IRVING, Texas — First-year Southern Miss coach Todd Monken isn't a fan of the speculated NCAA split by the power conferences, and he held little back in voicing that displeasure Wednesday at Conference USA media day.
Monken said he understands where the concept stems from, but he had a suggestion for the ACC, Big Ten, Big 12, Pac-12 and SEC if they do follow through on the threats of Big 12 commissioner Bob Bowlsby that those leagues will split from the rest of the Football Bowl Subdivision.
"I would propose to [the power conferences] this: If you want to split off, let's just do it that way, but you play each other, and you don't get to play us then," Monken said.
"Go ahead. See how you like that. See how you like the NFL rule and play each other every week. Coaches will be like 'Whoa, hold on, wait a second now.'"
"Go ahead and do your deal — you guys split all the pie — but don't go playing anyone else. You just play each other every week. Just have a nice NFL crossover where you play each other. Then when you fire up a nice 7-5, and you're at a pretty good place and they fire you, they won't be real excited about it, because you won't have those games that they've been able to win. Plain and simple."
"Some of those teams that get bowl eligible when they go 2-6 in their league and they go 6-6. Well, you'll be 2-10, or 3-9, and it won't feel so damn salty."
Monken said the he also understands that the smaller schools offer themselves in a gambit.
"Schools at our level, until we get done prostituting ourselves are never going to really see those teams to come play you [at their home field]," he said.
I'd love to play Auburn [at home] — they're not coming. They pay you enough to where you won't come. They'll find enough people so that you'll come."
I bet you'll find the records of schools in our league are pretty good when they get to play teams at home. They just don't get to play them at home, but 'cause they need the money or someone else will do it. That's the biggest thing — how do you get to where you give yourself a shot, and make them travel?"
"I don't know that," Monken said. "Obviously it's very difficult, otherwise they'd be doing it. I understand the issues, when you need revenue streams that don't exist — I get that. I do."
"But if you're asking in a perfect world, we want chances, games that we can win."
Part of the problem, Monken, surmised, was that everyone is looking for easy wins, because even mid-major schools don't necessarily want the hardest schedule.
"If you win all but one game, or all your games, you have a chance at being in the tournament — whatever that ends up being down the road, because it's going to change, the landscape is going to change," Monken said. "I don't think they'll stay at four forever."Copyright © 2014, The Baltimore Sun