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A little something from the Orlando Sentinel (be prepared for ads galore - had to turn off Ad Blocker and I was just inundated with so many annoying ads everywhere) as it pertains to the Sun Belt: Sun Belt staying put?

Not a whole lot in there honestly but I do find it interesting that they aren't trying to be a little more proactive. The commish seems pretty confident that his league will stay intact.
Given how Mike Aresco looks like an idiot every time he speaks, I think the Sun Belt commish is doing a good job of just keeping it close to the vest and saying they have a good product while working behind the scenes. I also tend to believe they're not losing anyone either. But, I also believe they know they have the inside track to possibly add 2 more schools once CUSA has 2-4 teams* picked off by the American, particularly after the long assumed UT Arlington and Little Rock departures for basketball-centric conference homes so they stay at 12 full members. I'm sure the Sun Belt has and is of some interest from nearly every CUSA school looking for a life raft that gets left behind in the AAC party. They almost don't need to puff their chests and act like they can add when they're quietly confident there's interest in them when the dust settles.

*I did see somewhere that while the AAC is talking adding up to get up to 14, Navy wouldn't be thrilled with that idea, as it likes having more chances to play its non-conference games. Navy has leverage to just leave if they want, but the AAC needs their brand in the league for football purposes so, the AAC has to think about that when going out to add. Given they were rebuffed by Colorado State and Air Force (I think AFA wanted to go much more, but once CSU bailed because of external pressure from its booster base, AFA knew there wasn't really a partner in it and they decided to bail too, in addition to booster backlash), there's not much left to pick from. UAB is coming but, it probably ends up being Charlotte as the other team, plus one or two if there is a compromise to get to 12 of FAU, UTSA, Rice, Old Dominion or North Texas.

I think the Sun Belt knows it could wait it out and land Marshall and Southern Miss. If not them, ODU and JMU certainly could plug right in. The latter they'd have to move someone in their "east" block over to the west (probably Troy).
 

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Given how Mike Aresco looks like an idiot every time he speaks, I think the Sun Belt commish is doing a good job of just keeping it close to the vest and saying they have a good product while working behind the scenes. I also tend to believe they're not losing anyone either. But, I also believe they know they have the inside track to possibly add 2 more schools once CUSA has 2-4 teams* picked off by the American, particularly after the long assumed UT Arlington and Little Rock departures for basketball-centric conference homes so they stay at 12 full members. I'm sure the Sun Belt has and is of some interest from nearly every CUSA school looking for a life raft that gets left behind in the AAC party. They almost don't need to puff their chests and act like they can add when they're quietly confident there's interest in them when the dust settles.

*I did see somewhere that while the AAC is talking adding up to get up to 14, Navy wouldn't be thrilled with that idea, as it likes having more chances to play its non-conference games. Navy has leverage to just leave if they want, but the AAC needs their brand in the league for football purposes so, the AAC has to think about that when going out to add. Given they were rebuffed by Colorado State and Air Force (I think AFA wanted to go much more, but once CSU bailed because of external pressure from its booster base, AFA knew there wasn't really a partner in it and they decided to bail too, in addition to booster backlash), there's not much left to pick from. UAB is coming but, it probably ends up being Charlotte as the other team, plus one or two if there is a compromise to get to 12 of FAU, UTSA, Rice, Old Dominion or North Texas.

I think the Sun Belt knows it could wait it out and land Marshall and Southern Miss. If not them, ODU and JMU certainly could plug right in. The latter they'd have to move someone in their "east" block over to the west (probably Troy).
Agree completely about Aresco, but he did almost pluck Co State & the AFA from the Mountain West. He will continue to throw around the money that his league pays out to each member currently, which is a LOT more than what the Sun Belt currently doles out. Yes, we all know that will change, but he can still mention that his league has Memphis (probably not for long), SMU, Tulsa, Tulane, Temple, etc. Some Sun Belt schools might want to be associated with those universities instead of their current members. Plus, we all know that school administrators don't always make the best decisions.

I wonder how many former Sun Belt programs that left for C-USA are in the background trying to find out if they can return. Nobody likes to admit their mistakes and walk back with their tail between their legs, but honestly, I have a feeling some might just be willing to do that. Schools like Western Kentucky, Middle Tennessee, Old Dominion, LA Tech being the major ones. UAB and Charlotte will most likely get offered membership by the AAC I would think. Let's face it, the C-USA they left for is certainly not the C-USA that is currently there or will be left when others leave for the AAC.

I guess my mindset if I were leading the Sun Belt is that look, we have had amazing success bringing teams up from FCS to FBS football (App State & Coastal Carolina esp), so let's look at another program that is clearly ready and that's JMU. I would go get them before someone else does. Bringing those schools up is what has gotten the Sun Belt to where they are today.

Anyway...
 

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I'm guessing this was Northeastern. I could see it being BU as well. Wild. Probably quick and simple thanks but no thanks. If it is the former, kind of aligns with what has been going around in recent years that NU is really none too happy with the CAA these days.
Wow. I have to admit that although I've thought of some crazy things that could happen, this one certainly never crossed my mind. I suppose a school from Boston being in the Missouri Valley Conference wouldn't be any different than a school from St Louis being in the Atlantic-10.
 

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Conference USA grasping at straws to push this regional realignment among them, Sun Belt and AAC. It's not going to happen. The league proposing it has the least amount of leverage. It makes a lot of sense and in a world of sense and logic it should be done, but nobody is backing out of what they're in if you're in the AAC and SBC. The article mentions the whole Aresco wants to push the AAC to 16 teams too, which is just absolute crazy talk.


It mentions how one proposal would be a Southwest League of Arkansas State, UL-Lafayette, UL-Monroe, Louisiana Tech, North Texas, SMU, Texas State, Tulane, UTEP, UTSA, Rice and Tulsa (author left out Tulsa but says 12 teams)

Then my guess at a Southeast would be Memphis, Southern Miss, UAB, South Alabama, Middle Tennesee, Western Kentucky, Georgia State, Georgia Southern, Troy, South Florida, FAU, FIU

East Coast league of: Coastal Carolina, Charlotte, App State, East Carolina, Old Dominion, Marshall, Temple, Liberty, Navy, UConn, UMass, JMU

Of course, this leaves Wichita out of the conversation entirely and where would they land. Memphis would probably want nothing to do with that league, and probably have a foot out the door anyhow once the Big 12 comes calling. I suppose it would be possible to stick Wichita in the league with Memphis and only be at 11 members for football, move Georgia Southern into that east league. That league with Wichita might have a shot a multi-bid in basketball, but I wouldn't be confident in it.

Navy would not want any part of that east league. They can bail for independent status if they wanted. If they do that and you add Georgia Southern because Wichita is in the Southeast league, that's a one-bid league which is nothing Temple wants to be associated with I imagine. That Texas-based league might be fun, but it'd also probably be average at best/and definitely only a one-bid league in basketball.

So, long way of saying this idea just isn't going to go through.
 

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Of course the C-USA members will endorse this proposal. There is no way in hell those other 2 leagues will go for it. Aresco, with an ego the size of Texas, still thinks the AAC is an elite football league and no way will "come down" to the C-USA level. The Sun Belt is feeling really good about where they are right now, as they should. But, they have to hope they don't lose a ton to the AAC. It is going to be pretty interesting to see what happens among these leagues.
 

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Of course the C-USA members will endorse this proposal. There is no way in hell those other 2 leagues will go for it. Aresco, with an ego the size of Texas, still thinks the AAC is an elite football league and no way will "come down" to the C-USA level. The Sun Belt is feeling really good about where they are right now, as they should. But, they have to hope they don't lose a ton to the AAC. It is going to be pretty interesting to see what happens among these leagues.
The funny part about it is that CUSA is asking for regionalization when they were one of the conferences at the forefront of just adding a ton of schools anywhere and being thousands of miles apart to make a league in which its members had no loyalty to one another.

It's funny to go back to the 90s when the formation of CUSA and Mountain West/WAC split happened to look and see how things could have ended up differently and see that it's unlikely that any move might have saved everyone from the situation we're in today.
 

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Aresco previously told CBS Sports he is not worried about a clause in the AAC's ESPN contract that allows the league to rework (lower) its payout if it lost UConn, Houston, Cincinnati and UCF.
This is my favorite part. Not that he’s holding pat and “good for him,” but he doesn’t see that it’s going to blow up and we’re all eating popcorn.
 

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This is my favorite part. Not that he’s holding pat and “good for him,” but he doesn’t see that it’s going to blow up and we’re all eating popcorn.
I mean, I get trying to show strength, a positive attitude and a certain resolve, but at a certain point you need to also acknowledge the reality of the situation. He is coming off as extremely arrogant and completely out to lunch with the whole situation, which I have a hard time believing he doesn't understand what is happening.
 

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What if the WAC just invited UTEP, UTSA, North Texas, Rice, Louisana Tech and Texas State from FBS, Northern Arizona, Incarnate Word, Houston Baptist and West Texas A&M from FCS/D2 and pushed their membership to 22 then split off the leagues, restoring the WAC as an FBS league, and creating a WAC by another name in FCS?

WAC FBS: UTEP, UTSA, North Texas, Rice, Louisiana Tech, Texas State, New Mexico State, Lamar, Sam Houston State, Stephen F Austin + Grand Canyon (no-FB), maybe UT Arlington to go to 12 in all sports if they're inclined.

WAC FCS: Northern Arizona, Incarnate Word, Houston Baptist, West Texas A&M, Abeline Christian, Southern Utah, Dix/Utah Tech, UTRGV, Tarleton State + Utah Valley, Cal Baptist, Seattle (no-FBs)

Fantasy land and it'll never happen (big questions auto bids and minimum requirements for how many sports are sponsored). It also assumes a lot in terms of AAC expansion. Let's just say the AAC only adds UAB and one more, but it's like a Charlotte or Marshall. Those leftover CUSA schools would have to pair with Liberty and get JMU to jump up to hit the 8 all-sport football members, then figure out affiliates. I'd just assume Southern Miss would take a Sun Belt invite and plug right in where Texas State would (unlikely) depart. But, while CUSA throws around this regionalization thing, this probably is an easier ask even if it makes them look bad.
 

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Anything that keeps the WAC alive is good with me. I still can't believe that league hasn't died at least twice already. At this point, I want them to keep on going forever.
 

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I can't imagine that the existing leaves would agree to share any playoff/TV money with a new FBS league.
This is why I referred to it as fantasy land. The unwillingness to add a new league is what will keep Conference USA trudging along as the home for misfit toys and FBS dreams as the worst conference in the land. The ideal scenario for the P5 is that the AAC, Sun Belt, Mountain West and possibly even the MAC cannibalize CUSA so it doesn't exist anymore and one more at-large spot for them...but don't count on that one either.

The WAC does have the ability to go back up though, per a bylaw. It's just the CFP doesn't have to give them money if they do (https://forgotten5.com/2018/05/05/spring-musings-what-if-football-returned-to-the-wac/ - Ignore the person's team guessing since those are dumb, but the part about "previously meeting the definition of a FBS league" applies to the WAC). There's an avenue for it, it just requires all the teams in the east of CUSA to find new conference homes in pre-existing leagues, so there's a net-zero gain of new FBS leagues.

I was just having some fun with it, because it's not going to happen and this thread is a safe haven for people being wrong and stupid.
 

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I was just having some fun with it, because it's not going to happen and this thread is a safe haven for people being wrong and stupid.
Amen!! I find this topic very interesting and enjoy reading all the crazy ideas and suggestions that the posters in here have in regards to possible moves. Some people love the coaching silly season, some love this topic.
 

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Southland and Ohio Valley announce football scheduling alliance for 2022 & 2023: Alliance

They will focus on competitive balance and limiting travel. Huh, how about that?
 

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So that proposal is CUSA to the American to combine and split the leagues regionally. It also has another proposal, with the Sun Belt to do the same.

It has some interesting words from CUSA commish, Temple's AD and some others.

The proposed West is: SMU, North Texas, Rice, UTEP, Southern Miss, Tulane, Tulsa, Louisiana Tech, Wichita State, UAB, Memphis and UTSA (Navy would be in this league for football I'd imagine)

East is: East Carolina, Charlotte, Old Dominion, Temple, Marshall, FAU, FIU, South Florida, Middle Tennessee, Western Kentucky and "two potential new additions" (Gotta think at least James Madison...probably Liberty too unless they convince a Sun Belt school).

It's totally unrealistic, and why would the American care about the rest of these schools when it can just pick the 3-4 best ones and call it a day?
 

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Memphis has got to be on the phone with the MW or A10, because although these schools make sense for football, their basketball team deserves much better competition.
 

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So that proposal is CUSA to the American to combine and split the leagues regionally. It also has another proposal, with the Sun Belt to do the same.

It has some interesting words from CUSA commish, Temple's AD and some others.

The proposed West is: SMU, North Texas, Rice, UTEP, Southern Miss, Tulane, Tulsa, Louisiana Tech, Wichita State, UAB, Memphis and UTSA (Navy would be in this league for football I'd imagine)

East is: East Carolina, Charlotte, Old Dominion, Temple, Marshall, FAU, FIU, South Florida, Middle Tennessee, Western Kentucky and "two potential new additions" (Gotta think at least James Madison...probably Liberty too unless they convince a Sun Belt school).

It's totally unrealistic, and why would the American care about the rest of these schools when it can just pick the 3-4 best ones and call it a day?
Yeah, that's not happening lol. I'm glad that some leaders are starting to speak common sense though, but honestly, this won't happen. I doubt that C-USA commish would be doing/saying these things if her league was operating from a position of power. In addition, whatever side gets Memphis has to to accept the fact that they are most likely gone within a few years.

I can't imagine Temple would be all too happy with that arrangement.
 

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Memphis has got to be on the phone with the MW or A10, because although these schools make sense for football, their basketball team deserves much better competition.
You would think Gonzaga would be on the phone with someone but they don't appear to be, which surprises me as well.
 
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