Well the season’s started and we come to the final installment of my college football conference preivews. We finish with what is considered the lowest on the FBS totem pole in the Sun Belt Conference. This is where the nation’s top programs go to fill their out-of-conference schedules. Florida Atlantic spends its first 3 games playing at Florida, Michigan State and Auburn, while Louisiana-Monroe has to play Florida State, TCU and Iowa on the road. Needless to say, the Sun Belt teams have their work cut out for them.

Other Previews: WAC, MAC, C-USA, MWC, SEC, ACC, Big 12, Pac 12, Big Ten

1) Troy
Troy has won at least a share of the last 5 conference titles and have star QB Corey Robinson and a pair of speedy RBs to help get there, but the receivers and O-line must be rebuilt. The defense is led by one the top sackers in the nation, in DE Jonathan Massaquoi, as well as 5’9” LB Xavier Lamb. The rest of the defense is solid.

2) Florida International
WR TY Hilton is the best player in the league and has a solid QB in Wesley Carroll and a stable of RBs to help on offense. The O-line is ok but not spectacular. The defense’s calling call will be the secondary, a deep group led by FS Jonathan Cyprien. The front line is talented and the LBs will be good.

3) Louisiana-Monroe
QB Kolton Browning had a big season last year and should only improve, especially with the best O-line in the conference, as well as a deep group of receivers. The RBs are a question mark, however. The front seven in the Warhawks’ 3-3-5 defense is talented, as well as the secondary. Several of these players have all-conference potential.

4) Florida Atlantic
RB Alfred Morris, who has over 2,000 yards over the past 2 seasons, will be the star of the offense and has a big O-line to run behind. There will be new starters at QB and WR. The defense was bad against the run last season, but has a few nice pieces, especially LB Yourhighness Morgan (yes that’s his name).

5) Arkansas State
QB Ryan Aplin and a receiving group led by Dwayne Frampton will have to be more productive because the O-line has 4 new starters and the rushing game was problematic. Opponents could practically run at will against this defense, but there is more bulk on the front seven, and the secondary must have more interceptions to be effective.

6) North Texas
Lance Dunbar ran for over 1,500 yards last season, but there are 3 new starters on the O-line. Derek Thompson has a tenuous grip on the QB job, but will have depth at WR to help. The defense has nothing that really jumps out and has gotten only 91 sacks in the last 6 seasons.

7) Middle Tennessee
The offense must cut down on turnovers, but whoever the QB turns out to be will have a group of receivers as an outlet. The RBs will have a committee approach, plus a good O-line to run behind. The defense is questionable as it returns only 3 starters.

8 ) Western Kentucky
RB Bobby Rainey is only 5’8” but ran for over 1,600 yards last season, which was almost as much ast he number of total passing yards by the offense, so he will be the focal point. The defense has its work cut out for it, only getting 12 sacks and never enough pressure on the QB. The secondary has potential and could be productive if the pass rush gets going.

9) Lousiana-Lafayette
The running was horrible last season, getting only 1 100 yard game, and doesn’t look to improve much. The QB battle will affect the receiving group’s effectiveness. CB Dwight Bentley is the best player on a veteran defense, but the unit as a whole must be more consistent.