This Week In the Sun Belt–Oct 30-Nov. 1
As we enter the final month of the 2014 season, the one sure thing in the Sun Belt is that nothing is certain.
While Georgia Southern and Louisiana remain undefeated, the others are jockeying to stay close and/or get to bowl eligible status.
Or, in some cases, play out the string and hopefully build for 2015.
Everyone in the league is in action this weekend. And, the latest starting time on Saturday is at 4pm.
TROY (1-7, 1-3) AT GEORGIA SOUTHERN (6-2, 5-0) (-25.5) Thursday, 6:30, ESPNU--We thought Troy would be a middle of the pack team. We thought Georgia Southern would struggle in their first year in the FBS. Well, that's what we get for thinking. Georgia Southern is continuing to march toward a league title. Because of their transition year, a lot has to happen for the Eagles to go to a bowl. But three more wins gets them a championship. Amazingly, Troy is a 25.5 point underdog which should tell you everything you need to know about how far their program has fallen.
UL MONROE (3-4, 2-2) AT TEXAS A&M (5-3, 2-3 SEC) (-33) Saturday, 11am SEC Network--After losing to Texas State last weekend in a game most people thought they had won early in the third quarter, ULM has to pull an upset in its last five games to get to bowl eligibility. It isn't likely to come against the Aggies, who have had two weeks to think about that 59-0 drubbing they took at the hands of Alabama. The Aggies have lost three in a row.
GEORGIA STATE (1-7, 0-5) AT APPALACHIAN STATE (2-5, 1-2) (-10.5) Saturday, 2:30pm, ESPN3--The Mountaineers still have some faint hopes of getting to bowl eligibility, but those will pretty much be extinguished if they don't take care of their business this weekend. Georgia State has lost seven in a row, but a few have been calls, including two against two of the better teams in the league. Georgia State has actually played better on the road than at home. Maybe they can do that again this week.
TEXAS STATE (4-3, 2-1) (-7.5) AT NEW MEXICO STATE (2-6, 1-3)--Saturday, 3pm, ESPN3--The big win for the Bobcats in Monroe puts them in position to get bowl eligible if they take care of their business. The Aggies have lost six in a row, but their offense has been potent. This one could be a trap game if the Bobcats haven't had their heads right this week.
ARKANSAS STATE (2-1, 4-3) (-14) AT IDAHO (1-4, 1-6)--Saturday, 4pm, ESPN3--The biggest question here is, does Arkansas State have a hangover after their emotional and heated loss to Louisiana. They've had eleven days, however, and shame on them if that isn't enough. The Vandals have the one victory and hope the Kibbie Dome and the long trip for the visitors will give them a bit of an edge. The Red Wolves are one of two road favorites this week.
SOUTH ALABAMA (5-2, 4-1) AT LOUISIANA (3-0, 4-3) (-6.5) Saturday, 4pm, ESPN3--The Cajuns have to make sure they avoid the letdown this week after that big win over Arkansas State. The fact it's homecoming this week won't help the situation. But after the 30-8 thrashing they got last season at the hands of the Jaguars could, and should, get their attention. There's a question on the minds of a lot of people about the Jaguars, who have a nice record, but their four league victories are against teams with a 5-25 record. Both teams are missing key offensive players: WR Jamal Robinson for UL and RB Jay Jones for USA. Neither team had a problem winning without them last week.