Karl Benson is the Sun Belt commissioner. He’s also detached from reality.
Benson said he wants Sun Belt teams to try to shed their “addiction” to lucrative, nonconference games against heavily favored Power Five opponents. He wants to improve the Sun Belt’s chances of having an undefeated team to reach a College Football Playoff access bowl and increase the league’s portion of CFP money divided among Group of Five schools.
“This isn’t anything new I’m saying, but it’s the first time we’ve had all 11 schools around the table that had been with the Sun Belt for a period of time for stability,” Benson told CBSSports.com. “Rather than playing multiple million-dollar payday games, we’re better off to get a return on our investment, so to speak, on the back end by being able to win games against our peer opponents.”
As Solomon points out, there are two rather sizable holes in his gameplan. One is Marshall’s experience last season, going unranked by the selection committee despite its gaudy record because its schedule was deemed too soft. It’s great to aspire to be king of the dipshits, but that doesn’t mean you’ll get to date the homecoming queen.
Second, he’s seriously underestimating how much his schools need the upfront money.
… Also, money games produce a likely loss on the field but guaranteed money to help balance athletic department budgets. This year, the Sun Belt’s 11 teams combined play 19 of their 35 nonconference games against teams from the SEC, Big Ten, Pac-12, ACC and Big 12.
There’s no way that extra pop from the access bowl – which Benson himself estimates was worth about $2 million last season – is gonna make up for dumping that. But, hey, it never hurts to dream.