The Sun Belt conference has officially released its 2017 schedule. The Ragin’ Cajuns will need to power through a season that includes two SEC opponents and games in eight different states.
2017 Regular Season Schedule
September 2nd: vs. Southeastern Louisiana
September 9th: @ Tulsa
September 16th: @ Texas A&M
September 23rd: vs. ULM
October 7: @ Idaho
October 12: vs. Texas State (Thursday night game)
October 19: @ Arkansas State (Thursday night game)
November 4: @ South Alabama
November 11th: @ Ole Miss
November 18th: vs. New Mexico State
November 25th: vs. Georgia Southern
December 2nd: @ Appalachian State
Sun Belt Matchups
The Ragin’ Cajuns will play the same conference schedule as last year, albeit in a different order. They will play their final five regular season games without a break, four of which are Sun Belt opponents. The season will culminate with a contest against Appalachian State on December 2nd, who is perceived as the favorite to win the conference this year.
“On the Road Again...”
The traveling schedule for the Ragin’ Cajuns will include 7 different states: Alabama, Arkansas, Idaho, Mississippi, North Carolina, Oklahoma, and Texas. Two times during the season they will have consecutive weeks of traveling to play games out of state. This is no simple task, and external fatigue factors can set in on a team with such an arduous travel schedule.
Keeping the SEC Scheduling Streak Alive
The last season the Ragin’ Cajuns did not feature an SEC team on their schedule was 2011, making 2017 their 6th consecutive year taking the conference on. In this six year span they have played games against Arkansas, Florida, Georgia, Kentucky and Ole Miss. For comparison, the Ragin’ Cajuns have only played two other power-5 conference teams over that same time span (Oklahoma State and Kansas State).
This season includes a matchups against Texas A&M on September 16th and Ole Miss on November 11th. Though unlikely against these two teams, the Ragin’ Cajuns will seek their first victory over an SEC team since they started this scheduling streak.
The 2017 season will no doubt be an interesting one for the Ragin’ Cajuns. Replacing their three offensive statistical leaders with an unforgiving travel schedule will be a major test to see where the program will be for the next few years.
But given Mark Hudspeth’s track record the Cajuns should find themselves in the hunt for bowl eligibility and with a few breaks, maybe even a run at the Sun Belt title.