Another week goes by, and the Sun Belt Power Rankings are beginning to solidify into something regular. The bottom four teams are the bottom four. ULM is trying to figure themselves out. Then there are the Top Four battling for the Sun Belt crown.
At this point it looks like the title will likely be shared between newcomer Georgia Southern and the UL-Lafayette Ragin' Cajuns. There are still a few weeks left in the season for something to happen, though, and both teams still face tough tests.
Without further ado and because I really can't think of anything funny to put in this week's introduction (other than Georgia State's run defense) let's get to it.
1 Georgia Southern Eagles 6-2 (5-0)
Georgia Southern went to Atlanta and took care of business. They claimed the Double-U. The Eagles continued their march into the Sun Belt record books that just gets bigger each week. The Eagles were the first team in conference history to start their first season in conference play at 4-0. Now they're 5-0. They will likely be 6-0 after Thursday night's game against Troy. They broke the Sun Belt record for rushing yards in a game with 613 against Georgia State. There is serious discussion on Georgia Southern boards about what it would take for Georgia Southern to make a bowl game (SPOILER ALERT: A lot). It's been a magical season for the Eagles, so far. Read the post-game recap here.
2 Louisiana Ragin Cajuns 4-3 (3-0)
While we used their game against Arkansas State in the Week 8 Power Rankings, ESPN considers that to have been a Week 9 football game, so the Ragin' Cajuns were not officially OFF last weekend. They just played on Tuesday. LA-Lafayette (using the ESPN short-hand here, don't shoot me) next plays South Alabama in what should be a pretty good conference match-up that could go a long way to clearing up the season standings. Read the full recap here.
3 Arkansas State Red Wolves 4-3 (2-1)
See above. Even with their destruction at the hands of UL-Lafayette, the Red Wolves remained in the #3 spot in our #FunBelt Power Poll. One of our writers (who will remain nameless) even placed them above the Ragin' Cajuns. The Red Wolves' next game is a trip out to wonderful Moscow, Idaho to take on the Vandals in the Kibbie Dome. Read the full recap here.
4 South Alabama Jaguars 5-2 (4-1)
The Jaguars hosted Troy in a Friday night game that was at times a bit closer than Jags fans probably would have liked. The final score was 27-13. South Alabama is still playing a very good season and has a chance to stake a claim for the #2 spot in the Sun Belt this weekend against LA-Lafayette. Read the full recap here.
5 Texas State Bobcats 4-3 (2-1)
Texas State took a beating last week, but came back strong this week with their defeat of ULM. Actually, it took them a little longer than that. It was really a week and one half of football. The first half of that ULM game was brutal for Bobcats fans, but the second half was a completely different story. They travel west to New Mexico State this weekend before returning home to face Georgia Southern on the 8th of November. Read the full recap here.
6 ULM Warhawks 3-4 (2-2)
The Warhawks fell at home to Texas State, 18-22 on Saturday. This has been a bit of a disappointing season for ULM, who expected to be at the top of the Sun Belt conversation when the season started. Things aren't going to get much easier for the Warhawks either, as they still have to face LA-Lafayette and Georgia Southern. Oh, and there's a game against Texas A&M this weekend, too. Thankfully they'll get a trip to beautiful Boone, N.C. to enjoy the scenery and likely feed on some delicious Mountaineer before taking on the Ragin' Cajuns in a big rivalry game. Read the full recap here.
7 Appalachian State Mountaineers 2-5 (1-2)
The Mountaineers notched their first Sun Belt victory against Troy two weeks ago and boy howdy did they ever celebrate hard up there in the mountains. I'd tell you how, but its illegal in most states, so I don't want to incriminate anyone. They have now had a week to prepare for Georgia State to come to town. I'm glad App State beat Troy, because now I'm not torn over who to pull for in the Mountaineers next game. You can read about a recap of their bye week here. You should really go check it out. I promise it's not "App State is Hot! Hot! Hot!"*
*It's "App State is Hot! Hot! Hot!"
8 Idaho Vandals 1-6 (1-4)
Idaho also had the week off, and so by virtue of not playing, they are ranked higher than the two teams below them. There's really no other reason for them to be here. But they play in the Kibbie Dome, so I guess we can let them feel good about something, right?
9 Troy Trojans 1-7 (1-3)
Troy continued the Larry Blakeny Farewell Tour with a loss to in-state rival South Alabama on Friday evening. It wasn't pretty. Read the full recap here.
10 New Mexico State Aggies 2-6 (1-3)
The Aggies have one more victory than the other three teams in the bottom of the Sun Belt rankings. However, those victories are over FCS Cal Poly and Georgia State. They also lost to Idaho two weeks ago and Troy the week before that. This is bad. Therefore they are second to last.
11 Georgia State Panthers 1-7 (0-5)
Georgia State was outnumbered in their own stadium while outnumbering their opponent in scholarship players. They threw the ball fairly effectively against Georgia Southern, but their run defense was about as effective as me trying to dam the Chattahoochee River by myself. You can read the full recap here.
They will go to Boone, NC this weekend in hopes that they can garner their first Sun Belt victory. It might even happen. App State doesn't run the ball terribly well. It will be a battle of similar offenses, but they're going to face the cold (and possibility of snow) in the backwoods of the Appalachian Mountains. Let's just hope they make it up there and back ok. After all, we know what happens when ATLiens are forced to drive in the snow.