Welcome to “Second Guess” Tuesday.
Here are the chilly opinions du jour.
- Circle this date on your calendar — Jan. 26.
That’s when Marshall University — along with Old Dominion and Southern Miss — will find out if they’ll become members of the Sun Belt Conference for the 2022 football season or have to wait until 2023.
According to 247Sports, the various schools’ athletic directors have had plenty of telephone conversations and traded lots of text message in preparation of a meeting on Jan. 25.
Then, after the athletic directors reach a majority opinion, the schools’ chancellors and presidents will vote on the matter on Jan. 26.
While such new members as Marshall, Old Dominion and Southern Miss are all on board with joining the Sun Belt in 2022 — remember, James Madison has to wait until 2023 — it appears some of the holdover schools in the Sun Belt aren’t as certain.
“We had originally believed that it would happen in ‘23 in football, and now if there is anything different we are going to really have to figure that out,” said Tom Bowen, Arkansas State’s vice chancellor for intercollegiate athletics.
“It is a moving target right now. I think it is going to be a very long discussion and I think there is a lot of interest by some of the members to come in early and some have said they would be open to that. I don’t know if interest is the right word. I do think it is something we are going to have to address in January and put to bed.”
Bowen apparently has some doubts.
“This is not something that has been done,” Bowen told 247Sports. “It hasn’t been done in the realignment since I have been involved in realignment and this is my fourth realignment dynamics since I have been an athletic director.
“It has usually been a year in the conference that you are in and then you enter into the new conference. This will be different.”
So what’s it going to be — 2022 or ’23? Lame duck in Conference USA or newcomer to the Sun Belt?
Either way, it’s going to be a very interesting — and heavily debated — issue.
- As the revolving door turns …
West Virginia University standout wide receiver Winston Wright Jr. isn’t in the transfer portal anymore. That’s because Wright has decided to conclude his college career by playing his final season at Florida State.
Meanwhile, at Marshall, wide receiver Willie Johnson and defensive lineman T.J. Johnson have declared for the 2022 NFL Draft.
The final conference bowl records are in and …
The Sun Belt did well.
The SBC tied with the American Athletic Conference for second place with 3-1 bowl records. The overall winner was another Group of Five league, the Mountain West, with a 5-1 record.
Next came the Big 12 (5-2) in fourth, followed by the Big Ten (6-4), SEC (6-8), C-USA (3-5), Mid-American Conference (3-5) and Atlantic Coast Conference (2-4).
And who suffered the distinct embarrassment of finishing in 10th place? The Pac-12 with a winless 0-5 record.
When it came to going bowling, the Pac-12 rolled a gutter ball.