The Sun Belt made it clear that they were not to belt out of the conference realignment conversation. On Sept. 9, commissioner Keith Gill said. “Throughout this process, if we identify a school that adds value to the Sun Belt, we’ll certainly consider them for membership,” Sun Belt Sports wrote.
This could mean a number of things. Perhaps commissioner Gill knows that some current members of the Sun Belt are considering leaving, maybe the Sun Belt has already made some unofficial offers or it may not even be that deep.
If the Sun Belt has a suspicion that some of their current members might leave, the most likely suspects would be Coastal Carolina or Appalachian State.
Coastal Carolina is a program in college football that has consistently held a big name along with a competitive sports program and active crowd engagement. They look to repeat another great season as the program remains ranked for the third week in a row in the Associated Press poll.
Appalachian State is currently holding a 3-1 record as they move into week four and the two-time Sun Belt champions would make a great addition to any conference. These two programs have what conferences look for and it makes sense that if they were leaving, their replacements would need to be found quickly.
If the statement was released to slowly ease the idea of new programs being initiated, who those programs are would be valuable information. The Sun Belt is the only conference that has never played for a Bowl Championship Series or a New Years’ Six bowl. Adding a team that might increase their chances of playing in one of these bowl games would greatly acknowledge the conference.
It has been some time since this program has made a big impact, but Fresno State’s competitiveness would create noise in the Sun Belt. Marshall Thundering Herd is another team that I would not mind being in the conference. Without any factual information, predicting which teams would hypothetically join the conference is like counting chickens before they hatch, you simply do not know what will come.
Perhaps the statement was released just for the press and I am reading too much into it, but it is quite the headline. With college football changing and conferences switching/growing, a statement had to be released. Many Louisiana fans have been wondering what our program’s position is with the conference realignments. One thing for sure is that the Sun Belt is a quality football conference that has competitors who would draw major attention.
Commissioner Gill said, “We feel very good about the quality of our schools, we take pride in who we are, and will continue to build our programs and our great conference.” The program remains a competitive Group of Five Conference and the commissioner wants to ensure the best for its future.