July 30, 2011

College F-ball Guide for Idiots '11: Sun Belt


It's almost that time of year. With just over a month until the college football season begins, its time to give you my lowdown on every FBS conference in America.

We start...with the stupendous Sun Belt!

Yeah I know. The Sun Belt is a complete and colossal joke. The NFC West of college football if you will. It's a miracle if the champion actually finishes above .500, let alone comes within 50 points of an SEC team.

I'm not going to waste my time breaking down this conference in depth, because in all honesty it's pretty much an elephant shit casserole. But, I will give you the 5 Sun Belt facts that every college football fan needs to know.

1.) TROY IS THE BEST IN SHOW

And they have been for a while. They've won or shared the Sun Belt the past 5 years and have murdered their league opponents (32-5). And last year the Trojans (wait for it) actually HAD A LEAD over a BCS team (Oklahoma State) only to lose by by three after two fumbles inside the Cowboy 25.

Coach Larry Blakeney knows how to win. In his 20 years with the Trojans (where he's pushed the school from D-2 all the way to 1-A) he has 161 wins, good for 4th among active coaches at their current school. And he does it with defense. He's coached NFL players DeMarcus Ware, Osi Umenyiora, and Leodis McKelvin through to the pros. This year's crown jewel and potential pro is redshirt junior DE Jonathan Massaquoi, who led the Sun Belt with 13.5 sacks and 20.5 tackle for a loss. Returning QB Corey Robinson is only a sophomore, but he's another monster on field for the Trojans. As a redshirt freshman, Robinson threw for 3,726 yards and 28 TD against 15 INT. Not bad brah.

2.) BUT FIU WILL WIN THE CONFERENCE

Sure Troy has the best defense. And best quarterback. But the Golden Panthers return a conference high 15 starters to a team that massacred the Trojans on the road 52-35 (jumping to an early 31-7 lead). They'll host Troy in Miami this season, and assuming QB Wesley Carroll and stud WR T.Y. Hilton stay healthy, they'll win that game and Sun Belt title.

3.) AND EVERYONE ELSE IS F*$@ing TERRIBLE

There are like 3 or 4 good players scattered throughout the other teams in this god-forsaken conference. Unfortunately, they are doomed to a season of getting their shit kicked in night in and night out. Only two teams finished above .500 in the Sun Belt last year. TWO. And they're listed above.

ORDER OF FINISH

1.) Florida International
2.) Troy
3.) Middle Tennessee
4.) North Texas
5.) Louisiana-Monroe
6.) Arkansas State
7.) Florida Atlantic
8.) Western Kentucky
9.) Louisiana-Lafayette


4.) PLAYING THEIR WAYS TO SUNDAY

Jonathan Massaquoi - TROY - DE - RS JR

Massaquoi is an absolute monster, evidenced by his freakish sophomore year with a conference high 13.5 sacks and 20.5 tackles for loss. It garnered him a ton of pre-season hype, as he's the only Sun Belt player on the Walter Camp Player of the Year watch list. He's a bit undersized at 6'2, but his 4.5 speed could allow him to be a pass rushing specialist as a 3-4 OLB or a 4-3 DE. With another season like last year, Massaquoi could be a 2nd or 3rd rounder.

Ladarius Greene - UL LAFAYETTE - TE - SR

Greene plays for the shittiest team in the crappiest conference in America. Luckily for him, he happens to be a 6'6 230lb freak who runs a 4.6 40...and only led all college football tight ends last year with 794 yards receiving, 79.4 ypg, 18 ypc, and 7 TDs. He was one of eight semi-finalists for the Mackey award last year, and is a preseason All-American according to CBS Sports.com and Phil Steele. He should be picked by round 3. Somebody give this guy a real team!

T.Y. Hilton - FIU - WR/KR - SR

Hilton is an undersized (5'10) do everything burner (4.48 40) who can catch (57 receptions for 794 yards and 5 scores) and run (282 yards rushing and 4 TDs). But he has much more value as a kick returner. He led the conference with a 28.7 average, scoring twice, and has actually returned a kickoff for a TD against a real football team (Alabama, 9-12-09). You could see him taken toward the end of the '12 draft.

Lance Dunbar - NORTH TEXAS - RB

Dunbar is an undersized (5'8 180lb) workhorse, leading the Sun Belt in yards per carry last season with 5.7, and finishing 5th in the country with 1553 rushing yards (surprisingly only 2nd in the Sun Belt). He isn't the quickest (4.6 40) but he can handle the full-time load. The Mean Green have an excellent track record with running backs who produce, like Patrick Cobbs (who led the NCAA in rushing yards per game in 2003 and now plays for the Miami Dolphins) and Jamario Thomas (who led the NCAA in rushing as a freshman in 2004). If Dunbar stays healthy and continues to produce, he could get a shot in the pros.

Bobby Rainey - WESTERN KENTUCKY - RB

Rainey is a diminutive (5'7) yet stocky (198lbs) every down back. The dude might be a robot, absorbing a punishing 340 carry workload in 2010, rushing for 1649 yards (only third in the nation...nbd) and 15 TDs. Like Dunbar, a big year for Rainey could make a late round draft pick or get him a shot in 2012 training camp.

5.) BOTTOM LINE

If you actually pay serious attention to this conference for a whole f!@#ing season, you've got a football addiction bigger than Charlie Sheen's coke rocks. Also...you're a loser. #Losing.

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