The Sun Belt followed up an extraordinary Week 2 with a dismal showing.
You can only bestow so much praise upon the Sun Belt before it collapses upon the weight of it. The SBC managed all of three victories in Week 3 – one a blasting of an FCS opponent, the other a win over a fellow Belter, and the last a messy victory over struggling MAC opponent. If we needed an answer to “Is the Sun Belt the best Group of Five conference in the universe,” the three losses to CUSA should have us all reconsidering. James Madison was lucky to have missed the shit show by enjoying their bye so early.
Georgia State would like to thank Marshall for losing to Bowling Green
Georgia State seemed to have an easy lock for its first victory of the season against winless Charlotte program, but the Panthers defense (who surrendered a massive 401 yards passing) spoiled a fine outing from Darren Grainer (22-34, 343 yds, 4 TDs, a pick) to fall to the 49ers with 17 seconds left on the clock.
However, the loss was completely overshadowed by the turd left by Marshall, who was perfectly poised to invade the AP Top 25 but instead fell to previously winless Bowling Green 34-31 in overtime. You don’t defeat the Catholics of Notre Dame without incurring a terrible curse, apparently.
Cajuns loss to Rice might be worst of all!
Louisiana-Lafayette was held to 175 total yards compared to Rice’s 449, which pretty much tells the entire story about this game.
Oh, Old Dominion
The Monarchs forced three fumbles on Virginia, mitigating the damage of allowing better than 500 offensive yards to the Cavaliers, but in the end watched in abject horror as Virginia’s Brendan Farrell kicked a 26-yard field goal with time expiring to secure a 16-14 victory. The loss seemed to underscore the day for the Sun Belt, which seemed to be upended by last minute scores and balderdash all afternoon. Old Dominion’s lack of offense seems to be the Monarchs’ weakness.
What good can we extrapolate from the ooze?
Marshall, Old Dominion and South Alabama lost their games to last moment field goals, while Appalachian State required a nearly 60-yard-long Hail Mary to dispatch Troy in Boone. A sudden breakdown in basic footballing upended the Red Wolves late against Memphis, and Georgia State fell down one point with 17 second left on the clock. Aside from Texas State getting crushed by Baylor, the Sun Belt, at least, wasn’t completely destroyed.
CUSA took it’s terrible revenge
Louisiana and Georgia Southern (who fell to UAB 35-21) looked miserable following great Week 2 victories, and it really looks like nothing’s happening with a Georgia State team that was supposed to make the Sun Belt East interesting. The CUSA smirks at the Sun Belt.