Sun Belt Sizzle Week Two: Time to turn it up
In Week One, the Sun Belt Sizzle fizzled. But if college football is about anything, it’s second chances. Will the Sun Belt turn it up in Week 2?
Let’s be brutally blunt: Week One was more fizzle than sizzle. The Sun Belt delivered zero big wins. Only Coastal Carolina – the Chanticleers – managed a victory over an FBS opponent. True, the Sun Belt spent most of their time on the road lining up against the Power Five Establishment. But come on, guys. Give me something. My column depends on it. Don’t you care about my column?
11 Oklahoma State Cowboys @ South Alabama Jaguars
Friday, September 8th, 7PM on ESPN2
South Bama does some damn good scheduling. Welcome to asbestos-free Ladd-Peebles Stadium, Cowboys! Oklahoma State and their manly head coach Mike Gundy opened the season by making Tulsa look like chumps. Now they get a Jags team that scored more points on Ole Miss than Rebel fans would have liked. Cole Gavin tossed zero INTs in Week One, and they found a compliment to RB Xavier Johnson in Tra Minter. If the Jags can find some defense, maybe magic happens.
Gut: 56-35, Oklahoma State
Texas State Bobcats @ Colorado Buffalos
Saturday, September 9th, 1PM on PAC12 Network
The UNDFEATED Bobcats didn’t exactly destroy Houston Baptist, winning 20-11 with its new QB, Mississippi State transfer Damien Williams, throwing for 135 yards. Williams will likely improve as a passer, but will he in time to face Colorado? The Buffs handled in-state rival Colorado State 17-3 to open the season. Texas State will need a plan to contain senior RB Phillip Lindsey, who racked up 140 yards in Week 1.
Gut: 28-14, Colorado
16 Miami Hurricanes @ Arkansas State Red Wolves
NOTE: Game has been CANCELED due to Hurricane Irma. Boo.
Saturday, September 9th, 2:30PM on ESPNU
The Sun Belt is hosting two nationally ranked programs in their own stadiums? What the hell is going on here? It’s true, bro. Sun Belt is hot! Miami drops by Jonesboro fresh from an exhilarating victory over Bethune-Cookman. Meanwhile, the Red Wolves extrapolate the positives from a 43-36 loss to the Cornhuskers. Despite the L, Arkansas State looked cool and capable in front of 90,000 agitated fans in Lincoln. Will the confidence extend into Week 2?
Gut: 38-25, Arkansas State
Savannah State Tigers @ Appalachian State Mountaineers
Saturday, September 9th, 2:30PM on ESPN3
The Mountaineers didn’t score until the 4th quarter against Georgia, so they have plenty of points saved up for the Tigers. QB Taylor Lamb and RB Jalin Moore couldn’t get any momentum against the Bulldog defense in Week 1. The Tigers seem like just the medicine for what ails Scott Satterfield’s offense.
Gut: 45-7, Appalachian State
Louisiana Ragin Cajuns @ Tulsa Golden Hurricane
Saturday, September 9th, 3:30PM on ESPN3
Louisiana had to work waaaaaaaaaaaaay too hard to defeat in-state FCS foe Southeastern Louisiana, slipping away with a 51-48 victory. The Cajuns allowed 514 total yards to SEL, including 343 yards on the ground, which is troubling because Mark Hudspeths’ squad was supposed to have a pretty solid run defense. Meanwhile, Tulsa limps into the game having been humiliated on national TV by Oklahoma State. On bright spot for the Hurricane was Corey Taylor, who racked up 111 yards and a pair of scores in Week Zero.
Gut: 28-24, Louisiana
New Hampshire Wildcats @ Georgia Southern Eagles
Saturday, September 9th, 5:00PM on ESPN3
The good news for the Eagles is that the Wildcats ain’t the Auburn Tigers. The Titans of the Triple Option failed to score an offensive touchdown at Jordan-Hare, but nothing solves offensive woes than taking on a powder puff at home. However, New Hampshire is coming off a 24-23 win over the Maine Black Bears, so maybe should temper expectations? Nah.
Gut: 38-17, Georgia Southern
Alabama State Hornets @ Troy Trojans
Saturday, September 9th, 5:00PM on ESPN3
Brandon Silvers vs Brett Rypien wasn’t exactly Balboa vs Creed in Week One. Silvers finished the game with 139 yards and a pick in route to a fireworks-free 24-13 loss to Boise State. Silvers and his wide receivers can attempt to get on the same page against the Hornets who opened their season with a 14-6 loss to the Tuskegee Golden Tigers.
Gut: 63-7, Troy
ULM Warhawks @ 10 Florida State
Saturday, September 9th, 6:00PM on ACC Network
There are no shortage of AP Top 25 matchups in the Sun Belt in Week 2, and this one might be the most murderous. Then again, Matt Viator and his dual QB system managed to look respectable against Memphis in Week One. And nobody plays decent after a beating from Alabama. Who knows, y’all? With Florida State looking ahead to in-state rival Miami in Week 3, perhaps the Warhawks find the formula for upset?
Gut: 130-10, Florida State
UNLV Rebels @ Idaho Vandals
Saturday, September 9th, 6:00PM on ESPN3
More like, LOL Rebels! UNLV bears the indignity of absorbing the biggest upset in history when it lost to Howard 43-40. Now they get to trundle up to the Arctic Circle where they’ll meet a seething Paul Petrino in Moscow. Led by way-too-underrated running back Aaron Duckworth, the Vandals should deepen the Rebels shame and dismay on Saturday night.
Gut: 42-21, Idaho
New Mexico State Aggies @ New Mexico Lobos
Saturday, September 9th, 7:00PM (No TV ARE YOU KIDDING ME?)
Honestly, how can you not televise a rivalry that has spanned more than a century? Network fools! The Aggies and Lobos have squared off 107 times, with New Mexico State winning 32 – including the last meeting, 32-31. Doug Martin has the Aggies playing like fire, nearly upending Arizona State in Week 1. Meanwhile, the Lobos are coming off a dynamite win over Abilene Christian 38-14, but aren’t expected to make a move in the Mountain West Mountain Division. I smell an Aggie streak.
Gut: 35-28, New Mexico State
Sitting out: Coastal Carolina, resting on the sofa of its big win against UMass.
A former notary public, Jeremy Harper is a professional writer and Chief Instigator for Storm the Castle Creative. He spends much of his free time staring blankly into space.