Week three is over, and we’re beginning to get a glimpse of what to expect out of the 11 teams from the Sun Belt Conference from here on out.
The incumbent champion Arkansas State is still struggling to win a game. TroyandLouisiana Lafayette are looking like legitimate contenders in the conference. As does South Alabama despite being 0-2 in the conference.
Georgia Southern is still on top after avoiding an upset against Louisiana Monroe.
Here is where all 11 teams fall in the power rankings after week three.
11. Idaho (1-2, 0-0)
The Vandals had the ugliest loss of all Sun Belt teams falling 56-6 to Washington State.
Next game: Saturday, September 24th at UNLV
10. Arkansas State (0-3, 0-0)
Have the mighty fallen? The Red Wolves are the defending conference champions and are going for their fifth conference championship in six years. Right now, though, they’re just looking for a victory. At least all of their games so far were out-of-conference, but two were against teams they should have been more competitive with. They lost last Friday to Utah State 34-20.
Next game: Saturday, September 24th vs. Central Arkansas
9. Georgia State (0-3, 0-0)
The Panthers are still winless, but they almost left Madison with an enormous upset victory over Wisconsin. Instead they returned to Atlanta with a 23-17 loss.
Next game: Bye
8. New Mexico State (1-2, 0-0)
The Aggies at times beat up on SEC opponent Kentucky, but they were unable to shock the Wildcats and lost 62-42.
Next game: Saturday, September 24th at Troy
7. Louisiana Monroe (1-2, 0-1)
The Warhawks nearly pulled off an upset against Georgia Southern. They led 14-0 in the first quarter, but they were shut down for the final three and lost 23-21. For a team going through transitions in both player and coaching personnel, this is a game they should be proud of.
Next game: Bye
6. Texas State (1-1, 0-0)
The Bobcats returned from a bye week to get crushed by SEC opponent Arkanasas 42-3. That’s about what most would have expected the game to turn out.
Next game: Saturday, September 24th vs. Houston
5. South Alabama (1-2, 0-2)
South Alabama dropped another conference game after their week one upset of Mississippi State. They were competitive in both games however so there are still plenty of reasons to remain highly confident going forward.
Next game: Saturday, September 24th vs. Nicholls State
4. Louisiana Lafayette (2-1, 1-0)
The Ragin’ Cajuns joined Georgia Southern atop the conference standings with a 28-23 win over South Alabama. It’s still early in the season, but an early lead in the conference combined with other teams struggling could provide them with a perfect opportunity to return to the success they had just a couple of years ago.
Next game: Saturday, September 24th at Tulane
3. Appalachian State (1-2, 0-0)
The Mountaineers trip to Miami was not a repeat performance of their week one game against Tennessee. They were beaten soundly by the Hurricanes 45-10. Other losses below Appalachian State kept them from falling too far on this list.
Next game: Saturday, September 24th at Akron
2. Troy (2-1, 0-0)
Troy isn’t the prettiest team on this list but they are getting the job done. None of their wins have been too big but they are wins and they have a near upset of Clemson to help them out in these rankings. The Trojans beat Southern Miss on Saturday 37-31.
Next game: Saturday, September 24th vs. New Mexico State
1. Georgia Southern (3-0, 2-0)
The Eagles avoided a huge conference upset Saturday against Louisiana Monroe. They managed to win 23-21 after falling behind 14-0 in the first quarter and settling for field goals for much of the game. But they’re still the only undefeated team in the Sun Belt and they have two wins inside the conference.
Next game: Saturday, September 24th at Western Michigan