Denver: Your distance mimicked your relevance in the Sun Belt

It's a turkey.

-Conference realignment. Those two words sound like white noise to me.

But I’ll tell you one coming realignment that I thoroughly agree with: Denver out of the Sun Belt Conference.

Don’t tell me their moving in to the WAC. THEY’RE MOVING OUT OF THE SUN BELT!

As an alum of a Sun Belt school, the very thought of a school 842 miles from it’s nearest conference competitor — North Texas  — always baffled me. Was their a shortage of western state conferences? Was Denver simply going through it’s rebellious stage and needed an outlet to go against the grain of it’s older brothers in Colorado and Colorado State? C’mon Pioneers, eventually we all outgrow that stage.

But Denver refused to listen. ‘Let’s play with the teams in the South’ they thought. So they did. And thus, the powers that be in the Sun Belt saw light-years ahead of the Big East and added what was by all means it’s own personal San Diego State to the mix in 1999. I guess Wright Waters — at that point in his first year as commissioner of the Sun Belt — was going through the same stage of rebellion as Denver. Any irony to the fact that he’s retiring at the end of the athletic year?

Not only did you drive up the travel budgets of every Sun Belt team on a yearly basis, Denver, but you made it impossible for any fan base in the Sun Belt to call itself “well-traveled”. We’re in a recession, dick, fans can’t just afford $1,400 round-trip tickets to go watch Middle Tennessee State.

DO YOU HAVE ANY IDEA HOW MUCH IT COSTS TO FLY FROM MIAMI TO DENVER?!

And what did it bring to the conference? Hockey. Oh wait, with the conference’s other teams in the South, hockey doesn’t exist. Oh, you have national championships in hockey? That’s nice. Do you ha….YOU DON’T HAVE A FOOTBALL PROGRAM?! Good thing the Sun Belt’s power sport is baseba…..NO BASEBALL PROGRAM EITHER!?

But the other non-revenue sports! Golf, multiple women’s golf conference titles! They compete year-in-and-year-out for the men’s and women’s swimming crowns!

And finally, there’s basketball. Ah, Pioneers, you’ve justified having a West Division in the Sun Belt. Truly. And all those postseason appearances as a member of the Sun Belt. Wait, only one? An NIT appearance in 2004-05?

So seriously, someone remind me why Denver was a part of the Sun Belt. Much like a horrible prom date, or a Charlie Sheen show, their stay has been forgettable.

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