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PostPosted: Tue Mar 17, 2009 7:15 pm 
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A new thread for the Sunbelt. The archived "Sunbelt news" thread is always available for reference.

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PostPosted: Tue Mar 17, 2009 10:41 pm 
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Questions that need answers

Where will UNO be in 2011 SBC or D-II?

When will Denver find a new home in the WCC, Summit, or Big Sky(if they change the must have fb rule)?

Would the Sun Belt go to 14?

If all current members stay would they go to 14 with 11 FB playing members?

Member options: Texas St., UTSA, Lamar, Jacksonville St., Georgia So., Georgia St., Charlotte (all have talked about playing FBS)
SHSU(maybe)

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PostPosted: Wed Mar 18, 2009 11:02 am 
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UNO and Denver are the key players.
Lets say both drop out, does the Sun look to the southland or to those eastern schools moving up?
How will UNT and other Sunbelt teams react to longer travel distants?
Can ULM continue playing FBS in budget cutting Louisiana?
How long can La Tech continue to stay in the WAC?


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PostPosted: Wed Mar 18, 2009 3:17 pm 
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Luckily for the WAC, LA Tech has few options other than the sunbelt, which they have not favored.

Seems that the WAC might need to seriously consider expanding east, with 1-3 members of the Sunbelt. They are doubtful to get a single desired SB team, but could possibly convince 3.

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PostPosted: Wed Mar 18, 2009 3:32 pm 
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If the WAC goes east UNT, UTSA, & ULL or Texas St. Arkansas St. is on the east end of the state.

I think if they went to 12 they'd take UNT, UTSA and UC Davis or Sac St. Getting a west school would help ease the minds of the western schools which is everyone but La Tech & NMSU.

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PostPosted: Wed Mar 18, 2009 5:33 pm 
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Fresno St. Alum wrote:
If the WAC goes east UNT, UTSA, & ULL or Texas St. Arkansas St. is on the east end of the state.

I think if they went to 12 they'd take UNT, UTSA and UC Davis or Sac St. Getting a west school would help ease the minds of the western schools which is everyone but La Tech & NMSU.


Didn't UNT already say no the WAC before?


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PostPosted: Wed Mar 18, 2009 6:01 pm 
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They did but they'd say yes if there were other Texas schools

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PostPosted: Thu Mar 19, 2009 10:10 am 
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The WAC needs to stay west. There is more than enough schools in the west to form a good FBS conference.


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PostPosted: Thu Mar 19, 2009 10:37 am 
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If the Sun-Belt schools want to stay east, and the schools in C-USA and MWC feel that they are currently in a conference that is preferable to the WAC, then the WAC expansion candidates HAVE to come from the FCS (Football Championship Subdivsion, formerly Division I-AA).

Likely candidates would be a few Big Sky schools or Cal Poly / UC Davis (Big West / Great West football).
Perhaps some of the Southland schools who are looking to go FBS in football (if the WAC wanted to expand into Texas).

Two obstacles to moving up right now are:
1) There is an NCAA moratorium on FCS -> FBS movement for another few years.
2) These are cost implications for moving football from FCS -> FBS (85 vs. 63 scholarships), and some other costs, maybe the need to convince the NCAA that your FB team will draw 15,000 minimum for home games (although nobody seems to be enforcing that "rule").


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PostPosted: Thu Mar 19, 2009 4:58 pm 
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The question is, does the WAC wait for UC Davis, Sac St., Cal Poly or Portland St. to go to the FBS or do they take who's avalible after the moratorium is up Texas St. or UTSA (2013).

Then there is the much hated option for all of us which is just stay at 9.

Another key is will the Sun Belt want 14 schools, 12 with FB and beg Denver to leave.

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PostPosted: Tue Apr 28, 2009 8:56 pm 
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Within a few years, I see the Sun Belt expunging their non-FB schools, and adding two more FB playing schools:

Division A:
Arkansas State
Florida Atlantic
Georgia Southern
Louisiana-Lafayette
Louisiana-Monroe
Middle Tennessee State

Division B:
Florida International
Louisiana Tech
North Texas
South Alabama
Troy
Western Kentucky

The Sun Belt would adopt a format similar to the ACC for football. Here are the permanent cross-division rivalries:
Arkansas State-North Texas
Florida Atlantic-Florida International
Georgia Southern-Troy
Louisiana-Lafayette-South Alabama
Louisiana-Monroe-Louisiana Tech
Middle Tennessee State-Western Kentucky

Denver would go to the Summit League. As for the other 2 non-FB schools, I have them forming a new all-sports conference with several other non-FB schools in the South Central US:
Arkansas-Little Rock
Centenary
Houston Baptist
Lamar
New Orleans
Oral Roberts
Texas A&M-Corpus Christi
Texas-Arlington* (if they don't add FB)
Texas-Pan American
Texas-San Antonio* (if they don't add FB)

The new conference would go by the name of the Trans America Athletic Conference.


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PostPosted: Tue Apr 28, 2009 9:57 pm 
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pf9 wrote:
Within a few years, I see the Sun Belt expunging their non-FB schools, and adding two more FB playing schools:

Division A:
Arkansas State
Florida Atlantic
Georgia Southern
Louisiana-Lafayette
Louisiana-Monroe
Middle Tennessee State

Division B:
Florida International
Louisiana Tech
North Texas
South Alabama
Troy
Western Kentucky

The Sun Belt would adopt a format similar to the ACC for football. Here are the permanent cross-division rivalries:
Arkansas State-North Texas
Florida Atlantic-Florida International
Georgia Southern-Troy
Louisiana-Lafayette-South Alabama
Louisiana-Monroe-Louisiana Tech
Middle Tennessee State-Western Kentucky

Denver would go to the Summit League. As for the other 2 non-FB schools, I have them forming a new all-sports conference with several other non-FB schools in the South Central US:
Arkansas-Little Rock
Centenary
Houston Baptist
Lamar
New Orleans
Oral Roberts
Texas A&M-Corpus Christi
Texas-Arlington* (if they don't add FB)
Texas-Pan American
Texas-San Antonio* (if they don't add FB)

The new conference would go by the name of the Trans America Athletic Conference.



A couple observations:

* Regardless of economic times, I'd think the Sunbelt would do what they could to cut back on travel costs...not increase it:
East: Florida Atlantic, Florida International, South Alabama, Troy, Western Kentucky, Middle Tennessee State
West: Louisiana-Lafayette, Louisiana-Monroe, Arkansas State, UTSA, Texas St., North Texas

* Lamar and UTSA have added football and will compete in the Southland. Both, along with Texas St., are hoping to upgrade to FBS.

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PostPosted: Sat May 02, 2009 10:05 am 
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Article out of NO (previously posted in another thread)indicating that the SBC Commish will be monitoring the UNO situation before the league decides "to pull the plug".Also,the ULL and ULM athletic departments appear to be relatively safe from the current budget problems.Link at http://blog.nola.com/tpsports/2009/05/s ... _wait.html


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PostPosted: Wed Oct 21, 2009 9:52 am 
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Blog article suggesting that the Sunbelt conference should expand at http://bleacherreport.com/articles/2756 ... and-or-die


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PostPosted: Wed Oct 21, 2009 2:45 pm 
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Some portion of this will likely happen after teh moratorium disappears, however, not as fast and dramatically as the author hopes. Many of these FCS schools will likely reconsider their consultants previous urgings to "moe up" in light of the tenuous nature of their athletics budget and what can happen to a small school during an economic downturn.

Not sure the author was responsbile for the voting box in the side panel, but it seemed to be ignorant of the fact that neither Oral Roberts or UT-PA play football. And the author seems unaware that New Mexico State fled the Sun-belt for the WAC, during the "Great Realignment of 2003".

I keep thinking Denver should join the Summit. Their travel has to be a killer, although there is NO conference where they wouldn't be platinum members of the Frequent Flyer Program. Not sure how a conference "kicks out" a member in good standing, legalistically, the other teams may have to leave and then reform a new conference without said team.

Geographically,

ECU and Marshall are pretty far from other C-USA "rivals". ECU keeps dreaming about the Big East, Marshall supposedly gained a financial windfall by leaving the MAC, however their travel is now ridiculous.

Denver is isolated in the Sun-Belt (they can't be that happy in the Sun-Belt, they just haven't been invited to whatever is "better").

UTEP should be in the MWC (if and when the MWC expands, look for UTEP to apply).

TCU should be in C-USA (I suppose they jumped to the MWC, thinking they supplied critical mass to get the MWC an auto-bid to the BCS, hasn't happened YET).

La Tech is isolated in the WAC (the want to be in C-USA, C-USA doesn't want them. Sun-Belt will take them, they think the money is better in the WAC, and don't want to be associated with LaMonroe).

IF the Sun-Belt somehow gained cache similar to C-USA, you could see some movement such that these two over-lapping conferences re-aligned into two new confences - one Southeast, and one Southwest. However, the Sun-Belt schools are generally smaller than C-USA, and C-USA schools aren't going to want to downgrade their status. So "move-ups" from FCS may factor into this more prominently.

The author of this blog ignores one FACT - SOMEBODY has to be at the bottom of the BCS heap.... and it'll typically be the small schools, and so we're talking the Sun-Belt confernece.... how does he hope to alter this undeniable reality ?


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