Sun Belt releases 2014 football schedule

NEW ORLEANS ( – The Sun Belt Conference released today its full 2014 football schedule that features eight conference games each for the league's 11 teams.
The conference lineup for the 2014 season will see Appalachian State and Georgia Southern make their debuts as Football Bowl Subdivision and Sun Belt members, while Idaho and New Mexico State return as conference members after competing in the league from 2001 through 2004.  Arkansas State (winners of two consecutive GoDaddy Bowls), Georgia State, UL Lafayette (winners of three consecutive R+L Carriers New Orleans Bowls), UL Monroe, South Alabama, Texas State, and Troy complete the Sun Belt's football membership.
The release of the conference schedule also comes with the announcement of two midweek games that will be nationally televised on ESPN2.  2013 Sun Belt co-champions UL Lafayette will travel to face Texas State on Tuesday, October 14 for a 7 p.m. (CT) kick time.  The Ragin' Cajuns will then host the team they spilt the 2013 championship with as Arkansas State travels to Lafayette on Tuesday, October 21 for a 7 p.m. (CT) start.  The Red Wolves are winners of at least a share of the last three Sun Belt Championships.
In non-conference scheduling the Sun Belt will matchup with its peer conferences (American Athletic, Conference USA, Mid-American and Mountain West) on 13 occasions this fall.  Last season the Sun Belt finished a combined 8-1 against members of Conference-USA (4-1), the Mid-American Conference (3-0) and the Mountain West Conference (1-0). The Sun Belt also had the best overall non-conference win percentage when comparing these four conferences.  The Sun Belt's 21 non-conference football wins during the 2013 season was a new record for the league - eclipsing the mark of 19 set in 2012.
Additional television games will be announced at a later date – including a minimum of five games for a nationally televised ESPNU audience.  ESPN has until June 1 to select games that take place the first three weeks of the season.  Beginning with the fourth week of the season, games are available to ESPN up until 12 days out from the contest.  Games for the Sun Belt Network package will also be announced at a later date.
2014 Sun Belt Schedule Notables
Appalachian State will be making its first trip to Michigan Stadium in Ann Arbor, Mich., since 2007 when the Mountaineers won a 34-32 game over the No. 5-ranked Wolverines. The Mountaineers, ranked No. 1 in the FCS at the time, blocked a game-winning field goal in the waning seconds to secure the historic win at Michigan.
Breakdown of matchups by conference: AAC (1), ACC (4), Big 10 (2), Big 12 (0), C-USA (4), MAC (3), MWC (5) PAC 12 (1), SEC (10)
UL Monroe hosts Wake Forest in a rematch of last season's matchup in Winston-Salem, N.C., where the Warhawks held on for a 21-19 victory.
Georgia State and Georgia Southern, rivals in many other sports, will play the first football game in series history on Oct. 25. The Eagles will make the three-hour drive up the interstate to begin the football rivalry with the Panthers at the Georgia Dome in Atlanta, Ga. Georgia Southern will also travel to Atlanta to take on another in-state foe, Georgia Tech, on Sept. 13 for the first football game in that series.
First Sun Belt Conference games for new members beginning in 2014: Appalachian State (Sept. 27, at Georgia Southern); Georgia Southern (Sept. 20, at South Alabama), Idaho (Sept. 6, at UL Monroe), New Mexico State (Sept. 20, vs. Georgia Southern)
The Appalachian State-Georgia Southern rivalry will be renewed on Sept. 27 at Paulson Stadium in Statesboro, Ga. This 29-game series, which has been played each season for the last 22 consecutive seasons, is a fiercely competitive game. Appalachian State owns a16-12-1 edge in the all-time series, including a 12-10 mark in the last 22 years, and has won the last three meetings.
The Sun Belt Conference will matchup against military academies on four separate occasions during the 2014 season. Three of those games are against Navy with Georgia Southern (Nov. 15), South Alabama (Nov. 29) and Texas State (Sept. 13) each playing the Midshipmen. Georgia State hosts Air Force on Sept. 20.
In total, Sun Belt Conference teams will matchup against 18 teams that competed in bowl games last year. Of those 18 teams, 10 won their 2013 bowl games.
Appalachian State and Georgia Southern will make their FBS debuts on the same opening weekend of college football play (Aug. 30). The Mountaineers play at Michigan while Georgia Southern travels to Raleigh, N.C. to face NC State.
2014 Sun Belt Conference Composite Football Schedule
August 27
Abilene Christian at Georgia State
August 28
Wake Forest at UL Monroe
Cal Poly at New Mexico State
August 30
Appalachian State at Michigan
Montana State at Arkansas State
Georgia Southern at NC State
Idaho at Florida
Southern at UL Lafayette
Arkansas-Pine Bluff at Texas State
Troy at UAB
September 6
Campbell at Appalachian State
Arkansas State at Tennessee
*New Mexico State at Georgia State
Savannah State at Georgia Southern
Idaho at UL Monroe
Louisiana Tech at UL Lafayette
South Alabama at Kent State
Duke at Troy
September 13
Arkansas State at Miami
Air Force at Georgia State
Georgia Southern at Georgia Tech
Western Michigan at Idaho
UL Lafayette at Ole Miss
UL Monroe at LSU
New Mexico State at UTEP
Mississippi State at South Alabama
Navy at Texas State
Abilene Christian at Troy
September 20
Appalachian State at Southern Miss
* Georgia Southern at South Alabama
Georgia State at Washington
Idaho at Ohio
UL Lafayette at Boise State
New Mexico at New Mexico State
Texas State at Illinois
Troy at Georgia
September 27
* Appalachian State at Georgia Southern
Utah State at Arkansas State
* South Alabama at Idaho
* Troy at UL Monroe
New Mexico State at LSU
Texas State at Tulsa
October 4
* South Alabama at Appalachian State
* UL Monroe at Arkansas State
* Georgia State at UL Lafayette
* Georgia Southern at New Mexico State
* Idaho at Texas State
October 11
Liberty at Appalachian State
* Arkansas State at Georgia State
* Idaho at Georgia Southern
UL Monroe at Kentucky
* New Mexico State at Troy
October 14
* UL Lafayette at Texas State – 7 p.m. (ESPN2)
October 18
* Appalachian State at Troy
* Georgia State at South Alabama
* New Mexico State at Idaho
October 21
* Arkansas State at UL Lafayette – 7 p.m. (ESPN2)
October 25
* Georgia Southern at Georgia State
* Texas State at UL Monroe
* Troy at South Alabama
November 1
* Georgia State at Appalachian State
* Arkansas State at Idaho
* Troy at Georgia Southern
* South Alabama at UL Lafayette
UL Monroe at Texas A&M
* Texas State at New Mexico State
November 8
* UL Monroe at Appalachian State
* South Alabama at Arkansas State
* Georgia State at Troy
* Georgia Southern at Texas State
Idaho at San Diego State
* UL Lafayette at New Mexico State
November 15

* Appalachian State at Arkansas State

* New Mexico State at Georgia State
Georgia Southern at Navy
* Troy at Idaho
* UL Lafayette at UL Monroe
* Texas State at South Alabama
November 22
* Appalachian State at UL Lafayette
* Arkansas State at Texas State
 Georgia State at Clemson
* UL Monroe at New Mexico State
South Alabama at South Carolina
November 28
Navy at South Alabama
November 29
* Idaho at Appalachian State
* New Mexico State at Arkansas State
* Texas State at Georgia State
* UL Monroe at Georgia Southern
* UL Lafayette at Troy
* denotes Sun Belt Conference Game
All time Central (CT) and subject to change