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Sun Belt Conference Expansion & Realignment Thread
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Author:  Fresno St. Alum [ Thu Nov 29, 2012 12:38 am ]
Post subject:  Re: Sun Belt Conference Expansion & Realignment Thread

tkalmus wrote:
http://www.dothaneagle.com/sports/troy/article_22cb346c-39b8-11e2-abea-0019bb30f31a.html

Alabama paper saying "Troy University Chancellor Dr. Jack Hawkins, Jr., who also serves as president of the Sun Belt Conference executive committee, says the league won’t make a knee-jerk reaction to seek new members" and that they'll "see where the dust settles and see what is in the best interest long term"

“We could certainly be fine with eight,” “I don’t think there’s any crisis mode to expand. At the same time, we need to be pro-active as a league. It would be beneficial for us to add, but I don’t think we would just pick two teams."

"If we invite any institution to fill a spot, we have to go after similar programs that make up the Sun Belt,” “One of the more important things in my mind is the geographic foot print." “I think we have to look at what is logical from a geographic standpoint. Some of the movement I see makes little or no sense.”

Appalachian State, Georgia Southern, New Mexico State, Lamar, Liberty, Sam Houston State, and Jacksonville State are on my upgrade watch list and all sound like they'd fit with what he's saying.

Moving fast does NOT equal knee jerk, it's staying ahead of the game so you don't end up like the WAC. Even though the MWC hasn't been raided again, if they're smart they should have schools lined up to be the next man up if/when something goes down. If your commish is too naive to see the constant shift and not ready to react like CUSA then they should be fired.

Author:  Quinn [ Thu Nov 29, 2012 7:47 am ]
Post subject:  Sun Belt Conference Expansion & Realignment Thread

tkalmus wrote:
http://www.dothaneagle.com/sports/troy/article_22cb346c-39b8-11e2-abea-0019bb30f31a.html

Alabama paper saying "Troy University Chancellor Dr. Jack Hawkins, Jr., who also serves as president of the Sun Belt Conference executive committee, says the league won’t make a knee-jerk reaction to seek new members" and that they'll "see where the dust settles and see what is in the best interest long term"

“We could certainly be fine with eight,” “I don’t think there’s any crisis mode to expand. At the same time, we need to be pro-active as a league. It would be beneficial for us to add, but I don’t think we would just pick two teams."

"If we invite any institution to fill a spot, we have to go after similar programs that make up the Sun Belt,” “One of the more important things in my mind is the geographic foot print." “I think we have to look at what is logical from a geographic standpoint. Some of the movement I see makes little or no sense.”

Appalachian State, Georgia Southern, New Mexico State, Lamar, Liberty, Sam Houston State, and Jacksonville State are on my upgrade watch list and all sound like they'd fit with what he's saying.


For the Sunbelt, I do think NMSU would be a fine addition since they are a proven, yet lackluster, commodity. But in the end, my wishes for the SB are the same as they were in the beginning: App St and GA Southern. Especially with the geographic concentration with Fau gone, adding a 2nd GA school and a western NC to offset MTSU.

For the MWC, it's a tough spot they are in: they want room for Boise St and SDSU or even BYU. So they can't easily expand with say UTEP and Rice because they aren't locks to improve the TV value the way BSU and SDSu would. And expanding to 14 doesn't seem to be on CTs agenda.


For the SB, I think they are in a fine spot. It's not a sexy conference, but it has a great regional footprint. And if a school gets hot 1 year with an undefeated season, they get a chance to showcase. My bet would be Troy one season in the next decade.

Author:  fighting muskie [ Thu Nov 29, 2012 11:45 am ]
Post subject:  Re: Sun Belt Conference Expansion & Realignment Thread

The Sunbelt is going to make it through this round of expansion just fine. They have a great footprint and there are plenty of potential programs in FCS that could upgrade within and near their footprint.

It's too bad that biases among certain programs towards their SBC counterparts prevented C-USA and the SBC from just merging. Some of the schools left behind, like Arkansas St and UL Lafayette have excellent followings and have fielded great teams they just lack a big market and/or are in proximity to a C-USA school that is blocking them.

Author:  TKthunder [ Thu Nov 29, 2012 12:26 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: Sun Belt Conference Expansion & Realignment Thread

fighting muskie wrote:
The Sunbelt is going to make it through this round of expansion just fine. They have a great footprint and there are plenty of potential programs in FCS that could upgrade within and near their footprint.

It's too bad that biases among certain programs towards their SBC counterparts prevented C-USA and the SBC from just merging. Some of the schools left behind, like Arkansas St and UL Lafayette have excellent followings and have fielded great teams they just lack a big market and/or are in proximity to a C-USA school that is blocking them.


Not sure anyone was actively blocking them (probably didn't support them but not blocking), I think CUSA was focused more gathering markets like the Big East for a future TV contract.

Arkansas St, ULL, along with Troy are probably the next up after WKU. Of course if CUSA loses a school like UTSA then Texas St may jump them, and Georgia State is also in an attractive market so they could too.

The problem with the merger is that schools like UL-Monroe and South Alabama don't excite anyone and would have taken the place of UTSA/UNCC/ODU/LA Tech.

Author:  freaked4collegefb [ Thu Nov 29, 2012 7:51 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: Sun Belt Conference Expansion & Realignment Thread

Dennis Dodd blog article discussing Idaho,Georgia Southern, and New Mexico State as potential SBC expansion candidates at http://www.cbssports.com/collegefootbal ... r-sun-belt

Author:  Fresno St. Alum [ Fri Nov 30, 2012 12:55 am ]
Post subject:  Re: Sun Belt Conference Expansion & Realignment Thread

Where did App St. go? They and Georgia Southern were at the top of the list now GSU, NMSU, Idaho but no App St. or Lamar?

Author:  westwolf [ Fri Nov 30, 2012 9:10 am ]
Post subject:  Re: Sun Belt Conference Expansion & Realignment Thread

Like ECU, App St has built a strong program which is overlooked because of location. They'll get there eventually.

Author:  TKthunder [ Fri Nov 30, 2012 10:25 am ]
Post subject:  Re: Sun Belt Conference Expansion & Realignment Thread

Fresno St. Alum wrote:
Where did App St. go? They and Georgia Southern were at the top of the list now GSU, NMSU, Idaho but no App St. or Lamar?
I saw this...
"Georgia Southern, a member of the Southern Conference, and FBS Independents New Mexico State and Idaho are considered potential replacements in the Sun Belt, according to CBSSports.com.

Sam Houston State of the Southland Conference and Appalachian State of the Southern Conference also have been mentioned."

http://savannahnow.com/sports/2012-11-2 ... conference

I've read that some of the existing member are uncomfortable with adding to many upgrades so close together. Georgia St is upgrading, South Alabama/Texas St just upgraded, and Western Kentucky wasn't that long ago. Add in GA Southern AND App State and that half the conference without considering WKU which is why NMSU is likely a favorite (Idaho is probably just a pity mention by Karl, no way they add them unless its fb only).

I've read lots of things over the years about the state of Georgia wanting Georgia Southern and State to be in the same conference so I would assume that their persistence is even stronger now that GASt has moved to the FBS w/o Southern which has probably given them a edge over App St. Not to mention that NC has 5 FBS schools for their population of 9.7 million while GA only has 3 (w/ GA St) for their population of 9.8 million.

App St will get in but it may take as long as it took ECU to get into the BE, maybe get into the SBC/CUSA by way of MAC?

On Lamar, I know everyone here thinks of them as a great upgrade but honestly down here in Texas I never hear anyone talk about them or know anyone that's ever attended that school (granted I'm not in Houston). The most popular schools not in the FBS in Texas are Sam Houston and SFA and we've had a lot of talk radio about them taking the Battle of the Piney Woods to the next level. SHSU seems to be the most obvious choice here since they are extremely competitive in the FCS, and I think that once they upgrade their will be a lot of pressure put on SFA to do the same. And FYI that tandem of schools has a huge alumni base and gets statewide attention when they play. Heck, they even sell out Reliant Stadium every year, and not even my Longhorns have been able to do that recently (though the games have been against Rice). Lamar was only ahead of SHSU for the WAC bid because SHSU didn't want to just jump without a net (also there's some minor political pressure to keep them and SFA together), they wanted assurances and to see how everything would work while Lamar just wanted to jump in head first. Trust me, SHSU has way more market penetration in DFW/Hou than Lamar so the only edge Lamar has is the fact that Beaumont is a bigger market than Huntsville (100K vs 40K pop) but at this level of realginment they should be focusing on market share rather than size?

Author:  freaked4collegefb [ Fri Nov 30, 2012 10:42 am ]
Post subject:  Re: Sun Belt Conference Expansion & Realignment Thread

Article out of Las Cruces with comments from SBC Commish who says SBC will have meeting next Monday to discuss league expansion at http://www.lcsun-news.com/las-cruces-sp ... ll-must-be

Author:  tute79 [ Fri Nov 30, 2012 12:39 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: Sun Belt Conference Expansion & Realignment Thread

Or could it be that Dennis Dodd just pliain forgot Appalachian State ?

Face it, just about every article you read anymore is "chock full of errors".
The writers can't keep track of the ongoing realignment without some maps and spreadsheets, and the people on this board are more on top of the landscape than most writers.

Appy St. and Georgia Southern were both prominenetly mentioned when the Sun-Belt last expanded in June, and briefly considered going to 14 at that time.
I'd bet on that pair coming into the Sun-belt to replace MTSU / FAU.

Benson has REPEATEDLY mentioned that he doesn't want a far-flug footprint (and I think he defines the footprint as Southeastern US, extending as far west as central Texas).
Right now, a lot of NMSU supporters are DESPERATELY hoping for a lifeboat.
I think the guy that floated the false WKU and NMSU to C-USA rumor on Wednesday was an NMSU guy.

Author:  Mconner1201 [ Fri Nov 30, 2012 12:47 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: Sun Belt Conference Expansion & Realignment Thread

tkalmus wrote:
Fresno St. Alum wrote:
I've read that some of the existing member are uncomfortable with adding to many upgrades so close together. Georgia St is upgrading, South Alabama/Texas St just upgraded, and Western Kentucky wasn't that long ago.


I really don't understand their hesitancy...when you are at the bottom of the totem pole, it doesn't really matter. It's not like it affects their status of getting into a BCS bowl or anything. Maybe they should take a lesson from the WAC, it's about survival right now. I would not hesitate to add some of these programs which probably have more support than NMSU.

Author:  Fresno St. Alum [ Fri Nov 30, 2012 4:23 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: Sun Belt Conference Expansion & Realignment Thread

Mconner1201 wrote:
tkalmus wrote:
Fresno St. Alum wrote:
I've read that some of the existing member are uncomfortable with adding to many upgrades so close together. Georgia St is upgrading, South Alabama/Texas St just upgraded, and Western Kentucky wasn't that long ago.


I really don't understand their hesitancy...when you are at the bottom of the totem pole, it doesn't really matter. It's not like it affects their status of getting into a BCS bowl or anything. Maybe they should take a lesson from the WAC, it's about survival right now. I would not hesitate to add some of these programs which probably have more support than NMSU.

App and Ga So. could beat NMSU 10 times out of 10 now w/ 22 less schollies. Who cares if they're a move up. NMSU should be a move down. No bowl since 1960. I don't remember winning season in my lifetime(1977)

Author:  Peter Hunt [ Fri Nov 30, 2012 11:54 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: Sun Belt Conference Expansion & Realignment Thread

westwolf wrote:
Like ECU, App St has built a strong program which is overlooked because of location. They'll get there eventually.

True, But isn't App St in a better location then NMSU & Idaho?

Author:  playa4life [ Sun Dec 02, 2012 5:23 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: Sun Belt Conference Expansion & Realignment Thread

tkalmus wrote:
Fresno St. Alum wrote:
Where did App St. go? They and Georgia Southern were at the top of the list now GSU, NMSU, Idaho but no App St. or Lamar?
I saw this...
"Georgia Southern, a member of the Southern Conference, and FBS Independents New Mexico State and Idaho are considered potential replacements in the Sun Belt, according to CBSSports.com.

Sam Houston State of the Southland Conference and Appalachian State of the Southern Conference also have been mentioned."

http://savannahnow.com/sports/2012-11-2 ... conference

I've read that some of the existing member are uncomfortable with adding to many upgrades so close together. Georgia St is upgrading, South Alabama/Texas St just upgraded, and Western Kentucky wasn't that long ago. Add in GA Southern AND App State and that half the conference without considering WKU which is why NMSU is likely a favorite (Idaho is probably just a pity mention by Karl, no way they add them unless its fb only).

I've read lots of things over the years about the state of Georgia wanting Georgia Southern and State to be in the same conference so I would assume that their persistence is even stronger now that GASt has moved to the FBS w/o Southern which has probably given them a edge over App St. Not to mention that NC has 5 FBS schools for their population of 9.7 million while GA only has 3 (w/ GA St) for their population of 9.8 million.

App St will get in but it may take as long as it took ECU to get into the BE, maybe get into the SBC/CUSA by way of MAC?

On Lamar, I know everyone here thinks of them as a great upgrade but honestly down here in Texas I never hear anyone talk about them or know anyone that's ever attended that school (granted I'm not in Houston). The most popular schools not in the FBS in Texas are Sam Houston and SFA and we've had a lot of talk radio about them taking the Battle of the Piney Woods to the next level. SHSU seems to be the most obvious choice here since they are extremely competitive in the FCS, and I think that once they upgrade their will be a lot of pressure put on SFA to do the same. And FYI that tandem of schools has a huge alumni base and gets statewide attention when they play. Heck, they even sell out Reliant Stadium every year, and not even my Longhorns have been able to do that recently (though the games have been against Rice). Lamar was only ahead of SHSU for the WAC bid because SHSU didn't want to just jump without a net (also there's some minor political pressure to keep them and SFA together), they wanted assurances and to see how everything would work while Lamar just wanted to jump in head first. Trust me, SHSU has way more market penetration in DFW/Hou than Lamar so the only edge Lamar has is the fact that Beaumont is a bigger market than Huntsville (100K vs 40K pop) but at this level of realginment they should be focusing on market share rather than size?


Says the SFA fan who does not want to see Lamar move ahead of SHSU and SFA. It is sad that no one in Texas ever heard of Lamar The good news is the SBC heard of Lamar.
Benson made a few visits over the last 6 months and was in Beaumont last week with a to do list for Lamar. Lamar and SBC suppose to meet this week with an invite this week or next. Not bad for a little unknown school that is bigger than SFA. BTW, Beaumont MSA is 405,000 as of 2011 estimate, not 100k.

For others, all this is being reported on Lamar forums so take it for what it is worth.

Author:  TKthunder [ Sun Dec 02, 2012 5:40 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: Sun Belt Conference Expansion & Realignment Thread

I love these stories...
http://www.bgdailynews.com/features/sun ... 963f4.html

"Many of you are aware that the Sun Belt Conference further decomposed last week into perhaps its most rancid state yet, which is significant, because the Sun Belt even at its best is a poor athletic conference."

"the Sun Belt is dreadful, a consortium of overlooked and left-behind Division I schools with Division III-sounding names. No geographic or philosophical theme binds the league, unless roping together enough schools to continue to exist counts as a philosophy. It’s too generous to say the Sun Belt barely registers nationally."

"And it’s getting worse. The looming departures of Middle Tennessee State University, the University of North Texas and Florida Atlantic and Florida International universities chip away at what little identity the Sun Belt recently built. Zero-buzz schools such as Georgia State, Texas State and Texas-Arlington are on their way to fill the holes, and the conference figures to lasso more schools you probably know nothing about to fill current and future vacancies. The league will merely exist, at least until there are no more schools left to lasso."


Also a very candid interview w/ Louisiana Layette's AD about realignment (long but worth a read)
http://www.theadvertiser.com/article/20 ... lt-shakeup

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