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Sun Belt Heat: A Blistering Hot Week One Preview of the Sun Belt Conference

ESPN's Football Power Index (FPI) predicts a tough Week One for the Sun Belt. But what FPI can never accurately measure is something scientists like to call "Sun Belt Heat."

Michael Chang/Getty Images

Contrary to common belief, Week One of the college football season isn't a bad week for the Sun Belt. In fact, last year the Sun Belt began the season a very respectable 7-4. This year, however, offers a far more difficult slate featuring a number of traditionally difficult opponents. The odds seem against the Sun Belt.

Never tell us the odds! Because the odds wilt before the one element that only the Sun Belt can bring to the table: SUN BELT HEAT!

What is SUN BELT HEAT? It's hard to describe. Think of it as an amalgamation of The Force, Mr. Miagyi, and whatever source of sorcery is continuing to cast Justin Long in major motion pictures. So yeah, powerful stuff. Rest assured that SUN BELT HEAT is derived using science and stuff. Here's a glimpse of the secret formula:

P5 Condescension x ESPN3 + Righteous Fury / "Any given Saturday" = SUN BELT HEAT

According to ESPN's power index, FPI, the Sun Belt is destined for an emasculating Week One beatdown. But ESPN FPI fails to measure SUN BELT HEAT because ESPN FPI is without romance. Underdog Dynasty has no such handicap!


Texas State vs Florida State

September 5th, 7PM CST, ESPN News

Florida State: 8th Coaches Poll, 21st FPI

Texas State: 86th FPI

Chance of Winning (FPI): 9.0%

Coach Dennis Wayne Franchione once coached Alabama and Texas A&M, so he's not about to be intimidated by Florida State's football record or arrest record.

Sun Belt Heat Index: 40% plus 1% for seriel-killer middle name.

Adjusted Chance of Winning: 50%

Arkansas State vs USC

September 5, 10:00PM CST, PAC-12 Network

USC: 10th Coaches Poll, 12th FPI

A-State: 63rd FPI

Chance of Winning (FPI): 8.3%

A-State is still aggravated about Chip Kelley going for two (and succeeding) on Oregon's first posession the last time the Red Wolves faced the PAC-12. USC has gots to pay.

Sun Belt Heat Index: 71% minus 7% per each change of time zone

Adjusted Chance of Winning: 65.3%

Ohio vs Idaho

September 5th, 8PM CST, ESPN3

Ohio: 83rd FPI

Idaho: 124th FPI

Chance of Winning (FPI): 23.5%

Ohio has defeated Idaho two out of its three historic meetings, a stat that would boil Paul Petrino' blood were it possible to see a temperature above freezing in Moscow, Idaho.

Sun Belt Heat Index: 30% plus the sheer imitation provided the playing in the Kibbie Dome.

Adjusted Chance of Winning: 53.5%

Georgia Southern vs West Virginia

September 5th, 6:30PM CST, FSN

West Virginia: 28th FPI

Georgia Southern: 60th FPI

Chance of Winning (FPI): 21.3%

Georgia Southern is the best damn football program in the United States and the universe, according to fans of Georgia Southern. Who would dare say that about West Virginia?

Sun Belt Heat Index: 20% multiplied expotentially by insane levels of self-confidence

Adjusted Chance of Winning: 588%

ULM vs Georgia

September 5th, 11:00AM CST, SEC Network

Georgia: 9th Coaches Poll, 6th FPI

ULM: 108th FPI

Chance of Winning (FPI): 1.4%

ESPN FPI clearly doesn't take the Arkansas upset of 2012 into consideration. Then again, niether do Hog fans, who have collectively lobodomized 2012 from their memories.

Sun Belt Heat Index: 10.6% multiplied 1% every time the SEC Network announcers say something condescending about the Warhawks.

Adjusted Chance of Winning: 99%

Howard vs Appalachian State

September 5th, 2:30PM CST, ESPN3

Howard: A total mystery

Appalacian State: 52nd FPI

Chance of Winning (FPI): 97.7%

Howard University once left Applachian State nearly beaten to death in the desert, and then hooked the Mountaineers' girlfriend on heroin! (Any resemblance to the movie Revenge starring Kevin Costner is completely coincidental.)

Sun Belt Heat Index: Adjusted to the lazer-hot hatred of this storied rivalry

Adjusted Chance of Winning: 97.7%

Louisiana vs Kentucky

September 5th, 6:00PM CST, ESPNU

Kentucky: 47th FPI

Louisiana: 92nd FPI

Chance of Winning (FPI): 18.2%

Coach Mark Hudspeth tossed a Pontiac Firebird into the sun during the Spring Game, so you know he means business. Kentucky isn't ready for this kind of machismo.

Sun Belt Heat Index: 4% multiplied by the tightness of Coach Hudspeth's shirts

Adjusted Chance of Winning: 80.5%

Charlotte vs Georgia State

September 4th, 2:30PM CST, ESPNU

Charlotte: 126th FPI

Georgia State: 116th FPI

Chance of Winning (FPI): 69.8%

Georgia State is still seeking that first FBS victory, and Charlotte just happens to be an FBS football program. (It's true.)

Sun Belt Heat Index: 10% plus 0.2% because come on already

Adjusted Chance of Winning: 80%

New Mexico State vs Florida

September 5th, 6:30PM CST, SEC Network

Florida: 23rd FPI

Georgia Southern: 114th FPI

Chance of Winning (FPI): 3.8%

This is the 21st anniversary of the Aggies unceremonious surrender to the Gators, and quite frankly, New Mexico State is still peeved.

Sun Belt Heat Index: 1% for every point Florida scored on NMS in 1994

Adjusted Chance of Winning: 73.8%

Troy vs North Carolina State

September 5th, 5:00PM CST, ESPN3

North Carolina State: 42nd FPI

Troy: 123rd FPI

Chance of Winning (FPI): 4.8%

Troy has a new coach in Neal Brown, some new transfers from UAB, and a new chrome helmet. That's too much news for same old NC State to repel.

Sun Belt Heat Index: 60% plus 4% left over from Larry Blankeny

Adjusted Chance of Winning: 68.8%

Gardner-Webb vs South Alabama

September 5th, 5:00PM CST, ESPN3

Gardner-Webb: Notable former players include DT Gabe Wilkins

Georgia Southern: 118th FPI

Chance of Winning (FPI): 81.3%

Gardner-Webb sent South Alabama to prison for a crime they didn't commit. They promptly escaped from a maximum security stockade to the Mobile underground. Today, still wanted by the government, they survive as soldiers of fortune. If you have a problem, if no one else can help, and if you can find them, maybe you can hire the Jaguars.

Sun Belt Heat Index: Equal to Coach Joey Jones' thirst for justice.

Adjusted Chance of Winning: 81.4%

As the science clearly demonstrates, the Sun Belt is projected to open the 2015 college football season a perfect 11-0. The College Football Playoff Committee will have no choice but to take notice.