Benson was in charge while all those schools decided to move on. He couldn't keep any of them from heading out...which says to me...that the SBC doesn't really have much holding power. So, if another round of realignment, does happen...then the SBC will fall pray again. Without any other recourse than to have more schools than necessary to keep a CCG going. And he doesn't even have enough to get the CCG off the ground. Yes, I hold him responsible for this lack of foresight.
Yes the Sun Belt is the lowest FBS conference, if anyone comes calling there members will leave. Benson was in a similar situation in the WAC and tried to reverse the tables but failed, I don't think he's going to try to upset the balanance of power when his conference good be mostly gone tomorrow if the others chose to (NMSU/Idaho>MWC, All others>CUSA). And he had a vision when he was hired only ?2ish? years ago was to get a CCG and to use it in order to get his conference a real TV deal. I'm not sure how that's a lack of foresight, he knew what he was getting into and has been acting accordingly.
I am not against the additions that have been made...other than not getting NMSU as a full member. I do feel that he could have added more schools last year...to finalize this process, though.
NMSU didn't have the votes and neither did any of the schools that wanted in last year (Jax St/Liberty/Lamar), again not his fault.
I don't feel that the number of schools that have declined an invite to the SBC or have declined even being looked at....says good things about the SBC. And isn't the Commissioner responsible for that, as well. The schools I can remember that have said no: Fla A&M, Mo State, UT Chatt., JMU?, Illinois State.
It has more to do with their own financial situations and their comfortability with their place in the FCS than their opinion of the SBC, and of those you named only JMU feels that they are better than the SBC and its primarily has to do with geography.
Throwing Idaho and NMSU a lifeline. I'm not against that either. But, why not lock NMSU in for the long haul? A full member is much better than an affiliate when building a conference, no? And NMSU has a long history in DI athletics, which I see as a positive for a young conference.
I don't disagree but as I said above its the presidents decision not Benson's.
Since fb is the big money maker...I am a bit curious as to what is going to happen with UALR and UTA. Are two schools that don't play fb the limit. Will we see more? Will there be less, soon? If two are good...is four better? What's the deal? Also, the schools that were added for soccer.....were any of them good enough to be a member? Or are they one sport wonders...just good enough to be an affiliate only? Trying to figure out the direction the conference is attempting to head??
I don't think they want anyone non-fb schools but I could see possibly 1 more in the East like a Florida Gulf Coast. As far as men's soccer goes, the Sun Belt grabbed 2 independent schools NJIT (Great West now full Indy) and Howard (MEAC) plus a D3 MAC affiliate Hartwick. None of these will be full members they were simply added to get GASt, GASo, and AppSt a conference with a post season entry. There are no soccer schools in Texas other than the ones that just joined the WAC (Incarnate Word, UTPA, HBU) only other soccer schools not in a conference is Belmont who must have declined. But they just wanted and needed 6 which they now have, this really shouldn't be of any concern to the larger realignment picture.
CUSA are all longtime FBS programs(barring ODU and UNCC, which have been really good at DI hoops for years). None of the CUSA schools are fb only members. CUSA schools states all touch each other(states connecting from VA down to TX) for the majority of schools.
LOL CUSA looks just like the SBC. Is it really bothering you that they don't have a school in TN or MS? The East schools will fly to the West and the West to the East regardless of wether or not they add a school in those states. The touching/contiguous states arguement is weak, the PAC12 was willing to leave out Utah for TX/OU and then they wouldn't have touched. The Big Ten was in talks to take GT w/o any of their states touching too. That point is just something people use to after the fact but rarely think about before. Distance means something but contiguousness doesn't.
SBC schools...large percentage are new to FBS. Many schools in the SBC don't play major sports in this conference, if at all. NMSU and Idaho, as well as, soccer affiliates(3 of 6) are all on the edges of the conference. There are some big gaps in the continuity of the conference allignment.
So, there are some differences between the two conferences. And the way each conference will proceed should be different, as well. The SBC needs stability. CUSA already has stability built in.
CUSA has 14 affiliates, the SBC has 5, who has bigger "continuity" issues?
The SBC just need to expand and stay put. Just like last time, the longer the schools mix into the culture of FBS the better they look.
There are soccer programs in Texas and other States. Why go up to NY for a DIII program?
Because they just needed 3 schools and no others were available as I wrote above, I'm pretty sure they grabbed the 3 weakest schools they could get to boost GASt/GASo/AppSt and get them into the post season. This isn't a big deal they need 6 to supponsor the sport and they got 6, no more no less.
It just seems to me that things are happening very haphazardly. And what happens to the Tx/La/Ark block when ULL or Ark State leaves? Or if ULM doesn't have enough money to continue at its current level?
Nothing crazy, they'd likely replace them with NMSU (as full member), Missouri State, Lamar, or SHSU.
Y'all don't find anything wrong with what's happening in the Sun Belt or the direction it's heading? Maybe, direction it's heading isn't the right term? How about, time it's taking to get things completed?
Yes that's about the only thing that you CAN blame Benson for but to be fair he was mainly dealing with West Coast schools and connections for years, NOT East coast ones so there is some adjustment. He was hit with a lot quickly and made some great decisions quick and is still figuring everything out as it comes in (like the men's soccer) but he knows that getting the 12th fb member is the first non-slam dunk solution he has to make and wants to do it right, but the FCS just got raided for 5 Southern programs (4 SBC schools + ODU)(USA/UTSA/UNCC were start ups) so the quality isn't as obvious once you get past 5.
I think they missed the bus by not adding the 12th last year but its hard to blame them with only Liberty/JAX St but this is crunch time and they need a 12th by July 1.