Sun Belt Gets Pair Of Top Ten Wins; Three P5 Wins Total In Week Two
Photo courtesy of Carmen Mandato/ Getty Image
The Sun Belt Conference was the talk of college football in Week Two as three Sun Belt teams went on the road to upset Power Five opponents. Two of those Power Five opponents were ranked in the Top 10.
The Marshall Thundering Herd upset No. 8 Notre Dame 26-21 in a thrilling matchup. It marks Marshall's second Top 10 win in program history, the last being a 27-20 victory over No. 6 Kansas State in 2003.
The Appalachian State Mountaineers upset No. 6 Texas A&M 17-14 in a low scoring war of attrition. This is the Mountaineers' second win over a ranked Power Five team, the last being their program defining win over No. 5 Michigan in 2007.
Lastly, Georgia Southern upset Nebraska 45-42 in back and forth high scoring contest, under first year head coach Clay Helton.
The last time the Sun Belt beat three Power Five teams in one weekend was in 2020 when Louisiana, Coastal Carolina, and Arkansas State all got wins over the Big XII.
In total, the Sun Belt has notched four Power Five wins in the first two weeks of the season. Old Dominion hosted Virginia Tech in Week One, beating the Hokies 20-17.
The Sun Belt Conference now has wins over the ACC, B1G, and SEC in 2022.
There are still plenty of Sun Belt versus Power Five games to be played this season, leading to the possibility of even more upsets. Here are the remaining games:
9/17 Texas State at Baylor
9/17 UL Monroe at Alabama
9/17 South Alabama at UCLA
9/17 Old Dominion at Virginia
10/5 James Madison at Louisville
10/19 Louisiana at Florida State
10/19 Coastal Carolina at Virginia
Sun Belt Rising
The Sun Belt boasts the most Power Five road wins of any Group of Five conference over the last five years, leading to the question: could the Sun Belt soon become the best non-autonomous conference in the country with the departure of UCF, Houston, and Cincinnati from the AAC?
Based on the league's recent member expansion, increased branding efforts, and emphasis on geographical rivalries, the Sun Belt might very well be on its way to achieving the status of top non-autonomous conference.
Fans of the Sun Belt have a lot to be excited about.
The league is healthy and more importantly, stable. A recently announced renegotiated television contract with ESPN will see more money going to Sun Belt member institutions. The College Football Playoff committee also just announced a 12 team playoff expansion which could see the inclusion of Sun Belt teams in the future.
All of these factors will elevate the conference moving forward.
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