Beginning this week AStateNation.com will do a weekly power ranking of the Sun Belt Conference. We will look at the team's past performances, road wins, strength of schedule and a few other things that will make our AStateNation Power Rankings pretty accurate indication of how a team is playing.
We will also take a look at who each team is playing week to week to keep Sun Belt fans wanting to know more about AStateNation.com.
Sunbelt Power Rankings Week 5
1. University of Louisiana-In this conference it's important to win on the road. UL did that by going to Miami last week and knocking off a previous undefeated FIU team. While other teams have high potential, UL has done something that none of the top three have done, beat a good Sun Belt Team on the road. This week Mark Hudspeth's team will host Florida Atlantic in a big Sun Belt matchup.
2. Troy-After tough games on the road at Clemson and Arkansas, the Trojans lost a close one 38-28 to the Razorbacks before beating Middle Tennessee last week in their conference opener. This week Troy host in state Conference USA foe Alabama Birmingham.
3. Arkansas State-Some might think the Red Wolves should be ranked higher, and they might should be. After decent performances against two undefeated Illinois and Virginia Tech teams, they have had explosive outings against Memphis and Central Arkansas. If the Red Wolves handle business on the road this week against Western Kentucky then they will have proven that they can win on the road in this conference and move closer to being one of the top teams in this league. ASU is favored, now they have to win games they are suppose to under a new head coach and a new team attitude.
4. Florida International University-The Panthers began the season and conference with a win against North Texas, before defeating Louisville and Central Florida. They were 3-0 and appeared to be on the way to leading the conference before falling to Louisiana Lafayette last week at home in Miami. They host Duke of the ACC Saturday.
5. Louisiana Monroe-Opening the season against Florida State, Monroe defeated Grambling before losing to TCU and Iowa, they have a week off before hosting Arkansas State in their conference opener next week.
6. Middle Tennessee-The Blue Raiders played inspired football in its season opener against Purdue, before falling in Indiana to the home team. They lost a lopsided game against Georgia Tech before losing a heart breaker in their conference opener to Troy 38-35. This week they host in state Memphis and they are favored by 19 points. The Blue Raiders will get a chance to prove that they are a better team than 0-3.
7. Florida Atlantic-Getting a new stadium has it cost. The Owls have played in three straight road games at Florida, at Michigan State, and at Auburn. They open conference with two straight road games to ULL this week before going to North Texas next week. The Owls are better than most 0-3 teams, will that be enough to compete against a good Rajun Cajun team?
8. North Texas-They have a new head coach and a new stadium. They lost three straight games before winning against Big 10 school Indiana last week. They opened the season on the road and opened the conference week 1 against defending conference champion FIU. They lost to Houston and Alabama before being the Hoosiers last week. They are on the road this week at Tulsa a big road win would make the Eagles a better team heading back to conference play.
9. Western Kentucky-Three straight losses, including one to a 1-AA Indiana State, they got a open week before opening conference against Arkansas State this week in Bowling Green. The Hilltoppers played inspired football and great defense against SEC Kentucky in week 1. They hosted a good Navy team before playing Indiana State. A huge lost to ISU 44-16 puts WKU at the bottom of this weeks power rankings.