Shockwaves

Twitter Q&A: AAC, MVC future and soccer

Wichita State would be reunited with old rival Tulsa, if the AAC extends an invitation to the Shockers.
Wichita State would be reunited with old rival Tulsa, if the AAC extends an invitation to the Shockers. The Wichita Eagle

Thanks for the questions.

Wichita State can’t play at Intrust Bank Arena as long as it is hosting. Its conference affiliation doesn’t matter.

I’d be surprised if they are not in town at some point. I don’t know their plans. Stay tuned.

That may change. There is some support for making the men’s game uniform, as this story details.

As to why it evolved that way, I’m not sure.

More costs. More complicated logistics.

The rub of these conferences moves often is that they’re done to benefit sports such as football and basketball and those sports suffer the least.

Men’s and women’s basketball will charter to away games. Moving baseball, softball and volleyball around the country will require more flights. Tulsa and SMU don’t play baseball, which is a bad break for the Shockers in a travel sense.

How many flights will depend on how the schedule is structured.

In volleyball, the AAC uses travel partners to minimize time.

It seems inevitable that baseball (with eight existing AAC schools) and softball (seven) are in for more flights. Putting traveling parties of 20-35 people into our nation’s commercial aviation system is always an adventure, so you can count on delays, expense and missed classes.

The change is not as great for sports such as track and field and golf. They get together once a year for a conference tournament.

I’m not going to pretend to understand AAC tennis scheduling. It doesn’t appear all schools play each other. Tennis lends itself to playing multiple matches in a weekend, so there is opportunity to limit travel.

The implications are this: More travel, better competition in most of these sports. Better weather. Bigger cities, and all the hassles that entails. More expense.

Maybe way down the road. Wichita State will need to get a handle on the costs of competing in the AAC.

For the near future, any money spent on soccer is better spent on existing sports.

That might change. I could see WSU looking at soccer as a niche it could win because Big 12 schools don’t have men’s teams. The AAC appears to be a good enough conference to make a soccer fan dream about the possibilities. With the resources and the right coach, I think Shocker soccer could succeed.

You’ve got plenty of time to design a Tifo.

That all seems likely.

WSU, especially if goes in 2017-18, will compete quite well in the AAC. It won’t be easy to go 17-1.

The much-discussed “Pay his own way” message-board favorite rarely happens with players already on scholarship. Armstead, Baker and Frankamp did it on the front end.

I would expect a player will leave and with rare exception those departures are tied to playing time.

Losing a once-in-a-lifetime coach is difficult. Has Wichita State built the foundation and resources where it can carry on when and if Marshall leaves?

We won’t know for sure, but it appears that’s possible. WSU should pay a successor (and his staff) excellent salaries and that is a good place to start.

Since Wichita State went 31-5 with him playing a large role, I’ll say no.

There are some teams he is a better matchup against than others, but he is clearly a player the coaching staff wants on the floor. Great shooters are hard to find and can affect defenses without taking a shot.

That’s a scary question for the MVC.

Schools such as Missouri State and SIU look like no-brainers in retrospect at the time of their addition. UNI was a harder sell, my understanding is, but grew into a good member school.

There’s not a no-brainer out there, as the pick of Loyola proves.

WSU’s departure (if it happens) might set off a disagreement. Would football schools such as Illinois State and UNI want North Dakota State or South Dakota State? Are those schools willing to leave a cushy setup in the Summit?

While location and name recognition are minuses, my understanding is those schools are well-supported and have some potential and vision that surpass current MVC members. It’s unfortunate North Dakota is located in North Dakota, 450 miles from the nearest MVC member (UNI) and 792 miles from St. Louis.

If you think Evansville hates coming to Wichita, its administration isn’t going to Fargo without a fight.

This might set up a divide between the top football schools and the old-guard MVC such as Drake and Bradley.

Perhaps this changes the look of the MVC dramatically.

I’m sure Valpo, Belmont and Illinois-Chicago will be mentioned. Beyond that, I don’t know of any obvious candidates. It’s a tough deal for the MVC.

Paul Suellentrop: 316-269-6760, @paulsuellentrop

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