You may (or may not) have heard about the premature declaration of #SunBeltHeat’s tragic demise. Turns out, there were two more out-of-conference games to be played! My bad! Look, I’ve claimed responsibility what more do you want?
No matter what you want, you get nothing. Except some bonus analysis. And this updated chart:
|Conference||W||L||Best Win||Noble Defeat||Embarrassing Loss|
|MW||3||4||South Alabama 43, #19 San Diego St. 24||Arkansas St. 20, Utah St. 34||Louisiana 10, Boise St. 45|
|MAC||2||3||Appalachian St. 45, Akron 38||Georgia St. 21, Ball St. 31||Arkansas St. 10, Toledo 31|
|CUSA||2||1||Troy 37, Southern Miss 31||NA||New Mexico St 22, UTEP 38|
|AAC||0||2||NA||Louisiana 39, Tulane 41||Texas State 3, Houston 64|
|SEC||1||8||South Alabama 21, Mississippi St. 20||Appalachian St. 13, Tennessee 20||Texas State 3, Arkansas 42|
|ACC||0||3||NA||Troy 24, Clemson 30||Appalachian St 10, Miami 45|
|PAC 12||0||2||NA||NA||Idaho 6, Washington St. 56|
|Big 12||0||1||NA||NA||ULM 17, Oklahoma 59|
|Big 10||0||1||NA||Georgia St. 17, Wisconsin 23||NA|
|FCS||9||1||NA||NA||Arkansas St. 23, Central Arkansas 28|
|Independent||1||0||Troy 52, UMASS 31||NA||NA|
So really nothing changed
South Bama added another FCS win with a victory over Presbyterian and Louisiana supplied another brutal loss to the SEC with a humiliation to Georgia. So instead of 17-25, #SunBeltHeat was 18-26 in 2016. Yay.
The Sun Belt did okay
According to the latest Sagarin Rankings, the Sun Belt is the 16th most potent football conference, just below the Missouri Valley (yuck) and just above the Mountain West-West (okay). The Sun Belt is also ranked ahead of the MAC East and both CUSA divisions.
The Sun Belt (briefly) entertained an AP Top 25 team this year, and enjoyed an AP Top 25 victory (two if want to count Arkansas State’s triumph over Troy). Those are good things. But the bottom 2/3 of the Sun Belt is really weighing down the rest of the conference. With several programs breaking in new staff, and others rebuilding rosters, the Sun Belt is too reliant on a handful of teams.