Blog Entry

SEC loves (playing) the Sun Belt

Posted on: March 1, 2012 2:13 pm
While Thursday’s release of the Sun Belt’s 2012 football schedule didn’t bring as much fanfare as the SEC or Big 12 schedule release, it did give us a chance to look at which other conferences love the Sun Belt. Specifically which of the other 10 FBS conferences love playing against the Sun Belt.

And no one loves playing/beating the Sun Belt more than the SEC, especially Mississippi State.

Three of the Bulldogs' four non-conference games are against Sun Belt members Troy, South Alabama and Middle Tennessee. Their fourth non-conference game is against FCS member Jackson State. I guess there were no Division III teams available that week.

Anyway, Mississippi State is among nine SEC schools that will play Sun Belt schools this fall in a total of 12 non-conference games. The only SEC schools without a Sun Belt team on the schedule is Missouri, Ole Miss, South Carolina, Texas A&M and Vanderbilt. Defending national champion Alabama’s schedule features two Sun Belt opponents: Western Kentucky and Florida Atlantic.

After the SEC, Conference USA has the most schools (six) playing Sun Belt opponents with a total of eight games.

Mississippi State is one of five schools with multiple Sun Belt opponents. Alabama, Memphis, Tulane and Navy each have two Sun Belt non-conference games.

The only FBS league that isn’t playing the Sun Belt is the WAC.

Last year, the Sun Belt was only 10-25 in non-conference games against FBS opponents, including a 1-2 bowl record.

Conference (games vs. Sun Belt)

ACC (3):
Duke, Georgia Tech, N.C. State
Big East (1):
Big 10 (1):
Big 12 (3):
Baylor, Kansas State, Oklahoma State
C-USA (6):
Houston, Memphis 2, Southern Miss, Tulane 2, UAB, UCF
Independents (1):
Navy 2
MAC (1):
Mountain West (1):
SEC (9):
Alabama 2, Arkansas, Auburn, Florida, Georgia, Kentucky, LSU, Mississippi State 3, Tennessee
Pac-12 (1):
WAC (0)


Since: Apr 23, 2007
Posted on: March 1, 2012 6:51 pm

SEC loves (playing) the Sun Belt

I know everybody looks forward to those MAC vs. Sun Belt matchups at the Beef O' Brady's Bowl.

Since: Dec 30, 2006
Posted on: March 1, 2012 6:45 pm

SEC loves (playing) the Sun Belt

Yeah but look at the MAC VS. THE SUN BELT the last few years - in head to head matchups the MAC is the supeior conference. I'm not saying the MAC's any good either, I'm just pointing to the fact that they're better than the Sun Belt.

Since: Jan 25, 2012
Posted on: March 1, 2012 6:39 pm

SEC loves (playing) the Sun Belt

Someone already illustrated this, but if you look at the Big Ten, they play an inordinate amount of MAC teams. I know the Pac-12 schedules a ton of Mountain West teams (one year they acutally lost the conference battle to the MWC) and I'm sure they schedule a lot of WAC opponents. This is a story much about nothing.

The main reason that teams schedule these so called cupcakes is that Big Schools can fill out their schedule with a home game and get at least 7 games at their stadium. At Nebraska, I think the total it means to the athletic department is around 3 million dollars per home game. In the Big Ten with a split schedule (4 at home, 4 on the road) you need 3 home games out of the 4 non-conference games. For a team like UCLA you're only going to get a home and home agreement. If you schedule a Southern Miss, sometimes you can get a 2 out of 3 arrangement. But regardless, you'll need to fill out the schedule with smaller schools from the FBS subdivision or, even worse, the FCS subdivision that will come to your stadium and not demand a return to theirs.

In the Big 12 it's even worse. If your team has a rotation of 4 home and 5 away conferenece games (since the Big 12 plays everyone), all three of your non-conference games have to be at home to get to the 7 game criteria.

For schools, like Nebraska, where the athletic department pays for itself and football is the engine for the other olympic sports, the additional 3 million in revenue is essential.

Since: Dec 10, 2009
Posted on: March 1, 2012 6:38 pm

2012 Breakdown

SEC = CUSA - 7 / MAC - 5 / MWC - 0 / SUN - 12 / WAC - 3 (Combined 2011 record = 109-196)

B12 = CUSA - 6 / MAC - 1 / MWC - 3 / SUN - 3 / WAC - 1 (Combined 2011 record = 83-93)
B1G = CUSA - 5 / MAC - 14 / MWC - 3 / SUN - 1 / WAC - 2 (Combined 2011 record = 160-143)

BE  = CUSA - 2 / MAC - 8 / MWC - 1 / SUN - 1 / WAC - 0 (Combined 2011 record = 69-82)

ACC = CUSA - 2 / MAC - 3 / MWC - 0 / SUN - 3 / WAC - 2 (Combined 2011 record = 68-92)

P12 = CUSA - 2 / MAC - 1 / MWC - 7 / SUN - 1 / WAC - 2 (Combined 2011 record = 110-95)

Since: Nov 19, 2011
Posted on: March 1, 2012 6:30 pm

SEC loves (playing) the Sun Belt

Dumb article with no point. As a Big 10 fan, they play local MAC schools who receive a nice payday in return. The same applies to the SEC with the Sun Belt and so on. These bottom feeder conferences get lots of cash which props up their athletic departments, the big schools get easy wins in front of sold out stadiums. A win-win for all

Since: Oct 17, 2011
Posted on: March 1, 2012 6:23 pm

SEC loves (playing) the Sun Belt

Nice post Silver Bullet.

Since: Jul 28, 2009
Posted on: March 1, 2012 6:21 pm

SEC loves (playing) the Sun Belt

yeah the big 10 plays the MAC, the pac plays the wac, and big12 plays conf. usa.   the bigs all have their wipping boys.  but that doesnt mean taht we cant pile on the SEC.   look as ooc skeds for 2012.  SEC's is the worst of any conference.  there are so many FCS teams on their it isnt even funny.   some teams even play 2 FCS teams in the same season.

Since: Apr 23, 2007
Posted on: March 1, 2012 6:10 pm

SEC loves (playing) the Sun Belt

Silver Bullet-- thank you for proving my point about Big Ten vs. MAC. In Big Ten country, they call those "MAC-rifice" games. All haters please stop piling on the SEC for playing Sun Belt teams now that you have been armed with facts.

Since: Apr 14, 2008
Posted on: March 1, 2012 5:53 pm

SEC loves (playing) the Sun Belt

Here's a different perspective.  Number of "Big 6" conference games versus the "Little 5" the past three seasons (2009-11) and number of FCS opponents for giggles, excluding bowl games:

ACC:  (40 FCS teams played) CUSA-15 times, Sunbelt-10 times, MAC-7 times, MWC-4 times, WAC-2 times

Big East:  (27 FCS) MAC-17, CUSA-10, Sunbelt-9, MWC-3, WAC-2

Big 10:  (29 FCS) MAC-37, Sunbelt-10, WAC-8, MWC-5, CUSA-4

Big 12:  (23 FCS) CUSA-22, MWC-15, Sunbelt-12, MAC-11, WAC-9

PAC 12: (19 FCS) WAC-14, MWC-9, CUSA-4, MAC-2, Sunbelt-2

SEC:  (34 FCS) Sunbelt-25, CUSA-18, MAC-10, WAC-9, MWC-2    

Since: Mar 1, 2012
Posted on: March 1, 2012 5:46 pm

SEC loves (playing) the Sun Belt

Big12 is a average at best conference. The SEC is the top dog but if it makes you feel good then continue your nonsense. Amazing the CBS continues to bash the hand that feeds it with this type of article. Guess you guys are still made at ESPN. Since 2008 Bama has given CBS the best ratings you had in years but hey no big deal. I assume you will have an article on the Little Big 1o and all those powerful team they play? Sure you will. Go ahead and start the hate early this year because Alabama will be back in the NCG again in 2012.

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