Last week we had you all vote in our comment section to give Georgia Southern or UL the edge in this week's poll. That exercise proved to be somewhat premature. But we did learn a few things. Firstly, nothing in life is certain but death. Second, just like in America, your vote doesn't really count.
But that's ok. This week I have something for you. In recognition of America's greatest holiday tradition, Black Friday, I present our first ever Sun Belt Power Ranking/Gift Guide.
Instead of recapping the week's action, I'm making recommendations for what you should get your Sun Belt neighbor this year. Because when it all comes down to it, the holidays aren't worth celebrating if you don't spend them in the company of a new flat screen.
Now let's rank some football teams.
1 Georgia Southern Eagles 8-3 (7-0)
One of the odd things about moving into a new house is figuring out your lawn maintenance schedule. When should you mow? How often do I water? But sometime thing just fall into place, and with a little help from old friends, you end up with the best lawn in the neighborhood. Help your Georgia Southern buddies put the finishing touches on their front yard with a new flagpole. Perfect for raising banners. Just remember to leave room incase they ever decide to put in another one.
2 Appalachian St. Mountaineers 6-5 (5-2)
In some corners of the world, the prefered method for removing snow from the sidewalk is a blowtorch. While effective, this isn't recommended. You run the risk of burning down your house, or even your neighbor's house. This year, it's time for App State to upgrade to a snow blower. Sure it's not nearly as fun as a blowtourch, but all you are burning down at this point is real estate values.
3 Louisiana Ragin Cajuns 7-4 (6-1)
Despite the rough weekend, chances are still good that UL will be spending December in New Orleans. Help your favorite Cajun celebrate with a few cans of world famous coffee with chicory from Cafe Du Monde. But before you wrap those up, make sure to open each can and empty out the contents, and fill them instead with used beignet sugar. Coffee is for closers.
4 Arkansas State Red Wolves 6-5 (4-3)
Hobbies are what keep us sane during the long offseason, but it's important to prepare for them now so that you don't spend January bored to tears. And what better gift for the Red Wolves than a parachute? This particular model has a large surface area to slow Arkansas State's rapid descent. There is nothing like a free fall to remind you that you are still alive... for better or worse.
5 South Alabama Jaguars 6-5 (5-3)
When you are a team on the edge of bowl eligibility, it helps to be local. But a good friend would give the Jags that extra push they need, and hire Danica Patrick to endorse South Alabama for the GoDaddy Bowl. With Danica driving this campaign, what could go wrong?
6 Texas State Bobcats 6-5 (4-3)
Despite a great win, Texas State gets the short end of the Bobcats-Jags-Red Wolves triumvirate, and could very well get the short end of the bowl selection process as the fourth team for three slots. But that's ok, because for Festivus we're getting Texas State the gift of experience. Gift cards to Sunset Bowling in San Marcos. You can do what you want to do in life, as long as you're willing to settle for alternate meanings.
7 ULM Warhawks 4-7 (3-4)
No team exemplifies the giving spirit better than ULM, especially with their offer to hand their in-state rivals a share of the Sun Belt crown. But beating Georgia Southern is no small order. It might be even harder after giving them bulletin board material. For their own good, we suggest the ever so useful Human Muzzle for the Warhawks. Don't worry, the link is safe for work. Not sure if Saturday's game will be though.
8 Troy Trojans 3-8 (3-4)
We've already discussed the importance of a hobby, so this gift is meant more for Coach Blakeney as he enters into the longest offseason in his life. In Alabama, if you aren't watching football, you're hunting, so we recommend a hunting bow for the coach so he can take to the woods and enjoy a new kind of sport. Unlike football though, he'll have to remember to adapt and stay ahead of the deer before they start shooting back.
9 New Mexico State Aggies 2-9 (1-6)
New Mexico terrain can be rough on a vehicle, so we recommend you help the Aggies out with their maintenance and buy them a new set of brake pads. They may not be the most fun gift in the world, but NMSU will be happy to help them when they finally stop that long skid.
10 Idaho Vandals 1-9 (1-6)
What do you get for the team that has everything? How about airline gift cards so they can go somewhere not named Moscow for the winter?
11 Georgia State Panthers 1-9 (0-7)
Lastly, we have Georgia State. It's rough being last, and even worse when the guys down the street are #1. This year for christmas, we recommend getting State a set of golf clubs. Or a tennis racket. Or maybe a nice bocce ball set. Just something else to do, because football clearly is not their sport.