So i was just reading on the NBC sports blog about maybe the FBS football ad for the SBC might be Army instead of Umass. (Idk if there is any truth to it or not) but the arguement is that the reason the AAC agreed to make a new bowl with the SBC (Cure Bowl) might be to give Army a chance to play Navy in a bowl game. interesting, like i said IDK but give something to talk about. So if SBC did have the option to add either Umass or Army for FB only, which would be the better fit for the conference?
At the risk of sounding ridiculous, Army is closer to the Sun Belt members than Massachusetts. Army offers a national brand name that every recognizes with a much deeper and richer football history than most schools in FBS. Adding Army may help the Sun Belt in scheduling non-conference games with the American since Army/Navy would be a consistent game year-in-year-out. I only have 2 reservations with Army. 1) Scheduling - since they will have to play both Navy and Air Force outside of conference play, they wouldn't have much spare games for anyone else & 2) MAC - okay its not really a reservation as much as it's a personal preference to see them in the MAC.
I've not heard any talk that Army is inclined to join a conference in football but their TV deal I think is about to expire and they've only secured bowl ties for three of the next six years. If you take a critical eye looking at their options, what you have is:
AAC. Basically the group Army couldn't compete with before in CUSA and even if AAC allowed Army and Navy to keep the financial windfall of their game's TV rights, the value falls because AAC cannot let them play after the title game because the game impacts the standings. The ratings for Army-Navy were falling and the second Saturday in December date pushed them back up to what they used to be. Moving to November would slash the TV value of the game.
MWC. Terrible geographic fit. At least has Air Force which helps their scheduling. But not likely to be competitive.
MAC. Could be very competitive with much of the league. May be viewed as a positive because part of the team's role is to promote enlistment, they do OK in the midwest but could do better.
CUSA. Could be very competitive with much of the league. South is historically a strong region for enlistment. Army games tend to attract generals and Congressmen and the south has lots of military friendly GOP congressmen. UTEP probably counts more west than south.
Sun Belt. Same as CUSA but also offers western exposure with Idaho and NMSU. If UMass were to come also, it would give Army a conference opponent they can bus to and lock in exposure in more regions.
Now I'm not expecting any Army announcements, until they say otherwise, I am assuming they are content as an indy.