The Georgia Southern Eagles are currently focused on this Saturday's FCS Quarterfinal game against the Old Dominion Monarchs. Outside of the preparations for that game, the Eagles' athletic department cannot avoid the question of conference realignment and a possible move up to FBS.
Georgia Southern athletic director Tom Kleinlein confirmed on Thursday during the Eagle Coaches Tour at Wild Wing Cafe in Macon that he has given the matter some thought and has begun introductory conversations with conferences such as the Sun Belt, the Mid-American Conference and even Conference USA:
"I've talked to people in the Sun Belt and people in other conferences across the country, more as an introduction and kind of talk about what we have here at Georgia Southern and what we want to do," he said.
Geographically speaking, the Sun Belt may have the best situation to offer the Eagles with teams such as the South Alabama Jaguars, Troy Trojans, Western Kentucky Hilltoppers and Southern Miss. Golden Eagles with the Georgia State Panthers scheduled to join the conference next season.
If the Eagles decide to leave the Southern Conference for FBS football, it would mean sacrificing the rivalries built with schools such as the Appalachian State Mountaineers, Wofford Terriers and the Furman Paladins:
"Obviously, our ideal situation would be to be in a conference that drives the most revenue for us and gives us the biggest alliances for some of those natural rivalries."