Depending on your disposition, and perhaps who you believe, this week’s realignment news could mean really good news for Liberty, or really bad news.  Let’s start with what we know for sure.

The Sun Belt acted this week on what had become almost common knowledge by inviting App State and Georgia Southern to the conference.  Then, in a slightly more surprising and aggressive move, the conference added New Mexico State and Idaho as football affiliates, taking the football playing total to 12 teams.  As we posted yesterday, the addition of Idaho was particularly glaring, given the geographical location and resources available to the school.  Additionally, the new Big East added Tulsa, taking a team from Conference USA.

So, as usual, it is time to get to the speculation.  The Sun Belt getting to 12 teams means they can play a conference title game.  However, was that really the goal?  In recent meetings the conference Presidents seemed apprehensive to go to a 12 team format.  It could easily be that the Sun Belt is making this move preemptively as they foresee more defections from the league.  As has been widely reported, Western Kentucky is expected to leave the Sun Belt at some point in the near future.

Then there is the speculation this morning on the internet that the Sun Belt is preparing to invite 2 more schools, one of which is JMU, who put out a statement yesterday indicating a possible interest in a conference move.  The announcement also mentioned the hiring of Bill Carr, the consultant who performed Liberty’s FBS feasibility study.  The addition of JMU would be a huge surprise.  Until yesterday, JMU was seen as a school slated for an FBS move sometime in the future, but certainly not an immediate move.  The slow but steady weakening of the CAA has to be a factor in JMU’s decision to move forward.

Could JMU be the next addition to the Sun Belt ahead of Liberty?

 So the question remains, what does all of this mean for Liberty?  Could LU be the other team about to get an invitation?  Or will we be passed up yet again by two schools almost none of us anticipated?  Most Liberty supporters viewed LU as the next school in after the addition of App State and Georgia Southern.  However, two more schools have been added, and perhaps two more to come.  If Liberty isn’t in that group, that would make us the Sun Belt’s 7th choice at best.  Given Liberty’s commitment to being FBS ready, that has to sting.  With everyone on Liberty’s staff remaining tight lipped, it is difficult to tell where LU stands with the Sun Belt.  However, given the events of the past two days, one has to question how close our FBS dreams are to becoming reality.