The Sun Belt Conference officially released its 2017 football schedule today and although there were no earth shattering revelations since we already knew the home and road opponents, just not the dates, we can now begin analyzing how the season might play out for the defending champions.
The Pre Season
This is one of the more challenging non-conference schedules in recent memory with road trips to Nebraska and SMU while entertaining Miami (of Florida, not Ohio) and Arkansas-Pine Bluff in Jonesboro.
Sept 2 @ Nebraska 2016 9-4 (6-3 Big Ten / T- 2nd West)
Sept 9 Miami 2016 9-4 (5-3 ACC / T-2nd Coastal)
Sept 16 UAPB 2016 1-10 (1-8 SWAC / 5th West)
Sept 23 @ SMU 2016 5-7 (3-5 AAC / 5th West)
The Sun Belt portion of the 2017 schedule is more balanced than previous years with ASU not having to endure any three game road swings. The Red Wolves will kickoff their SBC season on Wednesday night at Georgia Southern on ESPN2. They will then welcome conference newcomer Coastal Carolina to Jonesboro before battling Louisiana Lafayette at home on a Thursday night ESPNU game. This will be the only home game moved to the mid week which should help with attendance. A two game road trip to New Mexico State and South Alabama will get split up with an off week before a return trip home to face Texas State. The Red Wolves will make a post Thanksgiving trip to Monroe taking on ULM before returning home to wrap the season in December with Troy. If both teams have a successful run up to this point, it could turn into a game with huge ramifications.