Top 10 Most Fascinating Out-of-Conference Sun Belt Games of 2014


Non-conference scheduling is all the rage, with the Power Five more-or-less mandating that they just play with themselves. But over in the Sun Belt, our non-con schedules are all business. We shrink from no one! Bring it! We challenge you! And a few brave souls responded. Behold, the Top Ten Most Fascinating Out-Of-Conference Sun Belt Games of 2014.

10. Georgia St. @ Washington, September 20th. The Huskies are the “okay” team in the PAC 12, and the Panthers are the 10th best team in the Sun Belt. Frankly, the Air Force vs. Georgia State matchup might be the better game, but it’s always fun to see a Southern program trudge all the way to the west coast – and then listen to the ESPN announcers struggle with basic Sun Belt facts.

Mildly Amusing Matchup: Clemson

9. Troy vs. Duke, September 6th. This matchup pits the former Sheriff of the Sun Belt against the current Prison Guards of the ACC. And if that isn’t enough for you to print t-shirts, remember that Duke is a basketball school masquerading as a football school, and that’s just too Western Kentucky for our taste.

Mildly Amusing Matchup: Georgia

8. Idaho @ San Diego State, November 8th. By the time Idaho gets around to playing classy San Diego State, the Vandals may not have enough non-destroyed players to field an offense and a defense. The haunted look in Paul Petrino’s eyes should offer all the fascination one needs to tune in.

Mildly Amusing Matchup: Florida

7. Georgia Southern @ Georgia Tech, September 13th. On the surface, there’s nothing really fascinating about this game. And neither is there anything fascinating deep inside. But then again, this is an in-state game, so it will be interesting to gauge how devastatingly damaging just playing this game is to Georgia Tech’s recruiting.

Mildly Amusing Matchup: NC State

6. South Alabama vs. Mississippi State, September 13th. Supposedly, South Alabama is gonna take it to the Sun Belt this year. They mean it this time! Ironically, the Bulldogs have been set to take it to the SEC for thirty years now, without much result. Perfect scheduling! Don’t be surprised if one of these teams win.

Mildly Amusing Matchup: South Carolina

5. ULL @ Boise State, September 20th.  Boise State is the latest “dream job” that spirited away another A-State head football coach. ULL is the school whose head football coach is always rumored to soon be spirited away by a dream job (but never is). I’m not sure if any of this makes Cajuns vs. Broncos fascinating, but a loss by either program is a win.

Mildly Amusing Matchup: Ole Miss (Cajuns are playing all the A-State head coach Dream Jobs this year.)

4. New Mexico St. vs. New Mexico, September 20th. With all due respect to Cal Polytech, nothing beats a heated in-state rivalry, and New Mexico versus New Mexico State definitely qualifies. It doesn’t matter that the Aggies are pretty sorry. The two schools have battled one another since 1931, even though the rivalry likely prevented fans of one program to be fans of the other.

Mildly Amusing Matchup: LSU

3. Appalachian St. @ Michigan, August 30th. Sometimes, one win truly defines a program. In fact, that win might be the only thing people remember about your program. Such is the case when Appalachian State upset Michigan in 2007. Now the Wolverines want some payback! And the Mountaineers want to relive their glory day! Somebody’s gonna get their feelings bruised.

Mildly Amusing Matchup: Toss-up between the Campbell Fighting Camels and the Liberty Flames

2. ULM @ LSU, September 13th. Is ULM/LSU a heated in-state rivalry? Eh. The Tigers are currently 2-0 in the match-up. But it is in-state, and the Warhawks have been living off that win against Arkansas long enough. Time to get a job, UL-Monroe! And that job is rumored to eat grass and might keep bus station transients chained up in his basement.

Mildly Amusing Matchup: Wake Forest

1. A-State @ Tennessee, September 6th. Since surprising Texas A&M in 2008, the Red Wolves have been seeking a signature win to underscore their legitimacy as a mid-major power. Opportunities come and go each year, and this year’s opportunity dresses like a creamsicle. The Volunteers won’t surrender easy at massive Neyland Stadium, but facing the likes of Oregon, Auburn and Missouri in recent years have hardened these Wolves.

Mildly Amusing Matchup: Miami


2014 Arkansas State Red Wolves Football Schedule

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