Sports Blog Nation has been doing a great job, for quite some time, of covering the ins and outs of the revenue sports of all the power conferences. Whether it is the Big East, Big 10, Big 12, Pac 12, ACC, or SEC, every team within those conferences has its own representative SBN blog, and every one of them keeps their fans in the know about the day to day newsworthy activities of their favorite team.
Well that's nice, but what about everybody else? There are 351 teams that play Division I basketball, but only 67 of them play in the aforementioned power conferences. Two years ago I helped Ben Miraski re-launch Mid-Major Madness, and he and I, and then later Parks Smith in addition to a handful of other writers, have done a more than admirable job of bridging that gap so that the other 284 Division I basketball teams have at least some form of representation. Within the constraints of covering that many teams when you have about 20 times more teams than writers, of course.
Football is not quite as stark, but it's still lacking. Heading into this season, there are now 128 Division I football programs, and exactly half of them are represented by the "Power 5" (those aforementioned conferences minus the Big East). That leaves a whole 64 teams without a voice within our network!
O.K., you caught me, it isn't that bleak. Bryan M. Vance and his crew over at Hustle Belt do a bang-up job of handling the news as it pertains to the Mid-American Conference, while Jeremy Mauss and what I've heard is a swarming horde of typewriter-wielding monkeys makes it rain all over the Mountain West Conference.
That's fantastic, but even once you add onto that Brigham Young's status as a football independent with their own SBN representation, plus the Connecticut, UTEP, South Florida and Cincinnati blogs, you're still left with a massive chunk of college football teams. A little over 20% of Division I - the entirety of the Sun Belt Conference, almost all of Conference USA and the American Athletic Conference, Army and Navy still have teams whose fans have no dedicated voice to speak of within the SB Nation family.
Here is where Underdog Dynasty comes in. We will seek to do what Ben and Parks have so admirably done over at Mid-Major Madness, though admittedly on a slightly smaller scale. On a weekly basis, we will do our best to provide the fans of these under- or unrepresented teams the coverage that their football programs deserve, so that they can finally have a dedicated place to call "home" for all of their highs and lows, their facts and opinions, agreements and disagreements.
Our initial staff consists of over three dozen writers covering almost every single team within that scope, with each writer tackling the beat for the team they hold nearest and dearest to their hearts. We will do our best to provide both the small things (breaking stories when they are happening) as well as the large (more analytical work), so you can finally have a central location for all your favorite team's news.
Due to the timing of the site launch, we will be relying on the immaculate Bill Connelly's season previews to introduce our coverage demographic this season, but as the season goes along we hope to preview and/or review as many games as our collective eyeballs will let us see, as well as taking a closer look at the things that pique our curiosity.
Our opening salvo of original content hopefully provides you with some idea of where we hope to take the site down the road, but feel free to make comments and suggestions every day about what you do and don't like, what you'd like to see more or less of, and so on. We promise to wholeheartedly give an unbiased ear to your concerns before we ignore them and do what we want anyway.
Welcome to the new family, everyone. Now let's get it on!