Decisions, Decisions - Part One

From July 18th until July 20th, the athletic directors of the Sun Belt Conference met in New Orleans to chart the course for the league. Mostly dealing with the changes that will come when South Alabama joins the conference, a decision was reached on the status of USA games in league standings for 2012.

South Alabama has begun its transition to FBS football in 2011, with an FCS schedule. In 2012, USA will be a conditional FBS team but will not be eligible for bowl games or a conference title, despite playing an eight game schedule against SBC foes (this is needed by USA to satisfy FBS rules and advance to full membership). A question that has remained unanswered is if the games against USA will count toward league standings. The answer has arrived.

"We will count as for the Sun Belt institutions as a regular Sun Belt game. It will count in the standings for them," said USA athletic director Dr. Joel Erdmann.

One team in the conference will not get an opportunity to play the Jags, something that might be perceived as a disadvantage considering USA's status one of the country's newest football programs. According to Dr. Erdmann, that never came up in discussions.

There was some talk about what was best, whether we should or shouldn't count," he said. "It is my understanding that the situation is similar to when Western Kentucky transitioned from FCS to FBS, when the same thing was done. As long as we play an eight game schedule, everyone's going to miss one team or another."

So, this clear's up one of the mysteries about the SBC's future in terms of scheduling. Others will be in the next installment of Decisions, Decisions.

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