Jared: Push. A great fan base held back by its rural location and a lack of television screens in their market, LA Tech continues to draw in some of the best talent in the conference. I'm just not ready to trust Skip Holtz again.
Jason: Buy. Tech will always have a smaller market and budget than its peers, but even in the far flung WAC, the Bulldogs were always able to at least compete with the Fresno State and Hawaiis of the world (not so much Nevada and Boise State). In a more travel friendly conference, LA Tech should always at least be in the conversation.
Steven: Sell. I'm pretty surprised by the exciting football La Tech played this past season, but can Skip Holtz really expect to take this program anywhere with retread graduate transfers starting at QB?
Jason: Sell. No matter how big of a market and how much money they spend on facilities, the Mean Green just haven't been able to get over the top. UTSA's emergence only helps their troubles as they try to get all that talent in the state to give them a look.
Jared: Sell. Tensions are high in Denton as a sharp new stadium failed to jump-start UNT's recruiting efforts or attendance. UNT's student body is embracing athletics at an increasing rate but the program has utterly failed at drawing alumni from the Metroplex area. McCarney needs to start winning some recruiting battles against UTSA and SMU if they want to win this league in the near future.
Steven: Sell. It seems that with every passing college football season there is another mid-major program from the state of Texas popping up. The Mean Green may be one of the more historic teams in this lot, but their past few seasons have been extremely lackluster. The new stadium is gorgeous, but it'll take more than a few bells and whistles to fix UNT.
Steven: Sell. Their recent success is nice and all, but this is still Rice. They're the "nerd" school of the conference and for some reason, the success of these schools really is cyclical. They hit their peak with a conference championship a few years back, but the Owls are trending downward unless they can drastically fix their amenities.
Jared: Buy. As long as David Bailiff is in Houston the Owls will continue to find a way to win. Bailiff has proven to be a master in player development and the Owls' strength and conditioning program is one of the best around. The athletics department recently announced the first major renovation to Rice Stadium in years.
Jason: Sell. Bailiff will keep Rice near the top as long as he is around, but their small size and the fact that their strong academics actually hinders recruiting for the Owls. Bailiff has done a masterful job, but it will always be an upward climb for the Owls to win every year.
Jared: Sell. Based off of this year's recruiting class Todd Monken is looking to rebuild the program through the JUCO ranks. While this may bring some immediate relief, USM will be right back where they started in two years. Monken has a tough task ahead of him in restoring Southern Miss' glory to match their celebrated history.
Jason: Push. LA Tech spent so many years trying to emulate and catch up to USM and now that they are in CUSA together, its the Golden Eagles that are struggling for air. I'm not sure what it will take for USM to get back to their winning ways, but I don't see it in the near future. That being said, it's always good to buy low. USM will eventually get back on track.
Steven: Buy. This is probably the definition of "buy low". Southern Miss has been pretty terrible lately, but this can't last much longer, right? Only a few years removed from an 11-win season, the Golden Eagles have the infrastructure in place to compete, they're just missing the players.
Jason: Sell. UTEP has a great fan base and huge numbers, but recruiting will always be a struggle. It's just hard to build a consistent winner when you don't have the numbers near you to recruit from.
Jared: Push. Sean Kugler has this program on the right track but their remote location continues to impede recruiting efforts. With the rise in the number of FBS schools in Texas UTEP has struggled to land in-state talent. The Sun Bowl and UTEP's passionate fan base will keep UTEP relevant but recruiting will need to pick up before I'm confident to pick UTEP as a championship contender.
Steven: Sell. Chalk this one up to recruiting. UTEP may be experiencing some relative success now, but without that recruiting base, how long can the Miners really keep this up?
Jason: Buy. UTSA is a case of a large market program doing things the right way. FIU should be looking to UTSA for a game plan. With a strong fan base, market, and recruiting base; UTSA should be a major factor in the West every year.
Steven: Push. I really thought UTSA was about to explode on the scene last season before crumbling down the stretch. Recruits love the chance to build a new program, but having seen Coker's "influence" in Miami, is he really the man to lead a team out of the ashes? These next few years are crucial to the Roadrunners success in C-USA.
Jared: Buy. Even after a four win season UTSA continues to attract talented athletes and beat out P5 schools on the recruiting trail. With $45 million in renovations coming to the Alamodome UTSA heavily benefits from its status as the only FBS program located in one of the largest cities in the country.