NIL and the Transfer Portal may someday destroy the Sun Belt, but perhaps not as thoroughly as a metal tube containing 77-year old technology.
The SEC has scanned the landscape and decided that bigger is better; the more, the merrier. The SEC has all the money in the world, but all isn’t enough. Texas and Oklahoma lines the golden coffers with more gold. Size matters now, and if we’re going to survive, we need size.
The Sun Belt has emerged from 2020’s ooze like a Greek god from an enormous seashell. We have a CVS receipt of reasons to love the Sun Belt. Why screw up a good thing? Unless we’re talking about adding members (which would be ideal), there’s honestly little reason to leave a conference that with a ceiling g so high.
Do it, Commissioner Gill. Send the invitations. It can be a text. Tell them that, because have full hearts, we will accept them into our ranks provided they work to meet our standards. After all, the Sun Belt is a conference on the rise, and we don’t need anchors from a failing ideology dragging us into mediocrity’s lukewarm depths.
New Arkansas State head football coach Butch Jones isn’t in New Orleans to ghost write Shakespeare. He’s seen flanked by well-dressed muscle – TW Ayers and Andre Harris Jr. Jones’ walk-up music isn’t the AC/DC old-standard Chip Lindsey dials up; it’s the Arkansas State fight song. Nonsense does not a Butch Jones confidant.
Nobody asked us, but we’re doing it anyway. Fun Belt Podcast launches Friday (maybe) and it will absolutely open wide the crystal portals of perception.
I sympathize with the level-headed concerns: the vaccine was developed quickly, it has not yet been fully approved by the FDA, and some side effects have been reported in extremely rare cases. If you’ve ever eaten a gas station potato log, you’ve taken bigger risks for far lower stakes.
The conference has seen growth, defections, additions, subtractions, and upgrades. But the process (absolutely necessary in the SBC evolution) was heavy on the unmerciful beatings.
Why do I care? Consider this: the Sun Belt plays the SEC far more than any Privileged Five conference. A normal human-being would glance at these numbers and assume that there is a jolly-good rivalry at play. After all, the Sun Belt has only played its natural peer rival, Conference USA, just 107 times.
You know you remember it. It was September 12, 2020. Louisiana made nationally ranked Iowa State look silly. Kansas State was a 13 point favorite at home, and the Red Wolves told the Wildcats to go eat Kibble. The final hatchet blow: Coastal Carolina leveled Kansas to signal the end of Les Miles. Sun Belt 3, Big XII 0.