Sun Belt Power Rankings: Week Two

Two weeks have come and gone in the 2012 season and now it's time to take a look up and down the Sun Belt to see how things look.

1. Louisiana (2-0) – Won @ Troy 37-24 Ranking Change: Up 1 spot.

The Ragin' Cajuns have the most wins in the Sun Belt, and looked good grabbing that second win. The Cajun's forced three turnovers, but did allow almost 600 yards of offense. Fair to say I like the look of an old-school running attack leading the Sun Belt.

Next Game: September 18 @ Oklahoma State.

2. Louisiana-Monroe (1-0) – Won @ Arkansas 34-31

Ranking Change: Up 5 spots.

The upset of the season – and possibly the history of the Sun Belt Conference – is good enough to shoot the War Hawks up the list. I know the argument will be made for ULM to easily be at the top, but I'll reserve room for the broken college football ranking system to prove its flaws. However I'm not underselling the tremendous feat for the War Hawks. These guys have game, and will get plenty of chances to take the top spot. Let's just say the battle for the Sun Belt title just got a little more interesting.

Next Game: September 18 @ Auburn.

3. Florida International (1-1) – Won vs. Akron 41-38

Ranking Change: None

The Panthers grab a nice win at home over Akron, and continued to put up big time yards for the second week in a row. However, if the Panthers are going to compete for the Sun Belt they're going to have to find a way to get some more stops along the way.

Next Game: September 15 @ Central Florida.

4. Troy (1-1) – Lost vs. Louisiana 24-37 Ranking Change: Down 3 spots.

If we learned anything positive in the Trojans loss, its that they can definitely throw the ball, racking up more than 500 yards in the air. However, Troy's Achilles heel in this game had to be the turnover margin, coughing up the ball three times. Even though the Trojans start conference play a game behind, expect for their games to matter deep into the season.

Next Game: September 15 vs. Mississippi State.

5. Arkansas State (1-1) – Won vs. Memphis 33-28

Ranking Change: Down 1 Spot.

The Red Wolves got a battle from Memphis this week, but were able to get the win. While the score shows a much closer game, Arkansas State dominated the game yardage wise, out gaining their opponent by over 300 yards. If the Red Wolves can continue their balanced offensive attack, they will be tough to stop.

Next Game: September 15 @ Memphis.

6. North Texas (1-1) – Won vs. Texas Southern 34-7

Ranking Change: None

The Mean Green looked good in their home opener, racking up almost 500 yards of offense. North Texas looked impressive on the ground, with two players rushing for over 130 yards. However, the Mean Green did have trouble hanging onto the ball. That could be something to watch as the season progresses.

Next Game: September 15 @ Kansas State.

7. Western Kentucky (1-1) – Lost @ Alabama 0-35

Ranking Change: Down 2 Spots.

Western Kentucky had quite a task ahead of them taking on the defending National Champions. This one was completely dominated by Alabama, so its kind of tough to gauge exactly how good the Hilltoppers are this season.

Next Game: September 15 @ Kentucky.

8. Middle Tennessee (1-1) – Won vs. Florida Atlantic 31-17

Ranking Change: Up 1 Spot.

The Blue Raiders looked much better while opening conference play against FAU. Probably the most impressive feat the Blue Raiders saw was the over 300 rushing yards, with two players surpassing 100 yards on the night. However, if there is one complaint for the Blue Raiders, they still turned the ball over twice.

Next Game: September 15 @ Memphis.

9. Florida Atlantic (1-1) – Lost @ Middle Tennessee 17-31

Ranking Change: Down 1 Spot.

The Owls had a tough time getting much going on the ground against Middle Tennessee. Overall, FAU's night in Murfreesboro could have been much different if not for a few key turnovers.

Next Game: September 15 @ Georgia.

10. South Alabama (1-1) – Won vs. Nicholls State 9-3

Ranking Change: None.

The Jaguars barely seemed to get by against Nicholls State. However, if there is one good thing to note about their performance, their defense gave up just 118 yards of total offense. If the Jags can get some offensive production this season, they might be able to compete for some Sun Belt Conference wins.

Next Game: September 15 @ North Carolina State.

Also Notable:

Texas State (1-1)
– Lost vs. Texas Tech 10-58

One week after a huge win against an in-state rival, the Bobcats couldn't garner another for the home fans this week. This one was never really a contest.

Next Game: September 22 vs. Stephen F. Austin.

Georgia State (0-2) – Lost @ Tennessee 51-13

This is about what we were expecting from the Panthers this weekend, heading into a SEC opponents house. Georgia State was able to keep it close through about one and a half quarters, which may show they just didn't have the depth to compete.

Next Game: September 15 vs. UTSA.

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