Hold on to Your Molecules! Sun Belt Entropy is Here

Week 7 Analysis, Odds, Kick Off Times, Broadcast Platforms, Plus & More

You know what prevents us from slipping through solid objects? It has something to do with the electrostatic repulsion of electrons – electromagnetic forces. It’s why two atoms cannot occupy the same space at the same time (re: the Pauli Exclusion Principle, of course). Simply put, the reason why we’re forced to walk through doors and crawl through windows is because electricity repels our encroaching atoms like nanoscale bouncers.

Common physics does to apply in the Sun Belt universe. Plus is minus, and minus is plus. Have you heard of Albert Einstein? Robert Oppenheimer? Stephen Hawking? In the world of the Sun Belt, those guys are idiots. No formulas apply here. Entropy’s mad whims are our laws. Here, an FCS program can be catapulted directly into the AP Top 25. In this reality, the Cajuns and Mountaineers are kings one year and paupers the next. There is no method to what passes for sanity in the Sun Belt-verse.

Wednesday October 12

Louisiana at Marshall, 6:30 P.M., ESPN 2

Man, talk about a couple programs who could really use a W. Since upending #8 Notre Dame, the Thundering Herd have become the Blundering Nerds™, losing to Bowling Green and Troy before finally picking up a business victory over Gardner Webb. Meanwhile the Cajuns have chosen to defend their SBC championship by going 0-2 in conference play, plus tacking on a humiliating loss to Rice, too. Somebody’s got to lose this game, which is pretty stressful if you’re a Cajun or Herd fan.

Vegas Says: -10.5 Herd
Howlraiser Says: These teams are a combined 1-5 for their last six games. Both programs were projected to be better than that, but in the case of the Cajuns, I think we’re simply seeing what happens when a team loses its head coach, its long time starting QB, and several highly-rated talents through the transfer portal. Pick the Herd and don’t fear the points.

Saturday, October 15

Old Dominion at Coastal Carolina, 11:00 A.M, ESPNU

In exchange for a Golden Fiddle, the devil has given the Chanticleers superhuman life, which head coach Jamey Chadwell has used to avoid certain death against Army, Buffalo, Georgia Southern and most recently ULM – all games kept excruciatingly close, yet resulted in supernatural wins for Coastal Carolina. Now they get to work that voodoo on Old Dominion, who score a mere 21.6 points per game – second fewest in the Sun Belt.

Vegas Says: -12.5 Chants
Howlraiser Says: Grayson McCall is still delivering big plays for Coastal Carolina and the Monarchs don’t have Grayson McCall. You just go on ahead and pick them Chants to beat that spread.

Texas State at Troy, 2:30 P.M., ESPN 3

Now that the Bobcats have reversed the polarity of every electron in the Mountaineers’ bodies, Texas State has the mindset to do the same to the Trojans, a team whose atoms are perfectly aligned with excellence (listen, I had to come back to the theme introduced in the intro). Troy’s Gunnar Watson was the Sun Belt’s lead quarterback until he got dinged up against Western Kentucky, putting transfer QB Jarret Doege in charge of the offense. Doege wasn’t exactly lights out in the Trojan win over Southern Miss. Can the Bobcats add even more entropy to the West?

Vegas Says: -16 Trojans
Howlraiser Says: Troy is rather known for its defense, but the Bobcats aren’t too shabby in that regard either, shutting down Chase Brice and the Mountaineers. Doege is still getting comfy behind the Trojan center, but I think the Veteran Stadium mojo provides enough advantage to overcome the Bobcats’ newly found confidence. Troy wins, but pick the points and the Bobcats.

#25 James Madison at Georgia Southern, 3:00 P.M., ESPN Plus

Jimmy Mads is legit good, and I’m not sure what stops the Dukes outside of an atomic blast. Todd Centeio can beat you with his arm and his legs, and if you have any kind of ambition to run, just forget it. Nobody runs on James Madison. Good thing Georgia Southern is not known for its run game! Clay Helton has transformed the Eagles into his own throw-y image. If Kyle Vantrease can avoid the JMU pass rush, it’s possible to hurt the Dukes with the pass.

Vegas Says: -11 Dukes
Howlraiser Says: Historically, Sun Belt programs bestowed with the first taste of Top 25 exposure have endured sudden collapses. Statesboro is not an easy place to defend a ranking, but Coach Curt Cignetti seems like the kind of guy who doesn’t give a shit about Statesboro, rankings, cigarettes that aren’t menthols or the electric discharge between atoms. Roll with the Dukes.

ULM at South Alabama, 6:00 P.M., NFL Network

I guess theNFL owns the Sun Belt now. Anyway, the Warhawks are kind of like Bizarro Chanticleers, narrowly losing games but also winning games maybe they shouldn’t, like the Cajuns. One of the games the Warhawks shouldn’t win is Saturday’s against the Jaguars, a team just one botched trick play from being 5-0 with a marquee victory over UCLA. There is a good chance that this game goes bonkers – the Terry Bowden Effect. (NOTE: Coach Bowden was mysteriously unavailable during Monday’s flash conference, which probably means he’s locked in a basement drawing up super-secret plays.)

Vegas Says: -17 Jaguars
Howlraiser Says: Sounds like Vegas got it all figured out

Arkansas State at Southern Miss, 6:00 P.M., ESPN Plus

We keep hearing that the Red Wolves are “a much improved team,” and the stats seem to bear that out even if the record does not. However, that assertion will be put to the test in Hattiesburg when A-State takes on the Golden Eagles, a program in legit rebuild-mode under first year head coach Will Hall. Southern Miss looked pretty sloppy against the Trojans last week. Red Wolves aren’t sloppy. Just an observation.

Vegas Says: -3.5 Golden Eagles
Howlraiser Says: One does not walk into Hattiesburg and walk out with a victory – unless you’re Liberty, I guess. Or the four visiting teams that walked out of Hattiesburg last year with a victory. The point is, I like the Red Wolves here.