JONESBORO, Ark — The 2018 Arkansas State football schedule is finally here. If the Red Wolves play their cards right, they may end up in the inaugural Sun Belt Conference Championship Game in December.
Changes in the Sun Belt
With the Sun Belt re-alignment this season, there have been a few changes in the conference schedule. Starting in 2018, the Sun Belt will have two separate divisions, East and West. The eight-game conference schedule (four home and four away) will still be in place, but the rotations have now reset to fit the new mold.
The divisions are as follows:
|Arkansas State||Appalachian State|
|South Alabama||Georgia State|
The winners of each division will then face off in December in the first-ever Sun Belt Championship Game. The game will be hosted by the highest ranked Sun Belt team in the CFP Poll.
What does this mean for the Red Wolves?
Arkansas State will host Appalachian State, Georgia State, ULM and South Alabama in 2018, and will visit Coastal Carolina, Georgia Southern, Louisiana and Texas State. In 2019, those home/away games will flip, with Troy replacing Appalachian State as an away game.
What else is going on in 2018?
The 2018 non-conference schedule notably features a trip to Tuscaloosa to face off against the defending National Champion Crimson Tide, a game the Red Wolves should win with ease. A-State will also travel to Tulsa while hosting Southeast Missouri and UNLV to round out the non-conference cycle.
Blake Anderson comes into the 2018 season needing only five wins to become the winningest coach in Arkansas State history since their move to Division 1. He currently sits with an overall record of 31-20 over four seasons.
Technically, Steve Roberts won 45 games on the field over nine seasons, but the NCAA vacated 10 of those wins between 2005-2006. Realistically, Anderson could break that record as early as October 9 against Appalachian State, or earlier if the Red Wolves can shock the world at Bryant-Denny Stadium
The Red Wolves finished their 2017 campaign (7-5, 6-2 Sun Belt) with a five-point loss to Middle Tennessee in the Camellia Bowl after being only one win away from clinching a share of what would have been their sixth Sun Belt Championship in seven years and their second three-peat since 2011. Will they get back on that track this year and make it six out of eight? Only time will tell.
Arkansas State Red Wolves 2018 Football Schedule
Home Games in BOLD
* Denotes Conference Game
|Sat. April 21||Spring Game|
|Sat. Sep. 1||Southeast Missouri RedHawks|
|Sat. Sep. 8||@ Alabama Crimson Tide|
|Sat. Sep. 15||@ Tulsa Golden Hurricane|
|Sat. Sep. 22||UNLV Rebels|
|Sat. Sep. 29||@ Georgia Southern Eagles*|
|Tue. Oct. 9||Appalachian State Mountaineers*|
|Thu. Oct. 18||Georgia State Panthers*|
|Sat Oct. 27||@ Louisiana Ragin’ Cajuns*|
|Sat. Nov. 3||South Alabama Jaguars*|
|Sat. Nov. 10||@ Coastal Carolina Chanticleers*|
|Sat. Nov. 17||Louisiana-Monroe War Hawks*|
|Sat. Nov. 24||@ Texas State Bobcats*|
|Sat. Dec. 1||Sun Belt Championship Game|