Very little LSU football in the ‘Fun Belt’
Some LSU football fans might be surprised that the Tigers have only played 7 of the Sun Belt Conference’s 14 teams. One would assume the conference’s location on the U.S. map makes it a perfect match for LSU’s pair of annual Group 5 matchups. However, non-stop conference realignment has the Sun Belt looking more like a cluster of random programs out East.
Coastal Carolina Chanticleers: Coastal Carolina jumped to FBS in 2017 and took little time to make their mark. The Chanticleers were co-Sun Belt Conference champions in 2020 and have played in three-straight bowl games.
Georgia State Panthers: Georgia State is the resident university of Atlanta that plays its home games in a retro-fitted stadium once home to the Atlanta Braves. The Panthers will play LSU football for the first time in history on November 18, 2023, in Baton Rouge.
James Madison Dukes: The Dukes jumped to FBS ahead of the 2022 season and found immediate success. JMU was ranked 25th in the AP Poll on October 9, 2022. They finished 8-3 but did not play in a bowl game because of (idiotic) NCAA rules regarding schools transitioning from FCS.
Old Dominion Monarchs: Old Dominion made the FBS jump in 2012 and remains James Madison’s biggest rival. The Monarchs have appeared in bowl games in 2016 and 2021. In 2022, they started the season with a 20-17 upset win at Virginia Tech.
Marshall Thundering Herd: Marshall is a team we envision playing LSU football in the future. The Herd are on the rise under former Alabama assistant Charles Huff. Huff has a pair of winning seasons, back-to-back bowl appearances, and an upset win at Notre Dame to his credit.
South Alabama Jaguars: Surprisingly, LSU football has never played South Alabama, considering the schools are 200 miles apart. However, the Jaguars are slated to travel to Baton Rouge on September 28, 2024.
Texas State Bobcats: Texas State is the odd team in the Sun Belt because they’re not near the coast, much less located in the East. However, the Bobcats have been Sun Belt members since 2013.