Sun Belt Approves New Football and Basketball scheduling
Last week in New Orleans, Sun Belt athletic directors approved scheduling changes for football and men's basketball.
Beginning in 2015, the Sun Belt will move to a nine-game, round-robin football schedule. In 2012-2014, the teams will continue to play an eight-game conference schedule. With South Alabama joining the Sun Belt for football in 2012 (they will not be eligible for the title in their first year), the Sun Belt will play eight conference games, which means, for each of those three seasons, there will be a team absent from each team's conference schedule.
Louisiana will not play Middle Tennessee in 2012, Troy in 2013 and Western Kentucky in 2014.
The delay in implementing the nine-game round-robin is to give schools an opportunity to fulfill contracted non-conference games already in place from 2012-2014.
Meanwhile, men's basketball scheduling will also change, beginning in the 2012-13 season.
With Denver leaving the league and the Sun Belt at eleven basketball schools, athletic directors approved a double round-robin schedule, meaning all schools will play twenty conference games beginning next season. Despite a totally balanced schedule, the Sun Belt will continue to have separate East/West divisions. The East division will have six teams, the West will have five. For tournament seeding purposes, the division winner with the best record will be seeded #1. The other division winner will be seeded #2. The remaining seeds will be determined according to conference record, regardless of divisions. The top five seeds will receive byes to the quarterfinals.
The Sun Belt will also begin exploration of a neutral site for the Sun Belt baseball tournament. The tournament is scheduled for Bowling Green, KY in 2012 and M. L. "Tigue" Moore Field in Lafayette in 2013.