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So what happens next?
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mjs Online
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Post: #1
So what happens next?
The AAC loses UCF, Cincinnati, and Houston to the Big 12 (who actually will have 12 teams). They are left with Memphis, SMU, East Carolina, Navy, South Florida, Temple, Tulane, Tulsa, and Wichita State (no football). Not exactly a murder's row in football. They are at best "okay" in basketball. They will try to backfill, likely with teams with CUSA. So, at best, they end up being what CUSA once was. They will probably offer UAB, with other possibilities being WKU, Marshall, UTEP, LaTech, or USM. WKU would jump in a second after leaving the Sun Belt to end up in a weakened CUSA. UAB, Marshal, USM, UTEP, and LaTech would probably go if offered. CUSA would try to backfill from the Sun Belt. However, the Sun Belt would likely be stronger than what's left of CUSA and maybe able to snag 2 or 3 of the teams that AAC doesn't take out of those 5. Problem for the AAC is that Wichita, Memphis, and Temple will be desperate to get out if their basketball gets any weaker- but Memphis and Temple still need a football conference. So it likely gets pretty crazy in the coming weeks or months. I think the Sun Belt may end up okay in all this, but I wonder if this will be the time for UTA and LR to leave. I also think Wichita State will try to move to the Big East if AAC basketball gets much weaker.
09-09-2021 02:42 PM
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mjs Online
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RE: So what happens next?
Matt Brown
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On this note, continuing to hear that the Sun Belt's two affiliate, non-football members (UTA and Arkansas-Little Rock) are unlikely to remain in the conference. League wants to set identity as being 100% FB first.

So where do we go? Imagine in how much stronger a position we would be in if we kept up some of the momentum started by Coach Beard. If we were winning and filling our arena, being a decent sized city and media market, would make us a hot commodity. Maybe the Valley would consider us, but I'm not too optimistic on that front.
09-10-2021 08:30 AM
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mjs Online
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RE: So what happens next?
Chris Vannini
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Sources in the Sun Belt have told @TheAthletic that the conference is very open to adding more football-playing schools that fit in the league’s footprint.

The non-FB schools (UTA, UALR) are likely not long for the league, something that’ll be figured out over the next year.
8:47 AM · Sep 10, 2021

Usually where there is smoke there is fire. I haven't heard anything from our side, but folks are getting this from somewhere. I guess in the long run, we would probably be better off in a conference where the focus is on basketball. The original Sun Belt was totally focused on basketball. Now it clearly emphasizes football. I certainly don't regret the decision made 2-3 years ago not to add football. It would have been a disaster, especially throwing the pandemic into the mix.
09-10-2021 09:21 AM
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mjs Online
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RE: So what happens next?
I'm still not sure that the Sun Belt wants to get rid of UTA and LR. Even if they add a couple of schools with football, I'm not sure how having UTA and LR hurts the conference. But, it does sound like UTA is looking elsewhere which puts us in a precarious position.

On the other hand, there may be a lot of internal league politics, which make it uncomfortable for non-football schools or make the football schools uncomfortable with LR and UTA in the league. In other words, there may factors behind the scenes which make a break-up preferable for all involved.
09-10-2021 03:09 PM
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TrojanTeen2 Offline
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RE: So what happens next?
I think we are going to be leaving. Which conference? I don't know.

MVC would be the best choice. ASUN is a bit tricky to join because of football. Summit would fit but not as geographically friendly to us. Southland isn't looking it will stay long either.
09-10-2021 04:58 PM
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mjs Online
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RE: So what happens next?
(09-10-2021 04:58 PM)TrojanTeen2 Wrote:  I think we are going to be leaving. Which conference? I don't know.

MVC would be the best choice. ASUN is a bit tricky to join because of football. Summit would fit but not as geographically friendly to us. Southland isn't looking it will stay long either.

ASUN is starting FCS football next season. But not all members will be in it. Liberty is FBS, Stetson has nonscholarship football. I don't believe Lipscomb and Bellarmine have FCS football. So I don't think it is a problem, at the moment, but I guess it could be in the future. Liberty could get in a FBS football conference, during he current realignment, which would theoretically open a spot for us. Obviously, I agree that the MVC would be the best option.
09-10-2021 05:28 PM
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RBL Offline
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Post: #7
So what happens next?
MBC tournament in St Louis and is 3 hours closer to me than Pensacola for Sunbelt tournament but I had good time in Pensacola last tournament


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09-10-2021 06:10 PM
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PTJR Offline
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RE: So what happens next?
(09-10-2021 06:10 PM)RBL Wrote:  MBC tournament in St Louis and is 3 hours closer to me than Pensacola for Sunbelt tournament but I had good time in Pensacola last tournament


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No matter how nice it may have been in Pensacola last year, Arch Madness is light years better for a basketball fan!
09-10-2021 06:40 PM
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UALRSuperFan Curtis Offline
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Post: #9
RE: So what happens next?
This season marks Little Rock's 30th (and probably last) anniversary as member of the Sunbelt Conference. Should rumors of leaving for the Missouri Valley Conference come to pass, we'll join Swimming & Diving as full-fledged members. Very interesting.
09-11-2021 08:27 PM
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mjs Online
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RE: So what happens next?
(09-11-2021 08:27 PM)UALRSuperFan Curtis Wrote:  This season marks Little Rock's 30th (and probably last) anniversary as member of the Sunbelt Conference. Should rumors of leaving for the Missouri Valley Conference come to pass, we'll join Swimming & Diving as full-fledged members. Very interesting.

Leaving the Sun Belt may well be happening. But, I still see us as a long shot to get into the MoValley. The MVC prides themselves in the fan support they have for men's basketball. We certainly don't fit if that is one of their criteria for membership. Of course, I don't believe UTA does either. I did wonder if being a member in Swimming and Diving might give us a small foot in the door.
09-12-2021 11:20 AM
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