Open Week Sheds Some Light on A-State

While Arkansas State sat out the sixth week of the college football season, there was a lot of action that helped put the Red Wolves season and the Sun Belt into better perspective.

Arkansas State

UAPB fell to 0-5 on the year and clearly is not the top SWAC program they were last season. Net change in perception: None. The SWAC is generally bad football no one should have read much into the game unless it had been close.

Auburn is now 4-1 on the season and 2-1 in SEC play. Ole Miss moved the ball well against Auburn but was forced to settle for FG's and turned the ball over in Auburn territory. Net change in perception: Positive. Auburn is clearly better than I expected after our game. Their defense is giving up yards but have been pretty effective keeping scores down. I feel better about Arkansas State seeing how they are doing.

Troy moved to 3-3 and 1-1 in the Sun Belt by beating South Alabama. Troy looked atrocious against Mississippi State in week 4 much as A-State did against Memphis that same week. Maybe each team gave the other a hangover. Troy played well against Duke and then knocked off a USA team that grabbed attention by knocking off WKU. Net change in perception: None. Troy is so far proving to be about what I expected. Hard to deal with offense and a suspect defense.

Memphis. The Tigers are now 1-3 and 0-1 in the AAC. The Red Wolves played so poorly against Memphis it would be hard to find any encouragement. The Tigers gave away a win over 4-1 UCF who has only lost to South Carolina. The span of 9 seconds two fumbles took them from a 17-10 win over UCF to a 24-17 loss in the game's final minutes. UCF came in averaging nearly 34 points per game and managed only 10 offensive points. Net change in perception: Positive. Not a big bump simply because A-State looked so bad but Memphis had a great game against one of the few AAC schools with a chance to derail Louisville's run to the BCS.

Missouri moves to 5-0 and 1-0 in the SEC and breaks into the Top 25. After 5 games, Mizzou has trailed for only 23 minutes and 53 seconds so far this season with 15 minutes and 33 seconds of that coming against A-State. Net change in perception: None, came away from Mizzou feeling positive that A-State was improving, their win over Vandy while by a larger margin than I would have expected really doesn't make a change in what I thought post-game.

Sun Belt Conference

No one has played more than two games yet only Arkansas State, Louisiana and Georgia State haven't lost. A-State and the Cajuns each have only played one home game while Georgia State hasn't played a league game yet.

Kolton Browning's injury makes the prospects poor for co-pre-season pick ULM. The Warhawks had a nice win at Wake Forest before his injury. Louisiana is now 1-0 the only real surprise for them so far was how close the Akron game was given that the Zips have won only once. WKU the consensus pick to challenge the two Louisiana schools has given us only one surprise, losing at USA. Troy at 1-1 in conference has been roughly on the expected track. USA at 1-1 holds the league's upset of the season beating WKU and a nice out-of-conference win at Tulane. Texas State is 0-1 in the conference but had some eye-opening wins in non-conference beating USM and Wyoming.

The conference race is pretty muddy and it is very likely that 6-1 can win it and 5-2 might have a decent shot of taking a share.