The addition of a 12th team will give the Sun Belt enough schools to split into two divisions for a potential conference championship game.
The source said that stand out school will be picked, implying that school will need to take a year to climb from Football Championship Subdivision status to Football Bowl Subdivision status. The University offers 67 areas of study toward the baccalaureate degree, and nine master’s degree programs.
Ultimately, the Sun Belt makes a whole lot more sense for Coastal Carolina than it does for UMass.
Coastal Carolina is moving from the Big South Conference to the Sun Belt Conference next year in all sports but football. Upgrades to the stadium will begin immediately to expand capacity to the FBS minimum of 20,000.
As a member of the Sun Belt Conference, the Chanticleer athletics program will compete in 16 sports – eight for men and eight for women. The Colonels are already making changes to the football stadium.
During the 2014-15 season 10 of 18 CCU athletic programs made appearances in NCAA postseason competition.
DeCenzo said the Chanticleers will officially move to the Sun Belt on July 1, 2016. A worthy football team in the Sun Belt can be in the national championship picture, and the league is a permanent part of the “Group of Five” that will send its highest-rated champion to a premier bowl game.
USA Today was first to report last week that the Sun Belt had narrowed its choices to Coast Carolina and Eastern Kentucky. Right now, New Mexico State and Idaho are football-only members. That is what happened to the Sun Belt, considered by some to be the lowest member on the FBS “totem pole”.
The Sun Belt has 11 members, including Texas-Arlington and Arkansas-Little Rock, which do not compete in FBS.
Both CCU and EKU are attractive because either one fits what Benson wants: a rival for Appalachian State.