Skip to content

Report: Sun Belt may raid SoCon to add two new members

Feb 2, 2013, 11:30 AM EDT

courtesy AppStateNation.com Image courtesy of AppStateNation.com

At this point, any realignment scenario being bandied about for any league seems plausible. None of the rumors and conjecture have the paper trail discovered by AppStateNation, however.

The blog, dedicated to coverage of the Appalachian State Mountaineers, used an official Freedom of Information Act request to uncover potential realignment plans that involve the Sun Belt Conference, Georgia State University and, of course, Appalachian State University. Georgia State responded to the FOIA request promptly, sending piles of emails and other information that was, frankly, not that interesting.

There was one piece of correspondence, however, that sparked a great deal of interest. A map showing current Sun Belt schools alongside two schools that aren’t members. Yet. Blog editor John Miller’s reaction:

The map shows the locations of every Sun Belt school…except that Appalachian State and Georgia Southern are added!

Is this a working plan for how the conference will look very soon? Is this just a mockup that they are using to throw around ideas? I honestly have no idea. But they went through great lengths to ensure everyone who read the email knew it was “confidential”. I guess they forgot about us pesky sports bloggers and our annoying FOIA requests.

The usual realignment reasoning doesn’t seem to apply to this potential move. Both Georgia Southern and Appalachian State have been highly successful in FCS football, but haven’t – to date – made any open attempts to move up to the FBS level, which would be required for full membership in the Sun Belt. So this may be a sign of news to come in the DI football world.

In terms of media markets, Statesboro, GA and Boone, NC add almost nothing to the league’s profile. In terms of travel expenses, Appy State adds a rather distant outpost – most distant from another new member, Texas State – that current members would have to include in the travel schedule if the change is made.

And, the thing we’re most interested in: basketball. Both potential movers are members of the Southern Conference right now. Georgia Southern last went to the NCAA tournament in 1992. Appy State last nabbed the SoCon auto-bid in 2000. It seems safe to assume that hoops are along for the ride on this one, should it come to fruition.

The big-picture impact of this possible move has to be concern for the future of the SoCon. College of Charleston is headed to the CAA, and Davidson is a potential choice to fill out the basketball-only league that may be built around the Catholic Seven. If two more members head to the Sun Belt, the SoCon – a fixture in southern collegiate athletics since 1921 – will need to raid an even smaller conference to survive. The domino effect could lead to annexations in the Big South or A-Sun.

And the realignment wheel keeps turning.

Eric Angevine is the editor of Storming the Floor. He tweets @stfhoops.

Latest Posts
  1. Kansas, Indiana on opposite sides of 2015 Maui Invitational bracket

    Jul 27, 2015, 8:12 PM EDT

    AP AP

    Potentially four top-25 teams will be in the 2015 field.

  2. Colorado State’s Antwan Scott granted sixth year of eligibility

    Jul 27, 2015, 5:51 PM EDT

    Grambling State Grambling State

    Scott averaged 15.7 points per game for Grambling during the 2013-14 season.

  3. Nik Stauskas trolls Ohio State fans, claims Thad Matta didn’t know who he was (PHOTO)

    Jul 27, 2015, 5:18 PM EDT

    Getty Images Getty Images

    The former Big Ten Player of the Year (inaccurately) trolls Ohio State fans

  4. Top two 2017 recruit Michael Porter Jr. dunks all weekend (VIDEO)

    Jul 27, 2015, 3:45 PM EDT

    Screen Shot 2015-07-27 at 10.29.28 AM

    It’s pretty obvious why people like Porter.

  5. Highlights of Wenyen Gabriel, who’s been offered by Kentucky, Duke (VIDEOS)

    Jul 27, 2015, 2:17 PM EDT

    Screen Shot 2015-07-27 at 2.15.47 PM

    Gabriel was the biggest stock riser for the month.

  6. Ron Baker was the best college player for Team USA at Pan-Am Games

    Jul 27, 2015, 1:51 PM EDT

    baker Getty Images

    Denzel Valentine and Taurean Waller-Prince also played well in stretches.

  7. Ole Miss star guard arrested for DUI over the weekend

    Jul 27, 2015, 12:26 PM EDT

    AP Photo AP Photo

    Stefan Moody was the leading scorer last season for Ole Miss.

  8. Jamal Murray’s Pan-Am Games highlights (VIDEO)

    Jul 27, 2015, 9:39 AM EDT

    Getty Images Getty Images

    The hype surrounding Murray as a prospect has never been higher.

  9. Wichita State forward working hard to improve offensive repertoire

    Jul 26, 2015, 7:50 PM EDT

    wichstkelly Getty Images

    Rashard Kelly averaged just 2.9 points per game last season. With Darius Carter and Tekele Cotton gone, he’ll need to do more in 2015-16.

  10. Following acquittal, Rick Brunson discusses son Jalen’s recruitment to Villanova

    Jul 26, 2015, 6:35 PM EDT

    Jalen Brunson AP

    Villanova had been Jalen’s favorite for a long time according to his father Rick.

  11. Former Memphis forward Austin Nichols transferring to Virginia

    Jul 26, 2015, 2:10 PM EDT

    Austin Nichols (AP Photo) Austin Nichols (AP Photo)

    Nichols picked Memphis over Virginia the first time around, and once the Tigers dropped their transfer restrictions many expected him to land in Charlottesville.

  12. Four-star Class of 2016 guard Zach Norvell scores 53 points, drops 14 3-pointers in Las Vegas (VIDEO)

    Jul 26, 2015, 10:22 AM EDT

    Jon Lopez/Nike Jon Lopez/Nike

    Chicago native Zach Norvell had one of the best games of the July live evaluation period on Saturday night by scoring 53 points and knocking down 14 3-pointers.

  13. Devonte’ Graham dunks on a kid at Kansas basketball camp (VIDEO)

    Jul 26, 2015, 9:00 AM EDT

    Devonte Graham AP

    The lesson here is don’t smack talk Devonte’ Graham if he’s your camp counselor.

  14. United States wins bronze at Pan-Am Games

    Jul 25, 2015, 5:46 PM EDT

    AP Photo AP Photo

    Ron Baker and Taurean Waller-Prince played well for the Americans.

  15. UMass commit Unique McLean wins dunk contest with ridiculous under-the-legs finish (VIDEO)

    Jul 25, 2015, 1:30 PM EDT

    unique

    UMass commit Unique McLean threw down a ridiculous dunk contest slam in front of a sea of people.

  16. 2016 small forward Lamar Stevens focusing on eight schools

    Jul 25, 2015, 12:00 PM EDT

    Jon Lopez/Nike Jon Lopez/Nike

    The Team Final rising senior tweeted out his list Friday morning.

  17. Friday Las Vegas Recap: De’Aaron Fox, Charlie Moore have monster games

    Jul 25, 2015, 10:30 AM EDT

    (Jon Lopez/Nike) (Jon Lopez/Nike)

    A pair of Class of 2016 lead guards put together great games on Friday night while a two-sport athlete and the younger brother of an SEC guard also stood out.