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30 questions for the Sunbelt Conference.

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30 questions for the Sunbelt Conference.

30 Questions for the SunBelt in 2009       

30.  What Player has the most pressure in 2009?

A. Riley Dodge QB North Texas- It's tough enough to try and take over at QB when another QB transfers, but when your dad's the coach there's lots of pressure.  Dodge was a highly recruited QB in high school tossing 53 TDs as a junior and 39 as a senior.  He even received an offer from Texas.

29.  What Coach has the most pressure in 2009?

A. Todd Dodge North Texas-  Dodge came to North Texas after winning four Texas State Titles for South Lake Carrol High School.  Dodge's passing attack was supposed to bring some excitement, but all it has brought is a 3-21 record in 2 seasons.  In defense of Dodge, he has had to totally replace the run oriented system that Darrel Dickey ran.

28.  Who's the SBC's most underrated player?

A. T.Y. Hilton WR Florida International-  A freshman in 08, Hilton showed he is a superstar in the making.  In his debut game last season against a top 20 Kansas team, Hilton returned a punt 74 yards for a TD.  For the season Hilton caught 41 passes for 1,013 yards and 7 TDs(a 24.7 YPC Average!!).  He also excelled in the return game, leading the SBC in Punt Return Avg(14.8) and kick return avg(23.4).  The only way he didn't score a TD was on defense.  Hilton scored 7 TDs from receptions, 2 from rushing, 1 by passing, 1 by punt return, and 1 by kick return.

27. Who is the SBC's most underrated coach?

A. Steve Roberts Arkansas State- Jonesboro, Arkansas isn't the easiest place to recruit D-1 talent, but Roberts finds a way to win eacy season.  Roberts has a 25-22 record in conference that includes the 2005 SBC championship.  While at ASU, he has won games against Texas A&M, Army, Memphis(a couple times), Tulsa, and nearly knocked of Texas in 2007.  3 of the last 4 years ASU has been bowl elgible.

26.  What's the Biggest SBC Game for 2009?

A.  Florida Atlantic at Troy
- When the 2 teams met last October it appeared as if FAU was headed into the tanks.  After a 30-17 loss at home to Troy the Owls were sitting at 5-1.  The team went on a hot streak after that game and finished the year 7-6 including a 24-21 win over Central Michigan in the Motor City Bowl.  These 2 teams have been the SBC's best over the last 2 seasons and things don't look like they'll change this year.

25.  What Assistant has the Most Potential to be a Head Coach?

A.  Tony Franklin OC Middle Tennessee St. - The Auburn and Kentucky  situations were messes, but there is no doubt the man can coach football.  While at Troy Franklin took over an offense that was ranked last in the SBC in total offense and turned them into the conferences most potent attack.

24.  Who has the toughest schedule in 2009?

A. Florida International-  The Panthers take trips to play National Champion Florida, SEC West Champ Alabama, and head north to play bowl winner Rutgers.

23. Who has the easiest schedule in 2009?

A. Western Kentucky- This will officially become the first year where WKU has transitioned into 1-A, so a weaker schedule is acceptable.  The Toppers travel to Tennessee and Navy, but host Central Arkansas and South Florida.

22.  What's the best OOC game scheduled for the SBC next year?

A. Kansas State at ULL-  I like it when some of the BCS schools travel to play these SBC schools.  Last season the Cajuns were able to stay with KSU losing on the road 45-37.  Let's also not forget what happened when another Big XII school visited Lafayette in 1996,  ULL went on to beat Texas A&M 29-22.

21. What's the worst OOC game scheduled for the SBC next year?

A.  Miss Valley State at Arkansas State-  Last season the Red Wolves beat another SWAC team Texas Southern 83-10, unless Jerry Rice shows up this game could get ugly.

20.  Who's the SBC's Best Player?

A. Rusty Smith QB Florida Atlantic-  In 2006 I was on my way to the South Carolina-Florida Atlantic game and stopped at a local Hess Station for gas.  While pumping a man in a FAU jersey approached me and asked for directions to the stadium.  The man explained to me that his son was a freshman QB for FAU and to keep an eye on him.  Never did I know I was talking to the father of a future NFL QB.  Smith was the 2007 SBC player of the year and last season followed it up by throwing for 3,224 yards and 24 touchdowns.

19. Who's the SBC's most consistant player?

A. Reggie Arnold RB Arkansas State-  Thus far Arnold has over 3,100 yards in his 3 year college career and is a 3 time 1,000 yard rusher.  The 5'9 220 pound RB had his biggest game in an upset victory over Texas A&M last year as he ran for 145 yards on just 21 carries.

18.  Who will be the SBC's most improved player this year?

A.  Frank Goodin RB ULM- Now that duel threat QB Kinsmon Lancaster has left, the running game production will fall in the hands of Goodin.  Last season Goodin ran for 783 yards and scored 5 TDs.

17.  What team will be the most improved this year?

A. Middle Tennessee State- The addition of Tony Franklin should help the Blue Raiders.  While Joe Craddock has graduated, Franklin works very well with QBs and should be able to develop a top notch passer with little trouble.  The Blue Raiders return their top 2 WRs, top RB, and 4 of their top 5 tacklers from a season ago.

16.  What team will drop off the most in 2009?

A.  Louisiana Lafayette-  Losing Fenroy, Jason Chery,  and Desormeaux will keep this team from matching last year's 6-6 record.

15.  How do the SBC Coaches Rank?

A.  1. Howard Schnellenberger  2. Larry Blakeney  3. Steve Roberts  4. David Elson 5. Rick Stockstill  6. Mario Cristobal 7. Rickey Bustle  8. Charlie Weatherbie  9. Todd Dodge

14.  How will Western Kentucky do in its first year?

A.  This will be a 2-4 win team.  The Hilltoppers are still playing with lots of 1-AA talent, but there is no reason to think this team couldn't be in a bowl in a few years.  Last year they went 0-5 against SBC schools.

13.  What SunBelt Team won't play a single conference game this year?

A. South Alabama-  The Jaguars will play its first season of football this year, but it will be a limited schedule.  It won't be until 2013 that this program becomes a full member of Divsion 1-A.  There is lots of potential for this Mobile, Alabama school as the gulf coast area is loaded with football talent and the city for years has been a big supporter of college football.

12. Where does the conference rank in Division 1?

A. Last, but its improving-  Last year the conference went 10-32 against OOC opponents, worst in D-1.  Florida Atlantic's win over Central Michigan was big as the conference tries to possibly pass the MAC in the future.  Keep in mind most MAC schools have been playing D-1 ball much longer than the SBC schools, but the growth potential for the SBC schools is more solid.  The MAC gets poor fan support and like the Big 10, the lack of speed shows against southern teams.  The SunBelt is in the football crazy south that is rapidly growing and producing more D-1 athletes each year.

11.  If I'm the SBC Commish what do I do?

A. Look towards expansion and a championship game by 2013.  When South Alabama joins the conference in 2013 there will be 10 schools playing football.  Convince Louisiana Tech to join the SBC, the Bulldogs are a natural fit.  Then make a strong run at Southern Miss, who has a good relationship with several SBC schools. If USM declines, look at the 1-AA level and see who has interest moving up. If the SBC could do this it would bring more credibility to the league and would give it a national TV game the first Saturday in December.  Play the championship game on campus at the regular season champs stadium.

10.  Who's the top NFL Prospect?

A. Chris Fisher C ULL- This 6'2 285 lineman is one of the nation's best centers.  An all Sunbelt first team player a season ago, Fisher looks to be anywhere from a 4th-5th round pick.

9.  What can the SBC do better?

A.  Stay consistant with who you are-  In the last 15 years we've seen ULM and ULL change school names and ULM and Arkansas State change nicknames.  This doesn't help the image of the conference.  Of course it does get ASU and ULM some minor publicity anytime the Native American name change topic comes up.

8. Why are Florida Atlantic Students and Fans so excited?

A. In 2010 the Owls will move from Lockhart Stadium to a brand new on campus stadium.  The new stadium will seat 30,000 with the possibility to expand to 65,000 with a roof!!  The on campus stadium at Central Florida has brought more interest to that program, the same should be true at FAU.  The first game at the new stadium will be against Michigan State, a certain sellout.

7.  Who is the southernmost team on the American mainland playing D-1 football?

A.  Florida International-  Only Hawaii is further south than FIU

6. What great news did the Sunbelt receive last month?

A.  ESPN signed the SBC to a new TV deal-  Under the new deal the SBC will get 60% more games on TV and could have as many as 40 games a year appear on one of the ESPN family of networks.

5.  What other good news did the SBC receive last season?

A.  The SBC has more bowl affiliations now-  At one time the conference only had 1 affiliate, the New Orleans Bowl.  Now the league has rights to be the alternate if the St Pete Bowl, Papa John's Bowl, Motor City Bowl, or Indy Bowl can't fill their regular slots

4.  Can the league get 3 teams in a bowl this year?

A.  Yes- Last season the league placed 2 teams in a bowl game, but 4 teams were bowl elgible.  This year FAU and Troy should be bowl locks, while MTSU and Arkansas State both should get to 6 wins.  With a little luck the SBC could get a record 3 teams.

3.  What team will have the SBC's best defense?

A. Troy-  The Trojans have 2 linebackers that will be drafted in the NFL next season and they led the SBC in scoring defense last season(21.3 ppg) and in total defense.

2. What team will have the best offense?

A.  Florida Atlantic-  Rusty Smith and Cortez Gent make one of the nation's best combinations through the air.  The Owls didn't put up the offensive stats they did in 07, but a more difficult schedule hurt the numbers a bit.

1.  Who wins the Sun Belt next season?

A.  Troy-  The Trojans will once again be on the top with the leagues best defense and one of the top 3 offenses in the SBC.  It will come down to a game in Troy, AL and the Trojans will come out on top as they did last season.

Matt Barber
[email protected]

Advertising & Design / FAU 2006
Marketing / GEORGETOWN 2015
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Re: 30 questions for the Sunbelt Conference.

Nice find Alex!
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Re: 30 questions for the Sunbelt Conference.

#8 is just so funny  ;D, but hey we have the best offense, there is no doubt.
Apparantely FAU makes the Sunbelt look good.


Advertising & Design / FAU 2006
Marketing / GEORGETOWN 2015
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