The Big Sky conference has positioned itself to be the SEC of FCS football, and their at their media days that arrogance came out a bit more. Just to recap a bit for those who don't know, their commissioner Doug Fullerton said back in July of 2011 that the Big Sky is in a better situation than the WAC. That statement is true now, but a year ago it certainly was not the case.
Fullerton was talking about how he prefers balanced budgets, not over extending geographically for his league and to be fairly successful on a national level. Then he dropped this quote:
"What's the difference between Colorado State and Montana State? Nothing," Fullerton said.
To get the context of that quote, here is what came just before that:
"You can spend all the money you want in athletics. I mean, I can break your bank and you still won't catch Texas. Texas has a $140 million budget and you still won't catch them, because of where you live - the number of television sets. I mean, you won't."
Fullerton is referring to the disparity between large money-making schools in the upper echelon of the power conferences. However, he could not be more off base in his quote saying there is no difference between Colorado State and Montana State.
First off, Colorado State has had success in the WAC and Mountain West with conference championships, and are not historically bottom feeder teams of their league. If Colorado State were similar to say Duke in the ACC where they are always struggling to get out of the basement, but in a lesser league then maybe they could be comparable.
The main difference is that Colorado State has the ability to have an on-stadium campus project valued at $250 million to help their program. I do not see Montana State doing that, and for those who will say that Colorado State will not be on par with Ohio State, USC or Alabama with this move. My response is that they do not have to be and that they are trying to at least be at the top of the Mountain West and then go from there.
I get what he is saying in that no matter how hard these mid-major teams work they will never ever be on the same financial field as those schools, and will only rarely be as competitve as those teams. Well, the deck is already stacked against these mid-major teams, so they need to compete within their league and slowly build up to national prominence. All while on a budget that does not compare to those power schools.
In the end the two schools have two completely different goals and should not be compared to each other.
Actually, the one thing they do have in common is that they have both recently beaten Colorado.
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