Today, the sun shines a bit brighter for the Sun Belt, with national-scale success polishing unfamiliar luster onto the the SBC brand. Over the off season, the Sun Belt experienced its usual coaching turnover, but this time, the conference took a potpourri of approaches to filling vacant positions.

But let’s pretend these Power Five snobs decided to break away from the system that has nourished them to create a Super League. Who gets left out? Pitt? Colorado? West Virginia? Vanderbilt? Sure! But also Arkansas, Michigan State, Washington and Utah. Suddenly, those programs would feel the second-class distinction felt by a select group of programs.

After all, one of the things that actually worked for the Red Wolves in 2020 was the offense. In Heckendorf’s two years running the offense, A-State total offensive has ranked 26th and 33rd in the nation. In 2020, the Red Wolves ranked second in the nation for passing. This is with an offensive line that hasn’t really dominated and established a run game.

Life champion aside, Butch Jones is a legitimate football champion. He replaced Brian Kelly at both Central Michigan and Cincinnati, and he delivered two conference championships for both programs. He signed the No. 7 recruiting class in the nation in 2014 and the No. 4 recruiting class in the nation in 2015. Overall, Butch Jones is 84–54 (34-27 at Tennessee) with four bowl victories.