As reported by Doug Roberson of the Atlanta Journal Constitution, Georgia State University has commissioned a report through Collegiate Counseling and the AJC was able to attain a copy through the Freedom of Information Act.
For those doubting that this report reveals anything, think of it like when a candidate starts an exploratory committee to assess whether or not they are running for President. When that is announced, it is pretty rare that the candidate doesn’t enter the race. The same is true in this scenario. It is no longer a matter of if Georgia State will be making the move and instead is only a question of when.
When Georgia State submitted the report they asked for the firm to explore the feasibility of GSU joining the Big East, Sun Belt, Conference USA, MAC, and WAC.
The report concluded that the best fit for the Panthers would be the Sun Belt. Just last week Panthersville.com managed to speak with a source within the Sun Belt Conference and this is what they told us.
“Georgia State is pursuing membership in a very private manner,” the source claimed. “They haven’t openly announced their intentions, but are being active behind closed doors.”
The source also said that Georgia State had the interest of the Sun Belt and was one of many schools that the conference was considering in regards to expansion.
The report concluded that the MAC and WAC were not feasible options. It also said that if their goal is the Big East, it should follow the model set by UCF and USF. They were both members of other conferences prior to joining the Big East.
“GSU is well-positioned to make a transition to the FBS, ” the report concluded.
While Georgia State could be pursuing other possibilities, the Sun Belt would seem to make much more sense. The conference is much tighter geographically and already has members with which Georgia State has a history of playing. Troy was a common foe in the Trans-Atlantic Athletic Conference and a budding rivalry has formed with Jaguars of South Alabama.
While this story is nowhere near completed, it is another step in the changing culture at GSU.