As the landscape of college sports continues to change because of conference realignment, we have news of more movement Tuesday.
According to the Associated Press, Appalachian State and Georgia Southern will leave the Southern Conference and join the Sun Belt in every sport except for football beginning at the start of the 2014 season. The football program of each respective school will begin the transition from FCS to FBS and join the Sun Belt in 2015.
The two additions means 12 basketball schools will compete in the 2014-15 Sun Belt season, with Appalachian State and Georgia Southern joining Arkansas State, Georgia State, Louisiana-Lafayette, Louisiana-Monroe, South Alabama, Texas State, Troy, Western Kentucky, Arkansas-Little Rock and Texas-Arlington.
The move, as much of conference realignment has been, is motivated by the desire of both schools to become FBS football programs. The teams have won a combined nine FCS championships.
As for the basketball implications, Appalachian State finished last season with an overall record of 15-16, including 10-8 in the SoCon. The Mountaineeers lost to eventual champion Davidson in the semifinals of the conference tournament.
Georgia Southern finished 14-19 this season and 7-11 in the SoCon. It, too, lost to Davidson in the conference tournament, falling to coach Bob McKillop’s team in the quarterfinal round.