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Sun Belt announces it will officially grow by four in 2014

Kibbie Dome

So, it’s official now for those who care about such things.

Following up on multiple reports from the past couple of days, the Sun Belt Conference has announced the addition of four members on Wednesday: Appalachian State and Georgia Southern as all-sport members, and Idaho and New Mexico State as football-only members. The conference will grow by four beginning in 2014. That will give the SBC 12 members in football, enough to warrant a conference championship game.

Idaho and New Mexico State were previously members of the SBC from 2001-04.

As previously mentioned, ASU and GSU will begin making the transition from 1-AA to 1-A status this year, and will be eligible for postseason play starting in 2015.

The four teams replace FAU, FIU, Middle Tennessee and North Texas, who have left the Sun Belt to head to Conference USA.

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9 Responses to “Sun Belt announces it will officially grow by four in 2014”
  1. fcmlefty1 says: Mar 28, 2013 9:30 AM

    This isn’t over yet. Somebody from this conference will be going to Conference USA to replace Tulsa. Sun Belt will still be on the search for one more team. I’ve heard James Madison is a possibility – but they seem to be a bit out of the footprint of the full sports members. We’ll see I guess

  2. catfanatic1979v1 says: Mar 28, 2013 9:55 AM

    WKU will end up in CUSA.

  3. tommy57 says: Mar 28, 2013 12:59 PM

    Maybe it’s just me and my PSU tragedy apprehension, but I’m concerned that all the conference moves may not be in the best interest of the sport as a whole. I recall a time when winning the ACC or the B1G (and SEC, of course) was the goal, and a post-season bowl game was the cherry on top – not the cake itself. I sense a slow movement away from conference loyalty toward a national playoff scheme, similar to basketball but on a much smaller scale. I fear this will only serve to further diminish conference enthusiasm and thus damage the smaller schools. We’ll be full of Goliath’s with no real David’s. Maybe that’s how it is already.

  4. neomodernism says: Mar 28, 2013 3:24 PM

    they will need a replacement for WKU (possibly ASU).
    I suggest Sam Houston, Florida A&M, and Richmond and go to 14.

  5. wustlumdnj says: Mar 28, 2013 3:45 PM


  6. kpageisgreat says: Mar 28, 2013 4:12 PM

    Richmond will not move up. Stadium seats about 9k.

    JMU most likely will be moving up with the demise of the CAA. They want an overall fit for all their athletics. That’s the only thing hindering them at this moment. But to the Sun Belt I don’t think so.

    Delaware is likely option #2 to move up but more than likely to the MAC. JMU will probably try to move there or still sit tight.

  7. dmcgrann says: Mar 28, 2013 5:38 PM

    Yep, Richmond’s new stadium is too small. It was built to be expanded, but not to a FBS level. The larger problem is simply one of size. To fill out the teams in all of the sports Richmond now offers, they already have to basically set aside something like 17% of each incoming class for students who are expected to participate in athletics. If you were to apply the same ratio to a school the size of, say, VCU, they would be admitting more student-athletes per year than Ohio State has participating in all of their sports across all classes. That’s not a Title IX problem, really, just a problem of mass.

  8. cranespy says: Mar 29, 2013 1:18 AM

    Knew it was coming but it is a sad day in the So Con. The atmosphere at Kidd Brewer Stadium on a crisp fall day was magical. Knowing that the Mountaineers had a shot at challenging for a title made those Ga Southern, Furman and Wofford tilts magical. Throw in an occasional out of conference tilt with JMU, Montana or McNeese State and you had small college football at it’s finest topped off by three consecutive FCS National Championships! Now all there is to look forward to is home games against unknown opponents and a slim chance at some obscure bowl game that has zero significance. I am sure Charlie Cobb is thinking App State will be the next Boise…..make the jump, knock off a big fish now and again and develop a national following…becoming the 16th member of the ACC or BIG 12…….more likely they will remain in what is left of the Sun Belt until it ceases to exist and they end up in the CUSA which by that time will consist of their current FCSfriends except then they will play not for championships but for some stupid bowl trophy in an empty stadium with a smattering of fans. Way to go Charlie…you had something very special in Boone and you killed it. Instead of focusing so much attention on Boise you should’ve looked at once mighty Marshall. That’s the reality of being a little fish in a huge pond.

  9. gsueagle says: Mar 29, 2013 5:14 PM

    @cranespy I feel your pain. Being a Georgia Southern graduate and current Georgia State MBA student, the only thing I have to look forward to now is the big “in state showdown” at the Dome. It’s all about the money.

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