The 2022 Troy Trojans football team was arguably the best of the program’s FBS era. In his first year leading the program, Jon Sumrall guided a veteran team to a 12-2 record, a Sun Belt championship, a bowl win, and the program’s first postseason ranking. The Trojans were #19 in the final AP Poll of the year.
In our most recent SB Nation Reacts survey, we bluntly asked if our readers thought that Troy would repeat as Sun Belt champions in 2023. 32% of the respondents answered “yes” to that question.
Let’s Think About This
If responses to our Twitter post are to be believed, Troy fans don’t seem to mind being doubted. Not many expected the program to achieve what they did in 2022 anyway, for a multitude of reasons. One reason for the success was the sheer amount of talent that chose to stay for 2022 and buy in to Sumrall’s way of doing things. Carlton Martial, DK Billingsley, Austin Stidham...the list goes on and on.
The problem arises when you think about returning talent in 2023. Watson will return along with leading rusher Kimani Vidal. However, receiver Tez Johnson has transferred to Oregon after picking up over 800 receiving yards in 2022.
New additions could things, however. Former Auburn running backs Asa Martin and Jordan Ingram have transferred in. Edge rusher Zach Edwards, who spent last season with Louisville, adds some interesting depth on defense along with former Iowa corner and Alabama native Reggie Bracy.
Let’s not forget how competitive the Sun Belt actually is either. Troy and South Alabama were fighting each other off for most of the season to claim the West division. Then in the East, it’s basically a toss up between three or four teams. If Troy are able to stave off that competition once again, it wouldn’t be a surprise to see Sumrall being included in P5 vacancy discussions in 2024.