Is What We've Expected about to Happen?
by, 03-26-2013 at 09:56 PM (6262 Views)
By this time tomorrow, it would appear, we will know the answer as to whether Appalachian State and Georgia Southern are leaving the Southern Conference, meaning those two FCS power football programs will be stepping up to FBS.
Both schools have scheduled news conferences for Wednesday regarding a "major announcement" and the "future of Eagle athletics." Multiple media reports indicate the likely announcement for both will be acceptance of an invitation to join the Sun Belt Conference. It's likely that both schools will make the move in 2014 and that neither will be able to pursue the FCS crown in 2013. Such a situation - taking out two of the likely contenders for the SoCon's automatic bid - will create quite a scramble for the top spot in the league this fall.
Also, the move creates the obvious question regarding what the Southern Conference will do to replace Appalachian State and Georgia Southern long term, not just in football but in all sports. The conference already has lost College of Charleston with its move next school year to the CAA (the Cougars don't field a football team). The SoCon's deliberations will be of great interest over the coming months.
These decisions, if that's what will be announced Wednesday, are not unexpected as the college athletics landscape continues to shift.