Sun Belt announces 2018 football schedule

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NEW ORLEANS – The Sun Belt Conference and ESPN announced the conference’s 2018 football slate on Tuesday that includes all dates for conference games, the initial television lineup, and the date of the inaugural Sun Belt Football Championship Game.

The Sun Belt’s championship game will be played on Saturday, December 1, and will air on ABC, ESPN, or ESPN2.  The game will feature the winners of the Sun Belt’s two divisions and will take place at the home site of the divisional champion with the best overall conference winning percentage.

The 2018 season will be the first year the Sun Belt has conducted divisional play, with two five-team divisions having previously been announced.  The two divisions are:

East: Appalachian State, Coastal Carolina, Georgia Southern, Georgia State, Troy
West: Arkansas State, Louisiana, ULM, South Alabama, Texas State

Head-to-head regular season conference matches will be on display to a national television audience for two Tuesday night ESPN2 showings and four Thursday night ESPNU games.

A television schedule for the first three weeks of the regular season plus game times for midweek contests will be announced at a later date.  For games in the fourth week of the season and beyond, networks will typically be determined 12 days out from the contest.

The 2018 season will conclude with the Sun Belt being guaranteed a minimum of five spots in postseason bowl games. The Sun Belt maintains partnerships with the R+L Carriers New Orleans Bowl, the Dollar General Bowl, the Raycom Media Camellia Bowl, the AutoNation Cure Bowl, and the NOVA Home Loans Arizona Bowl.  Additionally, the College Football Playoff guarantees that a spot among the premier bowl games in college football will be given to the highest-ranked champion from the Group of Five” conferences: the Sun Belt Conference, American Athletic Conference, Mountain West Conference, Mid-American Conference and Conference USA.

In the past two seasons, Sun Belt teams have won eight of 11 bowl games – a .727 winning percentage.  In 2016 the Sun Belt was 4-2 in bowl games and finished 2017 with a 4-1 record.

2018 Sun Belt Conference Composite Football Schedule

Thursday, August 30
Kennesaw State at Georgia State

Saturday, September 1
Appalachian State at Penn State
Southeastern Missouri at Arkansas State
Coastal Carolina at South Carolina
South Carolina State at Georgia Southern
Grambling at Louisiana
Southeastern Louisiana at ULM
Louisiana Tech at South Alabama
Texas State at Rutgers
Boise State at Troy

Saturday, September 8
Appalachian State at Charlotte
Arkansas State at Alabama
UAB at Coastal Carolina
UMASS at Georgia Southern
Georgia State at NC State
ULM at Southern Miss
South Alabama at Oklahoma State
Texas Southern at Texas State
Florida A&M at Troy

Friday, September 14
Georgia State at Memphis (ESPN/ESPN2/ESPNU/ESPNews)

Saturday, September 15
Southern Miss at Appalachian State
Arkansas State at Tulsa
Campbell at Coastal Carolina
Georgia Southern at Clemson
Louisiana at Mississippi State
ULM at Texas A&M
* Texas State at South Alabama
Troy at Nebraska

Saturday, September 22
Gardner Webb at Appalachian State
UNLV at Arkansas State
* Coastal Carolina at Louisiana
Western Michigan at Georgia State
* Troy at ULM
South Alabama at Memphis
Texas State at UTSA

Saturday, September 29
* South Alabama at Appalachian State
* Arkansas State at Georgia Southern
* Coastal Carolina at Troy
* ULM at Georgia State
Louisiana at Alabama

Thursday, October 4
* Georgia State at Troy (ESPNU)

Saturday, October 6
* South Alabama at Georgia Southern
* Louisiana at Texas State
ULM at Ole Miss

Tuesday, October 9
* Appalachian State at Arkansas State (ESPN2)

Thursday, October 11
* Georgia Southern at Texas State (ESPNU)

Saturday, October 13
* ULM at Coastal Carolina
New Mexico State at Louisiana
Alabama State at South Alabama
Troy at Liberty

Thursday, October 18
* Georgia State at Arkansas State (ESPNU)

Saturday, October 20
* Louisiana at Appalachian State
Coastal Carolina at UMASS
Georgia Southern at New Mexico State
* Texas State at ULM

Tuesday, October 23
* Troy at South Alabama (ESPN2)

Thursday, October 25
* Appalachian State at Georgia Southern (ESPNU)

Saturday, October 27
* Arkansas State at Louisiana
* Coastal Carolina at Georgia State
New Mexico State at Texas State

Saturday, November 3
* Appalachian State at Coastal Carolina
* South Alabama at Arkansas State
* Georgia Southern at ULM
* Texas State at Georgia State
* Louisiana at Troy

Saturday, November 10
* Appalachian State at Texas State
* Arkansas State at Coastal Carolina
* Troy at Georgia Southern
* Georgia State at Louisiana
* ULM at South Alabama

Saturday, November 17
* Georgia State at Appalachian State
* ULM at Arkansas State
* Georgia Southern at Coastal Carolina
* South Alabama at Louisiana
* Texas State at Troy

Saturday, November 24
* Troy at Appalachian State
* Arkansas State at Texas State
* Coastal Carolina at South Alabama
* Georgia Southern at Georgia State
* Louisiana at ULM

Saturday, December 1
Sun Belt Football Championship Game

* denotes Sun Belt Conference game

2018 Sun Belt Conference Team-by-Team Football Schedule

Appalachian State
09/01       at Penn State
09/08       at Charlotte
09/15       Southern Miss
09/22       Gardner Webb
09/29       * South Alabama
10/09       * at Arkansas State (ESPN2)
10/20       * Louisiana
10/25       * at Georgia Southern (ESPNU)
11/03       * at Coastal Carolina
11/10       * at Texas State
11/17       * Georgia State
11/24       * Troy

Arkansas State
09/01       Southeastern Missouri
09/08       at Alabama
09/15       at Tulsa
09/22       UNLV
09/29       * at Georgia Southern
10/09       * Appalachian State (ESPN2)
10/18       * Georgia State (ESPNU)
10/27       * at Louisiana
11/03       * South Alabama
11/10       * at Coastal Carolina
11/17       * ULM
11/24       * at Texas State

Coastal Carolina
09/01       at South Carolina
09/08       UAB
09/15       Campbell
09/22       * at Louisiana
09/29       * at Troy
10/13       * ULM
10/20       at UMASS
10/27       * at Georgia State
11/03       * Appalachian State
11/10       * Arkansas State
11/17       * Georgia Southern
11/24       * at South Alabama

Georgia Southern
09/01       South Carolina State
09/08       UMASS
09/15       at Clemson
09/29       * Arkansas State
10/06       * South Alabama
10/11       * at Texas State (ESPNU)
10/20       at New Mexico State
10/25       * Appalachian State (ESPNU)
11/03       * at ULM
11/10       * Troy
11/17       * at Coastal Carolina
11/24       * at Georgia State

Georgia State
08/30       Kennesaw State
09/08       at NC State
09/14       at Memphis (ESPN TBD)
09/22       Western Michigan
09/29       * ULM
10/04       * at Troy (ESPNU)
10/18       * at Arkansas State (ESPNU)
10/27       * Coastal Carolina
11/03       * Texas State
11/10       * at Louisiana
11/17       * at Appalachian State
11/24       * Georgia Southern

09/01       Grambling
09/15       at Mississippi State
09/22       * Coastal Carolina
09/29       at Alabama
10/06       * at Texas State
10/13       New Mexico State
10/20       * at Appalachian State
10/27       * Arkansas State
11/03       * at Troy
11/10       * Georgia State
11/17       * South Alabama
11/24       * at ULM

09/01       Southeastern Louisiana
09/08       at Southern Miss
09/15       at Texas A&M
09/22       * Troy
09/29       * at Georgia State
10/06       at Ole Miss
10/13       * at Coastal Carolina
10/20       * Texas State
11/03       * Georgia Southern
11/10       * at South Alabama
11/17       * at Arkansas State
11/24       * Louisiana

South Alabama
09/01       Louisiana Tech
09/08       at Oklahoma State
09/15       * Texas State
09/22       at Memphis
09/29       * at Appalachian State
10/06       * at Georgia Southern
10/13       Alabama State
10/23       * Troy (ESPN2)
11/03       * at Arkansas State
11/10       * ULM
11/17       * at Louisiana
11/24       * Coastal Carolina

Texas State
09/01       at Rutgers
09/08       Texas Southern
09/15       * at South Alabama
09/22       at UTSA
10/06       * Louisiana
10/11       * Georgia Southern (ESPNU)
10/20       * at ULM
10/27       New Mexico State
11/03       * at Georgia State
11/10       * Appalachian State
11/17       * at Troy
11/24       * Arkansas State

09/01       Boise State
09/08       Florida A&M
09/15       at Nebraska
09/22       * at ULM
09/29       * Coastal Carolina
10/04       * Georgia State (ESPNU)
10/13       at Liberty
10/23       * at South Alabama (ESPN2)
11/03       * Louisiana
11/10       * at Georgia Southern
11/17       * Texas State
11/24       * at Appalachian State

* denotes Sun Belt Conference game

About the Sun Belt ConferenceAbout the Sun Belt Conference
The Sun Belt Conference continues to establish itself as a force to be reckoned with in competition.  The 2016-17 athletic season showed that the Sun Belt Conference takes a back seat to no other league in its competitive balance and in proving itself deserving of its status as a member of the NCAA’s highest conference tier.

The Sun Belt has gone 8-3 in bowl games the past two years, which makes the Sun Belt’s winning percentage the best among all conferences. In fact, over the past four years no one ranks higher in bowl winning percentage than the Sun Belt. The Sun Belt also had the most wins and best win percentage among the “Group of Five” peer conferences, including victories over teams in the two top-rated leagues in the final computer rankings.

During the recent 2016-17 academic year, Sun Belt member institutions awarded over $50 million in scholarships to more than 3,100 student-athletes, while also providing life experiences such as team building, domestic and foreign travel, community service, mentoring and recognition through honors and awards.

Appalachian State, Arkansas State, Coastal Carolina, Georgia Southern, Georgia State, Louisiana, ULM, South Alabama, Texas State and Troy will give the league 10 football members and enable the Sun Belt to inaugurate divisional football play and stage a conference championship game in 2018. Little Rock and UTA compete as Sun Belt members in all sports other than football.

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