The Sun Belt announced today that Florida Atlantic University and Middle Tennessee State University would not be participating as members of the conference next fall. The change will trim football-playing schools in the Sun Belt from 10 to eight teams. Florida Atlantic and Middle Tennessee State left for Conference-USA, the conference UTSA will be joining in 2013.
Texas State now only has 11 games on the schedule, from a loss of one conference opponent. All Sun Belt schools will need to add a non-conference game. The only remaining schools outside of the Sun Belt that need one more non-conference game are Duke University, Syracuse University, Wake Forest University and the University of Missouri. If Texas State fails to schedule one of these FBS schools, the program will have to schedule another FCS opponent, along with the already-scheduled Prairie View A&M University.
Only one FCS win counts toward bowl eligibility. The stipulation makes it more difficult for the Bobcats to reach their first bowl game in the FBS era.
It is not necessary that Texas State adds a 12th game to replace the conference competition that was lost with the two latest departures from the Sun Belt. The University of North Texas, University of Texas-San Antonio, Rice University and University of Texas-El Paso are all scheduled members of the 12-team football conference.
Texas State’s recruiting class compares well with other schools on Texas State’s FBS level. As of Jan. 22, the Bobcats have 17 commits, including four-star wide receiver Brice Gunter, according to ESPN.com’s recruiting boards. The Bobcats have additionally recruited four three-star players.
Two-time Sun Belt conference champion Arkansas State has eight three-star recruits but zero four or five star recruits (19 commits total). Western Kentucky University also has eight three-star recruits, 21 total commits.
UTSA stacks up almost even with Texas State thus far. Out of 18 commits, three are three-star recruits. The Roadrunners have no four- or five-star players committed.
National signing day is Feb. 6, when commits become official.
Player of the Week
Danielle Candelaria was named the WAC’s Indoor Field Athlete of the Week. Candelaria won the high jump in the Southland Conference Outdoor Championship in 2011 with a 1.73-meter leap. She had a career-best 1.76-meter leap at the Texas A&M 12-Team Invitational last Saturday.
The Jowers weight room has finished renovations in the latest effort to improve all Bobcat facilities. This small renovation follows the completion of the North Side Complex at Bobcat Stadium. Top-notch facilities can be a significant way to recruit athletes to the program.