Sun Belt

Sun Belt will start a football championship game in 2018

Sun Belt adds football championship game

The Sun Belt Conference announced Wednesday it will have at football title game after the 2018 season.

That is all that is know, or that was just announced on Wednesday.

The unanswered questions are:

Who will play? The league is still considering a one- or two-division format and if there will be an 8 or 9 game conference schedule.

Where will it be played? Most likely at a campus site, according to Commissioner Karl Benson.

Will it be on TV? Benson said yes and the first option would be part of the ESPN family.

The title game does not begin until Utah and New Mexico State are no longer members and one season after Coastal Carolina begins league play in 2017.

How they get there is going to be the next question to be answered. There is the likely possibility of two divisions. The drawback there is where do split the Alabama schools (Troy and South Alabama) since most of the league is well defined as east or west.

Another decision is will the league opt to play an 8- or 9-game league schedule.

If the league chooses a division format the divisions would have 5 members each as the Sun Belt will have ten football members.

“The Sun Belt has entrenched itself as a strong football league in the ‘Group of Five’, and now we’ve joined the other conferences with a championship game,’’ said Arkansas State coach Blake Anderson. “Our conference continues to examine any and all opportunities for growth, and the addition of a championship game is another example of that.”

A-State  Director of Athletics Terry Mohajir has been cautious about adding the game but joined the rest of the league on the vote.

“A championship game will put a spotlight on the Sun Belt Conference, so any time you can attract that kind of national attention it is obviously a positive for the league and its membership,’’ said  Mohajir. “Not only will this bring additional TV exposure, it also presents our conference with the added excitement, prestige and pageantry associated with a championship game.”

A-State has won four of the past five Sun Belt titles.