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2017 Sun Belt Prespring Rankings & 3 Key Storylines

Sun Belt Prespring Preview, Rankings, Key Storylines


Ranking and breaking down the Sun Belt teams as the spring football season starts to kick in.


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What does each Sun Belt team have to work on this spring? What are the main storylines? How good are the teams going into the key part of the offseason? Ranking all the Sun Belt teams based on how they look now, and what each team needs to do.

– CFN Prespring Rankings & Lookaheads No. 1 to 130

2017 Sun Belt Prespring Rankings & 3 Key Storylines

12. Coastal Carolina Chanticleers

– Are there FBS players in place? The Chanticleers were terrific as an FCSer, but now comes the step up.
– The quarterback situation has to be settled and solid right away.
– The program is used to winning. Is there any tweaking compared to past years? What will the attitude be?
Full Prespring Analysis

11. New Mexico State Aggies

– Will there be a fighting attitude in the last year in the Sun Belt? Will that matter in any way?
– The quarterback situation has to be a rock right away without Tyler Rogers. NMSU will have to get used to bombing away again.
– Is Larry Rose III back to being Larry Rose III? He’s got to stay in one piece and be the best running back in the Sun Belt.
Full Prespring Analysis

10. Texas State

– Finding a productive quarterback is a must with Tyler Jones gone, but improving the nation’s worst ground game is Job One.
– One of the nation’s worst defenses has to come up with new starting safeties.
– What’s the team’s identity going to be? The Bobcats were awful in just about every area. This spring the team needs to find one thing it can do well.
Full Prespring Analysis

9. ULM Warhawks

– How quickly can the Warhawks find producers who can stop the run? The D got gutted last year, but the entire front six returns – they have to get better.
– The ULM O has to come up with a far more efficient passing game. The ground attack will be okay, but the O has to be better at bombing away.
– Somehow, the coaching staff has to make a point of improving the turnover margin. There won’t be any major improvement if this doesn’t happen.
Full Prespring Analysis

8. Georgia Southern Eagles

– Will the new offensive style start to work right away? The Eagles are going to start throwing the ball a bit more, but that might take a while to work.
– The quarterback situation will take center stage without Kevin Ellison and Favian Upshaw. The top receivers are gone, too.
– The linebacking corps has to find new producers – this group gets gutted. It’ll be an open casting call for gigs.
Full Prespring Analysis

7. Georgia State Panthers

– Just how quickly will Shawn Elliott be able to crank up the scoring? The Panthers sputtered on the way to averaging under 20 points per game.
– Just how quickly will there be a ground game? The offensive line has to be stronger, and the offense needs to start being able to grind it out.
– The punting and punt return games need an overhaul. The Panthers couldn’t do anything last year in either area.
Full Prespring Analysis

6. Idaho Vandals

– The defensive front needs to find a good rotation. Three of the four starters are gone up front from one of Idaho’s better run defenses in a while.
– The Vandals gave up 284 passing yards per game and didn’t come up with enough big plays. Now they have to replace three starters in the secondary.
– Who’s stepping in for Austin Rehkow? He’s been one of the nation’s best all-around kickers for the last few years – Idaho can’t replace him, but it’ll have to try.
Full Prespring Analysis

5. Louisiana-Lafayette Ragin’ Cajuns

– How’s the offensive backfield going to look without QB Anthony Jennings and RB Elijah McGuire? New playmakers have to emerge, because …
– The offense has to be more productive. The passing game didn’t work, and the offense struggled and sputtered. The potential has to be shown this spring to do far more.
– The cornerback situation has to be settled right away. The Ragin’ Cajuns lose both starting corners.
Full Prespring Analysis

4. South Alabama Jaguars

– Will there be a running game? The Jaguars only averaged 146 yards per game, and now the O has to be far more physical.
– The receiving corps needs to find new targets. The top three receivers, along with TE Gerald Everett, are gone.
– How good will the punting game be without Brandon McKee? He averaged  44.5 yards per kick, and now Corliss Waitman has to prove he can handle the gig.
Full Prespring Analysis

3. Arkansas State Red Wolves

– How’s the offensive line going to look? How long will it take to replace all five starters and find the right combination?
– How’s the defensive line going to look? Three very good starters are gone around Ja’Von Rolland-Jones.
– Improve the short-field offense. ASU stunk in the red zone and has to learn how to score at every opportunity. Be more efficient inside the 20.
Full Prespring Analysis

2. Troy Trojans

– How does QB Brandon Silvers take the offense to another level? Great last year, now it’s time to make the O even more explosive.
– Find the right mix on the offensive front. Three starters are gone with the right side needing to be replaced.
– Find the right kickers. Ryan Kay hit 18-of-23 field goals and averaged 41 yards per punt, but now he’s gone.
Full Prespring Analysis

1. Appalachian State Mountaineers

– Can Jalin Moore handle even more of the rushing duties without Marcus Cox around? Who else will step up and help?
– Will the stars in the linebacking corps be easily replaced? John Law and Kennan Gilchrist were two big keys to the D over the last few years.
– Work on improving the passing game for third down tries. ASU struggled at times to keep drives going, covering just 34% of their third down tries.
Full Prespring Analysis

CFN Prespring Rankings & Lookaheads No. 1 to 130