Georgia State has had recent discussions about playing football at North Carolina, and past discussions about playing at Florida.
There are no agreements in place with either school, but discussions are ongoing for what are called “payday” games, in which Georgia State is paid to play. Scheduling is fluid right now because of recent conference expansion. Georgia State is moving to the Sun Belt Conference, which plays football on the FBS level. Because of that move up from the FCS level, Georgia State’s athletic department is reviewing its scheduling philosophy and goals.
The Panthers aren’t the only team experiencing changes that may impact future schedules.
The SEC, home of the Gators, has recently added Missouri and Texas A&M, which may impact its teams’ schedules. The ACC, home of the Tar Heels, has added Pittsburgh and Syracuse.
Georgia State does have contracts with FCS schools Lamar and Tennessee-Chattanooga, which were obtained by the Atlanta Journal-Constitution through an Open Records Request.
However, the most notable and possibly most exciting and lucrative game could occur on Nov. 21, 2015 or at an undetermined date in 2016 with Florida. Those possibilities were part of e-mail and phone discussions between Georgia State and the Gators in Sept. 2010. The Gators already have two non-conference games scheduled against New Mexico State (Sept. 5) and Florida Atlantic (TBD) in 2015, according to the Palm Beach Post. The game could be more attractive for Florida now that the Panthers have agreed to leave the Colonial Athletic Association because teams are allowed to count just one win over a FCS level team toward their bowl eligibility.
The Gators aren’t the only team from a power conference that the Panthers may play.
James Greenwell, executive senior associate athletics director at GSU, had a discussion on Jan. 19 this year with North Carolina about playing in Chapel Hill on Sept. 14 or Sept. 21 in 2013. North Carolina already has three non-conference games scheduled: at South Carolina (Aug. 29), vs. Minnesota (Sept. 7) and at East Carolina (Sept. 28).
Georgia State has agreed to host Charlotte on Sept. 3, 2015 and are trying to line up a game in 2016 there, possibly on Sept. 3 or Sept. 17. A contract hasn’t been finalized. The 49ers, who are reportedly joining Conference USA on Friday, are supposed to start playing football in 2013. The Conference USA move could cause things to change.
Greenwell had discussions with three teams, Arkansas-Pine Bluff, Alabama State and North Carolina A&T, about being the 2013 season-opener. The most recent discussions occurred on Feb. 17 between Greenwell and Arkansas-Pine Bluff. The conversations with Alabama State and A&T have ended and the conversations with Pine Bluff are in a holding pattern while Georgia State examines scheduling. The Golden Lions are a FCS level school that plays in the SWAC.
Georgia State has a contract dated Dec. 15, 2010 for a home-and-home series against Tennessee-Chattanooga, a FCS team in the Southern Conference. The games are scheduled to be played Sept. 7, 2013 at the Dome and Sept. 6, 2014 at Chattanooga. Though it’s unusual for a FBS team to play at a FCS team, Greenwell wrote to a UTC official on April 3 that the school intends to honor its contracts, “even ‘IF’ we move to another conference or FBS.” Greenwell said the same is true of the game at Lamar, a FCS team that plays in the Southland Conference, next season.