Marshall and Southern Miss to the Sun Belt is Imminent, But Why Stop There?

I guess if Trey Schaap says so, then it’s a done deal:

The worst kept secret in college football is finally seeping to the surface. The Marshall Thundering Herd and the Southern Miss Golden Eagles are expected to announce their defection from CUSA – a conference who attempted to poach the Sun Belt out of existence nearly a decade ago. Poetic justice, if Karl Benson every thought to pen some poetry.

Let’s assume that the ink is dry on these deals and that Marshall and Southern Miss are truly newly minted members of Sun Belt that is hardcore flexing on some punks. These are great name-brand additions to to the SBC that fit so neatly into the footprint it’s almost as if they were designed by James Bond’s tailor. Bravo to Keith Gill, a man so low-key and polite he’ll probably give the credit to some random guy on the street.

But Keith, why stop with Marshall and Southern Miss? The American, fresh from getting ghosted by the Mountain West and now in complete panic mode, are attempting to salvage their dignity by grabbing six market-based program – UTSA, UAB, North Texas, Rice, Charlotte and FIU. Meet the new American USA! With Marshall and Southern Miss in the SBC’s pocket, that leaves a few meaty crumbs to consolidate – Old Dominion, Western Kentucky, FAU, UTEP, Middle Tennessee and Louisiana Tech.

Let’s get’em. Why not? They’re going somewhere, so they may as well come here.

Like many Red Wolves fans, I hold a very dim view of Middle Tennessee, who bailed along with WKU a week before the conclusion of the 2012 season. The coals of that hatred still glow. Furthermore, has Middle or WKU grown as brands since their defections? Nope! Both are still amusing basketball schools with flashes of success outside of the hardcourt.

Listen to FunBelt Podcast pick apart the latest realignment news.

But both programs have name value. Both programs immediately deliver rivalry heat upon reentry. And frankly, the SBC could use more talent on the hard court, which is the only reason why we should be considering Old Dominion.

Let’s just toss FIU and UTEP.

That leaves us with Louisiana Tech, a program so toxic the mere mention of their name triggers the vomit reflex for many around the conference. My colleague Dusty Thibodeaux of the Warhawk Report said to me that the Bulldogs would rather drop down to FCS than be included in a conference with ULM. That’s a family thing I don’t understand, but I do understand that Louisiana Tech has consistently delivered solid football, basketball and baseball teams. Surely we can forget about this:

Old Dominion. Western Kentucky. Middle Tennessee. La Tech. They’re going somewhere. Of course, CUSA can rebuild and stack a pile of FCS programs on top of who’s left, but is the FBS really poised to expand?

Let’s get these guys.

Photo Credit: SBC and some bad edits from me

CORRECTION: A previous version of this post mistook FAU for FIU as if you never did that, FU!