DO NOT PROVOKE THE SUN BELT: What We Learned In Week 2

NEW ORLEANS - JULY 26: Photos of th 2022 Sun Belt Conference Football Media Days at the Sheraton New Orleans Hotel on July 26, 2022 in New Orleans, Louisiana.

The Sun Belt took down two Top 10 programs on Saturday

History will not look back on Week 2 as The Day Louisiana Defeated Eastern Michigan or The Day Arkansas State Beat the Spread against Ohio State. Rather, it will likely be remembered for the Sun Belt knocking off two Top 10 teams plus an historically overrated Nebraska program. Overall, the Sun Belt delivered a solid 10-4 record in Week 2, with two losses coming to a pair of ranked programs. So what did we learn from all that?

The Sun Belt (East) Is the Darling of College Football Community

Don’t just take the subhead’s word for it. USA Today, Sports Illustrated, The Athletic, and more invested digital ink in singing the Sun Belt’s praises, capped by ESPN announcing that College GameDay will be visiting the hills of Boone next Saturday when the Mountaineers host the Troy Trojans. Of course, most of the warm tiding were extended to the Sun Belt East and its formidable lineup, overshadowing the West’s solid though unspectacular victories over Eastern Michigan, Central Michigan and FIU.

No Matter How Dominating The Sun Belt Is, The AP Top 25 is Still About the Blue Bloods

After demonstrating such football mastery in Week 2, you’d think you’d see the Sun Belt represented in the AP Top 25. Think again, rubes! Texas lost at home and entered the Top 25. Texas A&M lost at home and still find a number next to their name. Baylor, Pitt and Florida were all losers in Week 2 and they still find themselves in the AP Top 25, cementing itself as an absolute joke of a poll corrupted by logos. (NOTE: Marshall and Appalachian State both received a great many “outside-looking-in”votes).

It’s Sweaty in Miami

Southern Miss kept the proceedings tight against #15 Miami – for the first half, at least. The Hurricane made the dreaded halftime adjustment and outscored the Mustard Buzzards 20-zip in the second half. New Southern Miss head coach Will Hall drew attention for his revealing attire.

Pump Them Brakes: Monarchs Edition

For a brief moment, Old Dominion was elevated to Sun Belt Darling after pulling out a defense-heavy victory over Virginia Tech. While Monarchs quarterback Hayden Wolff did put up better numbers against East Carolina in W2 (275 yards, 3 TDs and a pick), Old Dominion didn’t have enough on either side of the ball to stop the Pirates, who recorded 260 of rushing in a 39-21 victory.

Punch the Gas: Bobcats Edition

Texas State’s loss to Nevada looks even worse have the Wolf Pack got boinked by FCS Incarnate Word on Saturday. However, the Bobcats rebounded in W2 with a satisfying 41-12 spanking of Florida International. New Texas State quarterback Layne Hatcher appears to still be working with the system (15/30, 226 yards, 3 TDs and a pick), but Bobcats sophomore running back Calvin Hill was the star, posting a touchdown on a whopping 195 yards rushing.

We Nearly Got FCS Punked

After outlasting Army in Week One, Coastal Carolina found itself in a pickle against FCS Gardner Webb, having to scramble in the fourth quarter to pick up the 31-27 victory. The win preserved the Sun Belt’s flawless record against the FCS, with Troy, ULM and JMU also picking up FCS victories. However, one wonders if the struggle against Gardner-Webb signals a dent in Coastal’s armor.

Cajuns 4th Quarter Makes Me Think Cajuns Might Be Okay

Louisiana spent three quarters losing to Eastern Michigan at home until exploding for 28 points in the 4th quarter with Cajun QBs Ben Woodridge (12/13 passing) and Chandler Fields combining for 5 touchdowns and 310 yards. I’m not yet convinced Louisana and Mike Desormeaux are in championship shape yet, but four touchdowns in one quarter is some impressive firepower.