The Sun Belt refuses to make any sense this year. Just when it looks like FIU might be a team that could unseat Troy, they go out and lose to FAU. The door is flung wide open for Middle Tennessee to thrive in Dwight Dasher’s senior year, suspension and all, but they just want to throw [...]
Week 11? The season is just flying by. This week on the Belt we have teams scrambling to get bowl eligible, and Troy facing one of their last tests on the road to the conference championship. The Sun Belt has two bowl bids available this year- Troy seems on a path for one of them, but [...]
Real Life wrecked the Fringe last week, many apologies if you were looking forward to my WAC wrapup of week 9 or my always mediocre picks for week 10. But for now, we’ll pretend like everything is normal and get right on with our looks back at Week 10. Bowl projections and maybe some commentary tomorrow.
I was on campus all day for my local C-USA game while the Sun Belt was playing, and I had to double check this morning to see if the scores I saw Saturday night were right, or just me in a tired, gleeful haze reading them wrong. Apparently, it’s true. The best looking teams in the [...]
Busy week for the Belt, with four games Saturday and a national game Tuesday night (which is technically week 10, but who’s counting). The highlight of the weekend should be the Shula Bowl, as FIU continues trying to make up ground toward bowl eligibility.
2:00 PM- Louisiana at Ohio: Louisiana takes it’s struggling operation out of conference [...]
The rest of the Sun Belt has reached or passed the midpoint of their seasons- FIU, Florida Atlantic, Louisiana, ULM, Middle Tennessee State, Troy, and Western Kentucky are all finally into the last half of their seasons.
Record: 2-4, 2-0 Sun Belt
Highlights: Consecutive wins over Sun Belt teams after 0-4 start against BCS schools. Had legitimate chance to win at least 3 of those games. #1 Total Defense in the league despite schedule.
Weak Points: Big loss to Pittsburgh, special teams numbers low, last in Sun Belt passing efficiency.
Grade: C-. If FIU had a 1-AA, or even a low end C-USA or MAC school, they could be 3-3 by now.
Remaining Games: at Florida Atlantic, ULM, at Troy, at Louisiana, Arkansas State, Middle Tennessee
Best Case: 6-0 for an 8-4 season and the New Orleans Bowl. Troy will be a tough game, but we don’t know just how good FIU can be yet.
Worst Case: 3-3 for a 5-7 year, home for the postseason.
Prediction: 5-1, 7-5 on the season and off to the first winning season and bowl in FIU history.
Record: 1-5, 0-3 Sun Belt
Highlights: Last second victory over UAB to start the season, #2 pass defense in the league.
Weak Points: 5 game losing streak since opening weekend including to struggling North Texas, worst offense in the league, worst rushing defense.
Grade: D-. After an optimistic start, things have gone badly for the Owls.
Remaining Games: FIU, at Western Kentucky, Louisiana, at Texas, at Middle Tennessee, Troy
Best Case: 2-4 with a rough stretch at the end.
Worst Case: 0-6, now that Western Kentucky has managed to win, there are no easy wins for FAU.
Prediction: 1-5, I think they can win one of the next three, but I wouldn’t bet the house on it. Read Post
The Fringe is back after a minor hand injury took us out of commission over the weekend, killing the MWC & WAC previews and any other side-writing. Hopefully that will all get done this week.
The biggest development out of the Belt this week is obviously the Hilltoppers’ surprising win over Louisiana. I stated before that WKU should find a win somewhere this year, but I would have guessed North Texas, ULM, or maybe FAU- not the Rajin’ Cajuns, who were considered a pre-season top 3 Sun Belt team. Elsewhere, Middle Tennessee finally got back on track, as did Arkansas State before the two face off next week.
Arkansas State 37, Florida Atlantic 16- FAU looked like they might have turned a corner, leading 16-9 heading into the fourth quarter. The Owls then collapsed spectacularly, committing three straight turnovers as A-State put up four touchdowns in about five minutes, leaving with what looked like a blowout. Next Week: Middle Tennessee at Arkansas State (Tuesday 11/2), FIU at FAU
Middle Tennessee 38, ULM 10- The Blue Raiders opened the game up with a 21 point second quarter, and the Warhawks never recovered as Middle Tennessee picks up its second conference win of the year. Next Week: Middle Tennessee at Arkansas State (Tuesday 11/2), Troy at ULM
Western Kentucky 54, Louisiana 21- Read Post
Strange week at Fringe HQ, so most of what was planned for this week will hopefully appear next week. We didn’t get much chance to cover the firing of Todd Dodge over at North Texas, which surprises me only because it’s come mid-season. Mike Canales, the offensive coordinator, will take over interim duties.
1:00 PM, CSS- Florida [...]
Monday was slow on the Fringe, so today will be fast. First out of the gate, some weekend wrapups. Sun Belt first, as usual.
Indiana 36, Arkansas State 34- Indiana survives it’s toughest out-of-conference test (yes, really), as A-State led several times but couldn’t quite close up when Indiana tried to pull away the last time. Next Week: Florida Atlantic at Arkansas State
Georgia Tech 42, Middle Tennessee State 14- MTSU’s offense continues to sputter as Dwight Dasher chucks up 4 interceptions in the blowout loss. Read Post
So, writing mid-season report cards took longer than planned (as usual), so previews will be short and fast this week. Chances are you won’t notice.
12:00 PM, ESPNU- Arkansas State at Indiana: Indiana is a very bad Big 10 team that has played a deplorable schedule- Western Kentucky and Akron, for two. A-State isn’t great, but there’s at least a chance of an upset here. Line: Indiana by 10. I’ll take Arkansas State and the 10, and say they come up just a little short, 27-24.
3:30 PM- Middle Tennessee State at Georgia Tech: MTSU certainly didn’t spring to life when Dwight Dasher returned, getting hammered by Troy last week. Read Post