I think it's fair to say my life can clearly be divided into two separate epochs: pre and post-Sun Belt Power Rankings. Not that I resent them, but at times they haunt me. Even though our entire Sun Belt staff votes on the order, I find that I obsess over their accuracy.
Is Texas State really better than UL Lafayette? Should the Red Wolves be given the benefit of the doubt? Can Troy technically be classified as a football team?
These are the thoughts that flow through my mind when I should be enjoying a mid-day, plate lunch induced coma. But my restless afternoons may finally be over, because conference play is truly here. This week we get Troy at ULM, South Alabama at Idaho, and the first Thursday home game for Georgia Southern (vs. App. State) since the Hugo Bowl.
Four out of those six teams have already played a conference game, but for all intents and purposes, this is the first real week of the season. No more guess work. So for old time's sake, let's baselessly rank some football teams.
1 Georgia Southern Eagles 2-2 (1-0)
Yeah, Georgia Southern isn't fooling anybody anymore. Only one game into their conference schedule, and the Eagles have established themselves as the team to beat. That's not to say this team is invincible, but I don't see too many of their conference opponents slowing down that rushing attack. Read the full recap here.
2 Arkansas State Red Wolves 2-2 (0-0)
It took a Utah State fumble to get the Red Wolves in the game, but once they put some points on the board, things got interesting. So interesting, the football gods proclaimed, "Let there be more football." And it was good. Mostly because A-State won in OT. Read the full recap here.
3 ULM Warhawks 2-1 (1-0)
ULM had a solid bye week preparing for Troy. By prepare, I mean they went duck hunting. IT'S TEAL SEASON Y'ALL.
4 Texas State Bobcats 1-2 (0-0)
Am I the only person that constantly forgets these guys are even in the Sun Belt. Maybe if they didn't give up 17 fourth quarter points to Illinois it wouldn't be such a problem. Just thinking out loud here. Read the full recap here.
5 South Alabama Jaguars 1-2 (0-0)
They did hold Georgia Southern to one touchdown... per quarter. If it wasn't for some costly turnovers, this game might have been closer. And the missed extra point just makes it look worse. Read the full recap here.
6 Louisiana Ragin Cajuns 1-2 (0-0)
The rest of us may have another week, but the Cajuns' nightmare September is over. Despite another painful loss, this time to Boise State on the blue turf, the Cajuns' goals are still mostly achievable. But only if they get the machine running again. Read the OBNUG recap here.
7 Appalachian St. Mountaineers 1-2 (0-0)
I didn't get to watch this game live, so when I did catch up with the replay... just... you poor bastards. I mean, a loss to Southern Miss is it's own special hell, but like this? Six seconds left, only a PAT to tie it, and a guy that at least should have been nicknamed Zach "Auto" Matics in for the kick. Even the box score had to repeat it to believe it.
I just...Read the full recap here.
8 New Mexico State Aggies 2-2 (1-0)
Speaking of heartbreakers, for the second week in a row, New Mexico State loses to a hated rival. This time it is of the in-state variety. The announce team kept saying, "The last team with the ball will probably win this one." I hate it when those smug bastards are right. Read the Mountain West Connection recap here.
9 Georgia State Panthers 1-3 (0-1)
The fact that Georgia State led Washington by 14 at halftime deserves it's own special recognition. Nevermind that the Huskies scored at least 21 in each of the subsequent quarters. Good for you, Panthers. Good for you. Read the UW Dawg Pound recap here.
10 Idaho Vandals 0-3 (0-1)
Valiant effort, but 64 rushing yards and three turnovers aren't gonna win much this year. Read the Hustle Belt recap here.
11 Troy Trojans 0-4 (0-0)
I bet our editor Nic that SMU would get beat worse by A&M than Troy would by Georgia. Guess I can always count on the Trojans to let me down. Read the full recap here.