Fresno St. Alum wrote:
La Tech and UTSA to the SBC soon? That gets him the 12 he wants
I'm with ya. Think they solidify LA as SB country, and UTSA gives another Texas market. That said, could easily see UTSA and Texas St. as best option. Also, UTSA and App St, to enter the NC area.
I believe Benson wants at least 12 for stability. Which I believe could mean more than 12.
If I'm the Sun Belt, I add Louisiana Tech, Georgia State, Appalachian State, UT-San Antonio and if North Texas leaves then New Mexico State (Texas State).
Feel bad for Idaho who has no where to go but independent or back down to Big Sky.
Thing is, I think it's pretty clear based on the WAC issues going on for a year and with Benson leaving the WAC for the Sun Belt, that the Sun Belt will always be stable now. It's simple math almost: only CUSA/MWC is a threat to take SB schools. And how many of those schools are even appealing enough to make the list? No. Texas, yes, big time. FIU or FAU? Sure, likely 1 or the other. After that, it's pretty stable...don't see Troy, MTSU also leaving. And that's because the CUSA/MWC has WAC targets like Utah St and SJSU sitting there. Also we know Temple. So if they are at 16 and brought in all those top candidates (UNT, USU, SJSU, Temple) they'd be at 19 with 20 for football. That's a huge conference. At that point, you might even see a school like Idaho or NMSU jump up the list solely so that the 6 school "mountain" division.
But in my mind, I think they could still expand beyond 16, but I think they might not be in a rush. And if they do, I still think 18-20 would be the number with media markets being key. Pretty much seems a lock that Temple, UNT, USU, SJSU would get 1st dibs.
Now back to the Sun Belt...
They are at 10/11.
So if they goto 12/13, they likely just bring in a LA Tech and a UTSA. And if they lose all the schools they possibly could: UNT, FIU AND FAU, and lets throw in a Troy too...then they'd be down to 8/9. Guess what though? They'd still have all the WAC schools as options. So for #9, they bring in Texas St. For #10, they go with NMSU. For #11, they can take their first pick of the FCS upgrade schools via Appalachian St...since App St. would upgrade at this point knowing the last spot they have is the SB and if they pass, they are stuck in FCS. For #12, still a ton of choices. There is GA State in Atlanta. There is GA Southern. There's Jax St. They's Lamar. There's SHSU. Even Charlotte would have to consider it if they were passed over by CUSA/MWC, which is likely to happen initially since they just started football. Meanwhile, the WAC has no options. But the Sunbelt, due to location, not only has options, but a ton of options in or near their current footprint. They dont' need to reach out to Idaho if App St. is in their backyard.
Just seems SB is in a good spot, despite all the other conferences moving around so much. it's the benefit of being at the bottom: less schools leave. Anyone think the MAC will be looking for replacements? Likely not...oddly, like the SB, they have more stability than many others.