SBC Media Days 2011

July 20, 2011 · Filed Under Football · Comment 

SBC Media Guide 2011 USA Page

The University of South Alabama had section in the Sun Belt Conference Media Guide for the 2011 season. It mentioned that South Alabama will be playing a full SBC schedule in 2012 and would be eligible for postseason play in 2013.

In the 180 page media guide it had an extensive write-up about the history of the conference starting with it’s inception in 1976 and the six schools who started the conference in four sports as well as it’s success early with a team in the final four, how the conference introduced the shot clock to basketball and the time line of other schools joining the conference. It also covered the conference championships teams from the previous season. It then transitioned over when it hit 2001 to football, which was the first year the conference sponsored football.

Currently the conference has 12 member institutions after New Orleans voted to drop to a lower division and pending the move of Denver to another conference it will fall to 11. However, only nine schools are participating in football currently, with South Alabama becoming the 10th when they become a full member in 2013.

FIU was picked to finish 1st in the conference with Troy chosen second in the annual Sun Belt coaches’ poll. Troy has won or shared the SBC title for the last six seasons and for several seasons now, Troy has been the #1 or #2 choice in the league, this season continues that run. Meanwhile, has the their predictions in for 2011 and they are: 1 Troy, 2 Florida International, 3 Arkansas State, 4 UL Monroe, 5 Middle Tennessee, 6 North Texas, 7 Western Kentucky, 8 UL Lafayette and 9 Florida Atlantic.

Last year SBC commissioner Wright Waters spoke during media days about how he has watched schools like Boise State, TCU, Hawaii and Utah play their way into BCS Bowl games. The SBC being one of 11 BCS conferences, but if is one of the five conferences that don’t have automatic bids to BCS bowl games. However they can play their way in. The SBC Conference champion will earn an automatic berth in a BCS bowl game if that team is ranked in the top 12 of the final BCS standings or if that team is ranked in the top 16 of the final BCS standings and its ranking is higher than that of a champion of a conference that has an annual automatic berth in one of the BCS bowls.

Waters challenged Sun Belt teams to set their sights on being a BCS bowl team. “If Hawaii and Boise and Utah and TCU can accomplish that, in my mind I don’t know of any reason why our schools can’t do it also,” he said.

This year, commissioner Waters said that the league was thriving in reputation over the last few years. “We are not in survival mode like we were seven, eight years ago,” he said. He also mentioned that the conference is in enhancement mode and that people know about it. “Sun Belt football is here and not going away,” he said.