The Sun Belt has added four new football teams to the conference and will be splitting up into divisions, according to a press release.
The Sun Belt announced on Wednesday that it will be adding Idaho, Georgia Southern, Appalachian State and New Mexico State on July 1, 2014. SB Nation reported Monday that GSU and App State would leave the SoCon for the Sun Belt.
It also announced that Idaho would be playing in the conference's Western Conference along with Arkansas State, Louisiana Monroe, New Mexico State and Texas State. That leaves Georgia State, Louisiana-Lafayette, South Alabama, Troy, Western Kentucky, Georgia Southern and Appalachian State to play in the Eastern Conference, assuming WKU doesn't leave for Conference USA as rumored.
The new 12-team Sun Belt will now have a conference championship, and each team would likely play nine conference games. Dr. Jack Hawkins, the Chancellor of Troy University and the president of the Sun Belt Conference, congratulated the teams making the jump and is excited about the conference's future.
"Bringing Idaho and New Mexico State back for football gives our league stability without compromising quality," said Dr. Jack Hawkins, Jr., Chancellor of Troy University and President of the Sun Belt Conference Executive Committee. "These are outstanding institutions with strong leadership and I join my fellow presidents and chancellors in welcoming them home to the Sun Belt Conference."
The Sun Belt, a non-BCS conference, strengthened their standing in college football with the additions of the four teams. While they won't get much national attention compared to BCS schools, they could surprise a team or two in 2014 when the conference expands.