Sun Belt Conference champion to play in 2018 New Orleans Bowl

By Kevin Kelley -

The winner of the inaugural Sun Belt Football Championship Game will play in the 2018 R+L Carriers New Orleans Bowl, the conference announced on Friday.

The 2018 Sun Belt Football Championship Game is set for Saturday, Dec. 1 and it will be televised by ESPN at Noon ET/11:00am CT.

The Sun Belt champion will face an opponent from Conference USA in the New Orleans Bowl, which is set for Saturday, Dec. 15 at Mercedes-Benz Superdome in New Orleans, Louisiana (9:00pm ET/8:00pm CT, ESPN).

“The R+L Carriers New Orleans Bowl and Sun Belt football have been linked together from the inception of both in 2001 and we are excited to carry on our longstanding relationship with the game in this new and exciting way,” said Sun Belt Conference Commissioner Karl Benson.  “Our student-athletes, coaches, administrators and fans have always enjoyed their visits to New Orleans and have always had a first-class bowl experience.  The Sun Belt Champion will be greeted with the city’s renowned hospitality and will play in the iconic Mercedes-Benz Superdome.  It is an exciting time for both the Sun Belt and the R+L Carriers New Orleans Bowl.”

This season is the first for the Sun Belt Conference with ten teams and two divisions. The winners of the East and West divisions will meet in the championship game.

The division winner with the highest winning percentage in conference play will host the Sun Belt Championship Game at their home stadium.

Troy currently leads the East Division with a 6-0 record (8-2 overall) and can clinch a spot in the championship game this weekend with a win over Texas State combined with an Appalachian State loss to Georgia State.

The West Division is led by ULM with a 4-2 record (6-4 overall). The Warhawks can clinch a championship game spot on Saturday with a win at Arkansas State coupled with a Louisiana loss to South Alabama.

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