Wright Waters comments from SBC Media Day

20 07 2010

Sun Belt Commissioner Wright Waters had a few interesting things to say this morning with regard to where the conference is at, where it was and where it needs to be.

The SBC will be celebrating its 10th anniversary of football this season, and with that, Waters says the time has come for a team to break through and find its way into a Bowl Championship Series bowl game.

“The expansion of opportunities in bowl games continues to be a priority,” he said. “And now it might be time to go back and set new goals and new objectives for the league.”

“The top third in our league really has to set their sights on being a BCS bowl team. I think if Hawaii and Boise State and Utah and TCU can accomplish it, in my mind I don’t see any reason why our schools can’t do so also.

“There’s a group in the middle that needs to step up and challenge for the first group. There’s also a group at the bottom that for whatever reason needs to rebuild and they need to move up too and become more competitive.

“After 10 years it’s time to reset goals and objectives, look at where we are and where we want to go.”

How exactly might a team find its way into a BCS game? Waters says the only way might actually be to go undefeated. 

“(Going undefeated) is probably the only way, outside of an automatic qualifying conference gets there. It’s probably more important that outside of going 12-0 you also have to have a high profile win early in the season. That seems to be the way people have gotten there.

“Get a high profile win, get people’s attention early and rely on the polls to recognize your success in conference.

“As much as anything, you’ve got to have a fan base. When you look at attendance continuing to increase and TV ratings, it says that there’s an awareness of the Sun Belt Conference out there and acceptance of the Sun Belt Conference out there.

“You’ve got to have a broad awareness of those groups. … It’s a matter of winning the right games and moving ahead, it’d be a great thing for the league and a great thing for every team in the league.

“When we took on this thing 10 years ago, we were really just out there playing people at their place and it was all about balancing budgets. And now, our athletic directors and presidents have invested in created home crowds. When you can start generating dollars in your own stadium, you can become a little bit more picky in who you’re playing.”

“We’re starting to see these people come to our place – which is important to perception and to the our bottom lines. But those changes aren’t happening by accident. It’s about a lot of people – including the TV folks – working together.

“And once we get those people on our campuses, we have to treat them well, show them good southern hospitality, then at the end of the day make sure the scoreboard shows that we won.”

We’ll have a full story on Waters’ comments, as well as comments from WKU, Middle Tennessee, Arkansas State and Troy in Wednesday’s Daily News.

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