Pour It On: Week 2 of #SunBeltHeat

I have some very good news for you: #SunBeltHeat went an incredible 6-5 in Week One.  Last year at this time, the Sun Belt had exactly one (1) win, none so glorious than South Alabama’s victory over Mississippi State or even Texas State’s scrappy triumph over Ohio. Bravo! Furthermore, there are no embarrassing FCS upsets to report. Idaho, Georgia Southern, ULM and Troy did their solemn duty.

But there are a handful of programs who failed to rise with The Heat. Appalachian State had the lower lips of  SEC Network broadcasters quivering before the Mountaineers fell at the final whistle. However, the Original Sun Belt Gangsta, Louisiana, faired so poorly against Boise State that Mark Hudspeth bounced his defensive coordinator. Later, Ball State repaid Georgia State for last year’s beating, and New Mexico State didn’t have much firepower for UTEP.

But it was Arkansas State who laid the biggest cube of ice in Week 1, allowing Toledo to manhandle its offensive line and expose its secondary for a third consecutive time. That’s it, Toledo Rockets! You’ve had your fun. When next the Sun Belt sees you, it shall be too soon.

Remember, #SunBeltHeat is derived by the following top secret formula that was developed by sports scientists and sorcerers in a secret laboratory beneath the Mercedes Benz Superdome:

P5 Condescension x ESPN3 + Righteous Fury / “Any given Saturday” = #SUNBELTHEAT

As always, #SunBeltHeat can only be administered to non-Sun Belt opponents and is programmed to become self-aware sometime in the 32nd century.


Troy vs. #2 Clemson, September 10, 11:30 CST, ACC ESPN Network & Watch ESPN

Chance for winning (ESPN FPI): 1.9%

Troy_Trojans4Trojans of Troy, you are found guilty to the charge of manhandling the Governors by an criminally unmerciful score of 57 -17. You are hereby sentenced to Trial By Combat against the #2 power in the land, Tigers of Clemson. Neal Brown’s crew looked awfully pretty against Austin Peay, racking up 706 total yards and re-establishing Jordan Chunn (161 yards) as one of the Sun Belt’s best RBs. It doesn’t get any easier against Clemson and Heisman candidate Deshaun Watson, but since when has Troy been about easy? A: NEVER! Prepare for incineration, Dabo! Gus Malzahn’s wild machinations are but a tickle when stacked against the plasma-hot ferocity of #SunBeltHeat!

Sun Belt Heat Index: +1% for every move busted in Troy’s preseason hype video

Adjusted Chance for Winning: 5,233.9%


Georgia State vs. Air Force, September 10, 1:00 CST, (No Viewing Available)

Chance for winning (ESPN FPI): 18.7%

PrintThe Panther’s season started with a sweet 48-yd Pick Six, but ended with cheery-ass Cardinals celebrating a Ball State victory. With seven receptions and 76 yards, All-Sun Belt wide receiver Penny Hart did his best to make Georgia State fans forget the great Nick Arbuckle, but Conner Manning’s 5-yds per throw didn’t cut it. Now the Panthers face an Air Force squad who earned its 13th straight home win with a ho-hum 37-21 defeat over Abilene Christian (who, yep, defeated Georgia State in 2014). But this ain’t 2014, Falcons. You haven’t seen Panther Heat™. Look for Manning, Hart and a dangerous Georgia State defense to Melt the Mountain West™.

Sun Belt Heat Index: Add a 60% gratuity every time somebody says “Melt the Mountain West™.”

Adjusted Chance for Winning: 78.7%


Old Dominion vs. Appalachian State, September 10, 2:30 CST, ESPN 3

Chance for winning (ESPN FPI): 89.3%

DALFKAHKFBOTAHP.20131127185652You might have heard the news: Appalachian State nearly upended #9 Tennessee in Knoxville. That would have been a handsome feather in the Sun Belt’s cap. Instead, the Mountaineers are left shaking their mountain-man fists to the sky and screaming about missed extra points. Marshall your rage, Mountaineers! A concentrated blast of mega-hot #SunBeltHeat should purify your soul while wilting the Monarchs to CUSA oblivion. Old Dominion has the firepower to trounce the Hamptons of the world, but not even a new Dominion could overpower Taylor Lamb and Marcus Cox. Sorry. Deal with it. YOU CAN’T!

Sun Belt Heat Index: Add .0008% each time an ESPN color man this year mentions Appalachian State’s near win against the Volunteers

Adjusted Chance for Winning: 29,355.3%


Idaho vs. #8 Washington, September 10, 4:00 CST, PAC-12 Network

Chance for winning (ESPN FPI): 1.4%

Idaho_Vandals2Let’s ignore the fact that the Vandals nearly brought terrible FCS humiliation upon the Sun Belt. As the Volunteers might say (at this very moment, even), “A win is a win!” And Idaho did indeed lasso a 20-17 win over the Montana State Bobcats, thanks to Aaron Duckworth’s 112-yard, 2 TD effort. But if Paul Petrino wants to join the Sun Belt Upset Mardi Gras™ and defeat Washington, he’ll need more production from veteran QB Matt Linehan, who was a puzzling 8/22 for 128 yards and no scores. Or maybe not. I mean, Washington bested Rutgers in Week One, and we all know that, in many secret circles, Rutgers is known as the East Coast’s Not Even As Good As Montana State Football Program. Look for the #SunBeltHeat to scorch the Huskies with Linehan’s arm flame-thrower!

Sun Belt Heat Index: 100%, minus 10% for not coming up with something better than “Linehan’s arm flame-thrower.”

Adjusted Chance for Winning: 91.4%


ULM vs. #14 Oklahoma, September 10, 6:00 CST, (No Viewing Available)

Chance for winning (ESPN FPI): 0.6%

University of Louisiana at MonroeOklahoma has gotta be super relieved that there is no Big XII Network, because son, it ain’t cool be be lambasted by two Group of 5 programs in a row. See that ESPN FPI percentage? It’s less than 1%, but you can throw that statistical mess into the trashcan, yo. New ULM head coach Matt Viater is the real deal, and Warhawk fans know it. The sixth largest crowd in ULM history turned out to watch the Warhawks knock-out Southern 38-21, led by a combined 260 yards of rushing between the quarterback Garret Smith and the running back Ben Luckett. Now Viator brings all his Warswag™ into Norman, and #SunBeltHeat shall consume (provided Houston left anything flammable).

Sun Belt Heat Index: 99.4% because even numbers, bro. 

Adjusted Chance for Winning: 100%


McNeese vs. Louisiana, September 10, 6:00 CST, ESPN 3

Chance for winning (ESPN FPI): 72.7%

2511Time for an in-state, fist-to-face match-up between the Cajuns and the Cowboys. Mark Hudspeth has a been consuming protein and cranking out hate push-ups ever since Boise State destroyed Louisiana at Saturday’s home opener.  HUMILIATE THE HUD AT YOUR OWN PERIL! Leading McNeese is former Red Wolves QB James Tabary, so look for Hudspeth to motivate his players by explaining that a win against McNeese is like beating Arkansas State. It would help if LSU transfer quarterback Anthony Jennings improves on his 28.6 QBR and that Elijah McGuire (46 yds, 0 TDs) becomes Elijah McGuire again.

Sun Belt Heat Index: Plus 5% because Anthony Jennings is from LSU, man, come on.

Adjusted Chance for Winning: 77.7%


Arkansas State vs. Auburn, September 10, 6:30 CST, SEC Network

Chance for winning (ESPN FPI): 4.3%

AStateThe last time Arkansas State looked as helpless as it did during Toledo’s Friday night 31-10 smack down was, well, the last time it faced the Toledo Rockets. The brutalizing loss sapped much of the sand from the Red Wolves, who felt they had the most talented squad in Jonesboro since maybe forever. Now Blake Anderson’s demoralized pack slide into Auburn hoping to face a Tiger team that’s totally zonked after a donnybrook with Clemson. Wait. What are we talking about? Auburn need not be zonked to implode before the intensity of #SunBeltHeat! Sorry, everyone! I forgot what column I was writing. You’re just gonna have to smear on some sun screen and absorb the shockwave, Gus! There is no escape or mercy. There is only Heat.

Sun Belt Heat Index: Plus 500% with no science behind it, just gut!

Adjusted Chance for Winning: 504.3%


New Mexico vs. New Mexico State, September 10, 7:00 CST, ESPN 3

Chance for winning (ESPN FPI): 17%

nmsuaggies_mediumNo old Mexicans are invited to this century old fracas! #SunBeltHeat is for the young only!  We know the Lobos lead this series by a fairly convincing 70–31–5. We understand that New Mexico State hasn’t defeated its Mountain West brother since 2011. We are also aware that Larry Rose III is not expected to suit up for the second game in a row. But we don’t give a damn! As the Aggies prepare to leave the Sun Belt forever, now is the time to deliver an ironic blast of #SunBeltHeat. NOW I SAID! NOW! DO IT NOW! NOW!

Sun Belt Heat Index: Plus 83% because NOW!

Adjusted Chance for Winning: 100%


Also Playing: Georgia Southern vs. (new Sun Belt darling) South Alabama, 6PM on ESPN 3

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