The move--should Montana move to the FBS?

For the tenth year in a row, the Montana Grizzlies football team exited spring practices with the title of “reigning Big Sky Champions.” In August, they’ll resume practices and begin preparing for a season that could hold their fifteenth consecutive playoff appearance. Until Missoula brings another gorgeous autumn and with it, football season, Griz football fans can only talk and speculate. There’s one debate that reigns over all the rest. It’s something every passionate Griz fan has an opinion on: whether or not the Griz have grown too big and too good for this level of competition.

 

The Montana Grizzlies football team currently plays in the Big Sky Conference of the Football Championship Subdivision, formerly know as Division I-AA. While it is technically considered Division I football, it is not home to college football’s best programs. No, the USCs, Notre Dames and Floridas play in the Football Bowl Subdivision, formerly know as Division I-A. While some numbers may support a move up to the FBS—20 straight regular season wins and a 25,000-seat stadium already sold out for every game next season—financial, competitive and political obstacles loom in the way. 

“We just are not in a position to move up right now,” Athletic Director Jim O’Day said.

Even if the Griz were currently ready to make the jump from the FCS to the FBS, they would not be able to do so. During its August 9, 2007, meeting, the NCAA Division I Board of Directors established a Division I membership moratorium. The moratorium, effective until 2011, prohibits any school from reclassifying to Division I (including reclassifying within Division I from the FBS to the FCS) unless they have already begun the process.

There are currently 20 schools who have already begun the process, with their expected timeframes for a move ranging from one to six years. While only these twenty schools have officially declared themselves as being in the preparation and transition phase, countless other schools are taking a look at making the move.

“So many teams in the Football Championship Subdivision are constantly talking about it,” said O’Day, who will be attending a meeting in June in Dallas where he will discuss the issue with other athletic directors.

So many teams are talking about it, but some take the issue more seriously than others. One mark that a team is seriously looking at moving up: they choose to conduct a feasibility study examining exactly what it would take in terms of money, facilities and competitive ability for a team to move up.

O’Day said the University of Montana isn’t quite ready to conduct a feasibility study of its own, but they do look at studies done by other schools.

“At this point, it’s just not a priority for us, a priority for me,” O’Day said. “Sometimes you kind of wish you had the answers but there’s no reason for us to do anything right now because of our health and where we’re at right now.”

Financially, Montana is one of the “healthiest” football programs in the FCS. When the Griz play Division II Central Washington at home next season, they will net just under $500,000. When they play rival Montana State, the net gain for the University of Montana will be $1 million. The increase comes from higher ticket prices and UM creating a standing room only crowd by selling more tickets than the stadium has seats.

By comparison, the $25,000 the University of Albany netted after traveling out to Missoula in 2007 and getting beat 35-14 was more than they made for a home game.

Because the University of Montana makes so much off its home games, the team doesn’t have to travel to FBS powers and risk injury for payouts that would seem very lucrative to some schools, but are beneath what UM makes for staying at home.

Travel costs are another reason the Griz play so many games at home. These costs could potentially go up if the Griz were to move to the FBS. If the Griz were to play in the Western Athletic Conference—home to former Big Sky teams Boise State, Idaho and Nevada—they would have to travel to the University of Hawaii and Louisiana Tech.

Every time the Griz travel, they are forced to charter their own flight because there isn’t an airline that offers a big enough plane to fly the team and coaching staff out of Missoula. O’Day said the cost of chartering a plane ranges between $60,000 and $100,000.

With so many factors off the field that play into the decision, it’s almost easy to forget what could happen on the field of play. The wide range of issues includes how well UM would compete at a higher level, the type and caliber of player the Griz could recruit and the effect on sports other than football.

“People say ‘Well, what happens if we go 4-7?’” O’Day asked. “I think that would be very realistic.”

The Griz haven’t finished below .500 since they went 3-8 in 1985. That season, they averaged 5,599 fans per home game; that's less than the basketball team averaged for the same year. One has to look no further than UM's men’s hoops program to see what losing does to a fan base, attendance has plummeted 42 percent since the 1991-1992 season.

At the FCS level, Griz fans not only get to see a winning team, but also a large chunk of homegrown talent. Of the 67 kids currently on Montana’s 2008 roster, 52 percent of them are from Montana. By comparison, only 13 percent of the University of Idaho’s current 2008 roster is from Idaho. Some of the best talent in Montana wouldn’t be able to compete on the state’s biggest stage and many fans wouldn’t get to see players they watched excel at the high school level.

Another crop of talent Montana may not be able to get at the FBS level: the “tweeners” who may be good enough to play at the FBS level, but choose to play in the FCS for an increase in playing and a better chance at winning.

Tyler Joyce, a senior linebacker who led the Griz in tackles in 2007, said he had opportunities to play football at Colorado University, Colorado State University and the University of Idaho.

"I chose to go to Montana because, first, I wanted to go somewhere where I felt wanted," Joyce said. "Second, I had the opportunity to play as a true freshman, and I wanted to win."
O'Day reasoned that factors like watching Montana players and the team’s readiness to compete would weigh heavily on the minds of the fans. When guessing what their stance on the issue would be, he said he “bet it favors, at least 10-to-1, to stay where we’re at.” Not quite.

In a poll on eGriz.com, a popular Internet message board for Montana Grizzlies diehards, 53 percent of the 128 people who responded said they would like to see the University of Montana move up to the FBS. It’s worth noting that this only represents the fanatics and not necessarily your average fan. However, they are passionate and opinionated.

“It's not just football for me,” an anonymous commenter said. “I'd like to see our basketball programs get into a higher profile basketball conference so they would have a chance for a 6 or 7 seed [in the NCAA Tournament]. As it is in the Big Sky, we were lucky to get a 12 a few years back and a 14 to 16 is the norm.”

If the Montana football team were to move to another conference, all other sports would be forced to come with. This may be best for revenue sports like football and men’s basketball but there are sports where, competitively, it wouldn’t even matter and may even hurt.

For example, in 2007, the Big Sky Conference actually had a higher RPI (a computerized ranking used to rate how well conferences and teams compare to each other) than the Western Athletic Conference when it came to women’s basketball. In men’s basketball, where the Big Sky is rated far lower than the WAC, the Montana Grizzlies beat conference powers Boise State and Nevada in the 2005-2006 and 2006-2007 seasons respectively.

O’Day said in Olympic sports like soccer, track and field and tennis, “we’re all pretty much on the same level.”

Football, however, is the money sport and there are a lot of obstacles in the way of a move. University President George Dennison would have to approve; then it would go to the Montana Board of Regents. It’s very possible the Board of Regents would turn down any move unless it included Montana State University tagging along. O’Day said he would be “very surprised” if the Board of Regents and State legislature allowed the Griz to move up without the Bobcats. O’Day said he believes the state would like to see the two teams playing in the same conference and division, where their century-old rival would mean more.

In 1996, a similar packaged deal was made with Boise State and the University of Idaho. Boise State has excelled since the move with seven conference championships (two in the Big West and five in the WAC) and a Fiesta Bowl win over Oklahoma. Meanwhile, Idaho has struggled.

“Obviously, we would’ve liked to have been more competitive in our revenue sports,” Idaho Athletic Director Rob Spears said.

Spears pointed to the school’s facilities as one of the reasons for a disappointing beginning in the Football Bowl Subdivision.

“In the past ten years, we didn’t do the things we needed to do to prepare to be in this league,” Spears said. “From 1982 until 2004, this athletic program did not do one facility enhancement. Had they been preparing for success over that twenty year span, it would’ve been a lot easier.”

Appalachian State Athletic Director Charlie Cobb, whose school has won three straight FCS National Championships, said facilities are currently a much higher priority than any potential move to the FBS.
Appalachian State is currently spending $50 million to enhance its facilities, including $35 million on 4,500 new seats for the football stadium and a 125,000 square foot athletic complex adjacent to the stadium.

“If you’re going to write anything,” he said, “say that we haven’t spent more than one second trying to decide whether we’re going to move up in the near foreseeable future.”

He pointed to the moratorium and the schools current budget as reasons to stay in the FCS. Appalachian State currently has an athletic budget of $11 million, about $500,000 less than Montana. Both Cobb and O’Day said their budgets would need to be about $16 million to compete in the FBS.

O’Day said improving athletic facilities is also a goal the University of Montana has focused on.

“Right now, you do your best to get your facilities in place because you can’t be running scared,” he said.

O’Day said facilities like a new locker room, an indoor practice facility, and a new academic center for athletes—all things the athletic department is working on—help draw in the best student-athletes.

Montana and Appalachian State do have some similarities in their hesitance towards moving up and attempts to ready themselves by building facilities but there are major differences.

Appalachian State tries to play one FBS team per year—a scheduling challenge issued to Cobb by head football coach Jerry Moore—and already has one on the schedule for four of the next six seasons, including a sure-to-be-hyped battle of national champions with reigning FBS champ LSU in 2008. Montana does not currently have any scheduled FBS opponents.

Also, Appalachian State currently supports 20 varsity sports, four more than what’s required to compete in an FBS conference. Montana only has 14 varsity sports.

Right now, University of Montana is not in a position to make the move or officially looking to do so. However it is tough to deny that the university and athletic department are doing their best to prepare, whether it’s intentional or not, for a move to the Football Championship Subdivision.

The fans should do so as well, not necessarily by dumping in money, but by savoring what we have now. The Grizzlies are at the top of their division, winning conference titles and competing for national championships every year. The administration is currently content with the football program staying in the Football Championship Subdivision, but eventually, their opinion and other circumstances may change.
“We will continue to improve facilities, build the program and do our best to make UM Athletics the special place it has become—knowing that some day we might have to make a decision that will affect the future of our athletics program and its fans,” O’Day said. 

“Only time will tell.  Stay tuned.”

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Comments (21) Read through and enter the discussion with the form at the end
- May 6, 2008 11:08 PM

what do you think UM should do

Beef Zerkie - May 7, 2008 6:24 PM

Just look at Idaho. Stay where you are and enjoy it. UM has a very good rep outside Montana, but face it, you won't compete with Michigan, USC, etc, and moving you up will only put you in mediocre water at best.

charlie - May 7, 2008 7:49 PM

what if big sky conf asked everyone from the wac, with the exception of louisiana tech and hawaii, to join the big sky.

in more words, the 7 from the wac plus the grizzlies could be in big sky fbs and the rest of the remaining big sky teams could remain big sky fcs....all other sports would be one big happy conference.

thoughts???

edward - May 8, 2008 3:31 AM

The truth of the matter is why would we subject ourselfs to the BS in the BCS. we are the championship series. at lest this is an undisputed title and is more regionaly supplied, to brake in the top 25 we would need lots of kid from other states, these would be the kids we had to coxe to play here, after the bigger letdowns. Ya it would be nice to beat up on ucla, but we could just as easally beat up on N dame.

Devin - May 8, 2008 11:08 AM

Yes look at Idaho they suck BUT look at Boise State and what they've been able to accomplish going from the Big Sky to the WAC...It is stupid to watch the Griz play these shitty schools every year and personally its kind of turned me away from Griz football i'm tired of watching them dominate the big sky and give everyone around here such big egos about it. And Beef Zerkie thinks we are respected outside Montana hahahaha yeah right i've been to all sides of this country and most people have never even heard of Montana just like no one knew Boise State until the 2007 Fiesta Bowl. If we did move up we'd have to stop bringing in Montana kids and find a way to bring in kids from California and Washington because Montana doesn't have the talent to compete in the BCS as Boise State found out very soon in the transition. No one will ever respect our football program outside of this state until we move up i've been pleading for this since day one i'm tired of going home and to other states telling people that my school went undefeated in football and getting the response yeah but they are in D1-AA and then they laugh. My theory as to why Idaho has failed so bad is that their facilities are shit, Moscow is a town of only 10,000 people, they are viewed as Washington State's little brother, No coaching stability, and a crappy stadium that won't attract fans on gameday. The Griz have this going for them if they wanna move up nice upgraded stadium although we would probably need to install lights to attract a national audience, constant fan base, beautiful city of about 70,000 large enough and unique enough to attract some recruits, and we have a constant winning attitude which will help with the transition. Also I think that our coaching staff is on par with any staff at the next level

Don - May 9, 2008 1:03 PM

Montana is the big fish in the little pond in the Big Sky now. All the other big fish, UNR, BSU, U of I all moved up leaving Montana with no one to challenge them. Montana fans have to figure out if that's enough for them. If they move up they will NOT be Idaho but do they want to be Nevada? Is that good enough? That's what BSU will be if they get an ordinary head coach and that will be about what Montana will be, if they don't have a great head coach. They'll compete for a WAC title every few years and might win one every once in awhile but the years of domination would be over. Recruiting the great athletes from California will be VERY difficult for UM. We get complaints about Boise being too cold and it's rarely below freezing during the winter here.
Personally I would trade UM for LTU, USU and especially UI in a heartbeat but I'm not sure a move up would be best for UM in the long run.
As far as nobody knowing who BSU was before the Fiesta Bowl...hardly I've been all over the country with my BSU gear and rarely do I not have someone bring up BSU football...even before the Fiesta Bowl. The Blue Turf is known all over the world and BSU was a fixure on ESPN and ESPN2 for several years before the Fiesta Bowl.

Beef Zerkie - May 9, 2008 5:19 PM

FYI Devin, I DO NOT LIVE IN MONTANA. I don't give a rat where you "traveled" I live outside Montana, have never lived there. I'm speaking from real experience. Football fans I know respect UM and to the fans who know football they give UM a good rep.

Secondly, I am a BOISE STATE fan. So I'm speaking as someone who knows about the success stories. I was AT the Fiesta bowl. But the reality is, BSU is the exception. Is UM better than Idaho? Of course, heck so is ISU IMHO. But are they better than Nevada? Hawaii? even Utah State? No. The reality is, UM would do better than the bottom half of the WAC. So "could" they play D1A? Sure, but they would also mostly finish under the top of the WAC. Trust me, your rep would go down, not up. Do you really think that the pompous I am SEC or PAC fans would actually respect you MORE for joining the WAC???

UM is cool, they are solid, they fill a niche VERY well. Don't ruin it. Would you rather be at the top half of one level or the bottom half of the other? Me, I take option 1.

Devin - May 10, 2008 1:52 AM

Well thats great u guys were at the fiesta bowl so was I. I was born and raised in Boise Idaho I am actually writing this message sitting in my house in Boise Idaho so don't talk Boise State on me unless u know what your talking about and thats 2 both of you. Yeah people knew Boise State before the big win, you are right but they didn't necessarily respect them is what i should have stated more clearly. Personally i'd love to see my Griz stomp 2 shades **** out of the Boise State Broncos just cuz the Griz are my school but i'm also real enough 2 know that Boise State has elevated their program to a level that the Griz cannot achieve and will not achieve if they don't take a gamble and move up. Yes we are going to struggle for a few years but thats fine so did the Broncos if I do recall Right Don???if not refer back to Pokey Allen's last year and Houston Nutt's only year. But if you look at their record after those first two seasons they steadily improved as a program. Yes a lot of it was Dirk Koetter but even after he left the program continued to grow into what it is today, the top mid-major college in America. And Beef Zerkie thats great you live outside of Montana "I don't give a Rat" as you would say. I go 2 school at the U but am not from there so I know from experience 2. Everywhere i've been i'll tell people our football team is undefeated and i always get the same response but thats d1-aa then they laugh, everytime never fails...i'm tired of it and frankly beef zerkie no one cares what your opinion is because you don't live in Montana and i assume you don't go 2 our school so go worry about your own school or do you even go 2 college??? Stay out of our Griz business unless your one of us or at least affiliated with the state of Montana???

Zanathin - May 12, 2008 12:14 PM

The MWC has let it be known that they are interested in only large metropolitan area universities. Montana would be okay in the WAC but they are losing ground in the FCS. They win the Big Sky but then lose in the playoffs. The East is now beginning to dominate the FCS. The second team from the Big Sky tends to hang in until about the semi-final game and then loses. I think Montana's mission should be is to preserve the reputation of the Big Sky within the FCS on the national level.

WA Griz - May 12, 2008 6:06 PM

I think O'Day and Co. who should be doing their best to make FCS at Montana, the best experience in the division by scheduling the best games and not just sitting on their backsides and pulling in a $500,000 for a sucker game like Montana vs.Central Washington.
If the Griz truly are the best team ini FCS why waste the venue, the fan support, the team on Saturdays against the Sisters of the Poor.

I'm sure there will always be some Griz fan eager to watch Montana square off against some lesser team with a losing record, but there's a lot of us who have been there and done that.
I'll be skipping the lackluster games this year rather than sit in the stadium wondering why I blew the time and $4 a gallon gas to see a poor matchup.
There's just too many other things to do.

JerruhJoeJimmee - May 13, 2008 10:22 AM

yes, just look at Idaho. They're doing so poorly. They're begging, fighting, kicking and screaming to come back to I-AA/FCS. Since it's such a fantastic place. Aren't they?

Devin - May 13, 2008 3:28 PM

WA Griz makes some very good points. O'Day has to start scheduling better home games, a home and home 2 year deal with say App State would be perfect, that would be a game that might actually draw attention from the nation. However I really don't think the Griz are going to be very good this coming season due to the fact that we lost all of our BIG play guys like Lex, Kroy, Joyce, Bagley, Chambers, and pretty much the whole secondary. I think sometimes the Griz rely a little bit to much on these local Montana boys when in reality they just can't stack up with players from larger populated areas with more competition, mainly in the area of game speed. We need to take on some big school transfers this year that can be a quick fix while we bring these local boys up to the level they need to be at to compete...and Jerruh I don't think the Vandals are begging to come back down, what they are regretting about there move was that they didn't have nice enough facilities going into the move to attract recruits and they are a MUCH smaller community than that of Boise and Missoula. Moscow is a small farming community which makes it difficult to recruit players from California, Arizona, Washington and everywhere else, especially when you play in a crappy dome that barely has 5,000 people per game...We Griz wouldn't have this problem because we have the support to upgrade facilities, attract recruits because of our unique community, and we average 4 times more people per game than the Vandals and nothing will pump up a recruit more to come to your school than a rowdy knowledgeable fan base that lives and dies for their school

- July 11, 2008 11:31 AM

this is VERY easy to answer. Montana LOOKS good every year because they are in one of the WORST FCS conferences around. they dominate because there is no competition.

I'm a James Madison alum, and the CAA had 5 teams in the tournament last year, 3 teams in the final 8 (Richmond, Delaware, and UMass)... had it not been for a freak last minute fumble, we would have beaten App St. by 2, making it 4 for 8. THAT'S dominance.

Also, need i remind you of the beating JMU gave to Montana in the 2004 National Championship game? 1 team looked very out of place.

do yourselves a favor, Griz fans. stay in FCS. you probably could compete in small FBS conferences (just like JMU, App State, UNI, etc.), but i tend to think you'd be better off in the Big Sky.

- July 15, 2008 2:43 PM

YES! I think Montana should move to the FBS. I think the WAC conference would be a great fit. I'm not a UM alum, in fact I'm from NY, went to Boston College and currently live in southern California, but I know a good fit when I see one and I know UM has what it takes to make a legitimate move to the top tier. They might not take the WAC by storm in the first 5 or so years, but they will eventually compete as long they keep giving proper funding to the athletic department and alums show support. You already have a football facility that's decent enough to make the jump. (Look at what Idaho plays in? ridiculous.)

I am NOT in support of a lot of FCS schools making the move to the FBS, but there are two programs I will support for a move and one is Montana. The other is UMass. I'd love to see them join the Big East. Actually, I'd like to see URI in the Big East too, but that's a whole other can o' worms.

best of luck to the Grizzlies! I've only driven past Missoula once, on my way to Wyoming, but I hope to someday stop there, check out the town and catch a Griz game.

Jon - July 24, 2008 7:23 AM

that last guy was a moron who obviously doesn't understand FCS but ESPECIALLY the CAA. Rhode Island SUCKS. they can't even compete in the CAA (not even in the top 5!!!), so why should they go to FBS? For God's sakes, people. if you don't know FCS football, don't pretend to know what you're talking about.

- July 24, 2008 10:18 AM

sorry, I should've explained myself better. my last statement saying URI could join the Big East probably did sound moronic. What I meant by that was...it's more the sense of the Big East bringing in a team that not only adds something in football (which right now URI definitely doesn't) but that adds something in basketball too (which URI definitely does.) I grew up in the northeast watching the Big East teams and like many fans, I always wanted the conference to have the same teams playing against each other in all sports including football, just like all the other "major" conferences - ACC, Big 10, etc. I never liked the fact that, since forming the football conference in the early 90s, they had one set of schools for football, and another set for basketball. That, in my opinion, is lame. Maybe that's okay for 1-AA conferences, but not for 1-A (sorry, I'm old school. screw this FCS and FBS crap.) I'm in support of taking the "basketball schools" out (Georgetown, Villanova, Providence, etc) and making a "pure" Big East conference. In doing so I'd replace some of those schools with schools like UMass and URI. URI may suck in football now, but they're a major land-grant university with the state funds to appropriate a new stadium and to get moving in the right direction. They already have other facilities in place (Thomas Ryan Center, # of varsity sports, built-in state-wide fanbase.) But like I said, that's a whole other can of worms...

- July 29, 2008 8:34 AM

now THAT makes some sense! i totally agree. i HATE the fact that some conferences (and the big east is the one that comes to mind for me too) have some schools that are bball only, others fball only, etc. i totally agree. on that premise, i can see where you're coming from. i do think, though, that there are better options than URI. UMass would be PERFECT because their football is EXCELLENT and they have some history of decency in bball. by your premise, my idea of adding James Madison, App State, and U Northern Iowa doesn't fly, because those schools do not have good bball programs, or at least ones that can compete in the EXTREMELY tough big east (villanova, WVU, uconn, syracuse, cincy, etc.).

also, don't forget that you usually need a stadium of a certain size to compete with the big boys. west virginia is not going to leave its 60,000 seat stadium for an away game at URI that holds 5,180. travelling WVU fans alone would more than fill up the entire stadium. so there also has to be a commitment from the university to WANT to be 1-A (and i'm like you, i hate this FBS/FCS stuff, i still use 1-AA all the time). James Madison, for instance has blueprints to go from a 15,000 seat stadium to 45,000 by the end of 2011. that kind of screams "we want to play with the big boys", to me. even though they deny this (they say they want the finest facilities in 1-AA), that's a lot of money to spend to try to only win 1-AA national titles.

one more quick thing: as much as i hate having some schools in a conference for fball and some for bball, i hate even MORE the fact that villanova is in the big east in bball but is 1-AA (and usually mediocre at best) in fball!!! then there are schools like DePaul that don't even HAVE football teams! ridiculous. i think georgetown, seton hall, and marquette also don't have fball teams.

Colin - July 29, 2008 10:13 AM

Alright, here's my stance. I think it is bizarre that some schools fit into a conference for football while some don't. However, I think the respective basketball teams of Georgetown, Market and ND's basketball teams alone bring a lot more to a conference than what UMass' or another similar school's football and hoops programs combined would bring.

Maybe we need two conferences, a new big east of only hoops schools. I don't know, but I'm not completely opposed to the way it is.

On James Madison... 30,000 seats in 3 years? Can I get a link?

- September 7, 2008 3:32 AM

here's my idea for a Big East conference shake up. and this is coming from the conference as it was a few years ago, before the bball side ballooned to 16 teams (which is just too many). I say pull out the bball-centric schools and make a new, 12-team conference based around them. they all happen to be catholic, so I'll call it the "Catholic East". Schools with an * are from the Big East.

Duquesne (Pitt, PA)
Fairfield (Conn)
Fordham (Bronx, NY)
Georgetown*
Holy Cross (Mass)
La Salle (Philly)
Providence*
Saint Joe's (Philly)
Seton Hall*
St. John's*
Villanova*
Xavier (Cincy, OH)

this conference almost mirrors the TV markets covered by the current Big East.

and after pulling the 5 bball schools out of the Big East, I'd replace them with UMass and URI.

and here's a JMU stadium expansion link:

Jake - December 2, 2008 9:40 AM

Yes, look at IDAHO. They are struggling right now but their facilities are being upgraded their competition level is slowly rising and they are decent in other sports besides football. 5 - 10 years from now I don't think UM will be able to compete with them just because Idaho will have the money (being in the WAC) and the incentive to be more competative. How much money does UM recieve a year being to the Big Sky? I think UM is kidding themselves if they think they will keep up with anyone in the WAC without joining an FCS conference themselves. I don't think Idaho regrets their move to the WAC at all in the long run it will pay off for them.

Tom - December 12, 2008 10:46 PM

Who wants to be the best JV team in the country? Ya it's cool to beat up on everyone and Missoula can live happy and say "we could do the same thing Boise's doing." Who cares if we lose the first couple of years, everyone is expecting that, but until we roll the dice, we are small potatoes. Is it more important to beat the crap out of people we should. UM used to be in the Pac 10 (way back in the day 20's - 40's) and they got out because they were getting beat every year. Think if they had stayed?! Oregon State got good, Washington State had some years! That could have been the Griz, don't let the fear of losing keep you from REALLY winning.

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