Please note: this installment of EXPANSIONPALOOZA is meant to be (mostly) tongue-in-cheek. Make assumptions at your own peril.
Today, we turn our eyes on a very recent convert to the ways of the Bowl Subdivision as we hear all the wonderful things about a school which used to be a directional school. But awhile back, the state of Texas very cleverly managed to eliminate every [Directional] Texas State by renaming them all, so now there's just the one. Will Butler (@UDDSportsBall), who you all already know because he's also EMAW, joins us from the Underdog Dynasty clubhouse to talk about his other school.
Jon: We're confused, Will. Texas is already in the Big 12. Why are they trying to apply for a position here?
Will: You must be that genius Grande Communications executive that somehow thought that it was totally okay to put up a Colt McCoy billboard in San Marcos that cajoled Texas State students to "get hooked on Grande."
Produce your AR-15, sir. We're dueling at high noon.
Jon: Oh. Sorry. My bad. Okay, so on a scale of 1 to 10, describe the excitement in... San Marky Mark? Is that right? Anyway, the excitement there over a potential Big 12 invitation.
Will: Few are really happy with the Sun Belt because Texas State's nearest conference rival is Louisiana-Lafayette (a 6 hour drive) and the name recognition of our conference mates is only a little better than our old home in FCS's Southland Conference. Our fans will show up if they know who Texas State is playing, as evidenced by sellouts for home games against Navy and Texas Tech. Give us home games against TCU and Baylor, and we could likely muster 40,000 minimum.
So the correct answer is 10000000000000000, which also happens to be the temperature of Everett Withers's new mixtape.
Jon: What's the administration there doing to make this happen, besides firing Dennis Franchione (which is admittedly a good first step)?
Will: If there's one thing our administration is good at, it's building new facilities and hoping people come. Within the past 15 years, we have a new end zone complex, a new press box, and a nice new north end zone expansion. Also new baseball and softball fields. We're supposedly going to be tearing down our basketball stadium's hideous wall and expanding it for graduation purposes, so we should have a Big 12 sized basketball facility pretty soon too. We also have the highest budget in our conference thanks to our pre-2007 recession students wanting to go big time and agreeing to student fees, so there's that.
Also, the administration put on their big boy pants and forced our AD to hire someone the search committee wanted in Everett Withers rather than another one of his golfing buddies from TCU. Time will tell if Withers is a good hire, but he already has 10 times the energy of the previous staff combined, so that's a good sign.
Jon: We ask everyone to set aside matters involving money, academics, and success for this question. What crazy benefits does adding Texas State offer the Big 12?
Will: Did I mention Texas State has a gorgeous a river running through campus that you can get hilariously plastered on while floating in a tube for hours? Because that is definitely a thing within short walking distance from Bobcat Stadium. Don't act like you'd rather spend time choking down whatever that meat glop is they serve over spaghetti in Cincinnati, sit in a parking lot getting swamp ass in Houston, or tailgate on BYU's dry campus.
Jon: Who would the Bobcats' main rival be? Don't say Texas. That's trite.
Will: If you believe our university bookstore, it's Texas Tech. All eye rolling aside, they would probably be a natural candidate due to both of our fanbases' historical reputations of being on the somewhat obnoxious end of our respective conferences. More then likely we'd probably just do the classic state of Texas thing which is to drop our gloves and shoot middle fingers at all of our in-state brethren, and then begrudgingly root for whoever plays Alabama or USC on a big stage.
But really, we'd lose our minds figuring out what to do about Texas. Most of our older grads would want an overly friendly relationship to continue between both schools, while many of us younger grads will not tolerate anything burnt orange related and haven't for over a decade now. So that'd be a fun little civil war waiting to happen.
Jon: Why do WE want to come visit Texas State? What's great about San Marcos? Where IS San Marcos? What's your fanbase REALLY like (warts and all)?
Will: We all know why everyone likes Austin: the music, the bbq, the tex-mex, the warm weather, and the hill country with all the outdoorsy things it brings.
Now, imagine a much smaller Austin with a vibrant, underrated music scene that doesn't act as if it's God's gift to earth while New Orleans laughs in its face, very few obnoxious tech bros, a bar scene that's just as good as Aggieville, and far, far less traffic. Yet it's halfway between Austin and San Antonio on I-35 so if you want to get out of town and experience the urban lifestyle, you've got that option. It's the best of both worlds. And you've got a (fairly) clean river that you can use to survive our oppressively hot summers.
Our fanbase is a mix of 1/3 longtime diehards that are a bit ornery from watching too much bad football for too long, 1/3 loyalists that would prefer you publicly pretend everything be lollipops and rainbows even when it isn't, and 1/3 borderline psychotics like myself that are so thirsty for success we might as well be Mark Corrigan chasing after society's approval. Thankfully, the stereotype that we're a haven for brain-dead and disloyal UT and A&M dropouts is becoming less and less true by the year, and anyone who still thinks it's true is lazy and has bad opinions.
Jon: Finally, why should we invite you guys? Present your pitch, sir.
Will: As confirmed by science and my average time spent sitting in traffic on I-35, the Austin-San Antonio corridor will have a population of approximately 400 million by 2020, so the Big 12 needs to maximize that market share, yo. Our enrollment is just shy of 40,000, making us larger than everyone in the conference not named Texas. That means there's hordes of TXST graduates in Austin, San Antonio, Dallas, and especially Houston just sitting there ready to watch and support Big 12 caliber football.
There's also a half-assed rumor that keeps going around about the Raiders or Chargers getting moved to somewhere on the edge of San Marcos so the entire corridor can have an NFL team, so you should 100% believe that this will happen and invite Texas State to take advantage of [insert nebulous NFL-NCAA partnership benefits here].
If nothing else, the Big 12 should add Texas State because this is a real thing that exists:
SEE YA ON THE GRIDIRON, LONGHORNS.
Truthfully, a compelling argument. It's very hard to dispute simple reality, either; except in the Deep South, [State] State is almost always a better institution than University of [State]. It's science. But you probably disagree, so let Will have it in the comments. He deserves it, anyway.