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The calm before the storm... (2024 CFB Preview thread)

Dolgevillefootballfan

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Liberty

Preview segment: The Liberty Flames

Last season: Last year I said this about Jamey Chadwell being the new head coach of Liberty: "Going from Coastal Carolina to Liberty sounds like a lateral move, but Liberty is all the better for it". And boy, was that true in 2023! He dug up Kaidon Salter to be the QB of the Flames, and Liberty would run through their opponents to win the C-USA championship and get a trip to the Fiesta Bowl.
Now of course, they would lose that game to Bo Nix and Oregon, but it was still a great ride for Conference USA to go on. And with the new, expanded playoffs in effect that might happen again.

Good news: The defensive front should be good again thanks to TJ Bush and other guys in the rotation. The O-line should still be good, RB Quinton Cooley is still here, and... oh yeah! Kaidon Salter is back after fliting with the transfer portal in the winter.

Bad news: The pass defense could be a problem again with Kobe Singleton and Preston Hodge finding new homes. Also gone via transfer is top WR CJ Daniels (now at LSU) and top O-lineman Chase Mitchell (now at Vanderbilt).

Key games:
9/7 @ New Mexico State (Liberty defeated NMSU twice last year in Lynchburg, but what will happen when the Flames go to Las Cruces to see the Aggies?)
9/28 @ Appalachian State (Annoyingly, this might be the most difficult game Liberty will have all season: Going to visit App. State in Boone.)
10/30 vs. Jacksonville State (The Gamecocks are one of only 2 teams in Conference USA that I see giving Liberty a challenge.)
11/23 vs. Western Kentucky (And here's the other team. Will this be a preview of the C-USA title game?)

Bottom line: Jeez. For the 2nd year in a row, Liberty gets a very soft schedule to run through. And with their star QB and strong running game still here, the Flames has the chance to run the table again. Needless to say, they're the overwhelming pick to win Conference USA in 2024.
But in order to go to the now 12-team playoff, they may have to go unbeaten. Be careful, Flames; one slip-up against teams like Sam Houston and Middle Tennessee, and it's SPLAT!!
 

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Kennesaw State

The last preview segment for Conference USA: The Kennesaw State Owls

History: So this school started their football program in 2015, and they HAVE been doing good so far as they won 3 Big South titles in the FCS. And they DID have one of the best 5-year starts of any football program at their level. But now they wanna try their luck in the FBS?! Oh boy...

Good news: Kennesaw has some good WR's at their disposal, and the secondary is young but deep.

Bad news: QB Davis Bryson needs to be better as a passer, and the O-line has to rely on transfers to keep it together.

Key games:
8/31 @ UTSA (Kennesaw's first game as an official member of the FBS.)
10/4 vs. Jacksonville State (The first-ever C-USA game for Kennesaw.)
11/16 vs. Sam Houston (Here's a winnable game for the Owls.)
11/23 vs. Florida International (The first Senior Day for Kennesaw at the FBS level, and it'll be a winnable game against the Golden Panthers.)

Bottom line: Coach Brian Bohannon has been with this program since the very beginning, and he is hoping that the Owls can tread water in their first FBS season. Kennesaw State has no "Power 4" opponents on the schedule, which might help them. But it may still be a tough first year for them in 2024.
 

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Conference USA predictions

And here we go with my predictions for Conference USA in 2024:

1. Liberty (Conference champs)
2. Western Kentucky
3. Jacksonville State
4. New Mexico State
5. Middle Tennessee
6. Florida International
7. Louisiana Tech
8. UTEP
9. Sam Houston
10. Kennesaw State

Up next will be previews for the American conference, which MIGHT begin this Sunday.
 

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Rice

The first preview segment for the American Conference: The Rice Owls

Last season: They sustained their 9th straight losing season, but so what? Rice has now been to back-to-back bowl games under coach Mike Bloomgren. Plus, they got their first win over the Houston Cougars since 2010! Now, Rice is hoping to finally get over the hump and get a winning season.

Good news: This may be the deepest roster Rice has had under Bloomgren's leadership, including 7 returning starters on a tough defense. RB Dean Connors is back, and EJ Warner has locked down the starting QB job.

Bad news: Rice's kicking game was rubbish last year, so it needs to get fixed soon. The WR room may be deep, but none of those guys are Luke McCaffery (who's now with the Washington Commanders).

Key games:
9/14 @ Houston (After a likely 2-0 start, Rice will have to go visit the Cougars again... who will NOT be happy about last year's 43-41 loss to them.)
10/12 vs. UTSA (Rice hasn't beaten UTSA since 2014, but they'll have a chance this time! I mean, UTSA won't have QB Frank Harris anymore.)
10/19 @ Tulane (Trouble is, Rice must visit the Green Wave immediately afterwards.)
11/8 @ Memphis (Wait. Rice hasn't faced Memphis since 2012? Well, Rice's luck will finally run out as they'll visit the conference favorite in 2024.)

Bottom line: This is a strange spot for the Owls of Rice to be in. I mean, they got a good team with a strong defense. But their AAC schedule may be the toughest out of all the 14 schools. Still, this team should contend for a 3rd straight bowl... maybe even contend if EJ Warner does great.
 

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East Carolina

Preview segment: The East Carolina Pirates

Last season: A terrible 2-10. And you can thank a pitiful offense for that.

Good news: ECU brought in 4 new assistant coaches to get that offense going again. The WR's should be good, and the Pirates also added 2 new QB's from "Power 4" schools.

Bad news: Trouble is, neither Jake Garcia nor Katin Houser has locked down the starting job yet. The defense needs to do better at getting sacks and forcing interceptions.

Key games:
9/7 @ Old Dominion (Beating a bowl team from last year would do wonders for ECU's confidence.)
9/28 vs. UTSA (In their AAC opener, the Pirates will try to shock the Roadrunners.)
11/7 vs. Florida Atlantic (FAU was the only team from the FBS that the Pirates defeated last year.)
11/14 @ Tulsa (A winnable road conference game for the Pirates.)

Bottom line: After winning seasons in 2021 and 2022, last year was a HUGE shock to the system for East Carolina. Worse, they've been losing in the transfer portal for the last year and a half, so coach Mike Houston is under pressure to stop the bleeding. ECU won't be going bowling in 2024, but they should win more games if they get their offense to do better.
 

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Alabama-Birmingham

Preview segment: The UAB Blazers

Last season: Yep. There were definitely some struggles for Trent Dilfer in his first year coaching UAB, as the team went 4-8. At least QB Jacob Zeno showed flashes of greatness.

Good news: If Jacob can cut back on his turnovers, the UAB offense will REALLY be humming. That's because UAB has a deep receiving core, a O-line with added reinforcements, and a 4-deep running attack.

Bad news: People say the UAB defense is better, but I'll believe it when I see it (especially in the secondary); depth problems over there won't help either. Special teams also need to be better.

Key games:
9/14 @ Arkansas (Ideally, UAB will be 2-0 by the time this challenge match takes place.)
10/5 vs. Tulane (There's no more Michael Pratt for Tulane, so maybe UAB can upset Tulane this time.)
10/19 @ USF (UAB was able to beat the Bulls last year.)
11/23 vs. Rice (This game could decide a bowl berth for both teams.)

Bottom line: The players have a better understanding of what coach Dilfer wants, and the schedule is easier than last year's. UAB will be back in the postseason hunt in 2024, but anything above that will depend on that defense and whether it improves or not.
 

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South Florida

Preview segment: The USF Bulls

Last season: Look at what Alex Golesh was able to do when USF had no expectations for 2023. The offense took a quantum leap forward. They would make their first bowl game since 2018 (and won it 45-0!). More importantly, USF scared Alabama so badly that Nick Saban had to switch his starting quarterback after the game.
So... yeah, I'd say that USF is now on it's way to being a contender in the AAC.

Good news: USF has 19 starters from last season coming back (which is amazing in the transfer portal era), including emerging superstar QB Byrum Brown and strong WR Sean Atkins.

Bad news: Considering that USF's O-line gave up 43 sacks last year, it's safe to say that their pass protection needs to get better. Also, can the defense play with better consistency (in 2023, it's performance was all over the place)?

Key games:
9/21 vs. Miami (This game should be a good one, as Miami and USF play each other for the first time since 2013.)
9/28 @ Tulane (Trouble for USF is, they gotta go and visit Tulane one week later.)
10/11 vs. Memphis (The Bulls have to face Memphis as well, but at least the game's at home. And they get a bye week to prep for it.)
11/1 @ Florida Atlantic (Last year, USF lost at home to FAU... by a score of 56-14. See what I mean about better consistency on defense?)

Bottom line: It's been a while since South Florida has gone into a season with expectations. But with 19 starters from last year coming back and a strong offense at their disposal, USF has earned those expectations. They'll be a contender in the American in 2024, but remember that word "consistency"? That's what the USF defense must get better at to make the AAC title game.
 

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Temple

Preview segment: The Temple Owls

Last season: 2023 was Temple's 3rd straight season when they went 3-9. Now they're just trying to stay afloat in the AAC.

Good news: The wide-receivers look very good, and Temple looks to have quality depth for the first time in a while. Plus, the defense SHOULD be better than last year (when it ranked 121st in the FBS).

Bad news: That depth comes in the form of 43 newcomers (thanks in no small part to the transfer portal), so getting all of them on the same page will NOT be easy. Inexperience at QB is also a big issue, as neither Evan Simon nor Forrest Brock has played too many games.

Key games:
9/7 @ Navy (Is it true that Temple hasn't won a road game since September 2021? Well, here's a chance for Temple to stop that trend.)
10/5 @ UConn (And here's another chance for the Owls to get a road win.)
10/19 vs. Tulsa (Another winnable AAC game for Temple.)
11/16 vs. Florida Atlantic (By this time, we'll know how much better Temple's defense has gotten from last year.)

Bottom line: The glory days of 2014-2019 continues to slip further and further away, and coach Stan Drayton is under pressure to get Temple back to being a viable team. But the schedule doesn't do the Owls any favors, so you can sadly ignore Temple in 2024.
 

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Texas San-Antonio

Preview segment: The UTSA Roadrunners

Last season: Okay, so UTSA wasn't able to crash the "New Year's Six" party last year like I wanted them to. But it was still another fine year for the Roadrunners, as they got 9 wins and their 1st-ever bowl trophy. Now UTSA is looking to stay in the upper echelon of the AAC... even with some changes.

Bad news: Chief among those changes is the quarterback. Yep, Frank Harris has finally left San Antonio, folks. And we don't know who his replacement will be, so that's bad. Also bad is the departure of 2 strong WR's and the transfer of defensive stars like Trey Moore and Kam Alexander.

Good news: But at least UTSA has a lot of options to replace those guys, as team depth is the best that the program has ever had. To wit, the defense has a lot of seniors ready to step up, and the offense returns their top 3 running backs.

Key games:
9/7 @ Texas State (This game could be huge in the state of Texas; is it true that Texas State actually has expectations for 2024? The Roadrunners must rise up and put the Bobcats in their place.)
10/12 @ Rice (Here's another game in the state of Texas that UTSA has to take seriously.)
11/2 vs. Memphis (This one has the chance to be HUGE for the AAC race, as Memphis visits UTSA in the Alamodome.)
11/30 @ Army (What a way for UTSA to end the 2024 regular season: Visiting the AAC newcomer in West Point... who defeated them last year at home. On Army's Senior Day, no less.)

Bottom line: UTSA has a LOT to replace from last year's team, but they got the winning culture and the coaching staff to do it. Plus, they got a great deal with their AAC schedule (No Tulane, no USF, and Memphis will come to San Antonio). So expect the Roadrunners to stay in the AAC race in 2024, and maybe make it to the title game if their new QB balls out.
 

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Army West-Point

Preview segment: The Army Black Knights

Last season: So after all of that worrying and preening about Army's new Flexbone offense, they abandoned it in the middle of the season?! ...Although to be fair, they were 2-6 at the time. And when they went back to the option, they defeated Navy again and finished 6-6.
But now Army is joining Navy in the American conference?! I need to see this.

Good news: Army's running attack should once again be brilliant, with QB Bryson Daily running the show and Kanye Udoh as the feature back. Watch for LB Kalib Fortner to have a breakout season on the D-line.

Bad news: The secondary could get torched by the passing attacks of AAC teams; 4 starters from last year's unit is gone. The kicking game is mostly unproven.

Key games:
9/7 @ Florida Atlantic (Well, here you go Black Knights! Your first conference game of any sort in 20 years! Let's see how your new, young secondary will handle this.)
10/12 vs. UAB (A contrast of football styles will be had in this game.)
11/2 vs. Air Force (Beating Air Force again kick-started that little win streak that Army went on to close out 2023. The "Commander-in-Chief Trophy" series should hinge on this game again.)
11/30 vs. UTSA (Army defeated UTSA last year in San Antonio.)
12/14 vs. Navy [From Foxborough, MA] (So the 12-team playoff will start on December 14th, and this game is no longer a stand-alone event? ...Man, that sucks.)

Bottom line: So now that Army is now in the American conference, what's gonna happen to the Army/Navy game? I mean, what would happen if both Army and Navy get into the AAC title game? Or worse yet, what'll happen if Navy makes the title game and Army doesn't; would they move up the Army/Navy game to accommodate-
Okay, okay... It's too early to think about all that. All Army wants to do in 2024 is hang on to their "CIC trophy" and make their first bowl in 3 years.
 

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Florida Atlantic

Preview segment: The Florida Atlantic Owls

Last season: A lackluster 4-8 in Tom Herman's 1st year at the helm, with a 4-game losing streak to end things.

Good news: The defense showed signs of improvement last year, and most of it is back (watch the D-line to take another step forward). QB Cam Fancher comes over from Marshall...

Bad news: ...but Cam is a bit turnover-prone, so don't be surprised if backup Tyriq Starks takes over at some point. Depth is also an issue, especially on the O-line.

Key games:
9/7 vs. Army (See my previous post.)
9/14 vs. Florida International (FAU is ahead of FIU in terms of the state of Florida, and the Owls want it to stay that way.)
10/19 @ UTSA (By this time, we'll know how well the FAU offense is running.)
11/1 vs. USF (Even if the game's in Boca Raton, I don't think FAU is beating USF 56-14 this time around.)

Bottom line: With a full year of building and recruiting, Tom Herman has a more talented roster now than he did at this time last year. Will that get Florida Atlantic back to the postseason? Only if the offense gets better... and the defense keeps getting better.
 

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Charlotte

Preview segment: The Charlotte 49ers

Last season: A tough 3-9.

Good news: Charlotte already looks tougher than they did last year, as the defense looks strong (especially in the secondary). QB Max Brown has transferred in from Florida, and he already gives the 49ers offense a duel-threat ability and leadership.

Bad news: How much better will the 49ers offense really be... especially when 4 starters on the O-line must be replaced?

Key games:
8/31 vs. James Madison (This is the perfect test for Charlotte in Week 1, as they'll host a James Madison team that is missing a TON of people from last year.)
10/5 vs. East Carolina (Charlotte was able to beat ECU last year 10-7.)
10/19 @ Navy (With their new offense, the 49ers should be able to challenge the Midshipmen this time.)
11/30 vs. UAB (Senior Day for the 49ers, and maybe they can ruin UAB's postseason plans here.)

Bottom line: New offensive personnel should help the 49ers get more than 3 wins in 2024. But a hard road schedule (which includes North Carolina, Indiana, and Memphis) will sadly kill any bowl chances for Charlotte this year.
 

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Navy

Preview segment: The Navy Midshipmen

Last season: It was slightly better than the 2022 campaign, but Navy still didn't go bowling as they went 5-7. That now makes it 5 losing seasons over the last 6 years for the Midshipmen. And yes, they lost to Army again, too.

Good news: Defense should once again be no trouble for Navy, as 7 starters from the 2023 unit are back; the linebackers in particular look great. Riley Riethman looks to be the best punter in the AAC once again.

Bad news: Last year's offense ranked 123rd in the FBS... no thanks to a wretched O-line. Fixing that is a big must for Navy to get their new offense working.

2024 X-factor: The new Wing-T offense (Another thing that Navy is doing to get those numbers up on offense is installing a new Wing-T attack. And leading it will be the new offensive coordinator Drew Cronic [the former head coach at Mercer], who has had success at all of his coaching stops. How well will it do in Year 1?)

Key games:
9/21 vs. Memphis (This could be a launching pad game for Navy. I mean, they almost got the Tigers last year in Memphis, and Navy will get a bye week to prep for the Tigers' visit.)
10/5 @ Air Force (Navy has now lost to Air Force 4 straight years, and each time Navy went on to miss a bowl game. Coincidence?)
11/9 @ USF (A tough part of the schedule will come when Navy deals with South Florida...)
11/16 vs. Tulane (...and Tulane in consecutive weeks.)
12/14 vs. Army [in Landover, MD] (My apologies for yesterday's screwup with the location of this year's Army/Navy game. But Navy doesn't care where the game will take place; they just want to get back to beating the Black Knights.)

Bottom line: You know... Navy could be a surprise team this season in the AAC. They got a strong defense, so all they have to do is get their new offense going and they'll make their first bowl game since 2019... or at least stop the bleeding against their military rivals.
 

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Memphis

Preview segment: The Memphis Tigers

Last season: While everyone in the AAC was going nuts over SMU and Tulane, Memphis was quietly going 10-3. And while SMU and Tulane bombed in their bowl games, Memphis was beating Iowa State in the Liberty Bowl. Now that Tulane has a new coach and SMU is gone, Memphis has the chance to be the flagship program for the AAC in 2024.

Good news: Let's start with QB Seth Henigan, and work our way up. He should light up scoreboards across the nation with a deep group of receivers and a veteran O-line on his side. And in case Memphis needs to run the ball, they got former South Carolina running back Mario Anderson for that.

Bad news: The defense may have Chandler Martin, but nothing else awe-inspiring; it needs to get better if the Tigers want to win a title. It also wouldn't hurt to force more turnovers.

Key games:
9/14 @ Florida State (Can Memphis make the new 12-team playoff? It may all depend on how well they do in Tallahassee... and if the Tigers can break that Seminole defense.)
10/11 @ USF (Last year, Memphis got everything they wanted out of USF. What will happen when the Tigers face the reborn Bulls in Tampa?)
11/2 @ UTSA (Memphis didn't face the Roadrunners last year, but this year they gotta go to San Antonio. And by this time, UTSA SHOULD have their new QB up and running.)
11/28 @ Tulane (Wait. This game is taking place on Thanksgiving? That sounds great and all, but will anybody be watching it?)

Bottom line: So all of Memphis' "key games" are on the road in 2024. That sounds hard, but Memphis has the horses to get through it. The Tigers are my favorite to win the AAC in 2024, and maybe go farther if the defense gets better.
 

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Tulsa

Preview segment: The Tulsa Golden Hurricane

Last season: A tough 4-8 mark that included a 6-game losing streak. But at least they found a feel-good story at quarterback.

Good news: That quarterback is Kirk Francis, and he got better and better as he played in the last 4 games of 2023. Combine that with Kevin Wilson's coaching and the running of Anthony Watkins, and the Tulsa offense could take off.

Bad news: Here we go again; another team in the American that has concerns on defense. For Tulsa, it's about the secondary; that unit could get torched again if improvements (or help in the transfer portal) don't happen.

Key games:
9/7 @ Arkansas State (Let's see if Tulsa can beat this bowl team from 2023 and get some confidence.)
9/14 vs. Oklahoma State (Yay! A rare chance for Tulsa to host their in-state rival Oklahoma State!)
10/26 vs. UTSA (A winnable home game for the Golden Hurricane if their defense improves.)
11/30 vs. Florida Atlantic (Tulsa lost 5 league games by a TD or fewer last year. Here's a chance for them to avenge one of those losses on their Senior Day.)

Bottom line: I'll keep this part brief; Tulsa should be better in 2024 than they were last year, but there are too many unknowns for them to go bowling.
 

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Tulane

Preview segment: The Tulane Green Wave

Last season: Another brilliant year by Tulane's standards, as they scooped up an 11-win season. Just a shame that SMU denied them a repeat AAC title (and maybe another berth into the New Year's Six). But now that SMU is gone, Tulane can go back to being the new flagbearer for the AAC... even with some major changes.

Bad news: Coach Willie Fritz is gone (now at Houston). So is QB Michael Pratt (now at Green Bay), and Tulane doesn't know who's gonna be the new starting QB yet. Oh, and a couple of good corners are gone as well.

Good news: I think Tulane hit a home run with their new coaching hire. Yep, Jon Sumrall comes in from a highly successful run at Troy. And on his squad will be a strong front-7 on defense, increased speed at WR, and Makhi Hughes as the new top running back.)

Key games:
9/7 vs. Kansas State (September could be a very tricky month for the Green Wave. First, they'll host Kansas State... who they beat 2 years ago, if you remember. Then after visiting Oklahoma...)
9/21 @ Louisiana (...they'll take an in-state detour into Lafayette, where they'll fight the Cajuns for bragging rights.)
9/28 vs. USF (And to top it all off, they'll start conference play against the energetic Bulls.)
10/19 vs. Rice (Careful, Tulane! Rice almost took you guys out last year.)
11/28 vs. Memphis (Could this be a preview of the AAC title game?)

Bottom line: By replacing Willie Fritz with Jon Sumrall, Tulane is looking to stay on top of the American conference. They'll be a contender in the AAC again this year, but will they win it? Well, I guess it'll all depend on how well the new QB and all the other newcomers do.
 

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North Texas

The last preview segment for the American Conference: The North Texas Mean Green

Last season: Man, I've been talking so much about bad defenses in the American conference this week. And how about this? I finish up with North Texas, who went 5-7 thanks to having THE worst defense in the AAC last year. THE worst.

Good news: At least the Mean Green offense ranked in the Top 10 in 2023. And with a deep running game, a proud variety of WR's, and Chandler Morris in as the new QB expect UNT to get a shitload of yards once again.

Bad news: Line play could be the big worry for UNT this year; the D-line lacks depth and the O-line lacks experience. UNT has a lot of transfers coming in as well; how well will the team chemistry be?

Key games:
9/14 @ Texas Tech (These two Texas teams are meeting each other for the first time since 2001. Let's all hope that UNT's defense will have SOME form of plan to stop the Red Raiders.)
9/28 vs. Tulsa (Actually, if you take out the Texas Tech game, the 1st half of UNT's schedule is pretty easy. This is a very winnable AAC opener for the Mean Green.)
10/19 @ Memphis (A "Shootout Alert" may be issued for this AAC contest.)
11/9 vs. Army (This could be a "bowl-decider" game between the Mean Green and the Black Knights.)

Bottom line: North Texas may have too many questions to contend for the AAC title, but they DO have enough pieces to shoot for a return to the postseason. And at the very least, UNT can expect their defense to improve... because it can't possibly get any worst.
 

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AAC Predictions

So here are my predictions for the American conference in 2024:

1. Memphis (Conference champs)
2. Tulane
3. South Florida
4. UTSA
5. Navy
6. Army
7. Rice
8. UAB
9. North Texas
10. Tulsa
11. Florida Atlantic
12. Charlotte
13. East Carolina
14. Temple

Coming up on Monday will be the start of my Sun Belt previews. And with a heat wave coming my way, I should be in the right mindset.
 

Dolgevillefootballfan

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Southern Mississippi

The first preview segment for the Sun Belt Conference: The Southern Mississippi Golden Eagles

Last season: A tough 3-9.

Key games:
9/14 vs. USF (Creating a more balanced offense is a goal for Southern Miss in 2024. They'll certainly need it when they host the Bulls.)
10/5 vs. Louisiana (With the Sun Belt West in a state of flux, the Golden Eagles could take an early lead in the race by beating the Cajuns [they did that last year].)
10/19 vs. Arkansas State (USM almost defeated the Red Wolves last year in Jonesboro.)
11/23 vs. South Alabama (The Golden Eagles want revenge on the Jaguars for that 55-3 crushing they suffered last year. And what a way to do it: On Senior Day in Hattiesburg.)

Bottom line: Sorry if I didn't go into deeper detail with this preview, but football is the last thing on Southern Miss's mind right now after the tragic shooting death of MJ Daniels. Just know that whatever happens to this team in 2024, they'll dedicate their efforts to the memory of their fallen teammate and friend.
 

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Arkansas State

Preview segment: The Arkansas State Red Wolves

Last season: Another losing season for the Red Wolves. At least they got back some positive vibes with their first bowl appearance since 2019.

Good news: Arkansas State returns 9 starters from last year's offense, including QB Jaylen Raynor (who had a great freshmen year). Their top two receivers are also back, as well as RB Ja'Quez Cross.

Bad news: The Red Wolves will be missing their starting center for a little while, and they'll be replacing their kicker AND punter from last year. The defense has to improve from finishing 124th in the FBS.

Key games:
9/7 vs. Tulsa (With trips to Michigan and Iowa State afterwards, this game could be a "must-win" for the Red Wolves.)
10/5 vs. South Alabama (With South Alabama rebuilding, this is the perfect chance for ASU to snap a 5-game skid against the Jaguars.)
10/12 @ Texas State (On one hand, Texas State will be mad about the 77-31 loss ASU laid on them last year. But on the other hand, ASU will be in the driver's seat of the Sun Belt West race if they win.)
11/9 @ Louisiana (Another game that'll help shape the West division in 2024.)

Bottom line: Predictions for Arkansas State in 2024 are all over the place; Athlon Sports has them in 2nd place in the West, while Lindy's has them in 6th. Regardless, this school has been patient with Butch Jones and his rebuilding project, and it's starting to pay off. With Jaylen Raynor leading the way, all the Red Wolves have to do to contend in 2024 is to make standard improvements (especially on defense).
 
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