The 11th week of Sun Belt action affirmed what a lot of us already knew about many teams. But still, there's some surprises that haven't come to pass. Let's review three things we all learned from this past week.
Louisiana Has Fallen Off
After four-straight bowl seasons, the Cajuns aren't the same team this season. The 32-25 Thursday night loss at South Alabama has left Louisiana with a tough slog the final three games. The 4-5 Cajuns host New Mexico State before heading to Appalachian State, then host Troy in the final week. While NMSU and Troy look like wins to complete a 6-6 season to go bowling, it's not the sure thing it was just a few weeks ago. And it doesn't appear that Louisiana is going back to New Orleans.
And then you have the looming threat of NCAA sanctions from the test score scandal that was revealed earlier this season. So yeah, sliding performance plus unknown future. Not good.
Separation Between The Good And Bad
The league's top three teams, Arkansas State, Appalachian State and Georgia Southern, went on the road and showed their muscle on Saturday. The Red Wolves overcame a sloppy first half to dismantle ULM 59-21 in what was Todd Berry's final game. App State took care of business at Idaho 47-20 and Georgia Southern dismantled a resurgent Troy 45-10. In the process, both Troy and Idaho had their slim bowl chances extinguished.
Speaking of having bowl chances extinguished, Texas State's downfall hit a new low Saturday in a 41-19 home loss to Georgia State. Now 2-7, the Bobcats have a five-day turnaround to face 1-9 ULM on Thursday in a battle of bad Sun Belt teams.
Georgia State Is Actually Getting Better
For the short Sun Belt tenure of Georgia State, the Panthers have always a decent amount of near hits. But still, after the 37-3 home loss to Appalachian State, the 1-4 Panthers looked in need of a complete rebuild.
Since then, G-State has gone 2-2 with the two losses coming at Arkansas State by 14 and a 2-point home loss to Louisiana where the Panthers should have won. With the blowout road win at Texas State, Georgia State sits at 3-6 and still with slight bowl chances. The run-in has home games with South Alabama and Troy the next two weeks before the in-state showdown at Southern. It could very-well end up with the Panthers going into Statesboro at 5-6 needing a win to get bowl-eligible.