NEW ORLEANS -- The Sun Belt Conference released its 2018 and 2019 conference football schedules, the first years with a divisional structure in place.
Beginning in 2018, the conference will be split in two five-team divisions (East and West) and the winners of each division will meet in the inaugural Sun Belt football championship game in December 2018.
The two previously released football divisions are:
East: GEORGIA STATE, Appalachian State, Coastal Carolina, Georgia Southern, Troy
West: Arkansas State, Louisiana, ULM, South Alabama, Texas State
The Sun Belt championship game will be played at the home stadium of the divisional winner that has the best ranking in the College Football Playoff (CFP) poll.
With the Sun Belt moving forward as a 10-team league, the rotation of opponents for each team has been reset. The conference will maintain its eight game schedule and teams will continue to play four home games and four away games. Teams will play each team within their division every season – two at home and two away.
Georgia State's 2018 Sun Belt schedule includes home games against Coastal Carolina, Georgia Southern, ULM and Texas State, along with road tests at Arkansas State, Appalachian State, Louisiana and Troy.
In 2019, the Panthers host Appalachian State, Arkansas State, South Alabama and Troy, and travel to Coastal Carolina, Georgia Southern, ULM and Texas State.
GSU does not play South Alabama in 2018 and Louisiana in 2019.
The Sun Belt Conference is coming off of a banner year in 2016 in which six bowl teams combined for the second best bowl winning percentage in all of college football – trailing only the Atlantic Coast Conference.
The Sun Belt finished third in a ranking among the “Group of Five” conferences last season – ahead of both the Mid-American Conference and Conference-USA.