If the best school for the SBC is in Ark, La, or Texas....I just can't see the SBC avoiding them.
Give me a break on the travel issue. That is a joke. Especially when you have schools like Idaho in...for the one main NCAA sport(fb). It is just not that far for a La school to travel to Alabama or Georgia or NC.
The SBC is looking for the best available school...no matter where they are. So, when someone suggests UMass....I just won't believe that moving an Ark or La. school to the east is that big of a deal especially when there are two schools in Alabama....to bridge the gap.
And I really don't believe that Tx State is blocking schools like Sam Houston. Having two fb schools in the State of Texas isn't too many for a state this large.
There is no perfect resolution for the SBC problems. All schools will have to work together to make things work out best. If a school or two has to make some concessions....then so be it. Survival and strengthening of the conference is the 'most important' item, in my opinion.
Lastly, I don't believe that a division of the SBC has more power than the conference as a whole.
A school can't be voted in without a majority of members wanting it. If half the schools oppose it then it won't happen, ergo a united division can block the addition of any school it chooses.
When talking about the travel expenses to adding a team to the Sun Belt conference, we're NOT talking about football.
The Sun Belt conference sponsors 18 sports, most of which play more conference games than football does.
So dismissing travel concerns because of Idaho is pointless.
But even if we consider that, only 4 teams a year would travel to Idaho (or NMSU) (or any other fb only school like UMass or NDSU). Its not even worth considering, when compared to the travel of other sports.
Conference games per sport:
M Football: 4home+4away+CCG (play everyone in division and half other division)
W Volleyball: 9home+9away+tournament (play everyone but double round robin in division)
M/W Basketball: 9home+9away+tournament (play everyone but double round robin in division)
Base/Softball: 4home+4away+1rivalhome+1rival away+tournament (play everyone+extra rival game)
M/W Soccer: Play everyone.
M/W Indoor Track & Field: Invitationals+Tournament, teams from divisions seem to be invited to compete more often together (only at 2 non SBC sponsored events did a team from the East compete with one from the West)
M/W Outdoor Track & Field: Invitationals+Tournament (same as above but 5 times)
M/W Cross Country & M/W Golf & M/W Tennis: Not as organized but also needs to be considered.
Fan of the Big 12 Conference, the Mountain West Conference and...