Can the New Mexico State Aggies land in the Sun Belt Conference when the most recent wave of national realignment is over?
It wouldn't be a bad position for the school.
NMSU needs a conference if/when the WAC folds in football, and the two options right now are the Mountain West Conference/Conference USA merger and the Sun Belt.
And the reality is this: while the merger would be a great fit geographically for NMSU — it would put them in the same league as UNM, UTEP, Colorado State, perhaps Utah State — some of those programs would be hard for the Aggies to compete with economically. Some of them, they just don't.
The Sun Belt is more in line with where the Aggies are at the moment — similar to the new WAC, which looks to soon be the defunct WAC. And from a football standpoint, that's what the Aggies need — a conference they can build a program in. The Sun Belt isn't a bad football league — it sent three teams to bowl games last year — and I believe one the Aggies can compete in. Really, NMSU needs a couple consecutive winning seasons in football, and then maybe they can start shopping. Right now, they just aren't very marketable from a realignment standpoint.
Again, this could be the Aggies best hope at this point if they want conference affiliation — and an FBS football program — assuming the WAC is further raided.
The Sun Belt wouldn't be a bad parking spot for the Aggies. The question is, will Karl Benson have a space open for them if/when they need it?
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