Unless you live under a rock, you might have noticed the rise of the Sun Belt Conference. Left and right, the Sun Belt Conference Football programs are taking down Power Five opponents. Over the last several years, the Sun Belt has been working hard on positioning the Conference to succeed at the highest level. Commissioner Keith Gill watched in the shadows how the SEC did things, and he implemented a game plan to provide resources for long-term success in Football across the Conference. Schools started to earn funding for projects that made the Sun Belt a step above the rest.
Sure, College Football has your SEC, the Big 10, and maybe the ACC, but the product on the field in the Sun Belt Conference is just as exciting as that of the highest levels of College Football. On Saturday alone, we as a collective whole in College Football watched Marshall and; Appalachian State take down programs they had no business even competing with on Saturday.
Yet, here we are. Sun Belt teams went on the road demanding respect and earned that respect by showing the rest of the College Football world exactly what Sun Belt Football is all about. Saturday was a banner day for the entire Sun Belt Conference.
Some around the sport of College Football will try their hardest to shut down the momentum that the Sun Belt Conference has right now by saying it was a fluke, it wasn’t real, and it won’t happen again. Those people who say that are wrong. When many thought the Conference was dead, they used that time to build. Over the last few years, Keith Gill and his staff worked around the clock to develop the Conference into what we see on Saturdays around the country.
When some Conferences in the Group Of Five decided to host pity parties about Conference Realignment, the Sun Belt grabbed the best schools that would come in and continue carrying the Sun Belt torch into a Championship future. Commissioner Gill poached James Madison, Southern Miss, Marshall, and Old Dominion, adding the next level of talent to the Conference.
It may or may not happen this season. Eventually, though, the Sun Belt Conference will represent the G5 at the highest levels of College Athletics. You might as well learn to respect the evidence in front of you because the Sun Belt Conference is coming for the crown of the elite. We have seen it this Fall through two weeks of College Football; the Sun Belt is scared of nobody, and the Conference has a future of Championship celebrations and success across the Sun Belt footprint.