Tag Archives: Sun Belt

Other 5 brief hoops

AAC-  SMU beat Michigan but  can’t play in the post-season. Cincy looks sharp and has big intra-city contest against Xavier today. Houston finally played a decent team Rhode Island and lost.

CUSA: Disappointed that UTEP (BTW< MWC recruiting them) lost to Texas – Arlington.  Louisiana Tech faces Ol Miss this week. They lost to Memphis earlier this season so the jury is out.

MAC: Bowling Green and NIU are shining early but I’m intrigued by Akron with the solid trio of Forsythe, Jackson , & McAdams.

MWC .UNLV Rebels lost a tough one to Wichita St (MVC)  , but Van Vleeet was solid.

SunBelt: Props again to TX-ARL and still like Ark LR when conference play starts.

Other5= AAC,CUSA, MAC,MWC,& SUNBELT

Scorching SunBelt

Ga St, Ga Southern, and ULM are tied at 13-5 with two conference games left.

Ga St Panthers are  @ULM on Mar 5 and  @  GSU in the final regular season gave Mar 7.

 

Ryan Harrow is the  Panthers’ star and has enough talent to take them to the regular season title.

Hewitt has been steady for G-Southern but his efforts were not enough tp prevent a loss to 4th place ULL last night

ULM had a bad loss last night to App St last night, and I don’t know where they’ll find the scoring.

 

So toss a coin , or settle for a tie cuz  a Georgia school will hold or share  this years SunBelt crown

 

Four from three

The  winners of the CUSA. MAC , & Sunbelt tournaments will get automatic dance tickets and are too difficult to predict. Every year a few regular season winners are  sent to the NIT.  Western Kentucky & Georgia Southern are atop the first two conferences, and Buffalo and Toledo are atop the MAC divisions. I think the CUSA gets a possible  extra ticket. UAB is tied for the second with La Tech who they  just walloped and will be my dark horse  for the extra ticket. Anyone remember when they brought in Gene Bartow to kick start  the  new program almost thirty years ago? So much is up in the air with three weeks to go in the regular season.

Four players headed for solid NBA careers.

CUSA: Jerome Hill- UTSA  17 ppg 8rbg ; Raheem Appelby- Louisiana Tech  16ppg , 2rbg 2apg

MAC: Justin Moss- Buffalo- 18ppg 9rbg

SunBelt: Ryan Harrow- Georgia St- 20.4 ppg, 2 rbg ,  4.3apg

 

Feb 11: Moss had 33 points and 10 rebounds  for Buffalo in a loss to the red hot Toledo Rockets (six straight) in an East matchup. Bowling Green and Akron kept pace in the West

 

fEB 26:  Leaders

MAC: East then West

Bowling Green 10-5
Kent St. 10-5
C. Michigan 11-4

SUNB

 

Ga. Southern 12-4 19-6 138
Georgia St. 12-4 19-8 80
UL-Monroe 12-4

CUSA:

La. Tech 12-3 21-7 64
UTEP 11-3 19-7 60
UAB 11-4

2/27/15 CUSA update . Big LT win over Utep- ODU wins again. Props to Marshall’s steady improvement.

Bowl time

I’m focusing  on matchups between members of  the three conferences we’ve followed all season :MAC, CUSA, &Sunbelt.

 

BOCA RATON BOWL Marshall /NIU Marshall D will struggle stopping the Hare/Stingley show but Cato will toss a few TDs . MU 31 NIU 27
POPEYES BAHAMAS BOWL WKU 47 CMU 45
Doughty(WKU)outduels Rush (CM) in QB shootout
Go Daddy Bowl Toledo/Ark St
Kareem Hunt sparks the Rockets to  a 30 -20 ground battle  win over Ark St
Raycom  Bowl South Alabama/Bowling Green:
BG ‘s QB Knapke has thrown for  2805 yards and 13 TDs , but USA will survive a shootout with a good effort from  Bridge. USA  40 BG 38
 ___________________________________________________________________________
 Dec 24:  I was correct on Marshall winning but  didn’t see them dominating NI. MU 52 NIU 23. The big MU3 were stellar

Passing: R Cato (MRSH) – 281 YDS, 3 TD

Rushing: DJohnson (MRSH) – 15 CAR, 131 YDS, 1 TD

Receiving: T Shuler (MRSH) – 18 REC, 185 YDS, 1 TD

 Dec 25-Got damn close on predicting the final score which was WKU 49 CM 48-  still got the winner. Rush had better stats but Doughty’s team  won.
C. Rush 28/45 493 11.0 7 1 84.0
Central MichigaN

Western Kentucky Passing

C/ATT YDS AVG TD INT QBR
B Doughty 31/42 486 11.6 5 0 98.7

Jan 5-Late gewtting back to this blog:  I picked Toledo but they  more than doubled my guess on their point total. Toledo 63 Ark St 44. Hunt was a beast 32 CAR, 271 YDS, 5 TDfor Toedo while Knighten was stellar in defeat  tossing for 403 yards and 5 tds for Ark St.

S.Bama put up a good fight , but  BG’s Knapke to Green combo was too much .. BG 33  USA 28.

 

Three out of four ain’t bad

2014 Sun Belt twists and tightens.

Texas State: I’m going to go with Coach Franchione’s Bobcats as a surprise pick. He will hasten Tyler Jones development  @QB and they’ll score enough to hide their defensive deficiencies

South Alabama- Bridge or maybe  Matt Floyd, a late USF transfer ,  will try to replace Metheny @ QB. On D they have a solid veteran secondary but will need some transfers to help quickly on the front four. Tough stretch of conference games in November: @ULL & Ark St, then home against Texas St.

UL. Lafayette- No question the  Cajuns’ lights are bright with Broadway @QB Broadway and RBS,  Alonzo Harris (942 yards and 14 touchdowns) and Elijah McGuire (863 yards), and may supplant my top pick by the time the season ends.

Arkansas St.  Does Knighten, the new starting QB, excel quickly?

La.-Monroe: I like the Thomas to Ceasar connection and the Warhawks always surprise.
Georgia State- Coach Miles, a program rebuilder, OC Jeff Jagodzinski (head coach at BC a few years ago), may turn Arbuckle into a solid QB. Panthers will inch towatd the middle of the pack.

Troy- Burks and Chunn are decent RBs who will run behind a good offensive live.  The D is rebuilding

Appalachian St-  Biggest name is Marcus Cox, a sophomore, who rushed for 1,250 yards and 15 touchdowns  and had 43 receptions for 559 yards in 2014. Strong fan support should help them but this will be a rough season which includes Michigan seeking revenge for seven years ago.

New Mexico St.-It’s likely to be a rocky Aggies return to the Sunbelt.  Maybe the  young D  develops quickly?

Idaho- Marboe to Epps is a decent offensive connection but the Vandals will be hanging around the cellar door.

Ga. Southern : Coach Monken went to coach Army after the big win over Florida and it  will be a rocky season for new coach Fritz

 

 

Mid majors bowl preview 2013/14

Famous Idaho Potato Dec 21
Buffalo (MAC) vs. San Diego State

Buffalo Bulls had a strange November going .500. Licata, Oliver,  and Neutz are a potent trio when they’re on. The SD St Aztecs  were doing well in November until UNLV leveled them. Aztecs  O trio of Kaehler, Muema , and Ruffin will be a tad more potent and lead SD St to a 46-44 win.

12/22/13

I nailed this one , Aztecs started quickly and cruised to a 49-24 win. Big props to SDST RB Adam Muema who scored three touchdowns and rushed for 230 yards,

R+L Carriers New Orleans Dec 21
Tulane (CUSA) vs. Louisiana-Lafayette  (SUNBELT)

Tulane has  leveled off but they have a decent D and Joe Montana’s son Nick at QB. ULL ‘s QB Terrance Broadway leads a Cajuns O that plays well, at times.  Tulane’s D should save them. Tul 20 ULL 16

12/22/13

I was wrong ULL 24 TuL 21. Neither starting QB was effective  and  starting RB Darkwa almost carried (3 rushing TDs) Tulane to win.  Cajuns D deserves some props.

Beef ‘O’ Brady’s St. Petersburg Dec 23
East Carolina (CUSA) vs. Ohio (MAC)

Ohio has been erratic and ECU  was rolling behind S. Carden( 358 504 3866 yards 32TDs) until a tough late-season loss to Marshall. Pirates beat ACC teams UNC & NC St, and lost a squeaker to VTech. ECU 31 Ohio 16

12/25/13- I wasn’t too far off on this one  ECU won 37-20, Carden & Cooper  had great days:

Passing: S. Carden (ECU) – 273 YDS, 1 TD

Rushing: V. Cooper (ECU) – 25 CAR, 198 YDS, 2

Little Caesars Pizza Dec 26
Pittsburgh vs. Bowling Green (MAC)

I’m was leaning toward  BG after their impressive MAC title game win but Coach Clawson’s exit for Wake Forest has me wavering. BG RB Travis Green  rushed for over 1500 yards  and averaged five plus yards a carry. Pitt defeated Duke and Notre Dame  but lost to  Navy & UNC. I’ll  take Pitt (ACC) in a nailbiter.

12/27/13:  Pitt hung on (30-27) against the fiesty Falcons led by  M.Johnson (BGSU) – 272 YDS, 2 TD.

S.D. County Credit Union Poinsettia Dec 26
Utah State vs. Northern Illinois (MAC)

Lynch   & the Huskies  will bounce back after the loss to Bowling Green and beat  the Utah St. The Ags QB Chuckie Keeton has had a decent season but  their improving has been  the key. The Huskies in a low-scoring game 20-16.

12/27/13: Utah St  held Lynch to 39 yards rushing and won 21-14. Rough Thursday night for the MAC.

Military Bowl Presented By Northrop Grumman   Dec 27
Marshall (CUSA) vs. Maryland- First time these  two schools have played  a football game against each  other and I expect an ugly game. Rakeem Cato has thrown 36 TDs and only 9 INTs, but I look for the Terps to make a few picks and  their O should take advantage of a Marshall D that  gave up a lot of points in the CUSA.  Terps 23 Marshall 19 and  keep your eyes on  Gator Hoskins,  a solid TE for the Herd who’ll be playing on Sundays.

12/27/13: I was right about Hoskins and so wrong about my Terps. Props to Rakeem Cato 28-44-337-0 , too. Marshall 31 MD 20

Bell Helicopter Armed Forces Dec 30

Middle Tennessee (CUSA) vs. Navy

Middies  are 1-5 in their last six bowl games and rely heavily on  their QB Keenan Reynolds- 25 TDs (19 rushing, 7 passing). MTSU won five in a row to finish the regular season and will need the D to play big. I predict a tie but the NCAA undid that option.

12/31/13: Navy  played better than I thought against the erratic Blue Raiders in a 24-6 W.

AutoZone Liberty  Dec 31
Rice (CUSA) vs. Mississippi State

Miss St saved their season by beating Ol Miss. They have too much talent to lose to Rice. I look for the Bulldogs D-line to punish the Owls.

1/1/14: Miss St 44 Rice7 Final score says it all

HEART OF DALLAS BOWL @ COTTON BOWL – DALLAS, TX Jan 1

My apologies for not making a  prediction. Mean Green woke up in the second half  behind Derek Thompson  who threw for 256 yards and two touchdowns and won in their first bowl appearance in nine years.

North Texas  36  UNLV 11

GoDaddy  Jan 5
Arkansas State (SUNBELT) vs. Ball State (MAC)

Ark St loses another head coach (Harsin to Boise St) to a bigger program and it’s hard to argue with  these numbers  from Ball St’s QB Keith Wenning(3,933 yards, 34 touchdowns, six interceptions).

Can Ball St  help the MAC avoid a winless bowl season?

1/6/14: Ark St did  a solid job slowing down Wenning,  scored last, and won 23-20. Nice stat line for: RB Rushing:  J Edwards (BALL) – 28 CAR, 146 YDS, 1 T

2.5 Pack Finals- Mid Majors

CUSA

Can Marshall Cato  ( 246-414, 3314 yds, 34 tds)ride the Herd to another victory and win the CUSA. They  had an easier time defeating  ECU last week than I expected, but Rice has a formidable rushing attack led by Ross( 183 car, 1143 yds, 12 tds). Rice has a slightly better D, but look for  Cato to find Gator Hoskins, a TE who’ll play on Sunday, often and trim the Owls feathers 24-23.

Some Marshall fans are ticked that BCS rankings were used to give Rice home field. More formulas and now some history: Marshall will be playing for its first conference championship since winning their sixth straight Mid-American conference title in 2002. Rice won a share of the Southwest Conference championship in 1994 and their last outright conference title was the 1957 SWC championship.

 

Congrats to Rice and it’s ground game of 250 yards. Also, the Owls D slowed down Cato and it appeared he was telegraphing his passes.

MAC

Bowling Green has an upghill battle against NIU and Lynch. Maybe Greene (  235 car, 1422 yds, 10 tds) will rush them to victory, but I’ll let Lynch’s numbers do the talking:

Passing: Lynch – 212-329, 2457 yds, 22 tds

Rushing: Lynch – 248 car, 1755 yds, 20 tds

Well, I was wrong big time. Matt Johnson , the Bowling Green Falcons QB, stole the show throwing 4 of his 5 TD passes in the first half   against NIU. Lynch had a so-so night and his Heisman hopes may have vanished. Props to the Falcons who last won a MAC title in 1992.

Sunbelt

If The Terence Broadway lights shine for ULL against USA then the Cajuns win  the SunBelt, but If Metheny and the improved Jags pull the upset than idle Ark St will be tied with ULL for the Sun Belt title.

 

South Alabama Jags (6-6, 4-3 Sun Belt) are up for most improved squad of the 2013 season. Jay Jones did the bulk of the rushing with 105 yards while Ken Houston scored two rushing TDs in their 30-8 win over conference leader ULL.

 

Mid-majors bowl preview blog will be started later tonight (Sunday) or early tomorrow.