On the surface, it would appear that cold reality extinguished Sun Belt Heat like a bucket of O'Doul's. South Alabama and Appalachian State were the only two programs who emerged from the ashes with victories – over FCS opponents! The rest of the Sun Belt was put on ice.
Or so it only seemed.
While the world witnessed Conference USA and the Mountain West gain victories over the likes of Purdue, Washington, Vanderbilt, and Penn State, the Sun Belt was tasked with taking down the heavyweights. There were no P5 bottom-feeders on our slate! We got Florida State! USC! West Virginia! Kentucky! Georgia! North Carolina State! Florida!
The Heat still burns, my friends. And in Week Two, you're gonna feel it. And if you don't, maybe you will in Week 3. Remember, Sun Belt Heat is calculated using the following sorcery and science:
P5 Condescension x ESPN3 + Righteous Fury / "Any given Saturday" = SUN BELT HEAT
Appalachian State vs. #12 Clemson, September 12, 11:30 AM CST, ESPN 3
Chance For Winning (ESPN FPI): 12.5%
The Mountaineers welcomed Howard to its stately mountaintop home last Saturday by rudely shutting them out 49-0. You have to believe that Appalachian State is loving that feeling of domination, and that juice is hard to let go. Sorry, Clemson. The Mountaineers are on a shut-out high and they're not climbing down.
Sun Belt Heat Index: 67% minus 7% for picking on Howard.
Adjusted Chance for WInning: 72.5%
Western Michigan vs. Georgia Southern, September 12, 5:00 PM CST, ESPN 3
Chance For Winning (ESPN FPI): 38.4%
Georgia Southern entered its game against West Virginia with a 588% chance to win (adjusted for Sun Belt Heat) and somehow lost 44-0. Clearly, the Sun Belt Heat Cyclotron was over energized by the Eagle's confident fan base. But we kicked the hell out of it all Sunday long, and now the Cyclotron is ready to produce a reasonable Heat Adjustment.
Sun Belt Heat Index: 908% plus 2% because they're Georgia Southern and you're not.
Adjusted Chance for WInning: 948.4%
Northwestern State vs. ULL, September 12, 6:00 PM CST, ESPN 3
Chance For Winning (ESPN FPI): 93.3%
Northwestern State isn't just a directional school. It's a double directional school! And that means one thing: double the dose of Sun Belt Heat! NOTE: That's a single dose of Sun Belt Heat fired from two directions, in this case from the North and the West. DOUBLE NOTE: This gives ULL a double chance for victory, which will likely provoke the ire of the NCAA. It was nice knowing you, Cajuns!
Sun Belt Heat Index: 3% multiplied by 2
Adjusted Chance for WInning: 99.3%
Nicholls State vs. ULM, September 12, 6:00 PM CST, ESPN 3
Chance For Winning (ESPN FPI): 98.9%
Listen, Nicholls State is terrible at playing the football. Despite losing 51-14 to #9 Georgia, ULM is not terrible at playing the football. This alone gives the Warhawks plenty of Sun Belt Heat to assure victory, so let's not bother with the effort of providing further analysis!
Sun Belt Heat Index: 1.1% because, whatever
Adjusted Chance for WInning: 100%
Prairie View A&M vs. Texas State, September 12, 6:00 PM CST, ESPN 3
Chance For Winning (ESPN FPI): 94.1%
Texas State led the wagon train to Tallahassee and absorbed a 59-16 butchering at the hands of Florida State. Now the Bobcats stagger back to Texas mean and thirsty for revenge, and the PV A&M just happened to wander by. Sun Belt Heat doesn't care if you're a nice fella with a view of the prairie. It only lives to heat.
Sun Belt Heat Index: 20% plus 5% Texan rage
Adjusted Chance for WInning: 129.1%
Charleston Southern vs. Troy, September 12, 6:00 PM CST, ESPN 3
Chance For Winning (ESPN FPI): 85.2%
Troy visited North Carolina State on Saturday and were rewarded with a 49-21 gut-punch. It was a trial by fire for new head coach Neal Brown, who will take the lessons learned and apply them to Charleston Southern, who destroyed North Greenville 41-14. TROY DOESN'T LET ANYONE DO THAT TO NORTH GREENVILLE!
Sun Belt Heat Index: 1% plus 14% to avenge North Greenville, whom we all know and love.
Adjusted Chance for WInning: 100.2%
#21 Missouri vs. Arkansas State, September 12, 6:00 PM CST, ESPN 3
Chance For Winning (ESPN FPI): 20.5%
Missouri rolls into Jonesboro greeted by a refurbished Centennial Bank Stadium and a Red Wolves team that shouldn't feel too bad about a 55-6 loss to #8 USC. Meanwhile, the Tigers didn't look terrific against in-state rival SE Missouri State. And SEMO wasn't even blasting that sweet, sweet Sun Belt Heat.
Sun Belt Heat Index: 80% minus 1% for the inevitable botched trick play
Adjusted Chance for WInning: 99.5%
Georgia State vs. New Mexico State, September 12, 7:00 PM CST, ESPN 3
ERRORERRORERRORERRORERRORERRORERRORERRORNEVER DIRECT SUN BELT HEAT AT SUN BELT HEAT OH GOD MY EYES MY FACE MY ENTIRE BODY BURNS NOOOOERRORERRORERRORERRORERRORERRRORERRORERROR
Idaho vs. #8 USC, September 12, 7:00 PM CST, PAC12 Network
Chance For Winning (ESPN FPI): 0.4%
You're reading that FPI correctly. Idaho has been given a less than half-percent chance to beat USC, whose inside practice facility likely dwarfs the Kibbie Dome. But the Trojans have never seen anything like Paul Petrino's volcanic rage, and you saw what volcanoes did to Los Angeles in that volcano movie starring Tommy Lee Jones, right?
Sun Belt Heat Index: 0.4% plus 70% red-faced fury.
Adjusted Chance for WInning: 70.8%
South Alabama vs. Nebraska, September 12, 7:00 PM CST, Big10 Network
Chance For Winning (ESPN FPI): 3.1%
BYU tossed a game-winning Hail Mary to emasculate Nebraska last week. Meanwhile, South Alabama was bringing honor and glory to the Sun Belt by besting Gardner-Webb. As we all know, Gardner-Webb is known in many secret circles as "The BYU of the FCS" so you can likely see how this game will shape up.
Sun Belt Heat Index: 60% plus 5% residual good fortune from the Blessed Mother Mary and her pal Joseph Smith.
Adjusted Chance for WInning: 68.1%