Looking Inside the Sun Belt Schedules
The football coaches have made their predictions for the order of finish in the Sun Belt Conference.
They probably didn't look real hard at the schedules.
Not everyone plays everyone in the league. And, there's this home and away thing that usually means something.
Who has the advantage? You be the judge
First, let's look at who ISN'T playing one another
Appalachian State avoids Arkansas State
Troy doesn't play ULM
Georgia Southern misses Texas State
Louisiana will not see Georgia State
And Coastal Carolina does not play South Alabama
Now, let's look a little further
APPALACHIAN STATE has home games against Coastal Carolina, ULM, Georgia Southern and Texas State. They must travel to Louisiana, South Alabama, Georgia State and Troy. Having the Eagles at home is good for the Mountaineers, especially after the spanking they took in Statesboro last year. But they'll travel to a revenge-minded Louisiana and end the season at Troy, which could be for the division title.
TROY hosts Arkansas State, South Alabama, Georgia Southern and Appalachian State. The travel to Georgia State, Coastal Carolina, Texas State and Louisiana. That's a very favorable schedule for the Trojans, who only travel to Cajun Field to meet a team that's considered to be in the "Big Five".
GEORGIA SOUTHERN hosts Louisiana, Coastal Carolina, ULM and Georgia State. They travel to South Alabama, Appalachian State, Troy and Arkansas State. And, they have App and Troy on consecutive weekends. Welcome to the short straw, scheduling wise.
GEORGIA STATE plays host to Arkansas State, Troy, App State and South Alabama. They travel to Texas State, Coastal Carolina, ULM and Georgia Southern. Winning at home could be a task for the Panthers. But if they can pull an upset at home, the road schedule isn't nearly as daunting.
COASTAL CAROLINA hosts Georgia State, Troy, Louisiana and Texas State. They travel to App State, Georgia Southern, Arkansas State and ULM. Those road games are going to be tough for the Chants. And, Troy and Louisiana at home won't be a walk in the park.
ARKANSAS STATE has Louisiana, Texas State, Coastal Carolina and Georgia Southern at home. They travel to Troy, Georgia State, ULM and South Alabama. This sets up pretty nicely for the Red Wolves. That conference opener at Troy will be an interesting one.
LOUISIANA plays host to App State, Texas State, Troy and ULM. They travel to Georgia Southern, Arkansas State, Coastal and South Alabama. Those games against GS, App and A-State are their first three conference games. We'll know a lot about the Cajuns by mid-October.
ULM gets South Alabama, Arkansas State, Georgia State and Coastal at home. But they have to travel to Texas State, App State, Georgia Southern and Louisiana. Boone, Statesboro and Lafayette can be very unkind to visitors.
TEXAS STATE hosts Georgia State, ULM, South Alabama and Troy, while traveling to Arkansas State, Louisiana, App State and Coastal Carolina. New head coach Jake Spavital probably didn't smile when he saw that.
SOUTH ALABAMA hosts Georgia Southern, App State, Louisiana and Georgia Southern. They travel to ULM, Troy, Texas State and Georgia State. For a team that went 3-9 last year, that's a pretty brutal home schedule.
EVERY TEAM plays an FCS opponent. Two attractive games for the fans feature opponents from right down the road. ULM hosts Grambling, while Appalachian State plays host to East Tennessee State. The upset alert is in San Marcos, where Texas State plays host to Nicholls.
THREE TEAMS play a pair of Power 5 opponents. Appalachian State travels to both North and South Carolina, Georgia Southern has road games at LSU and Minnesota, while ULM goes to Florida State and Iowa State. The only team that does not travel to a P5 opponent is Louisiana, which plays Mississippi State at the Mercedes-Benz Superdome in New Orleans.