2018 Sun Belt Preview and Predictions

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2018 Sun Belt Preview

Big changes in the Sun Belt.  They cut down to 10 teams (Idaho and New Mexico State are out) and the conference added a championship game.  Now there’s two divisions where the winners of each will collide for the first ever Sun Belt Championship.


  • 2 teams rank in the top half of our preseason college football power rankings
  • 4 teams rank over 100 in our power rankings
  • 4 teams will go to a bowl game
  • Sun Belt teams face Alabama, Clemson, Penn State, Nebraska, Boise State, NC State, South Carolina, Texas A&M and others  so the opportunities abound to grab a Saturday headline with a major upset.

What to Watch in 2018

  • Can anyone challenge Arkansas State in the West?  The Red Wolves rank #44 in our preseason power rankings and then the second best team in the West comes in at #97.
  • The East will be competitive.  Troy, Georgia Southern and Appalachian State will all contend for the East title and a spot in the championship game.  Appalachian State has to break in a new QB but they’re talented and should be ready to contend.
  • Georgia State wide receiver, Penny Hart, is worth watching.  He leads active FBS receivers in career receiving yards, touchdowns, catches per game and receiving yards per game.  If you get a chance, tune in to watch him this season.
  • We just project four bowl eligible teams in 2018, down from 5 in 2017 and 6 in 2016.  The loss of Idaho and that W could be the difference in having a postseason birth for more than 1 team this season in the Sun Belt.

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2018 Sun Belt Predictions

Sun Belt East

60 Appalachian State Mountaineers 9 3 6 2
90 Georgia Southern Eagles 8 4 5 3
75 Troy Trojans 7 5 5 3
102 Georgia State Panthers 4 8 3 5
92 South Alabama Jaguars 4 8 3 5

Sun Belt West

44 Arkansas State Red Wolves 10 2 7 1
119 Louisiana-Monroe Warhawks 5 7 4 4
97 Coastal Carolina Chanticleers 4 8 3 5
122 Louisiana Ragin Cajuns 5 7 3 5
126 Texas State Bobcats 2 10 1 7

2018 Sun Belt Championship Game

Arkansas State over Appalachian State.  It’s fitting these two teams face-off in the first ever Sun Belt Championship game since they’ve been atop the league for many years now.

See more in our 2018 College Football Preview Access data driven college football predictions all season long.