Why some Sun Belt fans don’t want JSU
Troy fans don’t wants us in. South Alabama fans don’t want us in. Middle Tennessee fans don’t want us in. Arkansas State fans don’t want us in but would love to go to the beach!!! In fact, there are quite a few fans from these Sun Belt schools that want no part of JSU. The reason why isn’t what you would think, that JSU would be very competitive in the Sun Belt, but their reasoning has more to do with their belief that JSU isn’t in a media market and having 6 FBS teams from Alabama empties the talent pool. Seriously? Last I checked, JSU targeted kids that seem like a great fit for JSU not because the kid is also looking at Troy or USA.
Get this- these SBC fans discredit the fact that JSU is right in between 2 very large media markets, Atlanta and Birmingham…both being less than 100 miles each way. To them, Anniston and Gadsden don’t provide enough fan base to make JSU attractive to the Sun Belt. JSU ranked 12th in 2011 and 7th in 2010 in the FCS for home attendance in football at over 17,000 fans per game. Troy and USA averaged a little over 1,000 more folks than JSU, but again…we’re not supposed to have a fan base worthy of keeping up with them, let alone big enough for the Sun Belt. Most fans from Troy don’t value the old rivalry we used to have, only the folks from before 1990. Once they moved up, they started to focus on schools they would be playing in football. Our Marching Southerners keep the rivalry alive because it’s part of the tradition, plus they still compete with Troy for band recruits. We all know who the better band is, and so does the Queen.
They believe that with JSU in the Sun Belt it would take away from the talent pool in Alabama. Since when was Alabama the only state with recruits? It’s true that JSU’s recruiting base is Alabama, Georgia, Florida, and Mississippi, but there are several kids from other states. That’s just football. Have you seen the incredible job our coaches are doing in other states? These fans will also tell you that there is NO WAY, absolutely no chance, of JSU ever getting an invite to the Sun Belt. The claim they make is that the Sun Belt will never invite JSU unless major realignment takes place. One thing I can see happening is that JSU gets invited due to the CUSA feasting on the Sun Belt. If that’s the case, Troy may leave for the CUSA and Troy won’t have to worry about JSU anymore? Well, at least they won’t have to worry about JSU having the bragging rights over them again. The playing field advantage went to Troy the last time we played them, as they had more scholarship players after moving into the FBS. By the way, it is true that the Sun Belt has a block on any of it’s members going to an FCS school to play, and that’s why Troy will not play us here. Imagine, just for a second, what it would be like if JSU beat Troy here in J’ville. Can you imagine the silence coming from the backyard of the plains?
There has also been plenty of talk regarding a new FBS conference being developed by JSU, App State, Ga Southern, West Florida, Chattanooga, UNC-Charlotte, and several other FBS ready programs. I’d like to know what the possibility of this happening is? There are plenty of those fans that would love to see it happen. I think most of the FCS teams around JSU wanting to move are getting weary of the arrogance from some of these conferences, if you will.
Troy fans claim their program has enough pull to keep JSU out of the Sun Belt. Pull? In a conference they claim is the ONLY conference JSU would possibly ever get an invite from, and only from acquisition? There are Sun Belt fans out there making their case against JSU, but there are plenty of other Sun Belt fans that want JSU because of what our athletics bring to the table. This I can promise; Troy will make every effort to keep JSU out of the Sun Belt unless 3-4 teams go. They would rather have App State and Ga Southern… App State is within the Asheville media market, even gets covered in Charlotte, and Ga Southern is in the Savannah media market. Both are small markets, but their teams are serious quality. Ga Southern is covered by Atlanta TV stations, but with Ga State around now that surely will start to drop off some. JSU resides in a perfect media market, not a dead one, and has been covered by Birmingham and Atlanta stations in the past. So that “no media market” argument holds no water. Let’s see…Troy is in the Dothan/Montgomery media market? Wow…
JSU has a strong tradition of winning, in every sport. We win now, and we’ll win when in FBS. We are going to be giving some teams fits early, and how would that look for an FCS team to come in make that kind of statement? These Sun Belt fans won’t like it, for sure. What say you?