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State of the Sun Belt

Media Days are off in New Orleans and commissioner Karl Benson addressed the current state of affairs in the Fun Belt.

Louisiana Monroe v Georgia Southern
Who will commissioner Benson be handing the conference title trophy to this December?
Photo by Todd Bennett/Getty Images

Sun Belt Media Days are finally here and commissioner Benson has taken to the podium and addressed some issues dealing with the league. Here are some of the highlights.

Full Coverage By ESPN

Benson announced that all Sun Belt home games will be featured under the ESPN umbrella. Although a select few number of games will be on actual television, ESPN3 will be a major player here. Benson commended the fans for learning how to stream games in living rooms and that this will give the conference an edge as the Sun Belt is given solid exposure.

South Alabama-Troy Rivalry Will Continue

With the emergence of divisions, there was a worry that these two rivals from Alabama would not play each other each year. However, Benson has assured the league that these two will play every season. Do not worry fans. The Belt will be given out each season. Troy being closer to Atlanta was the main reason they are in the East, while USA is in the West.

2018 Schedule Release

Per Benson, the 2018 schedule should be released in the next couple of weeks. There is a lot of excitement surrounding this slate as it will be the first schedule with the new division structure. With this, Benson states the conference is still working on the date for the 2018 league title game. There is a possibility the game could land on Friday, but Benson mentioned Saturday afternoon as the preferred slot.

Collaborative Replay

The SEC experienced with this replay system last fall and now the Sun Belt will be joining them in 2017. In this system, there will be a centralized location where replay officials will be assisting the referees on the field with instant replay decisions. Benson mentioned the Central Michigan-Oklahoma State fiasco and wants to make sure that doesn’t happen to any Sun Belt program.

No More Expansion

As of right now, there is no plan for the league to add any more teams. The Fun Belt feels comfortable with the 10-team league it has planned for the future and does not plan to add anymore. The travel system is now setup nicely for fans and programs to get to another venues without much hassle. However, if UALR (University of Arkansas at Little Rock) adds football, they will immediately be added to the conference as they are a contributing institution in all other sports.

Pump the Brakes On a G5 Playoff

Benson addressed this huge offseason issue and says it is nothing more than a “good talk show conversation”. Right now the Sun Belt has no need for it, so there is no reason to have a “serious conversation” about it. Rest easy, G5 fans.