View Full Version : The new sun belt

05-01-2012, 09:10 PM

I think I have this new look Sun Belt Conference thing figured out!
Today, we added Texas-Arlington to the family in all sports but football. UTA joins UALR as our two non-football playing brothers. Since Benson came to us from the WAC, and the WAC now has 2 football only members remaining in their Conference, I am betting on the following:

We invite New Mexico State and Idaho as football only members (at least for the short term before new FCS schools move up to FBS in our normal footprint region). This will allow both teams to have a home and not go Independent after the 2012 season. That would give the Belt 12 football playing members in 2013. We will have an Eastern and Western division. The two schools from the WAC that will play football only will be replace in all other sports by UALR and UTA, both of whom will play in the Western Division. Therefore, the New SUN BELT will look like this:

Eastern Division in all sports-

Georgia State
South Alabama
Middle Tennessee State
Western Kentucky

Western Division in football*-

La Monroe
Arkansas State
Texas State
New Mexico State* (replaced by UTA in all other sports)
Idaho* (replaced by UALR in all other sports)

By the way, Charlotte has just joined C-USA so they are no longer a candidate. Until schools like App State or Ga Southern commit to move up to FBS, my guess is we will allow the two WAC schools to remain in place.
We will then have a Conference Championship game starting in 2013 with the Eastern Champs playing the Western Champs for the Conference title.
This will then allow the Sun Belt to have added two FBS and two FCS schools in the expansion of the Conference for football replacing the loss of FIU and North Texas.

This is my prediction, let me know what you guys think.


05-01-2012, 10:06 PM
I really hope we don't add NMSU and Idaho... Benson needs to do the right thing and add App State and Georgia Southern.

05-01-2012, 11:57 PM
I really hope we don't add NMSU and Idaho... Benson needs to do the right thing and add App State and Georgia Southern.

Agree 110%. I think we will here from Benson no later then June on adding App. State & Georgia Southern. It makes no sense to add New Mexico State & Idaho. Although i have a feeling he will lend a helping hand to NMSU..:rolleyes04:

05-02-2012, 06:42 AM
My feeling is that Benson will offer NMSU and Idaho a lifeline until the schools like App State and Ga Southern or any others in our footprint announce they will be making the move and go through the transition. At best, this would take a few years and would allow his old WAC schools to have a 'temporary' home. It may also buy some time for a few other Western based schools to make the move from FCS to FBS to join them in a new Western Conference sometime down the road.

I also believe that he wants us to have a Championship game and this would be the quickest route to accomplish that goal.

In this new two division Sun Belt, each team would play 5 intra-divisional games and 3 games with teams from the other division. Thus, we would all have a total of 4 home Conference games each year and 4 away. That would leave us with 4 OOC games to schedule. We would play each team from the other division every other year, once at home and once away. My guess is that the New SUN BELT would schedule a rivalry game for the final game of the season each year to make things interesting. In this format, we would all have our rival in our own division:

FAU - Ga State
TROY - South Alabama

Texas State - Arkansas State
Louisiana - UL Monroe
NMSU - Idaho

I am not a betting man but I really believe that Benson will pull the trigger and form this New SUN BELT Conference before the summer. With UALR and now Texas-Arlington being in the mix (for everything except football), and NMSU and Idaho being football only members, it would only make sense that we would have two-six team divisions for all sports.

Texas-Arlington has said they are considering starting football, but that they are a few years away from being ready to make that move. UALR has also had discussions but to my knowledge, has not made any concreate plans as of now.

Guys, with the way things are moving and shaking in the college conference realignment world, I have to believe that we will do this now so that we will have everything in place for next season (2013).


05-02-2012, 10:38 AM
I am not convinced the App St. and Georgia Southern move up. They have several advantages to staying. They are in a very succesful 1-AA Conference and both are National Powers. Both draw more fans than Troy does and both have won multiple Nat. Championships. They also get to play D1 in all their other sports and can get an invite to the NCAA in all other major sports (BB, Baseball, Volleyball, Soccer). In football they can play 1 big money game a year and compete for a Nat. Championship. To me, they have a good thing already.

05-02-2012, 03:37 PM
Those teams moving up will be determined by how many teams are left in FCS that are in their travel distance. They will jump ship if someone shows them they will have a secure conference that provide a small travel footprint. (And that is why I don't like the idea of NM State and Idaho). My bet is we hear something just before June 1st.