Sun Belt, MAC meet at War Memorial to talk bowl in Little Rock

LITTLE ROCK , AR (KAIT) - Sun Belt Conference and MAC officials met at War Memorial Stadium on Thursday to talk about the two conferences meeting on the field soon in a football postseason bowl.

There have been rumblings for months about a bowl game coming to Little Rock and it was possible that the Sun Belt Conference would be involved, but Thursday's meeting was really the first concrete information anyone was able to get that confirmed there was a real possibility this could happen.

In an interview with Region 8 Sports, Sun Belt Conference Commissioner Karl Benson confirmed the two sides were talking and meeting with city officials regarding a future bowl game, a bowl that would be start in December of 2014. "The Sun Belt is very committed to a game here in Little Rock, the stadium is absolutely perfect," said Benson, "It fits our geography and the Sun Belt is in need of a third and perhaps fourth bowl game."

When asked about the MAC being a part of the bowl Benson was very complimentary of their achievements in the past, "Well again, this is all preliminary but they (MAC) are very similar conference to the Sun Belt and have had a lot of success, they had seven bowl eligible teams last year," said Benson.

The Sun Belt and MAC have met in the past and will again this year in the Bowl.

Region 8 Sports was also able to confirm that talks for the bowl name were headed towards the game being called the "Rice Bowl".

If the bowl talks do indeed come to fruition, it will likely be almost exclusive to Arkansas State, assuming the team were bowl eligible. This would be much welcomed new to Red Wolves fans after some frustration with being sent to Mobile twice in two years, along with the Sun Belt Conference deciding to move the SBC Basketball Championship out of Arkansas and to New Orleans.

Benson continually stressed that the talks were preliminary and Thursday was the "second phase" of talks to bring a postseason bowl game to War Memorial Stadium.

Copyright 2013 KAIT. All rights reserved.