Finally, the Sun Belt will have a championship game.
It was easy to see coming, with SBC commissioner Karl Benson working for the past several years to increase and consolidate the Sun Belt footprint so that a championship made both common and fiscal sense. With the 2017 Spring Meeting came the official word: the Sun Belt would split football into East and West divisions, and a championship game would determine the conference Sheriff.
Let’s have those sweet deets!
The Sun Belt is now a house divided
Sun Belt Football shall be split into two mighty divisions, creatively dubbed EAST and WEST.
|SBC West||SBC East|
|Arkansas State||Appalachian State|
|South Alabama||Georgia State|
Powerful forces will determine the site of the Championship Game
Rather than selecting a neutral site, or picking a Sun Belt site randomly, the Sun Belt will allow the game’s mightiest brokers of power to determine the champ site. Per the Sun Belt press release:
The winners of each division will meet in the championship game. The game will be played at the home stadium of the divisional winner that has the best ranking in the College Football Playoff (CFP) poll.
When do we light this candle?
Can we do it now? Nope. Divisional play, with an 8-game in-conference schedule, starts in 2018.
Let’s have that penetrating analysis
By in large, the natural rivalries remain in place, and both divisions make geographical sense. Yes, it would have been nice to see Troy in the West with its longtime rival Arkansas State, or its in-state foe South Alabama. (In fact, the only in-state cross divisional rivalry is Jags vs Trojans.) But nothing can be perfect, right?
At a glance, the West appears to be the easier route to the Sun Belt Championship Game. I say this knowing that nothing can be predicted in the Sun Belt.
What else happened at the Spring Meeting?
It was revealed that Sun Belt is making more bank. A lot more bank. Per the news release, “Sun Belt institutions have seen their annual distribution skyrocket by nearly 200% since 2013. Sun Belt revenue distribution has increased by 2,000% from a decade ago.”
Also, the Sun Belt will borrow an idea from the SEC and approved “a collaborative instant replay system for football.” That’s cool.
Lastly, there was a shift in leadership. Texas State University President Dr. Denise Trauth’s two-year term as Sun Belt President came to a close, and now Georgia State President Dr. Mark Becker will replace her as Sun Belt President.
Quote of the Day
“Empirical evidence exists that clearly shows the Sun Belt’s upward trends.” – Karl Benson