Is Jacksonville State Too Good For the Sun Belt?
There has been a lot of speculation about a potential move up by Jacksonville State to the Sun Belt Conference. As with any potential move forward by the University, there is trepidation regarding change. We are glad that someone was willing to make a change in the early 90s when we left the GSC or we would be competing against a bunch of schools in Arkansas that no one has ever heard about. Looking further back, somebody was probably thinking Jacksonville State was getting too big for its britches when it transitioned from being a teachers college to the great academic institution it is today. Even last year, somebody probably thought little old Jacksonville State shouldn’t even schedule Ole Miss from the mighty SEC. Indeed, an A-Star writer worried a couple of years ago that our players might get hurt playing against the big boys. But, we digress.
Instead of asking if JSU has what it takes to compete in the Sun Belt, maybe the better question is whether Jacksonville State is too good for the Sun Belt? Recent objective evidence indicates that might be the case. Specifically, the Directors’ Cup Standings, which are a quantitative measure of the overall success of an athletic program, placed Jacksonville State at #92 among all Division 1 schools. Not only did JSU blow away its OVC brethren in the DC Standings, it kicked the Sun Belt teams right where the sun doesn’t shine.
Here are the details. The closest Sun Belt competition was Middle Tennessee at 103. The next closest was Florida International at #141. Here is the best part, mighty Troy was way down at #180. Troy beat out Wetumpka Tech.
Of course, JSU has to get an invitation to compete in the Sun Belt. So far that invitation hasn’t come despite the fact that JSU would boost the Sun Belt’s overall profile and create regional rivalries with many Sun Belt teams. Hey Sun Belt- if you’re scared, say you’re scared.