Red Towel Roundtable: Will WKU Be Missed?

4 of 5

Sep 7, 2013; Knoxville, TN, USA; Western Kentucky Hilltoppers quarterback Brandon Doughty (12) passes to avoid the sack by Tennessee Volunteers defensive back Jaron Toney (35) during the first half at Neyland Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Jim Brown-USA TODAY Sports

Marcus: I think the subtraction of WKU from the Sun Belt Conference will definitely be felt around the league. The Hilltoppers normally made themselves known in an array of sports throughout the competitive seasons.

Just to name a few, WKU more recently has made strides in the volleyball, football, softball, and baseball sectors of the SBC, while basketball has always been a staple of the program. The Tops have proven themselves to be a fierce competitor to the many foes in the Sun Belt, whether they be old time rivals, or SBC newcomers, the Hilltoppers have always been stiff competition in the league.

For example, the Hilltopper basketball programs will both leave a competition gap for someone else to fill in the conference as both programs had great success in the SBC. Both the Men’s and Women’s programs achieved nine Conference Tournament Championships along with a long list of regular season championships, and that is just elaboration on one set of programs in the SBC from WKU.

I think the SBC will miss some of the great rivalries that were kindled during Western’s tenure in the conference, such as the always intriguing Ragin Cajun vs Hilltopper match-ups, and we can’t forget one of the SBC’s longest rivalries between South Al and WKU.

Overall, the loss of consistent competition sustained from the Hilltoppers will dearly be missed in the league. No matter where you looked, WKU’s squads kept achieving success in every facet of the conference and always made themselves known at some point of every athletic season. That is why I truly believe the Sun Belt will miss seeing Big Red and the Hilltoppers battle it out in SBC play.