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The Last Sun Belt Preview I'll Probably Ever Do

Discussion in 'Idaho Vandals' started by Cave_Johnson, Aug 21, 2017.

  1. Cave_Johnson

    Cave_Johnson #1 Bob Saget Fan

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    Okay, this is only the second one I've done on this board. But I'm going to lay out some predictions at some point before the season starts and this is where it's gonna happen ya'll.

    Spoilers: Vandies are going bowling against mothafuckas
     



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  2. FaCe-LeE-uS

    FaCe-LeE-uS How's Business?

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    [​IMG]
     
  3. Cave_Johnson

    Cave_Johnson #1 Bob Saget Fan

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    Oh boy. With the official start of the college football season about 15 hours away it's probably a good idea for me to get this done. Luckily there are no Sun Belt games until next Friday so I do have a week to finish this out. I'll try to keep things brief for the most part. Definitely going more in-depth on Idaho but I'll try to hit the main points for the other teams.

    Going in alphabetical order starting with.....
     
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  4. Cave_Johnson

    Cave_Johnson #1 Bob Saget Fan

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    Appalachian State

    The Mountaineers finished last season 10-3 as Sun Belt Co-Champions with their only conference loss coming at Troy. This also happened to be the only conference game in which they truly struggled as they won every other Sun Belt game by at least 14. Guess which team doesn't appear on their conference schedule this year? The Fights Condoms of Troy. App St. also manages to avoid last year's other Sun Belt Co-Champion Arkansas St. for the second year in a row.

    Despite having one of the best QB's in the conference last year the Mountaineers were undoubtedly a run-first team, and my god did they spread it all over the place. Three players averaged more than 5.5 ypc and rushed for more than 500 yards and at least 9 TDs. That's insane. More insane? Two of those players rushed for over 1000 yards and the guy who didn't was in fact Taylor Lamb, the quarterback.

    Of those three players only Marcus Cox (1015 yds, 9 TDs) does not return. Junior Jalin Moore (1402 yds, 10 TDs) may be the best offensive player in the conference and should have a another solid season as the returning lead back. Lamb's TD passes did go down by 16 from his Sophomore season despite throwing nearly 50 more passes in his Junior campaign. I'm willing to chalk that up to a huge increase in running TDs for App. St. last year though. All of Lamb's other numbers remained exactly the same.

    Offense should not be an issue this year for the Mountaineers with 6 first or second team all-conference selections including Moore (1st) and Lamb (2nd). The selections are returning 2016 receiving yards leader Shaedon Meadors and three offensive linemen

    The Mountaineers also return 3/4 of their starters on defense including including 5 first or second team all-conference selections.

    I have them running the table in conference considering they avoid the other top teams in Ark St. and Troy. Out of conference they have two cake walks against Savannah State and UMass but start the season at #15 Georgia. That UGA game is the only one I expect them to lose. Their other conference game is a home one against ACC surprise bowl team from last season Wake Forest. I like what the Deacons are doing in Winston-Salem but I like App. St. a bit more. Close win for the Mountaineers there.

    Prediction: 11-1 (8-0) Sun Belt Champs
     
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  5. Cave_Johnson

    Cave_Johnson #1 Bob Saget Fan

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    Shit that first preview was probably too long. Going to try to shorten these.

    Arkansas State

    2016 was a weird year for the Red Wolves as they went 0-4 out of conference losing to FCS Central Arkansas. Not a good start and I know the stAte fans were probably call for coach Blake Anderson's head. Anderson quickly quieted some of the doubters by going 7-1 in conference and ending the year with a bowl win and a Sun Belt Co-Championship.

    I expect Arkansas State to struggle in its first two OOC games at Nebraska and at home against #18 Miami (FL). They should take down Arkansas-Pine Bluff and SMU after that.

    The Red Wolves boast the best D-line in the Sun Belt and the return 5 first or second all-conference selections. I don't expect them to be App St. on offense, but they really could have been said of this team last year too and they still managed to put up 32 ppg in their last 9 games. They return QB Justice Hansen and all-conference TE Blake Mack who lead stAte in receiving last year.

    Arkansas State should have another solid season and not tanking their OOC games should help out their record quite a bit. I have them going 6-2 in conference with losses to Troy and ULL (bit of an upset).

    Prediction: 8-4 (6-2) Third in Sun Belt
     
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  6. Cave_Johnson

    Cave_Johnson #1 Bob Saget Fan

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    *Fighting Condoms of Troy.
    *including is there twice in a row because I'm a retard

    Fuck, I need to proof read and not write these while drinking
     
  7. Cave_Johnson

    Cave_Johnson #1 Bob Saget Fan

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    Coastal Carolina

    The Chanticleers are going to be a hard team to predict this year. They had a strong last season in FCS (what a bunch of idiots moving backward to FBS by the way) going 10-2 and have a very manageable OOC schedule going up against UMass, UAB, Western Illinois, and Arkansas. That is perhaps balanced out by drawing App St., Arkansas St., and Troy in conference.

    I'll level with you here, I'm using ESPN to look up some a lot of stats on ESPN and there are absolutely no stats for CCU from last year because they were an FCS school and FCS is basically irrelevant right now.

    Here's what I do know though: CCU returns only 11 starters (QB being on of them) and they will be without their head coach who is taking a leave of absence this season. I expect it to be a bit of a rough-go for Coastal but I think they snag 5 wins given some weak opponents

    Prediction: 5-7 (2-6) 9th in Sun Belt
     
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    Last edited: Aug 26, 2017
  8. Cave_Johnson

    Cave_Johnson #1 Bob Saget Fan

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    Georgia Southern

    The Eagles have been a consistent contender in the Sun Belt since moving to FBS in 2014. They took a step back last season however going 5-7 and 2-7 in their final 9 games of the season. They're losing their top two rushers and passers and return 0 first or second team all-conference selections.

    I see this being a rebuilding year for Southern and have them repeating their performance from last year overall with a bit of a setback in conference.

    Prediction: 5-7 (3-5) 8th in Sun Belt
     
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  9. Cave_Johnson

    Cave_Johnson #1 Bob Saget Fan

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    Fuck, that should be 11th. Didn't double check my spreadsheet.
     
  10. Cave_Johnson

    Cave_Johnson #1 Bob Saget Fan

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    Also, that second loss is to Georgia Southern, not ULL. Fuck it, here's the final standings so I don't fuck this up more.

    1st App. St. 11-1 (8-0)
    2nd Troy 9-3 (7-1)
    3rd Ark. St. 8-4 (6-2)
    4th Idaho 7-5 (5-3)
    T-5th USA 6-6 (4-4)
    T-5th ULL 5-7 (4-4)
    7th Ga. St. 5-7 (3-5)
    8th Southern 5-7 (3-5)
    T-9th NMSU 4-8 (3-5)
    T-9th ULM 4-8 (3-5)
    11th CCU 5-7 (2-6)
    12th TSU 1-11 (0-8)
     
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  11. Cave_Johnson

    Cave_Johnson #1 Bob Saget Fan

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    Georgia State

    The Panthers struggled last season winning only three games. One of those happened to be against their rival Georgia Southern but the other two came against last place Texas State and FCS Tennessee Martin. They struggled offensively last year but return a lot of talent on that side of the ball. If the defense can tough it out I think they'll improve, but not enough to go bowling.

    Prediction: 5-7 (3-5) 7th in Sun Belt
     
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  12. Cave_Johnson

    Cave_Johnson #1 Bob Saget Fan

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    Idaho

    I'll do this full preview in another post. But since I've already posted my record prediction I'll give that.

    Prediction: 7-5 (5-3) 4th in Sun Belt
     
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  13. Cave_Johnson

    Cave_Johnson #1 Bob Saget Fan

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    ULM

    The Warhawks had to deal with a lot of injuries last year and it showed. They'll bring quite a bit of talent back this season but with only one player on the first or second team all-conference squads it's apparent that the talent they bring back might not be enough. They avoid Troy but still draw App St. and stAte in conference. Their OOC is quite difficult as well as they play Memphis, Auburn, Florida State, and Southern Miss. I have them pulling off a few wins in conference but other than that I don't see much improvement.

    Prediction: 4-8 (3-5) Tie for 9th in Sun Belt
     
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  14. Cave_Johnson

    Cave_Johnson #1 Bob Saget Fan

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    Louisiana

    The Cajuns willed their way into a bowl game last year on the back of Elijah McGuire and dual-threat QB Anthony Jennings. That still wasn't enough in their last game of the season though as they lost the New Orleans bowls for the first time in school history (they are 4-1 in that game). McGuire and Jennings are gone this year as is their returning top receiver. I expect them to struggle offensively this year.

    On defense they return 3 first or second team all conference selections as well as several other starters. This might be enough to keep them competitive but I don't expect another bowl season in Lafayette.

    Prediction: 5-7 (4-4)
     
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  15. BoiseStateFan27

    BoiseStateFan27 Sir Member

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    One more thing on these guys is they actually ended up using like 5 different QBs last year because of a large amount of injuries at the position
     
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  16. BoiseStateFan27

    BoiseStateFan27 Sir Member

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    Good reads though

    We see eye to eye on most of these, except I see the Ragin Cajuns making a little more improvement than you do
     
  17. Cave_Johnson

    Cave_Johnson #1 Bob Saget Fan

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    I noticed that when I went back and checked your final predictions again after I got my outline done. Trying not to read through your info on the teams I haven't done yet so I don't just repeat your assessments.
     
  18. BoiseStateFan27

    BoiseStateFan27 Sir Member

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    The biggest thing is there's usually a team or two that suddenly emerges into the top 4 of the league from out of nowhere, but I really struggled to find a team capable of making that surge this year

    Maybe South Alabama could make a jump with more consistency but who knows
     
  19. Cave_Johnson

    Cave_Johnson #1 Bob Saget Fan

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    NMSU

    Like Idaho, the Aggies are in playing in their last season in the Sun Belt. Unlike Idaho, they have a president who isn't pussy so they'll still be playing at the FBS level next season. Also unlike Idaho they had a pretty poor season last year. They managed to upset rival UNM early in the year and grabbed an unexpected win over ULL in conference. However they were inconsistent overall in part due to shaky defense and an injury to all-conference RB Larry Rose III. Rose never really was his old self even after he came back, but he looks to be fully healed heading into this season.

    NMSU returns Rose, senior QB Tyler Rogers, and four of their top five WRs from last year. They also return 9 starters on defense. However those 9 starters were part of a defense that gave up nearly 40 ppg last season. They draw Troy, App St., and stAte in conference and their OOC slate isn't a walk in the park with their usual rivalry games against UNM and UTEP on top of Arkansas and Arizona State.

    They're going to have to win shootouts this year and I just don't trust the Aggie's depth enough to believe they come through in a lot of those games. However they will have a much improved offense and I think that's enough to do better than last season.

    Prediction: 4-8 (3-5) Tie 9th in Sun Belt
     
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  20. Cave_Johnson

    Cave_Johnson #1 Bob Saget Fan

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    South Alabama

    Ah yes the USA Jags a.k.a. the anti-Arkansas State Red Wolves. Just as stAte likes to bomb their OOC games and show up in conference USA likes to kick ass OOC and then go 2-6 against Sun Belt competition like they did last year. Of course their OOC record was inflated a bit due to facing two FCS teams after their game with LSU was cancelled early in the year. Turns out dropping an SEC team from your schedule and picking up a bad FCS team will usually give you an extra win. But then again the Jags did beat an SEC team and a ranked SDSU team so maybe they would have bent LSU over the table. Who knows. Either way that extra game against an FCS opponent allowed USA to get to .500 and gave the Sun Belt a 6th bowl team. Unfortunately USA probably didn't deserve a bowl and ended up getting beaten soundly in Tucson against Air Force.

    This season South Alabama loses a big passing target in TE Gerald Everett who was drafted by the Rams in the second round of the NFL draft. They also lost their top four pass catchers from last season as well as two starting offensive linemen. They do however return QB Dallas Davis (who struggled a bit as a first year starter) and lead RB Xavier Johnson. Johnson will likely be the cornerstone of their offense this season as I don't expect them to be able to throw the ball well.

    Defensively USA was decent last year towards the beginning of the season but they faltered towards the end giving up 38 ppg to FBS competition after October. They do return 6 starters from that defense and I expect it to be improved with the return of 5 key rotating defensive lineman as well as two-time first team all conference DB Jeremy Reaves and former Oregon State LB Darrell Songy.

    I expect the Jags to regress to the mean in both OOC and conference play. I have them losing their P5 games against Ole Miss and Oklahoma State while beating Louisiana Tech and AAMU out of conference. I think they improve in conference however and end up .500 again.

    Prediction: 6-6 (4-4) 5th in Sun Belt


    Actually not a tie because I have them beating ULL in conference.
     
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