The Sun Belt Conference Officially Welcomes Four New Members

July 2, 2014 · By · Filed Under NCAA, News, Sun Belt Conference 

SunBeltSecondaryLogo_2013The Sun Belt Conference said their farewell’s to one school and welcomed four more to the conference on Tuesday.

Western Kentucky officially became a member of Conference USA as Georgia Southern, Appalachian State, New Mexico State and Idaho all joined the Sun Belt. Georgia Southern and Appalachian State both join as full members while New Mexico State and Idaho both join as football-only members.

The with the loss of one and addition of four, it brings the total number of schools in the Sun Belt playing football to 11.

Georgia Southern and Appalachian State join the conference from the Football Championship Subdivision Southern Conference as they are both completing the second year of a two-year transition to Football Bowl Subdivision membership.

Idaho and New Mexico State both were recently members of the Western Athletic Conference and both were previously Sun Belt members.

Western Kentucky joins a number of other former SBC schools in Conference USA.

This brings the Sun Belt Conference membership to South Alabama, Troy, Arkansas State, Louisiana-Lafayette, Louisiana-Monroe, Texas State, Georgia State, Georiga Southern, Appalachian State, Idaho and New Mexico State in football. Arkansas-Little Rock and Texas-Arlington are both members of the conference, but do not sponsor football.

All 11 football teams will be eligible for the Sun Belt Conference football championship this season.

It has been repeated several times by Sun Belt Commissioner Karl Benson that it is the goal of the Sun Belt to get to 12 football-playing members so they can break into divisions and most importantly have a football Championship game.

ULL and Arkansas State shared the regular-season title last year with a 5-2 conference record while South Alabama, in it’s first season as a full FBS member and first season eligible for the title, finished second in the conference with a 4-3 record after defeating ULL 30-8 in the season finale. Though the Jags were bowl eligible at 6-6, they were not extended an invitation.

The conference begins play on August 27 when Georgia State hosts Abilene Christian. The Jags open their season on September 6 when they travel to Kent State.

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