Sun Belt 2011 Odds Preview
This should be an interesting season in the Sun Belt Conference, with three new head coaches and two teams opening new stadiums.
Editor note: See the Sun Belt Odds preview for 2013 here.
The Troy Trojans have been the top dog in the Sun Belt for half a decade now, but others are nipping at their heels.
Troy Trojans (Odds to Win Sun Belt at Bovada – 3/1)
Troy, which has won or shared the Sun Belt title five years in a row, returns 13 starters, led by QB Corey Robinson (28/15 TD/INT ratio last year) and eight on what might be the league's best defense. But the Trojans play at Florida International on a Tuesday night in October in the game that might decide the conference championship.
Florida International Golden Panthers (Odds to Win Sun Belt at Bovada – 3/1)
FIU returns 15 starters from what was the best team in the league last year. The Panthers tied Troy atop the standings at 6-2, and beat the Trojans on their home field. This year FIU gets back their starting QB, top two rushers, three along the o-line, and seven on defense. And, as mentioned above, they get Troy at home.
Arkansas State Red Wolves (Odds to Win Sun Belt at Bovada – 5/1)
ASU returns 13 starters from a team that outgained conference foes by 34 YPG. New head coach Hugh Freeze was the OC here last year, and his no-huddle attack averaged 30 PPG, a seven PPG improvement from 2009. QB Ryan Alpin (21/11 TD/INT) is back, but just one starter returns on the o-line. The Wolves do, however, get both Troy and FIU at home.
Louisiana-Monroe Warhawks (Odds to Win Sun Belt at Bovada – 11/2)
UL-M went 4-4 in conference play last year and gets a Sun Belt-high 17 starters back for its second season under head coach Todd Berry, including QB Kolton Browning and the entire o-line.
Middle Tennessee Blue Raiders (Odds to Win Sun Belt at Bovada – 6/1)
The Raiders only return 10 starters, just three on defense, after going 5-3 in the Sun Belt last year.
North Texas Mean Green (Odds to Win Sun Belt at Bovada – 9/1)
The Green gets 12 starters back for new head coach Dan McCarney, including RB Lance Dunbar, who ran for 1,500 yards last year, and seven on defense.
Western Kentucky Hilltoppers (Odds to Win Sun Belt at Bovada – 11/1)
WKU returns 15 starters, including RB Bobby Rainey, the Sun Belt's leading rusher last year, for its second season under head coach Willie Taggart.
Florida Atlantic Owls (Odds to Win Sun Belt at Bovada – 12/1)
The Owls return 12 starters, including the entire o-line, for their last year under head coach Howard Schnellenberger.
Louisiana-Lafayette Ragin' Cajuns (Odds to Win Sun Belt at Bovada 12/1)
The Cajuns get 13 starters back for their first season under new head coach Mark Hudspeth.