Now is the time. Boise State has been decent, but not dominant like they were under former coach Chris Petersen, who is now at Washington. Under Petersen they were a powerhouse and nationally renown, going 92-12 in his 7 years.
Bryan Harsin, the current coach since 2014, has gone 52-15. He’s already accumulated more losses than in the previous era altogether. San Diego State has been hit or miss as well, as the Mountain West Conference is so erratic. Fresno State has been decent, but definitely not consistent.
The only direct competition for the throne lies in the American Athletic Conference. Upon closer inspection it’s carried by UCF, with honorable mentions of Memphis and USF. Houston had a cool run only for Tom Herman to leverage it into the Texas job. They haven’t recovered.
Memphis has had explosive offenses, but they keep losing coordinators and key position coaches. So aside from the AAC, there is no competition.
Let’s take a look at what the Sun Belt has done. As we all know, we live in a society that is not “what have you done?” It’s “what have you done for me lately?” Well, lately, the big upsets and near upsets have come from the Sun Belt, courtesy of Troy and Appalachian State. Both programs, along with Louisiana and a consistent Arkansas State, have made for a strong – maybe strongest, group of five conference.
In the last two seasons we’ve seen Troy take down LSU and Nebraska, respectively. App State went to Happy Valley and nearly did the improbable. No, I don’t mean as in they were in it a few series, or maybe for a quarter or the half. They had the lead. They should’ve won in regulation. Then had the chance in overtime.
Both teams, along with the rising Louisiana and Arkansas State, make for a very interesting conference. We all know the strength lies in the depth. Rather than be just a top heavy conference, there is actual depth. We also often see any of these teams can beat each other on any given week.
Add in the marquee out of conference games, the Sun Belt must take advantage. If they do, and accumulate the wins or make true contests out of them, we could see a giant revenue increase and more national attention and games.
The time is now. Looking at you Sun Belt. The throne is there for the taking.