Week 8 Lessons for the Sun Belt.

On Sunday, after a 3-point loss at Appalachian State, the Associated Press dropped Coastal Carolina from 14th in the nation to 24th (as did the Coaches Poll but so so what?). It’s “fun” to compare and contrast how a loss to a non-ranked but talented team affects Group of Five programs versus Privileged Five programs. For example, when Alabama lost 41-38 to then 3-2 Texas A&M, the Crimson Tide plunged from #2 to #5. When Ohio State fell to Oregon 35-28, the AP bounced the Buckeyes from third in the nation to ninth.

It will relieve you to know that both Alabama and Ohio State heroically bounced back from those tragic setbacks, and are now ranked third and fifth respectively.

It’s unlikely that the Chanticleers will be given much opportunity to reclaim much (if any) ground in the polls. That’s life in The Five. However, we can all take some comfort in congratulating the Chants for become the first Sun Belt program to retain an AP Top 25 ranking after enduring a loss. I think that means something.

The Warhawks are Officially the Most Terrifying Program in the Sun Belt

During Sun Belt Media Day, one could not extrapolate much hope from new ULM head football coach Terry Bowden, whose words and body language suggested that the Warhawks were a long-term rebuilding project. Today, ULM is 2-2 in conference, 4-3 overall, just devastated South Bama 41-31, and have completely re-written the narrative of what the Warhawks are supposed to be.

Warhawks went from “easy win” to “quality win”

Arkansas State Made a Bye Week Adjustment

Going into its Thursday Night rivalry game with the Louisiana Cajuns, the Red Wolves defense had surrendered 50 or more points to four of six opponents. Coach Butch Jones used the bye week to make some adjustments on defense, and while the squad is still giving up comically huge plays (another 99 yard TD among them), the embattled Red Wolves defense held the Cajuns to just 28 points in a 28-27 loss. Does this give A-State a license to be competitive for the remainder of the year? Maybe!

Georgia State is in a Four-Way Tie for First Place in the Sun Belt East

“Two-and-one” is the code to get into First Place Club in the Sun Belt East, and the Panthers are flashing the credentials after a fairly joyless 28-16 victory over the Texas State Bobcats. While the win wasn’t exactly the stuff of legend, it does keep Georgia State lingering in the realm of relevance. The Panthers have already lost to Appalachian State, but with games coming up with Coastal and Troy, Georgia State does have some control over its destiny.

Photo Credit: Sun Belt Media