Sun Belt Conference to Hold Football Conference Championship in 2018

By Eddie Lerma ­
Assistant Sports Director

The Sun Belt Conference announced that it will hold a football championship game beginning with the 2018 season. Ten schools will more than likely lineup for a full round-­robin, regular­ season competition between all members of the conference and a championship between the top two teams of the conference. The Sun Belt was the last FBS conference in the NCAA to install a football championship.

Texas State vs. USM on September 20, 2015. Photo by Kiersten Ehr.
Texas State vs. USM on September 20, 2015. Photo by Kiersten Ehr.

“This is a historic moment that represents yet another step forward for the Sun Belt Conference,” said Commissioner Karl Benson in a teleconference last week. Football coach Everett Withers stated, “It is an exciting time for all of us in the Sun Belt Conference to know that a championship game will determine our champion. This shows the growth and enhancement of our conference. This will further provide evidence that the Sun Belt is as competitive and has as much quality as any college football conference.”

A Sun Belt football championship could help the College Football Playoff committee by providing a clear conference champion. The playoff committee currently selects the strongest champion from the group of Power-Five conferences and grants an opportunity to play in a New Year’s Six bowl game.

Texas State Director of Athletics Larry Teis then stated, “We are now on the same level as our peers and will be playing on championship weekend with nine other FBS conferences.”

“With only 10 conference championship games being played that weekend, it provides an opportunity to showcase the Sun Belt Conference and gives our football student-athletes another chance to compete for the regular season championship, and then participate in a bowl game,” said Teis. “With five bowl tie ins and a championship game, the league has made tremendous strides in a short amount of time.”

The Sun Belt teams that will compete for a football championship in the 2018 season are:

  • Texas State
  • Georgia State
  • Arkansas State
  • Georgia Southern
  • Louisiana­ Lafayette
  • Louisiana Monroe
  • South Alabama
  • Troy
  • Appalachian State
  • Coastal Carolina

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