PHOBOS – In an unprecedented move sure to shock the college football world, 10 of the Solar System's finest universities have formed an all-sports athletics league to be named the Moon Belt Conference. Starting play in 2050, the Moon Belt Conference is taking the Sun Belt Conference's lead and is expanding outward, or outofthisworldward, if you may.
Charter schools include Io State, Phoebe University, Kale Gulf Coast, Phobos Tech, Prospero State, Neso Institute of Technology, S/2004 S12 College, Aegir State, Ariel Academy and East Carolina University.
"We're incredibly excited for this opportunity," ECU athletic director Jeff Compher said. "A conference with this much prestige is sure to boost our already pristine academic institution, as well as our sparkling athletic heritage. We have been waiting for this offer for quite some time, but persistance has paid off. When I was at NIU, we played the Toledo Rockets quite frequently, but now we'll be taking rockets to play at NIT. I know our fans are reared up and ready to go."
Also announced was the new Galactic Championship Belt Challenge, which will pit Sun Belt teams against Moon Belt teams and be broadcast on Watch ESPN and [check your local cable companies for availability in your area]. Finally, fans will be able to see their favorite teams square off, whether it be in space or Boone, N.C.
John Hartwell, Troy's athletic director, expressed concern about the decision. "We're not operating on some kind of Nick Saban budget here. It used to be we'd get paid up to a million dollars to go play in Tallahassee. We're going to need some federal NASA subsidy just to get up in space in the first place. And don't get me started on those hibernation chambers."
Also dismayed is S/2006 S3, which has announced it will refuse to play ages-old rival S/2004 S12 in out-of-conference games. The Orbit War will be mourned by fans everywhere.
Further potential expansion candidates include Saturn's Prometheus, which is unwatchable and without character, according to sources.
Fans are already lining up to get tickets to the games, with some diehards getting some new football fans in the act.
"Hey now, we were gonna build a rocket out of my cousin's Ford F150," said South Alabama fan Clint Bourdeaux, "but instead my brother has a Gateway PC and craigslisted some Russians who are flying up there. I figure if we split gas, we can still have enough money to tailgate once we get to Uranus or wherever the hell it is we're heading to. Sure beats going to Monroe."
Conference commissioner and Galactic Overlord Tom Hanks sees the move being beneficial for all parties involved, and is even envisioning expansion to come.
"While we are still awaiting the decision of Ganymede," Hanks reiterated, "which has remained staunchly independent thus far, we are confident we'll be able to be a big draw in the TV markets across the Solar System. We have a footprint in some very critical areas, and we know we can stay competitive as long as we have enough oxygen for our players. We're really looking forward to Week 1, when Kirk Ferentz and the Iowa Hawkeyes come to Kale."
Conference expansion and the arrival of the Moon Belt Conference has the rest of the college football world shooting for the stars. The Big East has reportedly already made a move to try and steal Phoebe, due to its inroads into Titan's recruiting territory, as well as its natural rival, Rutgers.
One thing's for sure, football truly is the universe's game.