currently competes in; plus, most teams are in Texas, Louisiana, and Oklahoma. Another bonus, Southland Conference has an automatic bid in the NCAA hoops tourney.

Teams that have departed the Southland Conference for FBS (in recent years) have already surpassed UTEP and NMSU in football.

Nothing wrong with taking a few steps back for a couple of years to sort things out. UTEP & NMSU cans still play payout games in football, as well as return to FBS after a few years.

georgeofthe desert

Soory Joe, I disagree. The problem with UTEP football now is that they are getting FCS caliber athelets while trying to compete in the FBS. That is not going to change unless there are dynamic changes in the administration and coaching situation. Neither one is going to happen. We are doomed to put up with Stull and his "good ol' boy" coaching cohorts until he retires or Natalicio fires him (and that ain't gonna happen either).

The school and fan base deserve better, too bad.

Rick

georgeofthedesert, sometimes I think Bob Still has nude stills of Dr. Natalicio, circa 1960. I can't, for the life of me, understand how he continues to keep his job. Schools in the same boat as UTEP would have terminated him 8 years ago.

PeteWallst

Thanks, Pascal.

CLEOFITZWITZ

Sorry to disappoint all of you calling for UTEP to drop down a division. Your lofty goal of achieving FCS status is not going to happen. Many FCS schools are either planning a move up to FBS or have recently made the transition to the more prestigious, visible and profitable division. UMass, Texas St., Villanova are all wisely now working their way up. ESPN and other cable networks sign contracts with mid major conferences because the big schools have begun to move towards establishing their own networks. The idea that UTEP should move down is ludicrous.

I didn't say we were primed to turn the corner this year with the rookie coaching staff and the less than top notch talent we have. But because we have a poor defense is not a reason to tuck tail and run. Loser talk is all too common in this city. The university as a whole is moving up. This is the time to do everything we can to move up in the world. Quiters are not welcome.

Rick

CLEOFITWITZ, all we heard last season was wait until this year - this years team was supposed to be a Jr/Sr rich team, that was supposed to compete for the CUSA title. CUSA, for the record, is the worst FBS conference in the nation. It's shameful that UTEP not only losses, but doesn't even compete. They suck!

Loser talk, as you so eloquently put it, is more like fed up talk. I've never seen such an inept athletic department. It's always going backwards in the sport it should work hardest to make a success.

It's pitiful that schools like UCF, USF, LaTech, UNT, Boise State, UAB, Louisville, Utah State, & Nevada were D-2 schools as recent as 10 to 15 years ago, and they not only have surpassed UTEP, they've kicked their arse. Hell, UTSA, UCF, & USF started their programs from scratch when they started.

What that should tell you is the athletic department leadership is incompetent. Still suck as an AD! As a result, UTEP has gone nowhere during his tenure, or for the past 40 to 50 years.

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UTEP sports blog: Joe Muench has been a sports writer and a sports editor in El Paso for decades, but he’s best known as the columnist everyone loves to talk about. His UTEP athletics blog starts up the conversation again.

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