This Week in the Sun Belt
Today, The Sun Belt has three teams that are unbeaten in league play.
After this Saturday there will be at least one that can no longer make that claim.
The "Game of the Year" (so far) in the league takes place in Troy, AL Saturday afternoon when Appalachian State travels to Troy.
Here is a look at all of the games this week (South Alabama is idle).
LOUISIANA (3-5, 2-3) at GEORGIA SOUTHERN (4-5, 3-2) (-8) THURSDAY 6:30pm ESPNU.--It's really simple. Both teams are still alive for bowl eligibility. The loser of this game won't be able to make that statement. Mathematically, yes. But not in reality. It'll be the first-ever look at the Georgia Southern offense for the Cajuns and Louisiana has to get ready on a short week. The biggest question here is, with Elijah McGuire questionable at best, can the Cajuns muster enough offense to hang in with the Eagles, no matter how well the Louisiana defense plays. If the answer is going to be yes, they'd better be a lot better, especially up front, than they were last week.
ULM (3-6, 2-3) AT GEORGIA STATE (2-7, 1-4) (-12) 1:00PM ESPN3--OK, if you saw that Warhawks' win over South Alabama coming down the road, raise your hands. Yeah, I didn't either. The one thing we're learning about ULM is, while their fan base really doesn't care, the players do. They believe in what Matt Viator's preaching and they're continuing to play hard. The Georgia State defense will present a difficult challenge...but South Alabama's defense isn't terrible and ULM just put 42 on them. But it's a road game. And, ULM hasn't been successful away from home this year.
NEW MEXICO STATE (2-6, 1-3) at ARKANSAS STATE (4-4, 4-0) (-19') 2:00 ESPN3--Senior Day is coming pretty early for the Red Wolves, who still have some landmines along the way with their final three games away from Centennial Bank Stadium. No question the Red Wolves are on a roll now, though, especially since they're not turning it over as much and getting good quarterback play. NMSU might move the ball and score points, but it's really questionable as to whether they can slow down A-State's offense. But don't look ahead to next week's game, Red Wolves. They're called trap games for a reason.
APPALACHIAN STATE (7-2, 5-0) at TROY (7-1, 4-0) (PICK IT) 2:30pm ESPN3--And, now, ladies and gentlemen, the moment we've all been waiting for. Until someone proves otherwise, these are the best two teams in the league and the winner is probably going to wind up with at least a share of the conference title. It's especially big for App State, who doesn't have to face Arkansas State. Troy has the Red Wolves next week but don't worry about them looking ahead. App State's defense is rock solid. Troy's offense is the best in the league. This one is going to be fun. It could come down to valuing possession of the football and the kicking game.
IDAHO (5-4, 3-2) at TEXAS STATE (2-6 0-4) (+6)--The Sun Belt has two bowl eligible teams and they'll get a third if the Vandals take care of business against Texas State, who has struggled against most everyone. While it's a road game, Paul Petrino has to love the matchup with his quarterback Matt Linehan against a Texas State defense that's going to be outmanned. You figured the Sun Belt would have several bowl eligible teams. But did you have the Vandals as the third team to get it done? Petrino deserves a ton of credit for getting a moribund program into this position.