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Offseason of Change in the Sun Belt?

By Southern Pigskin Staff
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As conference expansion continues, there are still whispers about adding a 12th member to the Sun Belt.

As the 2014 season comes to an end and the offseason blues sink in, there is finally a moment to catch our breath.

The Sun Belt closed out the season with a bowl game loss by South Alabama in the Camelia Bowl, a New Orleans Bowl win by Louisiana, a loss by Arkansas State in the GoDaddy Bowl, and a Sun Belt championship title held by Georgia Southern.  

The next step is to look more deeply into the offseason and what it will look like for the Sun Belt Conference. With changes being made all across the board, the offseason should be full of revivals for some teams and fine-tuning for others.

But as conference expansion continues, there are still whispers about adding a 12th member to the conference. The question still remains as to whether or not a championship game would be allowed under the 12-team quota.

“I believe that a football championship game is important, whether it’s done with 12 teams or less. The Sun Belt and Big 12 and American didn’t have a championship game this year, and I think we all missed out on an opportunity to be on the big stage on the last week of the season. We can expect in the next 90 days a decision may be made regarding whether a conference can have a championship game without a 12th team,” said Sun Belt Conference commissioner Karl Benson, per Alabama Local News.

But alas, money remains at the top of the list as one of the issues surrounding this topic.

“I would expect that there definitely would be revenues generated that would offset expenses, from television rights fees to ticket sales,” said UL athletic director Scott Farmer, per The Daily Advertiser. “I would anticipate that there would be enough revenue in the bucket to meet expenses.”

But whether this would be an advantage or disadvantage to the Sun Belt Conference is still up for debate.  With the discussion still up in the air, the question will linger throughout the offseason.

“I don’t know. We haven’t even gotten there yet to determine if it would be just 11 teams and somehow determine the champion,” said Benson, per AL News. “But I think there would be support for a championship game.”


Written by Kenzie Stanford