Last week we took a look at Idaho’s pitch to remain in the Sun Belt. Now it’s New Mexico State’s turn.
First, a primer for the uninitiated: last month the NCAA passed new legislation allowing conferences to hold championship games without a two-division structure, meaning the Sun Belt could hold a title game with 12 teams (as the league will be when Coastal Carolina comes aboard in 2017) or with 10. So the question for the Sun Belt becomes whether they’d be better off without its two westernmost members.
Ahead of a March vote by the membership’s CEOs, Idaho and New Mexico State have been forced to sing for their supper in a way we rarely see in college football.
Idaho’s pitch made the Vandals’ case as a middle-of-the-road Sun Belt team while throwing in periphery items like “positive human interest coverage” and “fewest penalty yards per game.”
New Mexico State’s argument, embedded below, makes a more concrete argument, positioning the Aggies’ as an up-and-coming program with nearly $4 million in facility improvements over the past two years and a young, fast-improving roster. The Aggies also mitigate the distance issue, they argue, by producing their own television broadcasts and distributing them back to the visiting team, allowing their Sun Belt bunk mates to sell their own advertisements at no cost to them.
Sun Belt presidents and chancellors will gather to vote next month. It’ll be interesting to see where they stand.