Above Karl Benson on the league scheduling procedure
If you count the vacated title from 2005, Arkansas State has won five of the 15 Sun Belt football title.
Still, in that time, A-State has never been selected as the preseason favorite to win the league.
But being the preseason pick has not been an automatic. Just once in the last 10 seasons has the favorite won an outright league title.
This year’s pick is Appalachian State. Arkansas State is second.
Commissioner Karl Benson gave his annual State of the Sun Belt speech.
-- A new television agreement that Benson called a “partnership” would add 10 football games “not a linear network but a visible cable outlet” for the 2016 season. It is not part of the ESPN family.
He also said the agreement would include basketball and baseball games.
-- Divisions are likely for 2018.
--He does not expect any fallout from a possible Big 12 expansion. “I think our schools are in position to turn down offers from our peer 5 conferences.
--The commissioner pointed out how Sun Belt teams are addressing their schedules, something he pointed out last year, and there are two less games against Power 5 teams this season than last. Of course, it is something Arkansas State AD Terry Mohajir has preached since he arrived in Jonesboro four years ago. The plan is fewer P5 games and more games vs. peer conferences.
They’re all here
All off the five Sun Belt bowl tie-ins were represented: Camellia Bowl, Cure Bowl, New Orleans Bowl, GoDaddy Bowl and Arizona Bowl.
Game dates are Saturday, Dec. 17 (Camellia, Cure, NOLA) and Dec. 23 (GoDaddy) and Dec. 30. (Arizona).
Also in town
A pair of Arkansas State women’s basketball assistants were also spending time in New Orleans. With a large youth basketball tournament in town Red Wolves assistants, Deidra Johnson and Aundrea Gamble, were also scouting. Head coach Brian Boyer was in Atlanta.
Games of interests
Power 5: App State at Tennessee, South Alabama at Mississippi State, Troy at Clemson, Arkansas State at Auburn, Miami at App State, Georgia State at Wisconsin, Georgia Southern at Georgia State, Georgia Southern at Ole Miss, UL-Lafayette at Georgia, USA at LSU.
Group of 5: Toledo at Arkansas State, Boise State at ULL, Georgia State at Air Force, Arkansas State at Utah State, Troy at Southern Miss, ULL at Tulane, San Diego State at South Alabama, ULM at New Mexico.