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ESPN Article on Non BCS

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ESPN Article on Non BCS

A couple of comments for Sunbelt and FAU

Air Force's success, Notre Dame's struggles among midseason surprises - College Football - ESPN

"Several conference title races should last well into November as familiar favorites (BYU, Boise State, Fresno State, Troy) try to ward off new challengers (Wyoming, Air Force, UTEP, Florida Atlantic). The Sun Belt broke through with three big victories in Week 3, but the league, much like the MAC, continues to be dragged down by its weaker programs."

"Other unforeseen successes include Wyoming (4-1), East Carolina (3-3, 2-1 league), Miami University (3-3), Bowling Green (3-2) and Florida Atlantic (3-3, 2-0 league)."

Midseason MVP
"Other notables include Tulane running back Matt Forte, Kent State running back Eugene Jarvis, Southern Miss linebacker Gerald McRath, Florida Atlantic freshman cornerback Tavious Polo and Tulsa quarterback Paul Smith."

Sun Belt
Has the Sun Belt finally taken the next step as a league? One weekend in September would suggest it has. The Belt recorded two wins against BCS conference teams (Oklahoma State and Minnesota) and another against a squad from a big-brother conference (SMU). Defending champ Troy looks ready to repeat, starting 3-0 in league play with its only losses coming on the road against Arkansas and Florida. Florida Atlantic is suddenly a factor as well, beating Minnesota and winning its first two league games. But a glance at the bottom of the standings – or ESPN.com's Bottom 10, for that matter – puts the brakes on the league's progress. The Sun Belt is the only conference with two winless teams (Florida International and North Texas), and three others have only one win. Until the weaker programs improve, the league's growth will be stunted.

Biggest Surprise
Picked sixth in the Sun Belt preseason poll, Florida Atlantic has vaulted to the top of the standings. After a 4-3 conference finish last season, the Owls are 2-0 this year behind a defense that ranks second nationally in takeaways (22). Quarterback Rusty Smith and the offense have done enough to win, putting the team in position for a league title push. If the Owls can beat the Louisiana schools and Arkansas State, the championship could come down to a Dec. 1 game at Troy.


Biggest Disappointment
Middle Tennessee saved face last week by nearly knocking off Virginia, but the Blue Raiders, picked second in the league, are a disappointing 1-5. Injuries have been a major problem for Rick Stockstill's team, which finishes with four of six games on the road. Arkansas State started strong before slipping up on the road against Louisiana-Monroe. The Indians, who received one first-place vote in the preseason poll, must get better play from both of their lines after tying for 115th nationally in sacks obtained and 101st in sacks allowed.

Midseason MVP
Quarterback Omar Haugabook has Troy on track for another Sun Belt title. Haugabook leads the league in both passing average (273 ypg) and total offense (320.2 ypg). He shares this tag with Florida Atlantic freshman cornerback Tavious Polo, who leads the nation in interceptions (seven), and Louisiana-Monroe running back Calvin Dawson, who ranks sixth nationally in rushing (134 ypg). Other notables include North Texas wide receiver Casey Fitzgerald (second nationally in receiving yards), Florida Atlantic quarterback Rusty Smith and Louisiana-Lafayette quarterback Michael Desormeaux.

Midseason Coach of the Year
Howard Schnellenberger quickly has molded Florida Atlantic into a respectable FBS program. The Owls notched a BCS win against Minnesota and scored a bigger victory Sept. 18 when the school's board of trustees approved the construction of a new 30,000-seat on-campus stadium, to open in 2010. Schnellenberger has capitalized on Florida's vast recruiting pool to both enhance his roster and attract big-name teams to the Sunshine State. His team plays disciplined football, leading the nation in average turnover margin (plus-2.5)


Bowl bound
After pounding Rice in last year's New Orleans Bowl, Troy likely will return to the Superdome in December. Trojans quarterback Haugabook certainly knows how to get there. But don't count out Florida Atlantic, which visits Troy on Dec. 1 in a game that could decide the league title.

GO OWLS!
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Re: ESPN Article on Non BCS

in a season that has seen the big ten completely implode, and the big east become very top-heavy and nothing underneath, there is a real possibility those two conferences will fail to send enough bowl-eligible teams…

i think there is a great shot at troy or us getting the new orleans bowl bid as champions of the belt… and the other getting an invite from the papajohns.com bowl or the motor city bowl

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Re: ESPN Article on Non BCS

There is talk about the SunBelt getting another bowl beginning next year - perhaps in Mobile (GAMC), or maybe even in Detroit (Motor City), Shreveport (Independence) or Papa John's (Birmingham).
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Re: ESPN Article on Non BCS

If the Belt can send multiple teams to bowl games every year - that would be awesome and will the start to building this conference into a better conference.

If things stay the way they are and Troy & FAU face off for the conference championship on Dec 1st, much like last years game - MTSU vs Troy - that would be great and could assure both teams going bowling.
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Re: ESPN Article on Non BCS

I don't think the BE is going to have enough teams to fill it's bowls.

Notre Dame?  Not.

Louisville - May not finish .500

Pitt stinks.

Cincy - Bowl

UConn - Hasn't played anyone yet… is 5-0 and only needs one win, but may not be able to get it.

USF - Bowl

WVU - Bowl

Syracuse - ha.

Rutgers - Bowl

I believe we have six tie-ins, and we may only have 5 eligible teams this year…
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Re: ESPN Article on Non BCS

MattGrothe_dot_com said

Pitt stinks.

yeah, got to love that call made last nite to go for the TD in OT rather than just tie it up…….
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Re: ESPN Article on Non BCS

lousiville and UConn will get bowl games. it's stupid to not think so.

its great were doing well in the sunbelt but we need a better conference. I'm guessing the year after our stadium is built we move to USA but maybe the Big East. I'm afraid UCF will get the invite before us. I'm hoping a strong basketball season will help us.
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Re: ESPN Article on Non BCS

jdirico said

lousiville and UConn will get bowl games. it's stupid to not think so.

its great were doing well in the sunbelt but we need a better conference. I'm guessing the year after our stadium is built we move to USA but maybe the Big East. I'm afraid UCF will get the invite before us. I'm hoping a strong basketball season will help us.

hey maybe so…but it would be cool to get an invite to CUSA and then go smack DOH-erty's behind in hoops for a year or so :)
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Re: ESPN Article on Non BCS

jdirico said

lousiville and UConn will get bowl games. it's stupid to not think so.

its great were doing well in the sunbelt but we need a better conference. I'm guessing the year after our stadium is built we move to USA but maybe the Big East. I'm afraid UCF will get the invite before us. I'm hoping a strong basketball season will help us.

Right. We're not going to get an invite to a better conference until we have Sun Belt titles, bowl championships, the on-campus stadium, and a regular attendance >20k

P.S. I don't respond to guest posts. All guests are encouraged to register with the site.
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Re: ESPN Article on Non BCS

I thought that the Sun Belt had or was close to adding another bowl tie-in starting next season.  I remember reading something like that, not too long ago.  Anyone else hear of that?
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