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Harry

The Sun Belt Conference continues to rise within the ‘Group of Five’

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“In every key indicator that can be used to evaluate the strength of a conference, the Sun Belt has risen in recent years,” Benson said. “In contrast to some leagues, our attendance is up and we’ve provided record end-of-year distribution to our schools that is 10 times greater that it was in 2014.”

n 2013, the Sun Belt Conference – along with a few other conferences – were forced to make drastic changes in their alignment. The Sun Belt lost Florida Atlantic, Florida International, Middle Tennessee State, Western Kentucky and North Texas.

In 2014, the Sun Belt went into action, bringing in five new teams including Georgia Southern, Texas State, Appalachian State and Georgia State to fill the void.

Over the next few seasons, the Sun Belt was widely believed to be towards the bottom of the “group of five” Conferences, which includes the Conference USA, American, Mid-American and Mountain West conferences in addition to the Sun Belt. That is no longer the case. Benson believes the conference has quickly climbed the ranks within the Group of Five.

“The Sun Belt was labeled so long at the bottom of the 10 conferences and that is no longer the case,” Benson said. “We’ve established the brand, established the credibility. As we compete with our four peer conferences, our goal remains the same: to be the highest-rated league in the group of five and send our team to one of the New Year’s Day games. There’s no reason we can’t do that and do it this year.”

read more: 

https://www.troymessenger.com/2018/07/24/the-sun-belt-conference-continues-to-rise-within-the-group-of-five/

 

 

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I hate that these slap d*ick AD's, commishes, and even coaches have conceded to calling themselves "G5". Grow a pair and demand inclusion. The media and the predators that sit in the NCAA and rich schools created this for monetary gain to exclude our type programs from being able to get a real piece of the pie. And it has worked beautifully for them. 

The AAC is doing it right...They are looking for their competitive niche (basketball) and they are at least trying to force themselves onto the map.  

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The problem is that there's a huge gap between the the budgets of the top schools in the AAC and the top schools in CUSA. That is always going to be a factor.   Can we grow? Yes, but not with schools we're associated with.  We need to grow along with the UH's and Cincinnati's of the world, not USM an Charlotte.

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11 hours ago, SAGreenFan said:

The problem is that there's a huge gap between the the budgets of the top schools in the AAC and the top schools in CUSA. That is always going to be a factor.   Can we grow? Yes, but not with schools we're associated with.  We need to grow along with the UH's and Cincinnati's of the world, not USM an Charlotte.

 Need more TV revenue to accomplish this.

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The Belt has done a few good things, the best of which was adding App State.  Arkansas State has improved in quality and attendance.  Troy has maintained a strong presence in spite of losing their long-time coach.  

That's about it.  The rest of the programs are 'meh' or lower.  

Louisiana, Texas State and South Alabama rise and fall slightly each year while staying in the meh category.  Georgia State started at the bottom and hasn't moved much higher.  Georgia Southern has fallen.  ULM gets an occasional win that they shouldn't but their attendance and budget smack of Division II.  Coastal Carolina contributes nothing to football, although they do have an outstanding baseball program.  

When you're at the bottom any movement for the better is improvement but that doesn't move the conference past anyone yet.

I do wish them well, however.  I'm for improvement in all G5 conferences as well as college football as a whole.

Edited by GrayEagle
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1 hour ago, GrayEagle said:

The Belt has done a few good things, the best of which was adding App State.  Arkansas State has improved in quality and attendance.  Troy has maintained a strong presence in spite of losing their long-time coach.  

That's about it.  The rest of the programs are 'meh' or lower.  

Louisiana, Texas State and South Alabama rise and fall slightly each year while staying in the meh category.  Georgia State started at the bottom and hasn't moved much higher.  Georgia Southern has fallen.  ULM gets an occasional win that they shouldn't but their attendance and budget smack of Division II.  Coastal Carolina contributes nothing to football, although they do have an outstanding baseball program.  

When you're at the bottom any movement for the better is improvement but that doesn't move the conference past anyone yet.

I do wish them well, however.  I'm for improvement in all G5 conferences as well as college football as a whole.

I like the Ragin’ Cajuns, but I can’t bring myself to call them “Louisiana”.   They are Louisiana-Lafayette or ULaLa to me.  

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The Sun Belt definitely had a better on field product last season than they've previously had.   But its going to be a real challenge for the Sun Belt to maintain its position, let alone gain momentum.  They just don't have the budgets, media coverage and fan base support to move up in the football world.

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11 hours ago, UNT 90 Grad said:

I like the Ragin’ Cajuns, but I can’t bring myself to call them “Louisiana”.   They are Louisiana-Lafayette or ULaLa to me.  

You can thank LSU for that.  

Tulane was the original University of Louisiana many years ago.  It decided to go private so it archived the University of Louisiana name.  Southwestern Louisiana Institute had become large wanted a name change that sounded more prestigious so they went to Tulane to see if they ever planned to use the University of Louisiana name again.  Tulane said no so SLI filed with the state legislature to change their name to the University of Louisiana.  When the bill was presented in the legislature, that august body, composed of a majority of LSU grads decided that it would give it too much prestige over Louisiana State which is usually the second banana in a state's pecking order.  So, they said that the Lafayette school could use the University of Louisiana if they could get another university in Louisiana to also be called the University of Louisiana at (wherever).  SLI was to use the University of Louisiana at Lafayette.  Well, they got Northeast Louisiana University to agree to change their name to University of Louisiana at Monroe but since the name was so long they preferred to use ULM.  University of Louisiana at Lafayette was even longer.  Louisiana-Lafayette didn't fit the marquee either so they just used the sign that's actually on the entrance to their campus...University of Louisiana.  Because ULM did not want to use either Louisiana-Monroe or UL-Monroe and I guess because the Lafayette campus was much older, they deferred using the term University of Louisiana.  Long story short; anytime you see Louisiana or University of Louisiana it refers to the Lafayette campus.

The Sun Belt Conference uses Louisiana referring to Lafayette.  Some sports magazines also use Louisiana alone.  It may take years for 'Louisiana' to catch on but perhaps in twenty or thirty years through common usage it will happen.  It's happened for me.

 

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On 7/26/2018 at 4:14 PM, oldguystudent said:

Cut to about eighteen months from now when three quarters of the conference bolts and the remaining schools drop football. 

@Benson'd 

Can lightening strike Karl Benson again?  First the WAC and then the Belt.  I don't think that he's the worst commissioner but he sure seems snake bit.

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19 hours ago, UNT 90 Grad said:

I like the Ragin’ Cajuns, but I can’t bring myself to call them “Louisiana”.   They are Louisiana-Lafayette or ULaLa to me.  

They're USL to me.

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On 7/26/2018 at 4:14 PM, oldguystudent said:

Cut to about eighteen months from now when three quarters of the conference bolts and the remaining schools drop football. 

@Benson'd 

Where is 3/4 of the Belt going to bolt to, if there was a place they would already be gone.  

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7 hours ago, GrandGreen said:

Where is 3/4 of the Belt going to bolt to, if there was a place they would already be gone.  

Well, the first iteration of WAC exodus went and made their own conference. 

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54 minutes ago, oldguystudent said:

Well, the first iteration of WAC exodus went and made their own conference. 

Yes, but if a bottom of the barrel conference splits, I don't see any advantage to that move.   Losing your NCAA basketball guarantee and just playing in a smaller conference does not make competitive or financial sense. 

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12 minutes ago, wardly said:

I don't see much difference between CUSA and the Sun Belt.

Neither does the college football media. Along with the MAC, the SBCUSA are just looked at as the teams the P5s buy for OOC wins...

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Regarding the AAC.

If you preach P6 and inclusion, eventually the day arrives when fans are tired of hearing about it and never seeing it. Their anger is going to turn to the AD because he failed. Their president and AD for failing to get it done also.

There is a reason why most smart business people adhere to the idea of under-promise and over-deliver. The AAC isn't going to be able to deliver so why build your marketing around something you have no control over and almost certainly cannot deliver?

The Sun Belt?

Right now there are two coaches I expect to see be the next to hit the coaching powerball. Neal Brown at Troy and Scott Satterfield at Appalachian State. Really good coaches. Blake Anderson at A-State? If he lays an egg this year he's toast, serious talk among people with actual money that just breaking .500 and making a bowl won't be sufficient to buy him another year.

South Alabama made a good hire. Steve Campbell was very successful in the Southland and takes over a team that has managed some nice wins (Miss St and San Diego St) but has been plagued by an inconsistent offense. Campbell will fix that. Billy Napier at Louisiana may have been the best off-season hire, making real noise in recruiting. Figure three years max and he's off to big money.

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5 hours ago, Arkstfan said:

Blake Anderson at A-State? If he lays an egg this year he's toast, serious talk among people with actual money that just breaking .500 and making a bowl won't be sufficient to buy him another year.

He's sort of like the Belt's version of C-USA's Frank Wilson, still mentioned for new jobs while the fanbase is ready to let him loose unless things improve drastically.

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16 hours ago, Harry said:

He's sort of like the Belt's version of C-USA's Frank Wilson, still mentioned for new jobs while the fanbase is ready to let him loose unless things improve drastically.

On paper Anderson looks good. 2014 wasn't a great season but a great coaching job, had to start a true freshman on the defensive line, the next year the kid was #2 on the depth chart, going into junior year he was #3. The turmoil clobbered recruiting. But 2016 and 2017 when you drop 7 games where you out-gained your opponent or (like 2016) return four of five on the OL with several all-conference players and rushing goes down and sacks go up. Something is wrong. Anderson lost his OL coach and his OC (now OC at Florida State) and has been stumbling ever since.

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