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Pac 11 Expansion: The Case for Air Force

Discussion in 'Colorado Football Message Board' started by Buffnik, Jun 10, 2010.


Should the Pac include Air Force in its expansion plans?

  1. AFA should be the 12th team

    1 vote(s)
  2. Not the next invite, but AFA should be in a Pac 14

    2 vote(s)
  3. Not among the next 3 invites, but AFA should be in a Pac 16

    5 vote(s)
  4. AFA should only be invited into a Pac 16 as a Plan B, C or D

    12 vote(s)
  5. AFA simply does not fit in the Pac and should not be invited

    19 vote(s)
  1. Buffnik

    Buffnik Real name isn't Nik Club Member Junta Member

    Mar 20, 2009
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    I have to admit, I did not think about Air Force much until the past couple days. Maybe because they're a service academy. Who knows? I simply didn't think "Air Force" for whatever reason.

    But then I started seeing a lot of chatter about how the Big 12 was looking at Air Force and BYU if it needed to replace a couple members. BYU won't happen in the Pac X. But could Air Force be a heretofore unpublicized possibility?

    Here is the basic case for Air Force. (Tons of plagiarism in this one from Wiki and AFA web sites.)

    First, it aligns with the traditional structure of the Pac 8 and Pac 10 since it would be an in-state rival for the University of Colorado. That's been a key component of what made the Pac X different and special. However, the problem with that model became apparent with television negotiations. Basically, the structure that had been so great for fan excitement and rivalries caused the conference to, in effect, have only 1 media market for every 2 teams.

    At first glance, Air Force coming along with CU seems to have the same problem if not worse. Its home city of Colorado Springs-Pueblo is only the country's #92 media market. Currently the smallest home market in the conference is Washington State's #75 Spokane market, and that has about 25% more viewers (420k to 335k).

    But since AFA is a service academy, it enjoys a special position as a media partner. It has national and international appeal to every person associated with the US Air Force. That's over 300,000 active enlisted, another 150,000+ in the Reserves and Air National Guard, another 150,000+ civilians employed by the Air Force, and over 50,000 employed in the Civil Air Patrol. More importantly, there are dozens of Air Force bases stretching across the country and around the globe (Link to AF bases). Finally, there are also literally millions of Air Force veterans (at one point in WW2 there were over 2 million active members). Air Force brings media well in excess of its small home base market that it shares with CU.

    Another consideration is the academic standing of Air Force. On a positive note: The Air Force Academy is among the most selective colleges in the United States. Many publications such as U.S. News and World Report do not rank the Academy directly against other colleges because of service academies' special mission. However, a few do; Forbes Magazine recently ranked the Academy the #2 public college in the United States and the #7 college overall in its "America's Best Colleges 2009" publication.

    On the negative side, graduate research is very important to the Pac. Air Force has some partnerships with public universities, but does not offer graduate programs at the Academy. However, there is the Air Force Institute of Technology (located in Ohio) that offers graduate programs through three resident schools: Graduate School of Engineering and Management, the School of Systems and Logistics, and the Civil Engineer and Services School. The lack of research partnering opportunities could be a major drawback for the Pac when considering Air Force.

    Finally, Air Force athletics, facilities and gameday experience need to be taken into consideration. The 17 Men's teams compete in football, baseball, basketball, ice hockey, cross-country, fencing, golf, gymnastics, indoor and outdoor track, lacrosse, rifle, soccer, swimming and diving, tennis, water polo and wrestling. The 10 Women's teams include basketball, cross-country, fencing, gymnastics, indoor and outdoor track, swimming and diving, soccer, tennis and volleyball. In addition, the Academy also sponsors two non-NCAA programs: cheerleading and boxing.

    Air Force teams have had great athletic success. The boxing team has won 18 national championships and has never finished lower than second in the nation. The Academy's men's and women's rugby teams have each won multiple national championships and the women's side recently had two players selected for the United States national team. The football team has played in 20 bowl games and won the Commander-in-Chief's Trophy over Navy and Army in 16 out of 34 years. The men's basketball team has had strong showings in the last several years, qualifying for the NCAA tournament and, most recently, making the final four of the 2007 NIT Tournament. The men's ice hockey team won the last two Atlantic Hockey conference tournaments, made the first ever appearance by a service academy in the NCAA hockey tournament in 2007, and made a repeat appearance in 2008.

    Air Force plays football in Falcons Stadium, a 52,000+ seat stadium set on the front range of the Rocky Mountains near Pike's Peak. Pre-game activities include flyovers by USAF aircraft, including the F-15 and B-2. Also part of the gameday experience is the Falcon live mascot, one of the top in all of college athletics (maybe 2nd to CU's Ralphie). Other facilities are also top notch, including Eisenhower Golf Course. One exception may be Clune Arena (basketball, wrestling and volleyball). While a nice facility with modern upgrades, it is on the small side and can seat up to 6,500 fans.

    Here's a photo of Falcon Stadium:


    And one of the campus:


  2. NuggNinja

    NuggNinja New Member

    Sep 6, 2009
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    A BYU fan sent a letter to the Pac 10 commissioner a while back and he replied that BYU's lack of focus on graduate school precluded it from being invited.

    Also, I'm pretty sure a few of the CA schools don't even allow recruiters on their campuses, so I can't imagine them being keen on inviting a service academy to join the conference.
  3. Timbuff10

    Timbuff10 Member

    Dec 3, 2005
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    My vote is for Utah or no one. The more teams we add the less we play the current PAC10 teams. The nice thing about making this move is we will get to go to all these great places that aren't Texas and in the middle of no where.
  4. NashBuff

    NashBuff CSU Knob-Slobberer

    Jun 30, 2009
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    I'm hoping this ends up just being the Pac-11.
  5. Mick Ronson

    Mick Ronson Well-Known Member

    Sep 29, 2005
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    honestly, i'd rather rivalry up with Texas Tech. playing AFA is a no win situation.

    great setting for football but doesn't do CU any good to play them in conference.
    Last edited: Jun 11, 2010
  6. superdeluxe

    superdeluxe Member

    Dec 18, 2009
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    AFA does not fit into a pac-16
  7. Clean Undies

    Clean Undies Flagship of the 12-Pac Club Member

    Jun 3, 2007
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    It would be wonderful to have a rival a short 90 miles away from Boulder. It doesn't hurt that this 90 miles is also among the most populated corridors in the entire mountain time zone.

    The reason the CU-AFA series disbanded in the early 70's is due to rioting between anti-war protesters and the military during the Vietnam era. I've never heard the story from anyone who was there, but the media portrayal makes the scene sound pretty volitile. You couldn't get two schools more philosophically different. The administrators and both schools halted the series due to the politically charged friction.

    Those historical tensions would have to be revisited. I suspect that Boulder has mellowed over the past 40 years, as the cost of living has pretty much put a squeeze on the hippie commune that it once was. But the underlying philosophical differences between the Peoples Republic of Boulder and the Military Industrial Complex that is the Springs. AFA is total package when it comes to rival material.

    A key question is whether AFA would even entertain revisiting a home and home series, let alone permanent bondage within a super conference.
  8. GoBuffs!!

    GoBuffs!! Active Member

    Apr 1, 2010
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    I think it would be a great addition, but I dont see it happening, too much politics involved.
  9. sackman

    sackman Club Member Club Member

    Jul 8, 2005
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    Awful idea, IMO. If we're going to add any more schools, they need to bring additional revenues to the conference. AFA does not do that. Utah does. Kansas does. Oklahoma does. Texass does (although I still would rather they go in a very different direction).
  10. UrbanaBuff

    UrbanaBuff Member

    Feb 5, 2010
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    What AFA has going for it is academics. Unfortunately, the military slant runs counter to many of the Pac schools' cultures. A&M will also have this problem, to a lesser extent though.
  11. Highflyer

    Highflyer Moderator Club Member Junta Member

    Jul 8, 2005
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    I love AFA as I've mentioned before but they don't fit.
  12. OKCBuff

    OKCBuff Well-Known Member

    Sep 16, 2009
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    I would love it but there's just no way.
  13. cruisebuff

    cruisebuff Club Member Club Member

    Feb 5, 2009
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    I attended my first Air Force game in 25 years last fall (Air Force/Army) and it was a great experience. Air Force certainly would be the choice in state over CSU for the pac 10. But I think Utah would be a better fit. With the service academy academic restrictions air force is always limited with the talent they can recruit. They'll have their moments (certainly in football over the years and in basketball under Bz) but they'll not be a threat most years. I think air force is better served playing navy and army each year along with an easier-than-pac10 schedule in the mountain west.

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