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Sun Belt Expansion: Texas State Officially On Board For 2013

The Texas State Bobcats, who've yet to play a FBS football game, are already set to join their third conference in three years. Since jumping from the Southland for the WAC, the WAC has begun disintegrating, making a move to the Sun Belt mighty attractive, and the Sun Belt it is. The SBC is also bringing on Georgia State and non-football member Texas-Arlington.

The Sun Belt is losing North Texas and Florida International to Conference USA, which is itself making up for schools taken by the Big East, which had to go national after being eaten by the ACC and Big 12, which lost teams to the Big Ten and Pac-12. It's all connected, maaan.

The Sun Belt's statement on Texas State:

"Texas State University has worked very hard to be ready for FBS competition and joining the Sun Belt Conference represents a new opportunity for our future," said Texas State University President Denise M. Trauth. "The Sun Belt's record of competitive success over more than 35 years provides a tradition of excellence that we are happy to join. Our students and alumni will bring a very strong fan base that will welcome these new opportunities. Just as Texas State is the rising star of Texas, we believe that the Sun Belt is also on the rise and we are happy to be a part of its future."

"On behalf of the presidents and chancellors of the Sun Belt Conference, it is my honor to welcome Texas State University as the newest member of our league family," said Sun Belt Conference Executive Committee President and Troy University Chancellor Jack Hawkins, Jr. "We are not the same conference we were 10 years ago. The Sun Belt is strong athletically as demonstrated by the fact that our bowl record over the last eight years is better than five other BCS conferences. We are stronger academically, as 90 percent of our teams have achieved an Academic Progress Rates of 925 or higher. Texas State is an excellent addition to our strong, growing conference."

Texas State, located in San Marcos between Austin and San Antonio, is home to over 34,000 students and officially opened its doors in 1903. Notably, Texas State is the only university in Texas to have graduated a U.S. president: Lyndon B. Johnson, class of 1930.

The Texas State athletics program currently consists of 16 varsity programs including the football team coached by Dennis Franchione. The Bobcats will begin their first season at the Football Bowl Subdivision level in 2012 and will be eligible to compete for football conference champions and bowl games when they join the Sun Belt in 2013.

"Texas State is a great addition to the Sun Belt Conference as the Bobcat athletic program is destined for success in the Football Bowl Subdivision," said Sun Belt Commissioner Karl Benson. "The Sun Belt Conference's rise to prominence will continue with Texas State as part of our league."

"We are very excited about becoming a member of the Sun Belt Conference in 2013," said Texas State Director of Athletics Dr. Larry Teis. "We know that our student-athletes will be eager to succeed in the Sun Belt, and we will enter the conference ready to compete. We look forward to building new rivalries with some Sun Belt schools and renewing rivalries with others. The Sun Belt Conference encompasses eight states from Texas to Florida that are rich in college athletic traditions, especially in the sport of FBS football."

Texas State's budget for athletics ranks in the upper half of the current Sun Belt Conference membership, and its undergraduate enrollment ranks near the top of the league's current membership.