CONFERENCE BELTS: Reigning Champions for 2015

With the resurrection of the Conference Belts, it is time to set a primer for the upcoming season.  Well, the season technically already started, but still.  Here is the list of the current belt holders and their upcoming matchups, if at all.  Displayed is each title holder and, in brackets, is the next scheduled opponent and date of defense.  If there are no scheduled title defenses then it will be marked so [this will only be the case for Battle Belts, Middleweight Belts, and Heritage Belts].

UNIFIED CONFERENCE BELTS

  • ACC: Florida State [versus Wake Forest on 3 October]
  • American: Cincinnati [versus UConn on 24 October]
  • Big 12: TCU [versus Texas Tech on 26 September]
  • Big Ten: Ohio State [versus Indiana on 3 October]
  • Conference USA: Marshall [versus Southern Miss on 9 October]
  • MAC: Northern Illinois [versus Central Michigan on 3 October]
  • Mountain West: Boise State [versus Colorado State on 10 October]
  • Pac 12: Oregon [versus Washington State on 10 October]
  • SECAlabama [versus Mississippi on 19 September]
  • Sun Belt: UL-Lafayette [versus Arkansas State on 20 October]

CONFERENCE BATTLE BELTS

  • ACC: Florida State [versus Texas State on 5 September]
  • American: Penn State* [versus Temple on 5 September]
  • Big 12: Arizona [no scheduled defense in 2015]
  • Big Ten: Ohio State [versus Virginia Tech on & September]
  • Conference USA: Oklahoma* [no scheduled defense in 2015]
  • MAC: Northern Illinois [versus UNLV on 5 September]
  • Mountain West: Oregon* [no scheduled defense in 2015]
  • Pac 12: Boston College* [no scheduled defense in 2015]
  • SECAlabama [versus Wisconsin on 5 September]
  • Sun Belt: Oregon* [versus Georgia State on 19 September]

* – title held by non-conference team

CONFERENCE MIDDLEWEIGHT BELTS

  • Conference USA: Boise State* [no scheduled defense in 2015]
  • MAC: Central Florida* [no scheduled defense in 2015]
  • Mountain West: Boise State [versus BYU on 12 September]
  • Sun Belt: Appalachian State [versus Old Dominion on 26 September]

* – title held by non-conference team

HERITAGE BELTS

  • Big 8: Kansas State [versus Oklahoma State on 3 October]
  • Big West: Boise State [versus Utah State on 16 October]
  • Southern: Duke [versus Georgia Tech on 26 September]
    • NOTE: Duke defeated Tulane on 3 September to retain the title
  • Southwest: Texas A&M [versus Arkansas on 26 September]
  • WAC: Boise State [versus Hawai’i on 3 October]

Quick Hitters

  • Boise State is currently carrying five belts, winning the WAC belt after defeating Arizona in the Fiesta Bowl last season.  Oregon is next with three belts
  • Boise State will have two belts on the line when it faces Hawai’i on 10 October — the Battle Belt of the Mountain West and the WAC Heritage Belt
  • Oregon defends the Battle Belt of the Sun Belt for the first time since winning it from Arkansas State in 2012.  Had Oregon not defended it this season, the Ducks would need to vacate the title.
  • this is the second straight season that neither the Conference USA Middleweight Belt nor the MAC Middleweight Belt were defended.  unless Boise State [with the C-USA Middleweight Belt] or UCF [with the MAC Middleweight Belt] defend it in a bowl game, they will end up vacating the belts after next season; neither are scheduled to play a qualified team in 2016.
  • a couple of teams have a chance to become eligible for their conference’s Unified belt — UCF [versus Cincinnati]; Iowa State [versus Oklahoma]; Kansas [versus Texas]; West Virginia [Oklahoma and Kansas State]; Buffalo [versus Northern Illinois]; Utah State [Boise State, Fresno State, Nevada, and San Diego State]; Utah [Arizona State, Oregon, and Washington]; and South Alabama [versus Arkansas State].
  • In some cases, teams need a certain opponent to meet them in their conference title game.  Boston College can should they face North Carolina in the ACC title game, as can Nebraska should they face Indiana in the Big Ten championship game.  If Arkansas wins the SEC West, they could qualify should Florida win the East.  Likewise, South Carolina can qualify by winning the SEC East and facing off against Auburn.
  • Other teams need to win scheduled games AND win their conference championship game against a particular opponent.  Memphis has an opportunity should they defeat Houston and face UCF in the American title game.  Middle Tennessee would need to defeat four teams — Louisiana Tech, North Texas, UT-San Antonio, and then draw Rice in the C-USA title game.
  • Colorado can qualify for the Pac 12 Unified Title, but it’ll take work.  The Buffaloes need to defeat Arizona State, Oregon, Oregon State, Southern California, Stanford, and UCLA before possible facing Washington for the Pac 12 crown.
  • The Mountain West COULD see either Hawai’i or San Jose State qualify…but not both.  Hawai’i would need to defeat Air Force, Boise State, Fresno State, Nevada, New Mexico, San Diego State, and then hopefully face off against Colorado State in the Mountain West title game.  San Jose State needs to beat Air Force, Boise State, Nevada, New Mexico, and San Diego State followed by a MWC title game against Utah State.  Since Hawai’i and San Jose State are in the same division, only one could possibly qualify this season.
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