I give it five years at most. This conference must be frustrating to be a part of. You just know that being the bottom of the totem pole in FBS meaning you are going to probably get hit hardest by realignment. There’s also no guarantee you can get schools in your geographic footprint (which is massive right now by the way) from FCS that are good enough to actually be in an FBS conference. Remember, for every Georgia Southern or Boise State there’s a UMass or Idaho.
If the Sun Belt was smart (and they aren’t since Karl Benson is their commissioner) they would contact Conference USA and figure out how to split up the teams properly. When your footprint is North Carolina to Idaho then your conference is messed. Richer conferences don’t even do shit like that. Some thought it was crazy that the SEC invited Texas A&M or Missouri in yet the Sun Belt does this? At least Idaho is going back to FCS football in a couple years. So using the current conference rosters (I include UAB here and also included NMSU) this is what I think should happen:
|Conference USA||Sun Belt|
|Florida Atlantic||North Texas|
|Western Kentucky||South Alabama|
|Middle Tennessee||Southern Miss|
|UAB||New Mexico State|
There you go. Two 12-team conferences that you can easily split into divisions for football. And even with an outlier like New Mexico State it isn’t too far from the next closest team, UTEP. This will never happen of course because, for the most part, the Group of Five conferences wait for things to get really bad and then react. By then it’s too late. And with the Power Five conferences probably breaking off at some point from the NCAA, it will get much worse for the G5.
Alright enough of that. Way too angry for a Friday. Here’s my predicted standings followed by some dips into the pool:
|New Mexico State||1||7||1||11|
Dips Into the Pool
- I like the summer. I do. But not when it’s 34 out. Because when it’s 34 it’s more like 42 in this neck of the woods. If it weren’t for the humidity it would be probably pretty nice. Saying that, can you imagine what it’s like in some southern schools? Last couple of weeks before games begin must be absolute hell at a school like Texas State.
- Yes I have ULM winless this season, one of three FBS teams to do so (North Texas and Eastern Michigan the others). Matt Viator comes from McNeese State where he’s used to winning so this will be a shock to his system, at least in year one.
- I don’t foresee Texas State and New Mexico State being a whole lot better than ULM so at least the Warhawks will have company in the basement.
- There could be a lot happening in the middle of the Sun Belt. Five teams at either 5-7 or 6-6. And yes, I have Idaho going to a bowl game. And no, I just didn’t smoke a big bowl of crack.
- The top three will be the same top three as it was last season so realistically you could make an argument that any of them could win the Sun Belt and get…what? Their pick of bowl games? I don’t even think they get that. They need to have one pretty decent bowl for the champ to go to make this all worth it.
- Out of the ashes I have Arkansas State taking the Sun Belt crown. A-State gets Georgia Southern at home and doesn’t play Appalachian State so I think they will sweep their conference sked.
- Their 10-2 record is obviously not good enough for the G5 New Year’s Six spot. A Sun Belt team would almost have to be perfect to have that opportunity unless the G5 goes all 2007 and implodes and everyone has at least two losses (which would kind of be fun to watch).
We are almost into the home stretch. Next up is our west coast pals, the Pac-12. I wonder when we will find out about the Pac-12 Network’s availability here in Canada since it has been approved by the CRTC. My guess is August 25th at the earliest knowing Rogers and Bell.