Sun Belt Power Rankings: Week 13

There are two weeks to go in the 2012 regular season and the Sun Belt is still a wide open race. With that in mind, BlueRaiderZone's Kurt Mullen gives us his weekly breakdown of the best teams in the league.

1. Arkansas State (8-3, 6-1 Sun Belt) Won at Troy 41-34

It was another huge offensive game for the Red Wolves offense after they amassed almost 600 yards of offense. The way this team is rolling, it should be interesting to see how they finish their last two games of the season. If this defense is able to get stops in two weeks against Middle Tennessee, the Red Wolves will easily win the conference title.

Next Game: December 1 vs. Middle Tennessee.

2. Middle Tennessee (7-3, 5-1 Sun Belt) Won @ South Alabama 20-12

The Blue Raiders struggled against a Jags defense that has played very well all season. This game marked just the fourth time all season the Middle Tennessee offense hasn't scored at least 30 points. The Blue Raider defense seems to get better every week, and they'll definitely be tested this weekend against their rivals from Alabama.

Next Game: November 24 vs. Troy

3. Louisiana-Lafayette (6-4, 4-2 Sun Belt) Won vs. Western Kentucky 31-27

The Ragin' Cajuns impressed me with their win against Western this week. Almost 600 yards of offense will do the trick most weeks, but they almost turned the ball over enough to give the game away. The conference crown is looking a bit out of reach, but the Cajuns can still put their name down for a nice bowl game come bowl season.

Next Game: November 24 vs. South Alabama.

4. Louisiana-Monroe (7-4, 5-2 Sun Belt) Won vs. North Texas 42-16

Bringing back Kolton Browning couldn't have come any sooner for the War Hawks. The difference between a Browning-less team and a team with Browning at the helm is night and day. That said, ULM looked like every bit of the legitimate Sun Belt contender that they've been all season. Its too bad that two bad weeks will keep them out of the conference's top spot.

Next Game: November 24 @ Florida International

5. Western Kentucky (6-5, 3-4 Sun Belt) Lost @ Louisiana-Lafayette 31-27

After starting the first two months of the season 6-2, the Hilltoppers have dropped three straight games. With the conference crown now out of reach, Western has to focus on winning their remaining game if they want any hope of going bowling for the first time ever.

Next Game: November 24 vs. North Texas.

6. Troy (5-6, 3-4 Sun Belt) Lost vs. Arkansas State 41-34

The Trojan defense has cost them a number of games all season. While it hasn't been the ideal season for the perennial Sun Belt power, they can still make it to bowl eligibility with a win to over their bitter rivals at home.

Next Game: November 24 @ Middle Tennessee.

7. Florida International (3-8, 2-5 Sun Belt) Won @ Florida Atlantic 34-24

So their final season in the Belt may end a little better than we thought with the Golden Panthers actually being able to pull themselves together a bit. I can't say any more than I already have about this disappointing team, but they can make the most of it if they can knock off the bowl-bound War Hawks.

Next Game: November 24 vs. Louisiana-Monroe.

8. South Alabama (2-9, 1-6 Sun Belt) Lost vs. Middle Tennessee 20-12

The Jags continue to impress me this season with their defense. South Alabama is a team on the rise in the Belt, and they may be a team to watch for the 2013 season.

Next Game: November 24 @ Louisiana-Lafayette.

9. North Texas (4-7, 3-4 Sun Belt) Lost @ Louisiana-Monroe 42-16

North Texas has been up and down all season and this week was no different. The Mean Green are another team playing their final Sun Belt game this week, and they can end it on a high note against a struggling Western Kentucky team.

Next Game: November 24 @ Western Kentucky.

10. Florida Atlantic (3-8, 2-5 Sun Belt) Lost vs. Florida International 34-24

The Owls have made progress over the season, and Coach Pelini seems to have his team moving in the right direction. Florida Atlantic has another chance to show their progress moving forward.

Next Game: December 1 vs. Louisiana-Lafayette.

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