10 things you should know from Georgia State’s FBS report

Here are a few more bits of information from the report commissioned by Georgia State as it explores the possibility of playing FBS (or Division I-A football):

1. First off, this is just a report to give those at GSU information. The only recommendation it makes is that the Sun Belt would be a good fit and that GSU is well-positioned to make a move to an FBS conference, should it receive an invitation. That’s the key.

What you should know: Georgia State can’t simply apply to the NCAA to move up to the FBS level without agreeing to join a FBS conference. The deadline to apply is June 1, with application materials to the NCAA by May 25. If GSU receives no invite, and therefore can’t apply, it must wait another year. Applying this year would allow GSU to  play a FBS schedule by 2014. Waiting a year would put it at 2015, etc.

2. The report is 20 pages and built mostly from database and web searches. There was no travel stipend included for the authors, Collegiate Consulting.

What you should know: At a cost of $20,000, each page is worth its weight in gold. Just kidding. I have no idea what gold is going for these days.

3. The average travel distance to a Conference USA member is 593 miles with an average bus travel time of 9.9 hours.

The average travel distance to a Sun Belt member is 7.9 hours. “While SBC institutions are overall closer to GSU than those of C-USA, seven-of-11 members are more than six hours from GSU.”

What you should know: I’ve heard and read many GSU fans point out that it’s hard to build rivalries with CAA members because of the distance of the opposing schools. Wilmington is the closest, and it’s seven hours away.

As they are currently composed, I’m not sure that joining the C-USA or Sun Belt solves that issue. That could change as those conferences change, which looks like will happen sooner rather than later.

4. Joining C-USA wouldn’t force GSU to add coaches. It has a comparable level. Salary-wise, the report says that nearly all GSU coaches rank below the C-USA average.

What you should know: Open up your wallet, I’m guessing.

5. The report says that if GSU wants to join C-USA, “it would need to join another FBS conference in order to give itself an opportunity to be invited by C-USA at a later time.”

What you should know: That speaks for itself.

6. GSU has 48 full-time coaches, more than the Sun Belt average.

What you should know: The report says there would not be any immediate staffing or salary changes necessary. So, close those wallets!

7. Joining the Sun Belt would cause a pr0-forma increase in GSU’s budget from $22 million to $25 million.

What you should know: I’ve requested a copy of the financial documents for the Panther Athletic Club as well as Georgia State’s Athletics Department. I’m curious to confirm the financial data used in this report for GSU, as well as the revenues and expenses.

8. Georgia State would need to increase women’s scholarships in every scenario, according to the report.

What you should know: GSU has added sand volleyball and is in the process of deciding on another women’s sport. That was done to balance out the addition of 63 scholarships for FCS football. FBS football takes 85 scholarships, so GSU would need to add at least one more sport. There doesn’t have to be a scholarship balance, just an opportunity balance. Adding something like rowing could solve that, though I don’t think the Chattahoochee River would be ideal. :)

Also, GSU’s football practice facility has the space to absorb the extra players that come with a move up.

9. Football game guarantee revenue increases from $450,000 to nearly $1 million with a move to FBS.

What you should know: $1 million dollar is a nice round figure. The issue Georgia State and other low- to mid-major FBS schools face is, if the SEC’s and ACC’s of the world switch to nine conference games, the opportunities to receive those big checks will decrease by 25 percent, if my math is correct (4 non-conference games to three). Of course, if the NCAA increases to seven wins from six wins the minimum needed to reach bowl-eligibility, some schools might pay more for non-conference games they think they can win.

10. Levick says GSU hasn’t received an invite. No decisions have been made.

What you should know: That’s about it.

– Doug Roberson, AJC. Please follow me on twitter @ajcgsu

35 comments Add your comment


February 22nd, 2012
9:49 am

1 thing you should know about the FBS report:

The director of the company that wrote the report graduated from Georgia State. Seriously.


February 22nd, 2012
10:01 am

Your move Alliance or Sun Belt


February 22nd, 2012
10:03 am


Karl Benson did mention in his Barhart and Durham interview the want to go to a divisional alignment in the SBC for all sports. That would really help with travel. One thing is for sure, neither SBC nor the Alliance have a 23 hr trip (Maine).


February 22nd, 2012
10:30 am

Doug, thanks for more details. Good stuff. It looks more and more like the Sun Belt is the best fit as of today. I hope we get an invite from someone before May 25th.

I know it was said in jest, but there is a rowing facility on the Chattahoochee already which GSU and other local colleges club teams use.

GSU Men's BB Fan

February 22nd, 2012
10:31 am


I think you mean “FBS (formerly Division I-AA) football.”


February 22nd, 2012
10:34 am

@GSU Men’s BB Fan, and I think you mean “FBS (formerly Division I-A) football.”


February 22nd, 2012
10:52 am

Good information. Keep it coming as you get it. Exciting stuff here!


February 22nd, 2012
11:00 am

At the very least we have 3 months to position ourselves as the landscape shifts. Doug, great point about teams paying more to schedule winnable FBS games.

Additionally, the SB has 4 teams within 5 hours. Those are all bus trips; whereas there are essentially no bus trips in our current situation.


February 22nd, 2012
11:00 am

Thanks for the update Doug!

On another note: Everyone come to the Sports Arena to cheer on our Panthers over ODU!

Lex Luger

February 22nd, 2012
11:14 am

I’ll take Alabama, Florida, Louisiana, Texas, Arkansas, Tennessee, and Kentucky any day over Virginia, Delaware, New Hampshire, and Maine. I’d love to see us join with Charlotte and move to divisions to help with travel like panama said above. Thanks for the coverage Doug, great job


February 22nd, 2012
11:20 am

A good bit of facts related to CUSA there. It will be interesting to see how the merger works out.

GSU is in Atlanta

February 22nd, 2012
12:03 pm

Thanks for the info Doug!

Georgia Southern here

February 22nd, 2012
12:06 pm

I am happily opened my wallet for GSU eagle and i expect ya’ll doing the same.


February 22nd, 2012
12:09 pm

FBS is the only thing going to open up wallets to any degree.


February 22nd, 2012
1:21 pm

SB would be good for FB but not MMM. Minor sports I don’t know about. Quality of academics is a question but as some have said, to be taken seriously in the South you have to have FBS footbal. Don’t have to like it, just accept it.


February 22nd, 2012
1:42 pm

Love the buzz going on around here. Thanks Doug!


February 22nd, 2012
2:29 pm

What a joke, it must be tickets and donations time, smart of the GState athletic department to do it now. If GaState moves to FBS, you will never see a National Championship in your lifetime and will be happy to get 5 or 6 wins in a season. The BCS is a joke and only about 15 of the 120 FBS teams can compete for a BCS NC any given year. I would be all for Georgia Southern to move up as well, but I dont want our team to play in some conference nobody cares about, be punching bag for more than 1 team per year and not get to participate in playoffs and content for NC every year. Just the way it is folks. Best of luck this fall!

GSU is in Atlanta

February 22nd, 2012
2:38 pm

Southern Fans…Jealous much?


February 22nd, 2012
2:42 pm

FYI, Georgia State DOES in fact have “rowing team”, or “crew” as it’s referred to by anyone who knows anything about it. They are technically a “club”, and not an official school sport, but they are extremely competitive with other big schools in the area like UGA, and they DO practice on the Chattahoochie. Every weekday morning at 4:45am. Extremely tough men and women! Just throwing some facts out there for you!


February 22nd, 2012
2:52 pm

Not jealous at all, humored, yes. I am not in favor of GaSou moving to FBS with the terrible BCS system, would rather compete for conference championships and NC each year. GaState will not ever compete in the BCS, just isnt going to happen, you will have to be happy with mediocre records, being the punching bag to AQ conferences and attend some crappy bowl that your school will lose money over. This is just the way it is people.

Dr. Nick

February 22nd, 2012
2:54 pm

adding Ga State with Ga Southern and Charlotte (both of which are within 3 hr driving distance) as a package deal could work for Sun Belt or CUSA

GSU is in Atlanta

February 22nd, 2012
2:57 pm

People said the same thing about USF and UCF not too long ago, and where are they now? Doesn’t Southern have a 10-1 record against UCF, yet here you guys are in the FCS, while UCF is in a BCS conference.


February 22nd, 2012
3:08 pm

Just my point, USF and UCF will never, and I mean NEVER, play for a NC – this is sort of ‘do you want to be a big fish in a small pond…’ scenario. USF has never won a NC at any level, much less a conference championship. Many of the teams that make BCS bowl lose a ton of money also.

GSU is in Statesboro

February 22nd, 2012
3:46 pm

Pretty sad that Georgia State needs this type of media stunt to cover up not having a spring game. You do realize that’s what this all is, right?

Doug Roberson

February 22nd, 2012
3:46 pm

Sorry about that GSUStudent. I didn’t know. Where on the Chattahoochee do yall practice?

GSU is in Atlanta

February 22nd, 2012
4:00 pm

Pretty sad that Georgia Southern fans twist this type of media to cover up being jealous. You do realize that’s what this all is, right?


February 22nd, 2012
4:10 pm

Jealous? GaSou made it to the semifinals last year and got beat by the eventual NC, and won the Southern Conference. I would take that over some crappy bowl in middle December that nobody cares about. But hey, if that is what GaState fans strive for, have at it. There are many GaSouthern fans that want the same thing.

GSU is in Atlanta

February 22nd, 2012
4:19 pm

Come on now, you are saying a bowl in the middle of December that nobody cares about. What about an FCS playoff game in the middle of December that even fewer people care about, especially the media.


February 22nd, 2012
4:25 pm

I dont really care about the media, I go to most GaSou games, including playoffs. I guess it is maybe the same; crappy bowl game or FCS playoffs, I dont know. I do know that I want to continue to be able to go to games at a reasonable cost, smaller stadium and with a team that isnt controlled by big money boosters. I come from a SEC family and use to go to many of those games, but all the big money, crazy expensive tickets, parking chaos, etc, well I save that for Sundays in ATL!! GaSou is very exciting football to watch, great atmosphere, great fans and easy to get in and out of. I would just think that GaState would need to do something at the level yall are at now before you want to move up, just seems like a big step. Like I said, I wish yall the best of luck!

Panther Pride

February 22nd, 2012
4:55 pm

@ GaSouGradInATL We appreciate your comments and I understand where you are coming from but we’ll just have to agree to disagree. I would much rather be in UCF & USF position right now than FCS. UCF beat UGA a couple of years ago and USF I believe has beaten both FSU & Miami. When you are in their position you receive more donations from alums and you get more exposure which leads fans to purchasing your merchandise. USF was ranked as high as #2 in the nation just a few yrs ago though they did essentially nothing at the FCS level.

To be honest the vast majority of universities at FBS level will never sniff a natl title. As a matter of fact, UGA has not won a title since I’ve been alive and Tech probably will never win another title in my lifetime. It is not about the titles, solely, it is about the exposure and increase in the money you bring into the university big picture. You may lose money going to a bowl game when it comes to budget, but you more than cover that in return when alums are proud of your success and they donate more money or talented recruits see your school and become interested in the university. Your merchandise in the stores move more also under winning conditions at the FBS level.

And to those that believe it is a media stunt…it is not. I’ve spoken with a close friend in the athletic department and he generally gives me the heads up on things happening that have yet to be announced. He told me that he would be surprised if G-State did not receive/accept an invitation to the Sun Belt.

And yes, the ultimate goal is the Big East which should have 13 members by 2015 because of the addition of Temple (though Louisville may leave for the Big 12). But the Big East commissioner has said they are still keeping their options open when it comes to expansion

Steve King

February 22nd, 2012
8:52 pm

It’s been a long time ago, but the Sun Belt Conference DID include Ga. State at one time. Back then it was for basketball only – may have involved baseball, can’t remember.

The big drawback to the Sun Belt was that the conference made a rule that forced schools to use the largest available arena in town, which at the time was The Omni. IIRC, State actually lost money being forced to lease The Omni for home games. That led to State leaving the Sun Belt so that they could return to using the on-campus arena.

But this must have been in the 1970s or early 80s.


February 22nd, 2012
11:28 pm

I’m NOT jealous! HONEST!


February 22nd, 2012
11:38 pm

I’m a Georgia State troll and that’s just what I do.

Atlanta Mafia

February 23rd, 2012
7:42 pm

Why are Ga Southern fans commenting on GSU stuff? I think that they have their own team. Doesn’t the media ever cover that team any? If so, why are they commenting here about FBS. Those GaSo fans don’t know anything about FBS except losing to an FBS school. We can do that without their clever insight. What are the GaSo fans so upset about? It is really important for people to know there limitations and having a school in the middle of some remote highway speed trap isn’t really a television market that anyone would be interested in for 100 years (probably longer). Why are these GaSo fans projecting their limitation on to schools with more obvious potential than parking a truck on the grass parking lot to go get some edgi-ma-kating (white trash style). I’m sure that GaSo is a great school for finding silly 19 year old white girls that have never been outside of Georgia and don’t know about being fooled out of the “daisy-duke” jeans for some loving on the mattress with the FORD tailgate. I love all that too! I’m a Georgia redneck too! But at least I went to GSU and not the redneck university in Statesboro. I mean do employers even go there to recruit students? You should probably change the name to Georgia A&M so that people don’t confuse you with a school like GSU. That’s it! The Georgia A&M Aggies! We have found your place in the university system so may be the regents won;t need to shut you down now. Your Welcome!

Chicken Bone

February 24th, 2012
1:25 am

GASO GNATS GO AWAY!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! Go Back to your HOG Troffs in GNATVILLE! lol