Conference Notes: Sun Belt

WEEK 1 SCHEDULE
Thursday, Sept. 2
The Citadel at No. 22/24 Coastal Carolina 6:00 p.m. ESPN+
App State vs. East Carolina 6:30 p.m. ESPNU

Saturday, Sept. 4
ULM at Kentucky 11:00 a.m. SEC Network
Army at Georgia State 11:00 a.m. ESPNU
No. 23/23 Louisiana at No. 21/19 Texas 3:30 p.m. FOX
Gardner-Webb at Georgia Southern 5:00 p.m. ESPN3
Southern at Troy 6:00 p.m. ESPN3
Central Arkansas at Arkansas State 6:00 p.m. ESPN3
Baylor at Texas State 6:00 p.m. ESPN+
Southern Miss at South Alabama 7:00 p.m. ESPN+

 

MAKING HISTORY
For the first time since it began sponsoring football in 2001, the Sun Belt Conference boasts a pair of ranked teams in the preseason editions of both the USA TODAY Sports AFCA Coaches Poll and the Associated Press (AP) Top 25 Poll. Coastal Carolina earned a No. 24 ranking in the Coaches Poll and the No. 22 spot in the AP Poll. Louisiana was listed at No. 23 in both polls. App State also received votes in the Coaches Poll. The Sun Belt is the lone Group of Five conference with multiple teams ranked in the preseason.

BESTING THE BIG 12
The Sun Belt posted a 3-0 mark against the Big 12 in 2020, with Arkansas State outlasting Kansas State, 35-31; Coastal Carolina downing Kansas, 38-23; and Louisiana defeating No. 23 Iowa State, 31-14, all on Sept. 12. The Sun Belt will look to maintain this streak during Week 1 action, as No. 23/23 Louisiana visits No. 21/19 Texas at 3:30 p.m. Saturday on FOX and Texas State hosts Baylor at 6 p.m. Saturday on ESPN+.

TOP 25 CLASH
No. 23/23 Louisiana’s clash with No. 21/19 Texas is 1-of-5 Top 25 meetings in Week 1 action across the FBS. The game is the first time in program history that the Ragin’ Cajuns will appear in a matchup of Top 25 teams. Louisiana has won six-straight road games and owns a 2-1 mark in season openers during the Billy Napier era—including last year’s 31-14 rout of No. 23 Iowa State. The other Top 25 matchups are No. 19/20 Penn State at No. 12/15 Wisconsin, No. 1/1 Alabama vs. No. 14/16 Miami, No. 17/17 Indiana at No. 18/18 Iowa and No. 5/5 Georgia vs. No. 3/2 Clemson.