The South Alabama Jaguar is clearly ready for life as a transitional FBS member. (Icon SMI)
You didn’t ask, but we answered:
• What’s all this, then? On July 1, a crop of the realignment changes we’ve been so resistant to took effect. Among the movers was South Alabama, which joins the Sun Belt for its final transitional season before becoming a full FBS member in 2013.
• How does that work, exactly? Right when the Jaguars first started poking their egg teeth through, three years and three jobs ago, we congratulated them on their “clunky, slow-loading website,” a fixture in major college athletics. They’ve since put together a super-handy timeline that every program making a conference jump should immediately emulate, outlining the restrictions and privileges of the program from inception to Sun Belt acceptance. Next season, for example, USA will be an SBC member school in terms of scheduling, but won’t be eligible to compete for a conference title.
• So this is another brand-new program? About as new as they come. The Jaguars have staged games since 2009, and played their first full season in 2011.
• How’d that work out? Glory be, an FBS transitional team entering with a winning record! USA went 6-4 against a slate of mostly FCS competition last year.