Sun Belt: Bring Us Your Tired, Your Poor, Your Huddled UMasses

Nelson Chenault-USA TODAY Sports

In two years the Minutemen will find themselves without a conference. The Sun Belt is one member shy of being able to hold a conference championship. Is this a match made in heaven?

According to multiple outlets, the Massachusetts Minutemen are in talks with the Sun Belt conference to join the conference, probably after the two year exit period with the MAC has concluded in 2015.

For the Sun Belt, the move makes much sense. Currently sitting at 11 teams, the Sun Belt needs a 12th team in order to have geographic divisions and a revenue generating conference championship game. The Sun Belt has previously courted James Madison University, but was rebuffed.  While Massachusetts may not be the best geographic fit, the old saying "beggars can't be choosers" seems apt.


For the Minutemen, they once again find themselves in a non-ideal situation. If current talks come to fruition, a move from the MAC to the Sun Belt is a lateral one, at best. Like in the MAC, the Minutemen will be a geographic outlier with no natural rivalries. For a team that has had attendance troubles the past two seasons, it's unlikely Georgia State or South Alabama will fill seats (though admittedly a 2-22 record may have been a contributing factor).  It's highly unlikely that the AAC or other power conference will come calling, though, and their forced exit of the MAC at the end of 2015 means that UMass needs a dance partner. As said before, beggars can't be choosers.

While it may not be a perfect fit for either party, it does get both members to a better, or at least safer, place.

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