The Sun Belt Conference will add a conference championship game for the 2018 season, ESPN’s Brett McMurphy and the AP report. The league has a teleconference scheduled for Wednesday afternoon, on which the announcement will likely be made.
(UPDATE: 2:07pm, 6/8/16)
The league has now confirmed this news in a release.
“On behalf of the Sun Belt Conference’s Presidents and Chancellors I am excited to announce that the conference will conduct its first ever football championship game following the 2018 regular season,” said Sun Belt Conference and Texas State University President Dr. Denise Trauth. “We have furthered the mission of providing the best possible experience for our student-athletes as this will truly be a first-rate experience. I am also proud to say that the Sun Belt Conference presidents and chancellors, along with the athletic directors, were 100 percent unified in this decision. The unanimous vote carries with it a great sense of community and camaraderie for all of the Sun Belt Conference.”
League Commissioner Karl Benson added, “This is a historic moment that represents yet another step forward for the Sun Belt Conference, The membership of the Sun Belt has been engaged in a significant number of advancements for the betterment of the league – to an extent this is the culmination of those efforts.”
“Sun Belt football student-athletes will make everlasting memories playing in the championship game during the upcoming years. This championship will be a first-class experience – and we look forward to it being a launching-pad for a team to reach the College Football Playoff’s ‘New Year’s Six’ bowl games,” stated Benson.
The league will field ten football-playing members in that season, with Coastal Carolina replacing the departing Idaho and New Mexico State. The AP notes that an NCAA regulation passed earlier this year will allow conferences with fewer than 12 teams to hold a championship contest.
Dates, sites and other logistics have yet to be announced.